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The Six Day Horror Movie: A No-Nonsense Guide to No-Budget Filmmaking [Paperback]

Michael P. DiPaolo

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Book Description

Nov. 1 2004 0786419059 978-0786419050
When someone offered Michael DiPaolo $5,000 to help make a Digital Video horror film, he jumped at the chance to test a theory: an ultra-low budget feature, shot in less than a week, with a paid cast and crew, could be successful if meticulously planned. Using one computer and one camcorder, he produced and edited Daddy, which had its theatrical premier in New York City in 2004.

This book breaks down the production through a detailed daily diary, emphasizing that the most important aspects of successful producing are careful planning and camaraderie in the group. The work covers many points important for the low-budget filmmaker, including selecting a story; budgeting; scheduling; picking cast and crew; scouting locations; finding wardrobe, food, and transportation; and what to do if you run out of time or money. Postproduction is also covered (editing, computer work, and sound design), as is the result of all this hard work: screenings, festivals, and distributors. One chapter covers the primacy of cinematic point-of-view, and another profiles some role models for the aspiring low-budget filmmaker: Edgar Ulmer, Val Lewton, Roger Corman, John Cassavetes, Ed Wood, Jr., and Jean-Luc Godard. Later chapters explain strategy and tactics of guerrilla filmmaking and show the budding filmmaker how to recognize both his limitations and his strengths.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company (Nov. 1 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786419059
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786419050
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 18.8 x 1.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 440 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,558,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 2.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Gigli of Filmmaking Books March 27 2006
By Nunya Bidness - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book was overly general regarding all aspects of filmmaking it covered. It might give someone completely new to the subject an idea of the difficulties to be faced, along with some idea of how they can be solved, but nothing of any real value.

Of the more than 200 pages in the book, only about 33 were actually devoted to the "six day horror movie."

There are many grammatical and copy editing problems. I kept thinking this was a self-published vanity book, but it in fact was just poorly edited by the publisher

The photos in the book are poor quality black and white stills from "Daddy," the previously mentioned film that was barely profiled in the book, and the photos don't seem to serve any purpose. There are a few illustrations (two or three, I think), but they're nothing really more than scribbles to illustrate a couple of rock bottom basic camera blocking concepts.

Thankfully, I bought this book using a gift card. Even though I didn't spend my own money on this, I felt ripped off. You could easily buy three quality filmmaking books for the price of this one.

Caveat emptor.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DESERVES A NEGATIVE Nov. 3 2006
By D. Schofield - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
1: DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY!

2: THIS BOOK IS TOTAL CRAP!

3: A COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME!

4: THE HORROR IS ITS PATHETIC WRITING AND EDITING!

5: HAVE YOU HEARD OR SEEN THE MOVIE THAT THIS WAS "BASED" ON? IF YOU HAVE THEN YOU KNOW YOU ARE IN FOR A PILE OF SELF-RIGHTEOUS DUNG!!!

6: GET SOMETHING ELSE.

7: GET SOMETHING ELSE!!!!!!!! PLEASE!
5.0 out of 5 stars Best indie Film "text-book" POV. Jan. 31 2011
By Michelle E. Chaudry - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I think the title is misleading - I myself thought to pitch it back into the numerous titles until my husband put it back in my hands and told me that it was an interesting read and that I would probably enjoy it since I'm not so much a horror fan, but rather, a proponent of making indie-low-budget films in less than 10 days.

The book is NOT about making a horror film. AT ALL. So if you're looking for a read about how to make your own slasher film, don't bother.

HOWEVER: this book is probably the best book I've read in condensing the art of film making ... indie-style.

If you're a film-maker, and you probably are, even as an amateur, you want to read this.

Let's face it... if you've decided to be part of the millions of people who dream about being the next James Cameron, then you will admit to making your dozens of low-budget films with your friends, a backyard, and a handheld in an afternoon of boredom.

That said, get off of your intellectual high=horse and realize that film-making is about passion, community, and oh... organization. Without proper pre-production, there IS no finished project.

Last, this is a book for intermediates... not someone looking for a weekend of fun. Filming is gritty, exhausting, collaborating, creative and... rewarding. It's also not for the light-of-heart or light-of-stamina.

So grab this book, get a weekend together and your tribe of forgiving and lovely friends and love what you do.

Or get out of the business and let me have a crack at it. :)
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