Brendan Shick | Freelance Film, Broadcast, & Digital Media

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5 Ways to Watch More Quality Films

Feb 07 2013 by Brendan Shick Add Your Thoughts

Earlier in the week, I shared why I don’t make time to watch or re-watch as many high-quality films or as much high-quality media as I would like, opting instead for lesser fare. It’s a problem far too common among people today.

I’d like to help solve that problem, as I’m sure others would like to kick the habit as much as I do. So, here are five suggested ways to fix the problem. I can speak from personal experience on all of these options.

Watching tv with boxee1. Make quality films more accessible

In this day and age, this is the easy part. You don’t have to own a large DVD or Blu-Ray collection to watch stuff anymore.

Sign up for Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, or what ever other video streaming sites suit your fancy. Add their apps to your devices and hook them up to the tv.

Keep an eye on your local tv listings to see what’s on that you may want to see. Or browse a friend’s collection, your local library, the friendly neighborhood Redbox, etc. to borrow films. Maybe get a frequent moviegoer card if you prefer the big screen.

2. Get someone else to commit to watching on a regular schedule

Usually, if an action affects other people, we’ll be more committed to our plan to carry out that action. If you know someone else is also striving to see some good films, combine your efforts. It helps to make it a weekly thing. Should you prefer, many places have local film clubs to join.

watching a movieI got a group of people together to watch a film every Thursday evening at one point, alternating between must see classics of the “we-should-have-seen-this-but-haven’t” variety and newer films each week.

Even though most of use haven’t seen each other in years now, we still spur each other toward watching certain things so that we can compare notes later.

3. Avoid “Paradox of Choice”

In today’s media saturated environment, we’re very prone to what’s known by psychologists as paradox of choice. According to numerous scientific surveys and studies, the human mind can actually be given too many options to choose between (e.g. too many films to watch), at which point, it just decides to do (watch) nothing.

This is why people with 200+ channel satellite television packages always complain there’s nothing good on TV even though years ago our grandparents didn’t ever have that problem with only 3 networks (ABC, CBS, NBC).

Paradox of choice is hard to avoid, but there are several ways you can attempt to do so:

4. Force yourself into a solid deadline

"What if someone rented all the movies from this Redbox and returned them to this one" -Push it Patrick Many people don’t follow through on self-imposed deadlines, but with films, there are a few ways to make solid ones you’ll be less likely to budge on:

5. Combine multiple strategies

This needs no explanation, yet can take many forms. For inspiration:

Just Watch Something Great

None of these tips are anything but common sense, but in a media-saturated culture we just need a boost sometimes. They’re all so simple, it’s not hard to combine four or five ideas when you really need to.

Just get out there and watch something. Something great.

Leave a comment if you have any tips that are missing from the list, if some work better than others for you, or if you end up watching something inspired from this post. Maybe a solid list will form below to help others with tip #3.


Brendan Shick

Brendan Shick is a freelance DP, gaffer, and sports broadcaster serving primarily the Chicago, IL; Pittsburgh, PA; Grand Rapids, MI; and Fort Wayne, IN, regions. You can find out more by following this blog, his recent work on Vimeo, or by connecting with him on Twitter or LinkedIn. Brendan is also an occasional contributor to the Project Updates feed for one of his most recent films, To Turn Back Time.


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