Saturday, April 16, 2011

When I Was A Kid...

Have you ever wondered if you were an alien from another planet or an heir to a lost kingdom? Well, I didn’t think I was a princess, perhaps a ballerina, but certainly I thought I had lived in another time. Growing up, I imagined I lived on a distant planet and somehow was transported through space and time by a portal to earth. No doubt, the movies I watched as a child fueled my imagination and my thinking.

Recently, I’ve wondered which movies have influenced me as a writer. Rummaging through the cobwebs in my brain, I remembered how certain old films stirred up my emotions. Four wonderful films come to mind that still haunt me. Casablanca, The Red Shoes, Wuthering Heights and King Kong. They were stories filled with passionate characters that lived beyond the flat screen. I hear the music and I’m there. I can hear Rick from the film "Casablanca" saying "If you can play it for her, you can play it for me." That's what I want to achieve in my stories, the same kind of magic that will transport my readers off to another world and leave this one far behind.

Although different genres all of these films have a common theme of love with a twist. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you are, love pushes and pulls you beyond your comfort zone.

As writers, I think the possiblities of what we can get from films are enormous, besides what a cool way to learn. What films stimulate your imagination and influence your world of writing?

Till next time,


Shelley Mira Souza said...

I saw Casablanca for the first time last year. It is a perfect of example of the eternal tension in desire, whose nature is the unrequited promise of perfection.

Films rarely influence my writing. It's almost always other writers who shape how I think of story in the written word.

Marilyn Muñiz said...

I can't think of any specific films which influence my writing at this moment. I will need to check my DVDs.

Ella Gray said...

I loved fantasy films when I was a kid and there were several that really influenced the way I look at stories now - Labyrinth, Star Wars, The Dark Crystal, Legend, Time Bandits, and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen were some of my favorites. I think that's why I tend to write more all-ages adventure type stuff.

Rosi said...

Thanks for this post, Elizabeth. You inspired me to write a post about movies that have influenced my writing. I hope you'll stop by.

Shelley Munro said...

Casablanca is such a timeless film because they got it so right. I watched a lot of detective shows when I was a kid because my father liked them. That's definitely responsible for the dead bodies you'll find strewn around my books.

EW Gibson said...

Shelley S,

You have expanded my take on Casablanca. I always saw it as love of the heart vs. love of the cause. Or as Mr. Spock would say, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one." Thanks for posting.


EW Gibson said...


Thanks for posting and for plugging SpecSalon on your site. Much appreciated.


EW Gibson said...


I love your favs...great fantasy adventures. It reminds me why I like to write fantasy. Thanks for posting.


EW Gibson said...

Shelley M,

LOL! There were so many good detective movies and TV shows. I remember Detective Malone, I think that was his name. He narrated his thoughts through out the show.

Casablanca...ah, yes.

Thanks for stopping by,

EW Gibson said...


Thanks for taking the time to post. I appreciate it.

I wanted to mention when I look at films like, "The Wizard of Oz" and "The Phantom of the Opera" how they transport me to another place or time by the use of color. Both films start in black and white to indicate the ordinary world then switches to glorious color for a change of place and time. It makes me think as a fantasy writer how can I use that. I'm also floored how a film in a opening shot can establish mood and setting and wonder again ways I might be as clear and concise in my opening page. LOL, food for thought.

Hope you're having a wonderful day.

cgibson5o said...

Movies are just another medium for telling stories. It seems natural that a writer with an affinity to movies would be influenced by their favorites to some extent. As a predominently left brained person I tend to think in words. There have been a few books that have created true images in my mind to rival those on the big screen. The Lord of the Rings and several of Ray Bradbury's books. I think if I were to start writing the movies that would influence me the most would be The Wizard of Oz, Carosel, and the many sci-fi films I enjoy.

Melanie said...

Ella!! You have named my go-to movies. Love Terry Gilliam and the thinking behind his movies. I grew up watching westerns and detective shows. Does any one remember Honey West? With the ocelot? Or Have Gun Will Travel?

Do they influence my writing? They influence my characters, the situations I create for them and the way I expect them to unfold their lives. It could be why I write/plan series! I've got, let's see....three in the works.


EW Gibson said...


Honey West, of course! Anne Francis, who played in my all time favorite scifi film, "Forbidden Planet." Remember Robby, the robot?


Tiyana, aka "Yoyo" said...

Lovely community you all have here. :)

Casa Blanca? King Kong? <3<3<3

For some reason I've fallen in love with movies set in the past that explore the "East meets West" theme and/or involve war and espionage themes: Lust, Caution; Black Book; The Hessen Conspiracy; The Children of Huang Shi; Inglourious Basterds...

These all really drive the type of fiction I'm writing and exploring now. And I'd say that Humphrey Bogart's role in Casa Blanca has also influenced the way I think of male characters--those ones who are strong enough to let go of someone they care deeply for because they know it's the right thing to do. Talk about heroic! Movies don't seem to make 'em like that any more.

EW Gibson said...


Welcome! LOL, "East meets West" theme is another one of my favorites like "Farewell my Concubine" and "The Last Emperor." I'm beginning to realize I have spent a lot of time watching films. I will add the movies you mentioned to my list that I must see. I have only seen "The Children of Huang Shi," love Chow Yang-fat.

Casablanca and King Kong. Both these films have strong male leads. The last line in King Kong is "Beauty killed the beast." Actually, I think love killed the beast. King Kong loved the heroine and was willing to die protecting her. True hero. Bogart fights his way through his inner demons, saves the girl and then is willing to forgo his own feelings to let her go. As you said previously, "It's the right thing to do."

Hard to top Casablanca for the struggling hero.

Thanks for coming by.

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