I’ve had a pretty interesting last few days at the movies watching three films that couldn’t be anymore different in plot, execution and budget. The one thing they did have in common is the effect they had on me – I left all three feeling inspired.

First up is The Social Network, which probably needs no introduction or explanation – the guy made a $25 billion business from his bedroom in Harvard and managed to get 500 million people (and growing) actively using Facebook.

Even though I already knew how Facebook started and everything about its rise to glory, watching it play out on screen (with a sprinkle of bullshit) was amazing. The best part about it is that Facebook wasn’t a new idea, there were dozens of successful social networks prior to them ever existing, including Myspace, Friendster and Faceparty, just like there were app stores before the iPhone and search engines before Google.

There is always room to make existing things better..no matter how far ahead or well established the competition is. Perfecting UX, usability and focusing on constant refinements and new features can really smash competition to pieces. So feeling inspired I moved on..

Next up is two short films by my good friend Paul Cheung which I saw with about 100 other people at a private screening on Saturday.

Paul had probably wanted to be a director long before he told me about it, but its amazed me how it went from an out of the blue conversation which began “I want to be director” to suddenly having two short films produced from what seem like no time at all.

With no experience or money Paul took a sabbatical from his job as a journalist and managed to get a team of people together to help produce his first film…for free. The film is called Sushi Tales, a psychological thriller about ‘a couple whose lives are turned upside-down by the discovery of a mysterious note’.

I was sitting there watching the film just thinking ‘shit, he’s just gone and left his job with no knowledge or experience of the film industry to make this film…and it looks wicked’. And it did, the film wouldn’t have looked out of place in any cinema, the way it was shot, the music, the storyline, the sound, lighting, sharpness of the picture – I was expecting some You Been Framed blooper (sorry Paul).

I left totally inspired, thinking I need to get off my arse and make some of my ideas a reality. Taking a look at the mobile marketing industry today I can see so much stuff that is just begging for someone to try and improve. Watch this space.

You can see the films for yourself:

Paul’s second film followed shortly after, it’s called Early Birds and completed wowed me, it’s like a BBC HD ident or something. Check it out:

Next step for Early Birds is being entered into Sundance film festival, I’m hoping that it gets through so I can tag along and embarrass everyone.