Part 2 Influences

I am a huge fan of Steven Spielberg, he is most probably my favourite director and for years he has inspired me with the warmth I feel from his films. Jurassic park is my no.1 film of all time and I love many of his works, Duel, Jaws, Indiana Jones, ET, AI, The Terminal, Saving Private Ryan, War of the worlds, Catch me if you can, Jurassic Park 2, Hook etc.

Joss Whedon is a wonderful writer and Director. His work in creating some of my most adored shows and films has inspired me to create things that I love. Buffy the vampire slayer which is my favourite TV show has numerous groundbreaking episodes, 3 in particular come instantly to mind.

Hush – Season 4 Episode 10. Set during Buffys college years, Hush is notable for lacking dialogue for most of its runtime as a group of terrifying demons called The Gentlemen arrive in Sunnydale, taking the voices of the residents so when they come, floating inches above the ground, to take your heart, you cannot scream. The episode came about when Whedon, told constantly that the dialogue is the best thing about his show, decided to subvert this praise and make an episode dialogue free. It pays off massively as he uses fairytale folklore to make the demons some of the scariest in the shows history. Not only is the episode very scary but it also marvels in the use of silent comedy, misunderstandings are rife and it shows that Whedon is adept in many more areas than just witty dialogue.

The Body – Season 5 Episode 16. One of the single most painful episodes of television ever. In this episode Buffy arrives home to find her mother dead caused by complications from recent surgery on a brain tumor. After 5 years the show had balanced life, death and comedy to perfection, Buffy and her friends would fight the forces of darkness and evil and sometimes death was inevitable. Then came this episode, her mother wasn’t killed, murdered by some otherworldly demon but died of natural causes. The episode is a gut punch to the system whenever viewed and is one of the most honest portrayals of death ever seen on television. No music, not a whisper apart from the main titles. The episode is simple, Joyce, her mother, has died. Buffy finds her, The Body is taken to the morgue, each character reacts in a different way and the episode ends. Yet Joss Whedon crafts realism into 1 episode, and I could frankly give an essay on how ingenious it is. To get it you have to watch it, it’s stunning.

Once more with feeling – Season 6 Episode 7. When I start talking about Buffy I can’t stop. Just these 3 episodes would take me 10,000 words to talk about in enough detail, so I’m trying to be brief. Joss Whedon always wanted to make a musical, in this season he did. A demon named Sweet arrives, making everybody sing and dance. Simple. It’s not as basic though, if you dance too much it will literally make you burn up, then the songs you sing will release buried secrets. That’s why the episode is clever, it’s not just a gimmick, it ties into the plot of the season, characters revealing their innermost secrets reluctantly through song makes the episode a central part of the season and starts some great plot lines in the show. Plus Whedon wrote all of the songs himself, that’s good.

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