Passionate filmmakers often point to one life-changing movie experience that inspired them to make their own movies. Someone in a popular online forum asked, “What movie made you go, ‘Yes, I too need to make movies'?” Here are the 17 movies people said drove their passion to be a filmmaker.
1. Fight Club (1999)
Fight Club is one film that many said they found inspiring, with one movie fan calling the visuals so striking, they couldn't get it out of their head after watching it. It's a movie that sparked a love of filmmaking for many.
2. There Will Be Blood (2007)
One film lover called There Will Be Blood “perfect,” pointing out how the movie mastered structure and style. “The film is beautifully composed and executed into a masterpiece,” they explained.
3. Man on Wire (2008)
Man on Wire is an intense and somewhat stressful documentary. One film buff shared, “After watching it I immediately changed my major in college, got a job as a PA, and now here I am all these years later making my own documentaries.”
4. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Spider-Man 2 (and Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man movies in general) is one of the most accessible yet exquisite movies. Knowing a superhero film could be so innovative and impactful inspired many future filmmakers.
5. American Movie (1999)
This documentary is about an aspiring filmmaker attempting to make his dream project by finishing an older project. The documentary is a cult favorite and shows what it's like to be a lesser-known filmmaker.
6. Trainspotting (1996)
Trainspotting is a pretty unsettling and intense film that stirs emotion in anyone who watches it. The quirky action scenes, racy humor, and raw themes make it an iconic film for many filmmakers.
7. Being John Malkovich (1999)
This movie is wildly weird, confusing, and entertaining in all the best ways. Being John Malkovich showed many potential filmmakers that wacky and eccentric ideas can make for fantastic films.
8. Cinema Paradiso (1988)
A film that starkly contrasts happiness with pain and loss, Cinema Paradiso is complex and potent. Many filmmakers put this as their top favorite movie of all time.
9. Citizen Kane (1941)
Citizen Kane is considered one of the first truly remarkable films ever made. It might be a cliche answer, but the emotional intensity and unorthodox film techniques make this a common trigger for filmmakers' passions.
10. The Matrix (1999)
Many filmmakers felt inspired and invigorated watching The Matrix for the first time. I know I felt that way. The distinct cinematography and cleverly poignant movie sparked many film careers.
11. Mulholland Drive (2001)
This mystery film is thrilling to watch, showing many future filmmakers how impactful a movie can be. With breathtaking scenic views and an irresistible plot, it's easy to see why many pinpoint this as the start of their passion for creating films.
12. Pulp Fiction (1994)
Pulp Fiction is one of the most memorable movies I've ever watched, and it combines an array of evocative scenes and concepts from the mind of Quentin Tarantino. Many filmmakers saw this and understood the potential of films.
13. Tremors (1990)
Tremors is a wild ride from beginning to end, as an isolated town fights against strange underground monsters. This flick was the first example of comedy horror for many, showcasing how contrasting genres can overlap successfully.
14. Raising Arizona (1987)
One of the lesser-known Nicolas Cage films — and one of my all-time favorites — sparked many people's interest in films. This movie breaks many rules, showing potential filmmakers that they can think outside the box.
15. The Social Network (2010)
The Social Network is easily one of the greatest films of the 2010s. It offers a distinct rawness but refinement that makes it accessible and impressive. Between the amazing writing, acting, and directing, it's inspired many filmmakers.
16. Clerks (1994)
Clerks is a hilarious low-budget comedy with a certain grunginess that makes it appealing. It showed many potential filmmakers that big budgets don't necessarily make great films.
17. Paranormal Activity (2007)
One of my favorite horror movies, this film takes a unique approach to perspective, making the viewer feel like they're watching something real. The unorthodox techniques and chilling plot changed the game in horror and possessed many people to go into the film industry.