Aspiring screenwriters need to watch as many movies as possible. To keep your movie watching habits within your budget, skip the movie theaters and stick to home. Every weekend, Hollywood trots out their latest films and theaters cheerfully charge $10 and up per person to watch what too often turns out to be a mediocre film. Save your money.
While watching movies in a theater is fun, try free ways to watch movies. First, look on the Internet for each year’s list of Academy Award nominated films and watch those movies instead of spending your money on a mediocre film at the theater. The best way to get a movie that was nominated for Best Picture is to order it from Netflix.
For a free, but less predictable method, just visit your public library. Surprisingly, most big libraries have a collection of these previously nominated Best Picture movies so you can watch a good movie that you might have missed at the theater. Watching a free, Best Picture caliber movie will teach you more about screenwriting than watching the latest Hollywood extravaganza that costs you a lot of money to kill two hours of your time.
Besides the library, hunt around Crackle, a free video viewing site that’s actually run by Sony. These movies are older ones and often filled with lots of the garbage that Hollywood releases every weekend, but if you dig through these films, you can find a decent one to watch. This year, Crackle is releasing a new film every day so visit Crackle every day and you’re sure to find a good film you’ll want to see.
After watching a good movie, look on the Internet and study the screenplay. Many scripts on the Internet are early drafts so you can see how scenes were cut or rearranged. You can also read a script and see how the director might have chose certain angles or scenes to make them more effective.
Screenwriters need to study film making constantly and the cheapest way to do that is by watching free movies that are worth watching in the first place. If you find a movie that interests you, visit a site such as Rotten Tomatoes to get a rough idea whether people liked it or not. The crowd isn’t always right, but if a lot of people liked a movie, chances are good you can learn something by watching it too. Then again, watching a really bad movie can also teach you something too, like how not to make the same mistakes that the bad movie did.