I’ve been wanting to do this for a while. Not only do I love lists (not so much making them), but I also love people that inspire me.
As you’ve probably understood by reading much on this site I love film and music, and if I were to choose between a career in either of these subjects I really wouldn’t be able to. If anything I’d have to do both. I would love a job in either… maybe I will someday.
The reason I’m telling you this is because of the majority of people on this list involving film and music. The list is random, by the way.
So let’s just dive right into it: here’s my list of people that inspire me the most.
1. James Rolfe
Not for the reason you might be thinking of. I am not referring the the Angry Video Game Nerd. I’m referring to the creator of this character, or not even so much the creator, but the director. James Rolfe has personally stated that he sees himself as a director, and that he’s more of a film nerd than a video game nerd. I too consider myself a film nerd, but that’s not why I admire him.
From a very young age I’ve been wanting to make movies. I made a tiny tiny short film in, possibly 8th grade, on a cellphone in our backyard, but it sucked. You can hardly even see what’s going on.
The main reason I guess I never got around to it is because most my friends never wanted to. At least not until we were much older. We did, however, start an unscripted project involving a secret bandit hiding it from his “family” and avoiding the police. We had over half the thing on video and even made posters and sets before we decided to throw the idea away (I think this was around the same time as the video above). After my recollection the video no longer exists, if it isn’t laying around on some old tape, but I doubt it.
It wasn’t until much later that my friend (the superhero in our film) came to me and said she wanted to do a zombie movie. I was so excited, because I’ve been really into zombies for a long time. But I haven’t heard anything about it since.
I have about two very roughly written scripts on my computer at this time, but I don’t want to spoil the story. Who knows, maybe I’ll make them into a movie sometime.
The reason James Rolfe is on this list is because of his ability to just do it, and the fact that he’d done it since he was a kid. I too made short films as a kid, but never as good as his. He had a proper storyline and everything.
Like I said, the main reason it never happened was because of the lack of people wanting to help me, or taking the project seriously. I want to make it happen, and James is my number one inspiration to do it.
Pretty much the only, with very few exceptions, mainstream director (I say mainstream in contrast to James Rolfe) I look up to as a director and can call as much as an inspiration. Sure, I have other favourite directors and other directors I admire, but not to the same degree as Terry Gilliam. Every time I watch his movies I feel like I want to make my own, with the same special effects, the camera angles and just the same feel as his movies have. There’s something special about them.
Like I said, I’ve got like two scripts on my computer and without revealing too much I can say they’re both film noir movies (detective shit). The reason I felt I had to say that is because of Gilliam’s use of wide screen lenses in his movies. It has become a trademark in addition to his absurd camera angles. I think it would work perfect with the story in the scripts and I’m dying to make one of them. Whenever I’m writing a story I picture it all in my head; what they say, what they do, the atmosphere, and I’m not an idiot. I know that’s how most people think when they write a story. But when I write them it almost seems like I’ve seen that movie before, and I could swear it was made by Terry Gilliam. I’m not saying I’m on the lever as Mr. Gilliam. I’m sure what I do isn’t even close to what he can accomplish. Only I see the final cut of my movie (if I ever make it) exactly how I want it to be and it looks like a Terry Gilliam movie.
My point is, I want to be a director and I want to be as good as Terry Gilliam! I aspire to be as good as him. Which brings me to number 3:
Don’t get me wrong, I love Stanley Kubrick’s movies, but that’s not the main reason I put him on this list. The main reason is his perfectionism. He is the prime example of a perfectionist. Not only does he keep the actors on set until it’s just perfect, but to get the authenticity of the scene he has a tendency to freak out his actors. A few examples: the scene in A Clockwork Orange where Malcolm McDowell‘s character, Alex, is strapped to the chair with his eyes forced open was stretched out so long that McDowell’s screams might as well have been genuine. It was so awful that he begged Kubrick to stop the scene, but Kubrick told him to keep going.
Also, for McDowell to express real pain under the demonstration of the rehabilitation effects when Alex is being stepped on, the actor stepping on him actually cracked some of his ribs. Poor Malcolm.
Sometimes I can see myself as sort of a perfectionist. I don’t have any good examples, but often I have to be precise and do everything right to be satisfied. And I want to bring that into filmmaking. I don’t necessarily want to make films like Stanley Kubrick did, but I want to achieve his level. I want to be as precise and perfect as him and not be afraid to push it a little bit further to achieve what I want to, but at the same time…
4. Ed Wood
… I want to be like Ed Wood. This sort of brings me back to James Rolfe; to have the ability to just do it! Just the fact that you’re achieving your dreams is good enough. Have you ever seen Plan 9 From Outer Space? It is terrible! Even for the time’s standards. But Ed Wood was doing what he wanted to. He wanted to be a director. He wanted to make horror movies, and he just did it. Without thinking about what other people thought. A huge movie nerd who just did what he enjoyed, even if it sucked.
That’s what I want. I want to have the courage to do what I want without having to fear what other people will think of me or what I do. Of course he had a lot of fans in his age and considering the time he was living in his movies weren’t that bad considering the standards. But it wasn’t great, like Dracula og Frankenstein, which were made around the same time.
It’s not just that either. I really like the authenticity of his movies. Even though the special effects were rubbish and the acting could’ve been a lot better he still managed to drag you into his stories, his fantasies. That inspires me a great deal.
5. Kim Deal
Like I said I also adore music, but what I might not have mentioned too often is that I play bass guitar. To be fair Kim Deal is not the person who made me want to play bass (Paul McCartney did), but I can put it like this: she’s the one who wants me to continue to play bass. Not only does she inspire me with her bass playing, but she also has the exact same position in a band that I’d want to have if I ever joined one (bass player, backup singer, song writer). She and Pixies are the main reason I want to start a band.
Not only do I admire the way she plays the bass, but I also admire her as a person. She is just so amazingly cool, in the true sense of the word. To me she is the definition of cool. She’s such a strong awesome lady, but below that almost sort of butch appearance she’s got one of the prettiest voices I’ve ever heard.
She inspire me not only as a member of a band, but as a human being.
6. John Linnell
I bet you were completely taken by surprise that I put a member of They Might Be Giants on this list. But the reason I specifically chose John Linnell and not John Flansburgh (I’m sorry Flans) is because of Linnell’s sheer genius song writing.
Writing songs is something I’ve always failed miserably at, but something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve been trying since I was a kid, but they never turn out good. That’s where John Linnell hits me over the face, literally. No, not literally, obviously, but all he ever writes turns out great! Even if you’re a hardcore TMBG fan you’re still mind blown at the amount of songs they have, and even more mind blown at the amount of them that have been written by Linnell. And these songs are not like “I love you, I love you”, but they’re about everything. The host of the television show Brave Little World told a story about when he was talking to Linnell and asked if he could do a song about a sneeze. “Absolutely” was Linnell’s response and by the end of lunchtime he had written an entire song.
Many see Flansburgh as sort of Linnell’s “manager”. Flansburgh usually takes care of the technical things behind everything they do and arrange stuff while Linnell takes care of the songwriting. Of course this is pushed to the extreme; their relationship isn’t really like that. But Flansburgh is often credited for bringing Linnell out to the public. I don’t remember who it was, but in their documentary someone said that if it wasn’t for Flansburgh Linnell would probably be sitting in a basement writing songs by himself that no one would ever hear. Linnell even said himself that he probably couldn’t do the whole band thing if it wasn’t for Flansburgh and that Flans could probably do it all himself. In addition to being a genius, Linnell is also very shy.
Probably a weird composition, but I’m putting them on this list for the same reason: their love for acting. You might have noticed that they both act in a lot of great films, but they also act in a lot of crappy ones. Not to mention in a lot of different genres. They can both be everything from frightening to hilarious.
I’m not stupid, though. I know they are very different from one another. Not only do they act in quite different films, but they’ve got a completely different style of acting. You could say Samuel pulls a more realistic and genuine style to his acting, while Chris is just kind of.. weird all ’round. But that’s not the point.
I’ve always considered acting as a career and I could see myself doing it for a living, though I’d rather actually make the films. But after getting to know these guys I’ve gotten a more “friendly” (if you can actually say that) relationship towards acting (that was a weird sentence). I see acting as more of a hobby, though I don’t actually do it that often, but I’ve always fancied it.
At my school we used to perform a play every year (from 1st grade to senior high school) and I always thought it was a lot of fun. Not just acting, but the whole process of learning my lines and rehearsing and trying on costumes… I always enjoyed it and I would often take on several characters. That’s what originally brought me to think I could do acting for a living, but like I said, I’d rather do it for the fun of it, like these two gentlemen.
Yes, I know, probably not a popular choice. If you don’t know who he is you should go to his YouTube channel and watch his videos.
You’ve probably noticed (by the amount of posts I’ve mentioned it) that I want to do vlogs. The biggest problem is that I’m not really very good in front of the camera. I really am very shy and I think I’ll have a hard time “putting myself out there”. But… with a little motivational speech from our dear friend, Alex Day, I actually think I can manage. It is no exaggeration to say that Alex is the main reason I wanted to start vlogging. The first video I watched I was an instant subscriber and I’ve watched his videos consistently ever since. The simplicity and just general feel-good surrounding his videos is outstanding.
Not only has he inspired me to do vlogs, but he has also helped me in my personal life, believe it or not. I am not a very productive person. If I could I would roll myself up in a blanket and sit around all day. However, after figuring out that sitting around in blankets wasn’t my goal in life I took Alex’ great example and started writing down three things I needed to do everyday. It doesn’t have to be anything big, just enough to keep you busy and following a schedule. Not only that, but also thinking positively: you keep a wristband on your… well, wrist, and every time you complain you have to switch the wristband on to your other wrist. The goal is to switch as little as possible.
But he also makes music, and he has been so hardworking. Along the lines of Kubrick, Alex has the ability to push it just a bit further to get what he wants.
I hope it was okay reading about this. I probably could’ve made an even longer list, but I figured 8 was enough. Anyway it’s only been lying around waiting to be finished, so I thought 8 was just as good a number as any.
Please let me know if we have anyone in common, and if you feel like it tell me your inspirational figures! I’d love to read them.