Popping a Xanax -- the miracle chill pill for symptoms of stress and anxiety -- will dissolve all your worries, according to NYMAG. Although I’m no medical expert, I would argue that listening to music is also an effective alternative solution for those of us trying to get out of the funky mood we find ourselves dealing with from time to time. Speaking of alternative remedies, reading books can be just as beneficial to combatting periods of stress and anxiety, as music.
Besides being cheaper than Xanax, books last longer and have more user-friendly side effects. This is one of the reasons why I look forward to each title in my (growing) TBR pile, such as books written by famous director Spike Lee; chronicling what it took to get a number of his films including She’s Gotta Have It, School Daze and Malcolm X off the ground. I’m currently working my way through one of them and enjoy Lee’s journal entries about how the movie characters were developed, viewing pages from the storyboards for a major scene and learning about the impact that making his film(s) had on actors.
- Spike Lee’s Gotta Have It: Inside Guerilla Filmmaking (1987)
- Uplift the Race: The Construction of School Dace (1988)
- Do the Right Thing: A Spike Lee Joint (1989)
- Mo’ Better Blues (1990)
- By Any Means Necessary: The Trials and Tribulations of Making Malcolm X (1993)
At times on this blog, I’ve been clear about my frustrations with the experiences I’ve had so far pursuing a career in the film industry. Sometimes just the mere thought of going through the stages of production budgets, casting, location scouting, post-production, etc. again makes me want to hurl. That’s not to even mention the uncertainty that comes when a movie is in the can and there’s another uphill battle of distribution, promotion and all that comes with getting people to watch it. So, I have a good feeling that reading the companion books to Spike Lee joints will help me take a step back to understand that every single film production comes with its own sets of challenges.
For some reason when I read about other people’s movie making journey, especially someone as accomplished as Spike Lee, there’s a new sense of excitement for how they put a film together out of ideas in their heads and legal pad scribblings.
Suddenly, movies don’t seem too far out of reach and are fascinating again like they once were before I was logging hours of video footage into a cohesive document for the editing stage, and sitting in empty movie theaters.
Thanks to people like Spike Lee who pull back the curtains on show business from time to time, I have a good reminder that movies -- although a grueling undertaking from start to finish – are a powerful medium when treated as such. So the next time I’m feeling bad about filmmaking and the many challenges that come with this path, it’s nice to know there’s relief at the library or bookstores like Barnes and Noble rather than the nearest pharmacy.
How many books are in YOUR TBR pile?
Regardless of genre, what movie would YOU recommend to cure stress and anxiety?