Updated: Jan 15
Or should I say “Dear diary”, since this is a freestyle kind of post. So, today I’m going to be weighing up the merits of listening to music or watching TV and films. Don’t get me wrong, I love both, and I’m a filmmaker so I really have no qualms with watching a show or have a movie marathon, but there are days where I feel like I’d rather not watch something and just listen to music instead. So, let the rant begin!
Movie Magic Is The Only Kind Of Magic
With watching films, you could lose yourself in its story. As a filmmaker and a creative writer, I love a good story. It doesn’t matter how bland a character may be, if the story captures your attention, then it’s probably going to be something I’m going to want to watch.
Look at Labyrinth, the 1986 film with Jennifer Connelly and David Bowie. While the character Sarah is an over-dramatic teenager, the story is actually something that grabs the attention. It’s a journey of self-discovery, and even as an adult I love watching it, because it’s so story-based (and of course because it’s David Bowie in leggings!).
I’m a visual person, so when I watch a film, I’m not only watching for the story, I’m also looking out for the continuity in the scene. This is my filmmaker brain talking, but I can’t stand bad visuals, unless they’re intentional.
For example, I watched Ghost In The Shell, the live-action film with Scarlett Johansson, and looking back on the review I made (and watching clips while making this post) I remember that the one real complaint I had was the fact the environment was too clean. This is a film about a dystopian future, there really ought to be some dirty streets, or even some graffiti to show how unhappy the youth are, just like they are nowadays. They wouldn’t stop altogether, if they could help it.
Drift On My Melody
Music is an interesting thing. You can interpret a song a hundred different ways, especially if there are no lyrics to it. I love listening to the same songs over again sometimes, just because I can make up a story with that one song alone. For example, I found my prologue, for the novel I’m currently writing, because of the song Take Flight, by Lindsey Stirling.
Now, I know Stirling has released a music video for it, and it’s amazing by the way, but in my head, I saw a blizzard, someone trying to take shelter, and a powerful being helping the aforementioned person, but not quite fully. A battle ensues and the person dies, but not without hope.
Of course, there are other interpretations I could list, but that’s pretty much what I got from it. Another reason I like listening to music is that I can get physical with it, especially with the high intensity songs. It doesn’t matter what song I’m listening to, as long as there is a beat, or a motif, I can find a way to dance to it.
Mind you, I’m not a dancer, but if I have space, and I’m alone, you can bet I’ll be rocking, sashaying or plie-ing to whatever song I’m listening to, at the time. Like, I could be listening to Crazy=Genius by Panic! At The Disco and I’d be shuffling along even though I don’t know the technicalities. Or, I’d be listening to Airplane 2 by BTS and I’d tango my way around the living room. You can bet I’d be getting my week’s worth of exercise in one hour because of the amount of time I spend dancing at home.
It's The Same Story
Ok, so even if I’m in film, and I’d love to create a story you can watch, there comes a point when you’ve had enough of watching the same stories over and over again. It’s not so much the same story in different films (although I will get to that in a second), it’s about the reruns. Every time I turn on the TV, I get the same episodes of a series I’ve already watched, because there’s nothing else to watch.
I’d get the same spiel of movies, because the network hasn’t got the rights to showcase a new film or a film I’d want to watch. I mean, I have a Sky Box (for those of you in America, it’s sort of like Cable) and there is only so much that they show, that I want to watch. For example, they schedule films like Maleficent or The Incredibles over and over again, when I really want to watch the old films, like The Little Mermaid or Mulan. In fact, we hardly ever get Mulan on the Cinema Disney channel!
Now, here’s when I talk about the same story in different films. There are a few film formulas that are tried and tested and are found successful. There’s the “Cinderella Story” (I don’t mean the movie, I mean the story itself), the “Hero vs Villain”, “Romeo and Juliet” and the “Underdog”. These are the ones that tend to crop up on TV because they’re just so popular!
I mean, you could name a teenage “chick-flick” and more often than not it’s either a “Cinderella story” or a “Romeo and Juliet” one. Here are just a few I can think of She’s The Man (it’s based off Twelfth Night but break that down, and it is literally another Cinderella story), Mean Girls (more of a Hero vs Villain, but again, a Cinderella story at its heart), 13 Going On 30 (a body-swap kind of film, but again, female lead falls in love!). Like I said, same story, different films, and I’m getting a little tired of it.
Isn't This The Same As That?
At one point or another, you’re bound to say something along the lines of “Oh! That sounds like this song!” that’s where I get to, when I listen to music sometimes. I tend to say this phrase a lot, with songs nowadays, because of the fact that they follow the same formula. It’s not a completely fool proof set of rules, it changes with the season, but if you think about it, there are some songs that you’d recognise in another song.
So, I listen to EDM sometimes, just so I can chill or concentrate on work. Now, I know a song called Brighter by The Two Friends, featuring Jeff Sontag and I Am Lightyear, and recently I’ve been listening to Polaroid by Jonas Blue, Liam Payne and Lennon Stella. If you listen closely you can hear the similarities between the songs.
Now, while it’s great for a summertime playlist, when you’re not really listening to the song, there are loads of songs that just don’t need to be played over and over again on the radio. I mean, when I listen to songs like Shotgun, by George Ezra,or Somebody You Loved, by Lewis Capaldi, I just think it’s the same thing, because it’s literally in the same key, and has the same beat. Of course, the melody and the lyrics are a little different, but that’s pretty much all you can say about it.
Speaking of lyrics, I feel like there isn’t much variety nowadays, it’s either a song about a broken heart, someone falling in love or someone flipping off society because they’ll do whatever they want. While it’s great to have these songs, don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s overdone. What happened to the ones about great friendships, or songs about hope? I mean it wouldn’t be so bad to have a ballad or two topping the charts once in a while.
Well, that’s the rant for today. I’m not going to say which one is my favourite thing to do, because I do both in equal parts, so I’m leaving the choice to you. Do you like listening to music more, or do you like watching TV and Films more? In the meantime, see you guys next week!