Life as a film student means that I am required to make film a substantial part of my life. My day-to-day experiences are generally influenced by the films and shows I see on a constant basis. So, as films are such a large part of my life, I’ll be listing my top 5 films that have left an impact on me, and inspire my daily work.
You probably haven’t heard of this one – and for good reason – Cyborg Cop is a run of the mill low-budget b-movie action film that was probably made to capitalise on the Robocop and Terminator franchises. Directed by the legendary Sam Firstenberg who also brought the world Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo, the origin to the ever popular _____ 2: Electric Boogaloo joke – Whilst it’s not a good movie per se, it’s a laugh to watch with friends and a great example of how not to make a film. I use this film more as a guide, so I know how not to edit footage together, or write dialogue for a film. The one actual saving grace this film has is John Rhys-Davies of Indiana Jones and Lord of the Rings fame, who plays an enigmatic villain with an outrageous British accent that had me in stitches every time he was on-screen.
As an editor, Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse is both a reminder that I could achieve great things in life, and also a reminder that I am terrible at what I do in comparison to the people who worked on this film. Aside from being my favourite Spider-Man movie, and probably favourite animated movie of all time, the editing is quick paced, frantic, visually stunning, and the glitchy comic art style is right up my alley. The visual style is something I’m trying to implement into my own editing style – If you haven’t seen it, you NEED to as soon as possible, it’s out on DVD and Blu-Ray now, or, if you’ve actually caught up with the modern age unlike me, you can stream it digitally.
Whiplash is a masterpiece of film and there’s nothing you can do to change my mind. It’s intense, well-acted, well-paced, and J.K. Simmons is probably my favourite actor of all time so that helps. Once more from an editing perspective, this film proves you don’t need any flashy editing or quick cuts to make a movie, it’s slow paced when it needs to be and never really jumps out at you in terms of style, but at the same time still presents itself in such an engaging manner that you can’t help but be transfixed by what you’re seeing before you.
“Huh, Old Boy, isn’t that the really weird Josh Brolin movie where he kills a bunch of people with a hammer. NO. NO IT’S NOT. I mean, yes, it is, but that’s a terrible American remake of the incredible Korean thriller that came out 10 years prior. It’s slick, smart, with elements of dark humour, an insanely well written protagonist, and one of the most “HOLY SH#T” twists in a film filled with “HOLY SH#T” twists. Not to mention, this film oozes with style, and probably has the greatest representation of Flashbacks I’ve seen in any film. Also, Daredevil’s one take hall fight ain’t got nothing on Oldboy’s. Eat your heart out Phil Abraham! Although to give credit where credit is due, the hallway fight is actually an homage to the Oldboy hallway scene, so I guess don’t eat your heart out, maybe just cry in a corner for a bit or something. One last note, this movie really isn’t for the faint hearted, with several scenes that forced me to stop watching as someone who is susceptible to particularly gory or disgusting imagery, I’m kind of like Samuel L. Jackson’s Richmond Valentine from Kingsman.
The undisputed king of British comedy films. At least, that’s what I tell everyone whenever I talk about Hot Fuzz. Possibly my favourite movie of all time, Edgar Wright just blows my mind with this film. It’s funny, it’s well written, has a whole collection of memorable characters and the editing is just out of this world. How do you make writing a police report seem really intense and cool? You let Edgar Wright handle it. Whilst Into The Spider-Verse may have a bigger impact on my overall editing style. My editing techniques generally draw inspiration from this. Quick cuts, use of panels, sound effects to accompany transitions and other visual effects. If you’re editing a movie or a YouTube video, you should probably take notes from any of Edgar Wright’s works, but Hot Fuzz is the one that really sets the standard.
So, have I perhaps inspired you to check out a new film? Or perhaps given you an insight into my life as a post-production student?