Chloe Caldwell Recommends...

“When I feel stuck, despondent, bored of my writing, I watch Richard Linklater and Noah Baumbach movie trailers. Growing up, I despised movies. You could not get me to sit down and watch a movie, commitment-phobe was I. But in the past few years, I’ve become slowly obsessed with film. I’ve recently had a couple friends tell me they hate movie trailers and don’t watch them. I understand why—they can spoil the movie, they can be cheesy. But what I find fascinating about movie trailers is how and why particular moments are chosen for them. I like studying the way short scenes and small details are strung together, and a certain tone is being evoked in a few, brief minutes. I’ll watch Baumbach’s trailers for Frances Ha, The Squid and the Whale, Greenberg, and Margot at the Wedding. Or I watch Linklater’s trailers for Boyhood, Before Sunset, and Before Sunrise. The trailers remind me how important microdetails, dialogue, and tone are. They remind me that every single thing you put into your creative work matters. That dialogue is incredibly powerful. Though I also keep a stack of special books on my desk and read from them for inspiration, I find it’s nice to take a break from the written word and watch writing come to life through film. Plus, who doesn’t like to fantasize about their words coming alive through film?”
—Chloe Caldwell, author of Women (Short Flight/Long Drive Books, 2014)