- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Hachette Books (Aug. 16 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0786884770
- ISBN-13: 978-0786884773
- Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.9 x 20.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 204 g
- Average Customer Review: 34 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #426,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
What They Don't Teach You at Film School: 161 Strategies For Making Your Own Movies No Matter What Paperback – Aug 1 2000
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From Publishers Weekly
Filmmakers Landau and White believe that "if you want to make films, make films." Since only four students in each class of 45 at the country's top film schools get chosen to direct an advanced narrative film, the authors urge hopefuls to honor the trial-and-error, Blair Witch-approved method: "if you want to be a filmmaker," they advise, "put down this book and pick up a camera." Though some of their imparted wisdom reads like an After School Special dialogue, the authors do project a healthy dose of industry know-how that could prove useful to those who have never entered the cutting rooms and bursar's offices of NYU, USC, UCLA or other prestigious establishments. The book offers concrete, creative suggestions for initiating a writing schedule, pooling financial resources (or choosing the right low-APR credit card) and feigning confidence in the face of blind fear. Among their best advice is this insight: "Your short film is only as good as your feature script" because "all that work and money [spent on the short film] add up, at best, to the invitation to submit a script to someone's office." The authors' enthusiasm for their subject is matched only by their delightful irreverence toward the industry itself, crediting doughnuts, duct tape and Red Vines as the stuff that reel dreams are made of. (Aug.) FYI: Landau and White are in preproduction for Three Loves, their first feature film.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Camille Landau and Tiare White are graduates of the American Film Institute and the USC film school. Together they have made over 30 short films, many of which have won awards in festivals throughout the world, and Freestyle, an award-winning feature-length documentary. They are currently in post-production for their first dramatic feature, Three Loves, and live in Southern California.
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I love film and read about making films to feed my dream.
I've read text book style books, handbooks, and how-to's.
This book actually defies those brandings and makes itself into something all together new - an ENCOURAGING, HUMORFUL and HELPFUL book about what you have to do to make a film.
What a revelation I've found when by chance I purchased this book here at Amazon.
For those wondering, this is NOT a how-to guide.
What it is - well, it's a great book which does something (repeatedly) that very few other books about the art and craft of filmmaking do - it ENCOURAGES YOU TO MAKE FILMS: small films or grand epics, or videos of your dog - it doesn't matter - all they suggest is that you tell your story.
It encourages you to make a film - no matter what - if that's what you want to do - this book ENCOURAGES you to do so.
There's a whole lot of sensible information here, along with some gentle guidelines for deciding if filmmaking is really something for you.
With chapters titled "Fix the script, the rest will follow", "Sultans, dentists and Uncle Al" and my favorite "Donuts, red vines and keeping the crew together: the care and feeding of the set" you get a feel for the humor that's also used throughout.
Ultimately though, you have to ask the question, for a future filmmaker, is this book useful?
I'd have to answer a resounding yes!
It reinforces the notion that if you make a movie, no matter if it sells or doesn't, makes a million or never screens for anyone but your best friends - you are a filmmaker. That's a great gift to the reader.
Buy this book before you invest too much else in text and handbooks, and how-to guides. You won't be disappointed and you'll be getting a very good read.
Good luck making your film.
It still amazes me that I can actually learn new things about a visual medium from a book, but I always have. Every time I’m at the local bookstore I swing by the film section to see if there is anything new worth reading. (Plus it’s a great location to meet new people to get involved in my future projects.) A couple of weeks ago I picked up “What They Don’t Teach You at Film School: 161 Strategies For Making Your Own Movie No Matter What” by Camille Landau and Tiare White.
At first I was skeptical about this book. Any filmmaking book that promises to show me the yellow brick road to Hollywood and filmmaking success just makes me laugh since we all know that no book can show each of us this path since it’s different for everyone. But, as I flipped through the book there in the aisle I found myself laughing and learning new things so I had to bring it home with me.
The book is organized into chapters named catchy phrases as “It’s the budget, stupid…”, “Sex, lies, and 16mm….” , and “Friends, enemies, lovers, and thieves.” Within each of these chapters is an ongoing bulleted list that make up the 161 strategies mentioned in the title of the book.
What I liked so much about this book is the mix of blunt honesty, real world insight and sharp humor. The authors are both graduates of USC film school and together have made over 30 short films. After completing the book I could tell that they’ve “seen battle” and are not just looking for a quick buck from writing a book. (Although, I hope they make a few because they deserve it.)
I think the reason why I really liked this book so much was that it covered every aspect of movie making. What I mean is that not only will it give you tips on fixing your script (pg 54), pitching your story (pg 132) and how to finance your project (pg 201). But, they even share a recipe for cookies to help you bribe your editor if need be. (pg 26) They realize that there is much more to filmmaking then actors, producers and cameramen. They take the time to talk about life, family and the heartaches you may run into along the way to making your blockbuster.
My copy is already earmark, highlighted and beat up from flipping back and forth for a confidence boost when I needed it during a rough spot on recent Foo Projects. Trust me when I say this will be the best (money) you spend for your next project.
I’m not the type of guy to spoil the ending, but the last point made in the book is the most important one to remember:
“#161 DO IT AGAIN: If you want to make films, make films.”
I couldn’t have said it better! Happy reading!
Because it's hard as hell to get one made. Even if you don't make films, after reading this book you'll appreciate what directors and crews have to go through behind the camera. Most people have no idea all the hullabaloo that goes on to get to the point where someone can yell "action!"
Read Landau and White's book to find out about all the little things you need to know before and while in production. Some are quite simple, others more complex: having enough food and coffee on the set (to keep morale up), getting a casting director to work for you cheap (maybe even for free), dealing with actors (and knowing how to tell them they didn't get the part), raising money, studying other film's budgets to get an idea how much yours will cost, how to decide who to hire onto your crew, how to wring the most out of your resources (e.g., get anything for free when you can), writing a good script (it's about CONFLICT and RAISING THE STAKES folks) etc. See? These are just some of the things you have to deal with to make a movie.
Landau and White's pragmatic approach to this book indirectly prooves that you need to be just a "wee bit crazy" to want to make movies for a living (or do anything else in the film industry for that matter).
You won't learn everything you need to make a film in this book, but you will learn...well...look at the title.
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It covers things no other book covers in as much depth. For example: how to act and interrelate to members of your film crew.Read more