In many ways, filmmakers (especially indie filmmakers) are the ultimate entrepreneurs. They are natural risk takers with the rare ability to take something from a concept to a completed, saleable product. They need to deal with things like investors, vendors, budgets, schedule’s, employees and the high likelihood of an increase in sleepless nights. Filmmakers don’t just empathize with entrepreneurs, they travel the same path. Some of my all time favourite movies are about the entrepreneurial spirit, so it was hard to narrow it down to 5, but these are definitely all movies every entrepreneur should see.
#5 – The Pursuit Of Happyness
If you take one lesson from this 2006 Drama starring Will Smith, it would be to persevere. The film is based on the real life story of Chris Gardner and is one of the most heartwarming, motivational films an entrepreneur can watch. The moral of the story? No matter how hard life gets, you need to keep your eye on the prize and push forward. The feeling you get when you finally “make it” is so very worth it.
#4 – Wall Street
Oliver Stones classic 1986 film is by far the most quotable movie on this list and deals with one of the darker themes in business: Greed, and whether or not it’s good. If you want a friend, get a dog. If you want big cellphones, a relatively sober Charlie Sheen and one of the quintessential movie characters of all time (Gordon Gekko) Blue Horseshoe loves this movie and if you’re an entrepreneur, you will too.
#3 – Ghostbusters
Not that you ever need an excuse to watch this 80’s staple, but Ghostbusters is definitely required viewing for every entrepreneur. It’s basically about a group of buddies that quit their jobs to form a tech start-up. This movie has a lot going for it, including Bill Murray at his best (isn’t he always at his best?) but at the core of it all, it’s about finding a niche opportunity and building a business that can service it. Oh and never…under any circumstances should you ever cross the streams.
#2 – The Social Network
One of this generations greatest directors (David Fincher) tells the story about one of this generations most important entrepreneurs (Mark Zuckerberg). This movie takes us on a journey from dorm room to board room as we see some of the key moments in the development of the giant that is Facebook. This 2010 blockbuster teaches entrepreneurs to be flexible, be resilient and always read something before signing it. Also, the score by Trent Reznor is awesome.
#1 – There Will Be Blood
This is hands down one of my favourite movies of all time. Daniel Day Lewis plays Daniel Plainview, a prospector turned ruthless oil tycoon (Well, he was always kind of ruthless). Director Paul Thomas Anderson pin points the sometimes maniacal sense of competition many successful entrepreneurs have within them. This movie is a masterpiece from the first scene to the last and it really does capture the brutal honesty of what it takes to succeed in business.
The movies entrepreneurs should watch are the ones that get them pumped up to work harder at their own business. Whether you own a video production company or an ice cream parlour, take breaks, watch movies and find motivation wherever you can. Let us know what your favourite entrepreneur film is in the comments below or strike up a conversation on Twitter @ChrisStasiuk. See you at the movies.