The film industry is so fascinating and intriguing, and we would all love to know the ins and outs of the movie-making process. Of course, there are plenty of documentaries we could watch, such as Overnight (2003), that give us an insight into the industry and the complex process of film production. But, unless you’re a huge movie buff you might not want to spend a couple hours sat in front of a fact-packed documentary.
That’s why we have films made about making films. Fictional movies in which the making of a movie (within the film) is the principal plot device. There are more of these movies around than you might think, and you’ll probably want to know more about them. So, this is a list of some of the best films we’ve seen about making films.
Get Shorty (1995)
Barry Sonnenfeld’s brilliant adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s novel is hilarious, engaging, and just… cool. Travolta sparkles as Chili Palmer, a loan shark, and one of the coolest characters in ‘90s cinema, and Delroy Lindo brings his usual gravitas. Get Shorty works wonderfully as a commentary on the dysfunctional nature of the movie industry and the complexities of how movie funding works. It’s a movie surrounding the potential making of a film, and it works on so many great levels.
Ed Wood (1994)
Johnny Depp’s most interesting collaboration with Tim Burton is also, arguably, his best role. Playing much-maligned director Ed Wood, widely regarded as the worst director of all time, Depp gives real heart and insight into a man who simply wanted to tell stories. Ed Wood treats the subject matter with respect and is definitely a biopic full of humor and pathos. This is well worth a look if you want a movie that does this kind of subject matter differently.
Son of Rambow (2007)
One of those movies that makes you feel like a kid again, when all you wanted to do was act out your favorite movies, and play games as your favorite characters. Son of Rambow follows the adventures of two kids, who team up for their take on Rambo for a filmmaking competition. One of the best British films of the decade, Son of Rambow is full of joy, hope, and optimism, and it’s a movie that will stay with you for a long while after you’ve seen it.
Disaster Artist (2017)
Now, this is one of the movies we’re most looking forward to this year! The Disaster Artist is a biographical film about the making of cult 2003 flick The Room; a movie seen by many as the worst ever made. The Disaster Artist focuses on The Room’s strange and enigmatic creator, Tommy Wiseau, and star Greg Sestero, as well as their lives and career paths following the film’s cult success. We definitely recommend you watch The Room and then go see this flick; it will give you a much greater appreciation of it.
Films about films can often be complicated or misguided, but, when they’re done well, they are brilliantly effective. The four movies we’ve listed above are films we feel perfectly encapsulate the filmmaking experience in fun, interesting, and unique ways.