Friday, January 7, 2022

Learn to Stream from the Silver Screen


Quentin Tarantino, legendary director of films like Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill and most recently, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, says this about his trade: “You don't have to know how to make a movie. If you truly love cinema with all your heart and with enough passion, you can't help but make a good movie.” If you change a few words from that sentiment, this could easily be used as one of the best quotes about streaming imaginable. All it takes is love and passion. 

At his most voracious, Tarantino on average watched 200 movies a year- and that was at a time before Netflix. He also kept a list of everything old and new he saw, and created his own little personal awards for ones he loved. In the recent Twitch Playbook entry How to Use Your Influences for Streaming, I described a similar devotion to routine in the video game creator Hideo Kojima, who never lets bad reading choices influence his excitement about reading books as a whole. You may recognize a pattern here. Truly talented creators aren’t born with what they have. They absorb. And they don’t do that because they have to, but because they want to. They allow their interests and their quirks to guide them to their creations. In this entry we’ll gather Twitch streaming inspiration through the silver screen, and explore how the best movie directors have been able to use the things they love to create masterpieces. 


Guillermo del Toro is a huge fan of Bioshock, 
and it's easy to see why.

The winner for Best Picture at the 2018 Academy Awards was about a woman who falls in love with a giant fish-man. Not exactly the traditional Oscar-bait material, but then again, nothing ever is with director Guillermo del Toro. And that’s what makes him so great. This is a man who thrives on the weird. He lives, literally, in a
house of horrors. His family home is full of classic Universal movie props, life-sized figures of Frankenstein actor Boris Karloff, and other monster memorabilia. Everything he’s ever directed has a strange air about it, something off-kilter that Hollywood typically wouldn’t touch. Each of his films is totally unique, but always distinctly his. Guillermo del Toro has never been afraid to put his passions in the forefront, no matter the stigma that might attach to his works. He never tried to bend his creations toward what might be more acceptable to a common audience- every one of his films is filled with genuine love and obscure sensibilities. And eventually, staying true to himself led to being awarded Hollywood’s highest honor. 

Edgar Wright, who directed Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Baby Driver, seems to keep a strict and devoted regimen even in his leisure time. This man has been incredibly busy recently. He released not one but two films in 2021- the time-hopping thriller Last Night in Soho and the incredible music documentary The Sparks Brothers. Despite that schedule however, he found the time to watch 330 films in his free time- nearly one a day! You can find his full viewing list published online, with careful notation to indicate first-time watches and films seen in the cinema. This is someone who clearly loves what he does, enough that he not only creates, but keeps himself disciplined in his regimen of consumption. And if you’ve ever seen an Edgar Wright film, like with Tarantino or del Toro, his overwhelming love for the art form shines through in every scene he’s directed. When producing your Twitch streams, are you allowing all your passions to shine through? Or are you making concessions to ‘the norm’? If the content you want to make doesn’t ‘fit in’ but you’re passionate about the things you love, rest assured that you’re in good company. 


Find streaming inspiration in the movies!

There’s a lot that can be learned from movies when you stream on Twitch. Not only by studying camera techniques and lighting, but also by looking behind the camera. Countless behind-the-scenes resources exist, from DVD special features and books, to following your favorite directors on Twitter. And by paying attention to how the greats treat their craft, it’s easy to become inspired about your own project. Paying attention to the exploits of Tarantino, del Toro and Wright in various forms throughout the years has greatly inspired me personally. And whoever you look up to in the film business, whether it’s a director, screenwriter, editor, costume designer, or anything else, see if you can’t glean some inspiration of your own from the way they approach their craft. There are plenty of rewards to be gained when you learn to stream from the silver screen. 

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