Though at times it certainly feels like I have turned my back on my greatest strength (my film school training and education), I am still a deep, deep lover of all things cinema. I just chose not to focus on writing about them because my time in film school jaded me to the point where I no longer wanted to spend $15 to be disappointed at the theater. That is really neither here nor there right now, though. Two weeks ago the Smithsonian Channel began airing a program entitled The Real Story, looking at the phenomenon behind topics in history and nature that inspired blockbuster films-- films that have inspired millions and certainly influenced me, as well.
Admittedly I tuned in assuming it was going to be some kind of behind-the-scenes at the making of such films as Pirates of the Caribbean, Jaws, and Jurassic Park, but what I got instead was an in-depth analysis of the real-life inspirations behind them. History class was never this fun, nor looked this good, and I found myself more than eagerly awaiting the tales of sea-faring legends (things I always thought were simple myths), the comparison of what really happened on April 14 1912 from eyewitness accounts and old newspapers to what James Cameron said happened that fateful day, and interviews with Dr. Jack Horner, the inspiration behind bringing dinosaurs into modern day.
And though I know first-hand the amount of preparation and research and planning that goes into such documentary projects, I can't help but let my imagination wander to what more recent films they could tackle. Some of my own biggest inspiration has come from seemingly small films, and I'd love to delve into the back-story to learn what could have inspired their own filmmakers to tackle the topic, as well. Certainly there has to be tons of material from psychological twister-thrillers like Inception, even if the end result may end up stripping some of the magic out of the cinematic, fictional tale. And what about an expose into the bridal industry or drug trafficking or famed psychiatric hospitals or street racing or espionage? My mind is racing with so many ideas for future episodes, and I can't wait to see what they dive into next!