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Film Journalling: What It Is and Why You Should Do It

Film Journalling: What It Is and Why You Should Do It

Keeping a diary was once a very popular pastime. ‘Journalling’, as it is now commonly called, has been growing in popularity and has a more trend-led, self-reflective approach. Keeping gratitude journals, bullet journals, and other forms of journal are intended to give our lives a more positive and productive drive. But did you know that you can apply this to film too? Film journalling can be helpful whether you’re a director, writer, or anything else. Read on to discover what film journalling is and how it can help you.

What Is Film Journalling?

Film journalling is essentially keeping some form of record of the films you watch or hear about. Many people take an ultra methodical approach. They note down the director, studio, running time, year of release, main actors and a few notes about main plot points or features. You can see at a glance what you have watched in a month or a year or more, and perhaps where any gaps in your knowledge or viewing lie. But there are more reflective approaches to journalling too. As well as noting down the details above, you can record how the film made you feel and which performances affected you and why. Were there any shots that you remember as being impressive or visually striking? Details like these will help you to form a more personal opinion of the film, separate from anything you can find on Google!

What Are The Benefits?

Film journalling can help you to think critically about film. It can help you to identify some of your own tastes and interests. That will then help you to understand what kind of films you want to make. It can broaden your tastes too and help you to be more aware of film styles and genre conventions. It can also be helpful to return to your journal and see how your tastes or understanding has evolved. It is much more fun to look up your own past opinions on a film than to simply go online to refresh your memory.

What Now?

Find a notebook you love and select the categories you want to write down. Don’t hesitate to get started! You can re-watch a few favourites or even take your journal to the cinema to scribble down your thoughts afterwards. If you love technology, you can even create a digital journal! Film journals can be as broad or as specific as you like. Perhaps you only want to keep a journal for your favourite genre like horror or fantasy, or even television. The options are limitless!

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