One of the problems I had when I was first trying to analyse films was to remember to actually analyse them whilst watching them. I had a full-time job so usually tried to watch a film every other evening and three at the weekend. I ended up just wanted to enjoy the movies and just forgot about studying them.
Now that I have Sky Movies and half a day dedicated to ‘writing’ (in punctuation marks as I have mainly been reading books (a comprehensive review will be published soon (how many brackets am I allowed(?))) and watching films/sitcoms) I have no problem seeing a film for its parts.
Knowledge helps but quantity bulldozers such problems away. The reason I can work from home is because of a phobia for daytime tv brought about by the fact that as a kid I only watched it when I was ill – the association is strong with this one. Daytime TV rarely made me felt better as I used to watch films back to back (you know, all those black & white ones) and after a few days I felt that a lot of films were the same – ie the structure was becoming apparent.
The best discovery I’ve made about watching films and reading all the ‘how to write’ books recently is that they don’t differ wildly at all. Structure is pretty much the same for everyone (on a basic level), how you put everything else into it is the goal. Nothing new for the initiated, I know.
As I said, I’ll review all the big players in the ‘how to write’ game soon (Rob McKee, Syd Field, Blake Synder, Stephen King, Chris Vogler etc) but I’ve got more reading and analysing to do.
Oh, and can someone tell me if I’ll be able to watch a film as a normal viewer ever again?(!)