3 Movies Every DJ Must Watch
Being a DJ is much more than just buying the shiniest DJ equipment, wearing cool bling, and having a bunch of gorgeous girls twerking around you while you do your thing. There’s actually a lot to learn about how the DJ scene evolved over the years.
Believe it or not, the best studying materials are documentaries and movies about DJs. Although some focus on partying and others on history, they offer different perspectives on the lifestyle. The movies below are by no means the only ones out there, but they are a great starting point if you are interested in becoming a DJ.
1. It’s All Gone Pete Tong (2004)
- Movie genre: biography, comedy, drama
- Duration: 1h 30min
- Music genre: club, dance
- IMDB rating: 7.4/10
This British-Canadian mockumentary-drama is based on the urban myth of “the deaf DJ.” It is about Frankie Wilde, a superstar DJ living in Ibiza and touring around the best clubs in the world. He is living his dream life and preparing a new album when his hearing starts degrading due to the overuse of drugs and alcohol and the noisy environment.
At first, Frankie is forced to take a break from the DJ scene, but after completely losing his hearing, he starts succumbing to depression. That’s when he decides to make a change and try to create a new album and re-start touring.
Although the movie features famous artists such as Carl Cox, Tiesto, and Paul Van Dyk talking about the myth, most people do not consider the soundtrack overly exciting. Still, it offers good insight into both the good and the bad sides of DJing.
2. Berlin Calling (2008)
- Movie genre: comedy, drama, music
- Duration: 1h 40min
- Music genre: techno, club
- IMDB rating: 7.3/10
Starring Paul Kalkbrenner, a.k.a. Techno Master, this German tragicomedy is about a DJ/producer Ickarus. While on a world tour to promote his music, he overdoses and thus jeopardizes his record deal. As a result, he ends up in a psychiatric hospital and is told to stay on bed rest. Against his doctor’s and his label’s wishes, he brings his recording equipment to the hospital to continue working on the new album.
It’s worth noting that Paul Kalkbrenner’s career got a huge boost thanks to the movie due to the fact he made most of the soundtrack. In fact, you can even see him produce parts of the soundtrack in the movie itself, using his own DJ equipment.
3. What We Started (2017)
- Movie genre: documentary, dance music
- Duration: 1h 34min
- Music genre: club, dance, electronic
- IMDB rating: 7.4/10
If you’re an EDM fan and you’d like to know more about this genre’s history, then this documentary is just what you need. An American production, the movie covers the 30 exciting years of dance music history, starting from Carl Cox all the way to Martin Garrix.
The DJs featured are different and unique in their own right, but their love for DJing and music is what connects them. You’ll be able to see interview clips with EDM heavy hitters like Tiesto, David Guetta, Erick Morillo, and Moby.
Additionally, you’ll get an exclusive peek into the behind-the-scenes lives of popular DJs and the secrets of their craft (DJ equipment, visual effects, etc.). Most importantly, as the documentary moves through every stage of musical evolution, you will get to hear the defining tunes of each period.
As already mentioned, this list is just a starting point — a mere tip of the proverbial iceberg. By all means, do your own research and find other movies that might be of interest to you. Whether you’re interested in how your favorite DJ started out, what DJ equipment to pick, or how to handle being famous, there’s bound to be a movie that will teach an important lesson.