Updated: Dec 21, 2022
Have you ever wondered and analyzed the way you behave, right after coming out of the theatre and going back home? Definitely, your actions might differ, and the way you behave changes for quite some time. In some or in the other way, we all have been influenced by whatever we hear and what we look upon. The impact created is huge and is replicated in our day-to-day life. Right from the way we walk, talk, and behave, everything is influenced by the surroundings we live in. Irrespective of the age differences, the influences people inherit from society play a major role in their lives, be it a young teen or a 60-yr old man. And if the society you live in is fond of movies, then the biggest influences are nothing but the movies themselves.
The impact a movie creates within you is immeasurable as it can stay for a week, a month, or even stay with you forever. And if the movie doesn't create an impact on you or doesn't connect with you, then it is a waste of time and money. If the impact is so much for the normal audience, imagine the amount of impact and influence these creations have on individuals who came to the cinema industry by getting inspired from these creations and now want to make a film. Definitely, there are no creators existing without the impacts and influences caused by other films. Not just creators, even the actors get inspired by the other actors, starting from the way they deliver the dialogues, perform actions, and even their dressing sense.
Can these inspirations and influences affect the true nature of a film?
The root cause for a film to happen can be an incident that had taken place in the creator’s world. It can be from the stories they hear or from the books they read or the teleshopping advertisements they watch on the television. Sometimes, even the dreams at night can show us something that’s fascinating, which might pave a way for a new film to happen. Few creators directly take those references, give credits and convey them in their films. On the other end, few creators do the same without their knowledge that it is inspired by some other creation. So influences are something that resides inside every single creator and come out when it is required.
When the desired content to be delivered is perfectly crafted, the inspirations that are inherited into the film can’t be visible to the audience. Scenes that are inspired from other films have to be re-written in such a way the audience doesn’t figure out that the same scene already exists in an older film and this is just a pirated version of it. It is the role of the filmmaker to make this not happen and re-write in such a way the audience understands the narrative, from a different perspective. Inspirations and influences, being the root cause of a film to happen Even though all creations are made out of influences, each portrays its nature and possesses individuality. How well the craft is made acts as the key to making the audience believe that the film is true and original.
Famous Directors and their biggest influences
Looking at some of the greatest directors in the cinema industry, right from Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino, to Indian directors like Kamal Hassan, Vetrimaaran, and Anurag Kashyap have openly given the credits for the inspiration they’ve taken from other films. Quentin Tarantino once said in an interview that the animated portions from the movie ‘Kill Bill’ were loosely inspired by the animations done in the Tamil film ‘Aalavandhan’. Also, Martin Scorsese says that he is a big fan of Satyajit Ray, where his writings greatly inspired him. Inspirations and influences do not arise only from movies as they can be from any kind of source. Indian film director Vetrimaaran adapted the book ‘Lock up’ by M Chandra Kumar which was his biggest inspiration to make the award-winning film ‘Visaranai’. Ponniyin Selvan is claimed to be one of the best historical films from India which is completely based on the novel ‘Ponniyin Selvan' by Kalki. When people are ready to accept these kinds of adaptations as inspirations, then they should be a little open-minded to accept the scenes that are rewritten and portrayed in a different manner by the other creators.
Even directors like Stephen Spielberg, Clint Eastwood, Paul Thomas Anderson, and James Cameron have been inspired by the filmmaking of the master director and writer, Stanley Kubrick. He is considered to be one of the greatest filmmakers of all time and is a highly influential one. Kubrick once used the music of the Hungarian composer, Gyorgi Ligeti, and gave the credit in his film, ‘Eyes wide shut’. German filmmaker Max Ophuls was one of the biggest inspirations for Stanley Kubrick, where the themes of Ophul’s films attracted him which was replicated in many of his films. Even the greatest filmmakers have inspirations and are influenced by other creations. This does not mean that the creators are copying from the previous creations, rather they tried to give out their best versions of their favourite films so that the audience gets to enjoy the same excitement, the creator thought of.
How do audiences perceive the inspirations of the filmmakers in their films?
There are always misconceptions and misunderstandings among the audiences regarding their thoughts after the film. When they watch a film and figure out a scene that has been repeated from any other previous films, they conclude the entire film as a copied one. This needs to be addressed seriously, as inspirations are completely different from copying. As we spoke earlier, nobody can create something without getting inspired - it can be a film or a song, or a design. Inspirations are always healthy, when it comes to filmmaking, in some or the other way. People get excited when they re-watch a scene from an older film, but portrayed in a very different manner or in a very different perspective. For instance, the narrative and the scene might be politically right for the older generation, but in today’s world, those scenes may not be working. It is the responsibility of the creators to recreate the scene accordingly so that people accept it in a positive way and show interest.
Every creation is an inspiration of another creation and there exists nothing devoid of any influences and references. Moreover, the audience has begun to understand the working of cinema and has started to welcome a variety of movies with different genres. If the right appreciation is given by the audience for good content, new innovations and creations can be brought into the industry in the upcoming years, which can help the cinema industry to grow even bigger. Also, filmmakers need to be very careful while writing a film as they have to be politically correct so that it can lead to healthy debates. If the audience can be a little open-minded and accept every kind of film irrespective of the language and a big star cast in it, the growth of the industry is not too far.
What can films provide you apart from entertainment?
We all have grown up watching our favourite movies and television series right after coming from school. Large part of the content we speak about every day is derived from cinema or other similar mediums. Cinema has always been a part of our life traveling through all ups and downs. When we feel happy, we watch our favourite movie. When we are about to give up, we play movies that are greatly inspiring and motivating. For every scenario, just like our friends and family, cinema has always been with us, either in an implicit or an explicit way. The pure purpose of films is to entertain their audience, but apart from just entertaining, they must create an impact or a thought about it, when we come back home after watching it.
The impact created by those films can affect the audience both in positive and negative ways, which is reflected in one's personal life. Inspirations and references are meant to be normal and a common practice for every creator in the world. The adaptations that are made from one film to another make us view the previously made content from a very different perspective. It is the role of the filmmaker to ensure that the inspirations are not dumped into the films just for the sake of receiving a good response from the audience as it can also take a turn in the other way around. The current generation of filmmakers is lucky to have a very mature set of audiences where they understand the way of filmmaking and even, how a scene is written. The introduction of OTT platforms has helped filmmakers to confidently push boundaries in terms of writing, as people get to experience new genres of films from various parts of the world. This is the Golden Era for filmmakers to explore more, and provide new content without worries regardless of the opinions of the audience.