Nov 23, 2009

$30 Film School

This 528 page book espouses the same philosophy that this website is founded upon. It offers an alternative to spending tens of thousands of dollars in film studies and goes straight for the inspired attitude to go out and make movies yourself. It’s highly rated by readers and has the John Cassevetes attitude of just jumping in there and doing it, after learning the basics of filmmaking.

The book also has comments and interviews with indie filmmakers that offer amusing stories and helpful advice to the Do-It-Yourself filmmaker. Filmmaking is an entrepreneurial enterprise and getting a job in the film industry is not like getting a job in a corporate company or a cubicle office. It’s about self-promotion and making your own way.

The author, Michael Dean, is described as a self-taught filmmaker with a background in writing, photography and music. The book also includes a CD ROM with movies, interviews, trailers and some training lessons.

This book starts out with the basic writing process and guides you through the stages of pre-production, production, and post. There are no expectations of having expensive equipment or paying lots of money for accommodations, craft services, etc. The only expectation is to make the best film that you can with the resources you have. This book is definitely aimed at the micro-filmmaker or artists with an independent spirit that are ready to get out there and get their hands dirty. It is not a book about prepping and re-prepping and making everything perfect before go out and try to shoot something (a weakness I have had on some projects in the past).

This book has been criticized for not being a book about how to become a Hollywood mogul, but if you are looking to make a film that you love and are driven to make it, this book will show you how.

There are also a lot of tutorials on how to use digital software and various lessons for doing so. Since you are probably only using certain types, you will only need to read certain sections of the book for this info.

His motto is “DIY or DIE”. A great companion book, and one of my all-time favorites is Robert Rodriguez’s “Rebel Without A Crew” – a great DIY guide and breezy read if you haven’t yet read it.

Success to you,