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1. On Film-making: An Introduction
2. Making Documentary Films and Videos:
3. Producing with Passion: Making
4. What They Don't Teach You At Film
5. Careers in Wildlife Film-making
6. Cross-Cultural Filmmaking: A Handbook
7. Michael Caine - Acting in Film:
8. The Eye Is Quicker: Film Editing:
9. Basics Film-making: The Language
10. Westerns: Making the Man in Fiction
11. The Reel Truth: Everything You
12. Daughters of the Dust: The Making
13. Wig Making and Styling: A Complete
14. Shadows, Specters, Shards: Making
15. Documentary Storytelling, Second
16. Basics Film-Making: Producing
17. Making Your Film for Less Outside
18. The Making of Fantastic Mr. Fox:
19. Disney's Aladdin: The Making of
20. John Wayne's the Alamo: The Making

1. On Film-making: An Introduction to the Craft of the Director
by Alexander Mackendrick
Paperback: 336 Pages (2005-08-31)
list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$9.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0571211259
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

A priceless examination of the filmmaker's craft, from the renowned director of Sweet Smell of Success

After more than twenty years in the film industry as a screenwriter, storyboard editor, and director of memorable films such as The Ladykillers, Alexander Mackendrick turned his back on Hollywood and began a new career as the Dean of one of the country's most demanding and influential film schools. His absolute devotion to the craft of filmmaking served as a powerful impetus to students at the California Institute for the Arts for almost twenty five years, with a teaching style that included prodigious notes, neatly crafted storyboards, and handouts containing excerpts of works by Kierkegaard, Aristotle, and others. At the core of Mackendrick's lessons lay a deceptively simple goal: to teach aspiring filmmakers how to structure and write the stories they want to tell, while using the devices particular to the medium of film to tell their stories effectively.

In this impressive volume, edited by Paul Cronin, the myriad materials that made Mackendrick's reputation as an instructor are collected for the first time, offering a chance for professionals as well as students to discover a methodology of filmmaking that is challenging yet refreshing in its clarity. Meticulously illustrated and drawing on examples from such classic films as North by Northwest, Citizen Kane, and Touch of Evil, Mackendrick's elegant lessons are sure to provide inspiration for a new generation of filmmakers.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great,Great,Great
Excellent book, Mackendrick is certenly one of the masters of cinema. Everything is very well explained, simple and to the point. Good examples and with a very friendly tone. Mackendrick is not only a master in cinema but also in teaching.

5-0 out of 5 stars cool
bought this for a graduate directing fiction course - haven't read it yet but it seems worth reading.

4-0 out of 5 stars nice book long wait
The book is just as described, but it arrived on the very last day it could for acceptable delivery. I ordered it for Christmas and it did not make it in time. The son I bought it for was no longer in AZ so I had to pay twice to ship it, cause I had to send it to New York where he lives. But the seller was allowed weeks to send it and I did get it within that time frame. My son loves the book and that is all that matters

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the very best books on filmmaking
I have read many books on filmmaking and I have a film school degree (from CalArts, as it happens, where Mackendrick once taught). You can't learn filmmaking from a book or from school, only by making films. Nevertheless, "On Film-making" comes as close as any book I've ever found to explaining precisely and beautifully the work of a film director. Whether you want to make films or are simply a film fan, this book will be an immensely rewarding and illuminating experience.

5-0 out of 5 stars the master speaks
Great book by a great filmmaker and a great teacher.Anyone serious about how to create meaning in the cinema by using the "grammar," the form, should read this book.Ditto for the creation of story along classical lines -- ... Read more

2. Making Documentary Films and Videos: A Practical Guide to Planning, Filming, and Editing Documentaries
by Barry Hampe
Paperback: 464 Pages (2007-12-10)
list price: US$21.99 -- used & new: US$11.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 080508181X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

The classic guide to making documentaries, now revised and expanded for today's filmmaker
The second edition of Making Documentary Films and Videos fully updates the popular guidebook that has given readers around the world the knowledge and confidence to produce their first documentary film. It traces two main approachesÂ--recording behavior and re-creating past eventsÂ--and shows you how to be successful at each. Covering all the steps from concept to completion, with chapters on visual evidence; documentary ethics; writing for documentaries; budgeting; assembling a crew; film and sound recording; casting and directing actors and nonactors; and editing for the audience, this book can help you successfully bring to life the documentary you want to make.
The second edition includes
• a discussion of truth, Â"reality,Â" and honesty in the current
   filmmaking environment
• new advice on how to get started in documentary filmmaking
• an expanded section on researching and writing the proposal,
   treatment, and script
• an exhaustive list of resources
... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

3-0 out of 5 stars I don't know.
Most people who buy this are going to be progressives like Michael Moore who want to make films from the left. I didn't read it all. I stopped when the author told me that he didn't like Michael Moore's method. I suppose it will teach you how to make a film, but I want to hear it from the left. We are exposed to more right wing propaganda right now than Germany in the 1930's, but the author wants the left to be careful not to make propaganda.

5-0 out of 5 stars The book I have been looking for
This book is a wonderful guide to documentary process and method. Using examples of good and bad while explaining why. Also stressing the use of truth not political agenda.

5-0 out of 5 stars A truly well done primer on the ethics and techniques of the documentary

Documentary film is primarily a visual medium, is it not? So how does one account for a densely packed book - nothing but words with not a single illustration to break the tedium - that thoroughly and exhaustively documents (pun intended) every aspect of the ethos and production of documentaries?

The ethos part is important. Barry Hampe is concerned with the rise of liars who use the documentary form to spread their misstatements and untruths. He uses Michael Moore and Al Gore as examples and, in my opinion, is too gentle with them. But his message is clear: "the verifiable truth of a video or film depends on the honesty of the documentarian in presenting an accurate analog of he situation as he or she understands it". That declaration is worth devoting considerable thought to.

As the entry cost of producing a documentary has plummeted in recent years and cable channels and the internet have increased the audience for documentaries, documentarians of all stripes have risen from everywhere. Most, in my experience, have a partisan message they want to share. Heck, if I ever give in to my desires, I will make a documentary and it will most certainly be partisan.

But as Hampe makes clear in roughly the first half of his book, partisanship is fine - as long as the message is delivered honestly.

You need only turn on your television or browse numerous websites to recognize that most of what passes for documentaries today is not honest.

Hampe tries his best to convert the heathens. I doubt he will succeed, but he does try and what he has written about ethics in documentaries and the philosophy of the documentary is very interesting, as is the history and background he provides.

Approximately the second half of the book is about making your documentary.

Hampe wisely doesn't get involved with discussions of equipment. Nor does he dwell much on using equipment.

Rather he describes the process through and by which a documentary is made from drafting a proposal, should one be required, to choosing actors, how to direct, recording sound, post-production, working on location - all the aspects of putting together what used to be called a movie and is now far more likely to be a video.

Hampe writes for video. Throughout the book I was haunted by the feeling that I should be watching Hampe speak, with the accompanying video showing the details of what he was speaking about. Hampe's writing style is natural and free-flowing.

Overall this is an extraordinary book about making videos and films without a single illustration. Just a smooth flowing river of words. Barry Hampe has done extremely well here. He essentially tells you to go forth and spread your word, then tells you how to do it. And all he asks is that you be honest.


5-0 out of 5 stars A must read!
This is a must read for anyone even thinking about a career in documentary film making! Every paragraph is meaty with thought provoking questions and answers on everything from modern technology advances to documentary ethics. A 5 star recommendation.

5-0 out of 5 stars F.F ff G-g-great!
To all aspiring movie makers,
For me, this book was an awesome find. I was so pleased by it, in fact, that I wanted to create the most amazing review ever, to help promote its comprehensive and informative nature.
In brief, I have enjoyed a long career in music, most of which turns up on TV in a wide variety of visual productions, and have always been a big fan of PBS for its presentation of excellent documentaries.(Sorry, Barry, but Ken Burns always seems to roll off my tongue whenever I feel the need to name a name.) Having said that, I knew absolutely nothing about the creative process for creating great documentaries.
Recently I took interest with the ever evolving landscape in the town where I live as they continue to clear the land for more stores full of things that nobody buys and those awful restaurants where the kitchen crews pick their noses and spit under the skin of your chicken.
However, by far, the most worrying issue we face is the displacement of wildlife in our city and the apparent complacency displayed by many over what they throw in the lake. For this reason I started filming any thing that moved and was surprised at just how many creatures lived in and around the neighborhood.
"You should make a documentary", my wife said. She then found this gem of a book for only [...]right here on this great website.
I found that I was already doing some things well and other information allowed me to be more effective at getting 'visual evidence' for the production. In addition, I understand the meaning of letting the visual sequence tell the story and not relying on interviews or voice overs to make the point.
Look, How I am supposed to fit all the good points about this book into one review I don't know. It is absolutely excellent in its entirity and I have even been able to communicate directly with the author on a few points. So whether you did or you didn't go to film school, this book is a must. It is now my 'go-to' book as I find myself wanting to make more visual productions.
Much gratitude to you , Barry, for sharing you knowledge and insight. Even more so for sharing yourvalued opinion on the odd occasion in the book. For what its worth, I'm still not sure where the political basher on a literal soap-box comes into it but we are entitled to our opinion!!!!
F.F. f.f, G-g great Book!!!!
My first video production was posted on You Tube at [...]The cost of this video was? yep! [...].
... Read more

3. Producing with Passion: Making Films That Change the World
by Dorothy Fadiman, Tony Levelle
Paperback: 266 Pages (2008-06-01)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$13.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1932907440
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

Documentary filmmaker Fadiman chronicles her more than 30 years of experience searching out practical approaches to get her productions funded, finished, and seen, balancing inspiration and commitment with financing, shooting, editing, and promotion.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Producing with Passion is an absolute gem!
Producing With Passion - a fantastic resource for anybody wanting to create documentaries, or make films in general. Real, intelligent writing - with plenty of useful examples, and stories to consider on the path to making your own docos. Inspirational, descriptive, and a reliable resource for taking the steps to breaking into what can be a difficult process of generating your own work through film and video.
I would recommend this to anybody wanting to become a documentary film-maker, without question.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Essential Read

A fascinating insider's view of the documentary filmmaking process. This book mixes the kind of practical advice which only comes from long experience in the field with personal recollections of a career well spent. The book is particularly original in many of its key concepts such as the importance of building a core group which supports both the project and the filmmaker from beginning to end, and in the idea that a documentary can focus on a character which is not necessarily human or even a sentient being. Engaging and full of juicy, useful information geared specifically to the needs of documentary filmmakers.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent practical guide
Want to turn your passion into a documentary film? Producing with Passion gives you an excellent road map. It offers a well-organized, easily accessible, nuts-and-bolts approach to creating, building support for, and promoting your documentary.

In a nutshell, the book is packed with insights and ideas about how to actually get it done. There is a chapter in the beginning about figuring out what kind of topics you're most passionate about, but the real value in this book is the practical, logistical, rubber-meeting-the-road advice.

My work is focused on helping people tap into passion and meaning to amp up the energy, clarity and focus in their career. Producing with Passion is a no-brainer for me to recommend to any clients who might see documentary-making as one of the tools in their change-making toolkits.

One of the big obstacles to pursuing one's passion is not understanding how to go about it. "I want to do this, but where do I start? How do I do it? What do I need to understand to make it successful? What are the pitfalls?" This book answers all those questions, and many more.

Curt Rosengren
Founder, Passion Catalyst

5-0 out of 5 stars Finding the Passion that Already Lives Inside You
For anyone interested in making documentary films, especially about social issues, I recommend a new book "PRODUCING WITH PASSION: Making Films that Change the World." It's a practical guide for new or experienced filmmakers who want to share their message through media. This book focuses on the "human" aspect of filmmaking, like how to put together a team of people to collaborate; innovative approaches to finding financial resources; conducting intimate interviews that will provide the most compelling content; and how to craft a concise and inspiring story from reels of raw footage.What impressed me most about this book is that while the subject matter is filmmaking, the principles can be applied to any visionary project that will be supported by collaboration. PRODUCING with PASSION is about remaining open to change as a project unfolds, while staying focused, and true to your original intention or vision.

I worked with Dorothy Fadiman (one of the authors) on her latest film "Stealing America: Vote by Vote", about electoral integrity in the U.S. I had planned on working temporarily as the Outreach Coordinator, since supporting an activist whose film raised awareness about flaws in our voting system seemed like a good way to do my non-partisan part before the 2008 Presidential Election.After reading "PRODUCING with PASSION"I ended up staying on board with Fadiman's non-profit media organization, Concentric Media, because I could see that Dorothy was a living example of book's message. I realized how much I could learn from her about turning a vision into reality and building an inclusive working community while still staying true to my own professional goals and personal values.

PRODUCING with PASSION honors the human being within the filmmaker and offers the kind of personal advice you would never find in a "how to" book.If you want to capture the spirit of an issue on film -- from poverty to health care to global warming -- this book will help you tap into your own potential and talent while attracting, managing, and bringing out the talents in others.

5-0 out of 5 stars Documentary Book Exhibits Knowledge and Passion!
"A film that reflects your true passion can have an impact for generations. This book gives you the tools to envision, produce, and finish such a film.As a documentary filmmaker, you have the means to open people's eyes and bring them into another world."So begins one of the most inspiring and informative books ever written about making films that have an impact on the world.Dorothy Fadiman, an Emmy Award Winner and an Academy Award nominee for "Best Documentary" along with Tony Levelle have divided their book into three parts: (a) Getting clear about your vision (b) Sustaining your intention as you produce the film and (c) Launching your finished movie.
The authors provide helpful advice on trusting your instincts to select a subject whose core idea will carry you through the challenges it takes to make a film.Advice on finding the key theme that helps define your project will allow you to create a more vibrant film.They discuss three of the main challenges to making a documentary film which are getting it right, getting it done and getting it out.Another helpful chapter explains preproduction and how to produce the unscripted documentary.
Fadiman and Levelle explain what it takes to create a well written proposal and they relate most poignantly that in raising money, people give money to people, not projects! Helpful advice on putting together a production team and the nuts and bolts of production are handled with the experience that 30 years of making documentaries will provide.
Interviewing, building the story, editing and feedback screenings are illustrated with helpful suggestions and practical advice.Finally, a chapter on finishing the film and how to move on to the next project are discussed.Several of the ending chapters deal with publicity and distribution.Helpful suggestions for dealing with PBS or the virtual world are included.Throughout this essential read for the serious documentarist the authors neatly tie up each chapter with key points and provide you with both the inspiration and knowledge to make your "heartfelt", serious film a reality.
... Read more

4. What They Don't Teach You At Film School: 161 Strategies to Making Your Own Movie No Matter What
by Camille Landau, Tiara White
Paperback: 256 Pages (2000-08-16)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$5.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000S6NBU2
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Two filmmakers who've beaten the system give the real dope on what it takes to get your movie made

Do you have to go to film school to get your movies made? No, say two young entrepreneurs who survived the grind. Here they offer 140 strategies for making movies no matter what. Amateurs as well as seasoned veterans can pick up this entertaining and incredibly useful guide in any place--at any point of crisis--and find tactics that work. Whether it's raising money or cutting your budget; dealing with angry landlords or angry cops; or jump-starting the production or stalling it while you finish the script, these strategies are delivered with funny, illustrative anecdotes from the authors' experiences and from veteran filmmakers eager to share their stories. Irreverent, invaluable, and a lot cheaper than a year's tuition, this friendly guide is the smartest investment any future filmmaker could make.

Strategies from the book include:Love your friends for criticizing your work--especially at the script stageShyness won't get you the donutsDuct tape miraclesDon't fall in love with cast or crew (but if you do...) ... Read more

Customer Reviews (46)

1-0 out of 5 stars Totally useless
Thanks God, they don't teach you THAT in film school! Endless, girlish blah-blah-blah... It's a shame, especially when authors, according to a photo at the end of the book, passed the teenage stage a long time ago! I don't even want to be more specific! It's already way too much time I spent on this garbage... The only reason I am writing it is to warn you, Filmmaker - it has no information you are looking for.

2-0 out of 5 stars All filler very little killer
An entire page was dedicated in given you the recipe on how to bake cookies...I'm not kidding, it's there!

Apart from atrociously redundant information littered through this book that has little to do with actual film making. There are still a few gems dispersed in it. If you're masochistic enough to read the entire thing then it might be worth it.

If you're really really into making movies then don't waste your time and money (I wasted the former cause I'm sick like that) buying this book. Buy a book you can actually learn something from.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great book so far!!!....still reading it though
I bought this book for the soul purpose to learn what it takes to make films and what not. I'm an aspiring actor and I just started in films last May 2007 and up to Dec. 2007 I've done 11 films as an extra or an actor with speaking lines. I'm also reading Screenwriting for Dummies which is also very helpful.Someday I'll take this knowledge from these two books and more to come and make a film.

This book is easy reading and enjoyable. So far I have no negative comments about it.

1-0 out of 5 stars Fun but Useless
If you want something that might motivate you to make a film..-_-then go ahead and buy it... but dont expect to learn anything useful.

4-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read, but limited in focus
I just finished this book and thought I would share a few things, good and the not so good.

First the good:
The authors do a really nice job explaining a lot things first time filmmakers might have trouble with, in other words, the 'gotchas'.Things as blaringly obvious as backup batteries and duct tape are included.They touch on a lot of things one should consider when making films.

The book is well laid out and lead one from beginning to end, like a good story.It was a very easy read and sometimes out-loud funny.They talk a lot about dealing with personalities, which is both good and bad.

Which leads me to the not so good:
As encouraging as they are, at times they bring up so many difficulties that one wonders why anyone would bother to make a film at all.The book is alternately encouraging and discouraging.

Given that they are both former film students, this book relies heavily on their film school background, which is an advantage for film school students, but not as useful for non-traditional film students (like Jeunet and myself).They reference the Hollywood film industry/culture almost exclusively, which again does not help those who are based elsewhere.

Bottom line:
I found this book useful, but not as much as I had hoped.This book is ideal for anyone who went to film school, but is only half helpful for the rest of us.The cover is a little deceiving (blame marketing) in that the publisher makes the book sound ideal for any filmmaker.Despite the flaws, I find it to be a useful reference for my filmmaking endeavors.I give this four stars, one extra star than I normally would have, just for sheer entertainment and readability value. ... Read more

5. Careers in Wildlife Film-making
by Piers Warren
Paperback: 156 Pages (2006-02-21)
list price: US$20.95 -- used & new: US$15.52
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0954189930
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Careers in Wildlife Film-making The essential book by Piers Warren, packed with guidance and advice for aspiring makers of natural history filmsForeword by Jeffery Boswall "I have to say I am heartily impressed. This book should be compulsory for everyone in the industry, and for anyone yearning to get into it." Jean Hartley - Location Manager, Kenya."I am very impressed! What I would have given thirty years ago for such a thing." Nick Gordon - wildlife film-maker. If you work in the wildlife film-making industry - or want to - you need this book!. The ONLY guide to working in the wildlife film-making industry.. Available mail-order worldwide - this is an international book featuring many case studies from all over the world - successful professionals explain how they got started and give hard-won advice.. Contents include: How Wildlife Films are Made, The variety of Jobs, How to Get Started, Education and Training, Wildlife Film Festivals, Organisations, Projects and Further Information, The Future of the Industry. Case Studies include: Nick Gordon, Doug Allan, Mark Deeble & Victoria Stone, Mike Holding and Tania "TJ" Jenkins, Peter Crabb, Brian Leith, Jeremy Evans and many more.. The incredible amount of advice, together with information on festivals, schools and industry organisations make this book an invaluable resource for all those wishing to succeed as a wildlife film-maker Described as 'long-overdue' and 'much-needed', this is not just an essential book for newcomers and wannabes - the fascinating case studies of well-known individuals, and unique discussion of the future of the industry from top professionals, make this an important read for those already working in the fields of wildlife, underwater and conservation film. Jobs discussed include: Producer, Assistant Producer, Researcher, Production Assistant, Administration and Publicity Co-ordinator, Director, Cinematographer/Camera Operator, Camera Assistant, Sound Recordist, Presenter, Narration Script-writer, Narrator, Music Composer, Picture Editor, Dubbing Mixer, Location Manager, Distributor, Broadcaster/Commissioning Editor, Stock Footage Library Manager, Multimedia Producer.The section 'The Future of the Industry' involves no-holds-barred views from individuals with a wide variety of experience of wildlife films - combining to produce a fascinating and eye-opening vision of the future of wildlife programming worldwide. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Couldn't ask for more!
I've wanted to be a wildlife film-maker for as long as I can remember but knew it was competitive and had little idea how to get started. Then I found this book. I suddenly feel like I know so much more about the industry and have much more confidence. The case studies of many of my heroes were fascinating and made me feel like I did have a chance after all. I also have a much clearer idea how the wildlife film-making business works and how professional movies are made. I had no idea how many different people and jobs were involved in film-making and this book covers them all. This is the only book on this topic ever written - so if you want to work in wildlife film-making you can't really do without it. ... Read more

6. Cross-Cultural Filmmaking: A Handbook for Making Documentary and Ethnographic Films and Videos
by Ilisa Barbash, Lucien Taylor
Paperback: 555 Pages (1997-11-03)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$32.11
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0520087607
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Addressing the concerns of anthropologists, this extraordinary handbook covers the practical, technical, and theoretical aspects of filming information never before assembled in one place. The book is filled with useful illustrations and revealing photographs of filmmakers in action and covers documentary and ethnographic filmmaking of all kinds. 56 photos. 24 line illus. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Resource for Documentarians
Although this book is geared toward professional, experienced filmmakers,film students or aspiring documentarians will learn from this text, aswell. The book has thoughtful details, descriptive paragraphs, and helpfuladvice on how to create effective "ethnographic films." Butdespite this focus, the book's guidelines can be applied to any kind ofdocumentary project. It's also simply a good read. ... Read more

7. Michael Caine - Acting in Film: An Actor's Take on Movie Making (The Applause Acting Series) Revised Expanded Edition
by Caine
Paperback: 168 Pages (2000-02-01)
list price: US$16.99 -- used & new: US$10.14
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1557832773
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
A master actor who's appeared in an enormous number of films, starring with everyone from Nicholson to Kermit the Frog, Michael Caine is uniquely qualified to provide his view of making movies. This new revised and expanded edition features great photos throughout, with chapters on: Preparation, In Front of the Camera - Before You Shoot, The Take, Characters, Directors, On Being a Star, and much more."Remarkable material ... A treasure ... I'm not going to be looking at performances quite the same way ... FASCINATING!"- Gene Siskel ... Read more

Customer Reviews (39)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wish I had read this book when I first arrived in Los Angeles.
This is a terrific book that is more about the business of acting than revealing any kind of technique for the actor's performance -- but it's a great book that I have highly recommended to anyone interested in an acting career. It's obvious to me that one of the reasons that Michael Caine works so much is that he has an unparalleled work ethic. It's apparent that he is a true soldier for the production company that hires him. What producer wouldn't want to hire Michael Caine after reading his book?
I wish I had read this book when I first arrived in Los Angeles to become an actor. It would have saved me a lot of problems, a lot of migraine headaches, and a lot of grief generated through trial and error (mostly error).

Jesse Vint

author of "A Film Actor's Handbook"

It is a wonderful acting class.Especially good for people with training in theatre and are starting to act on the camera.
I think this is a must have for an actor.
Michael Caine is not only a great actor; also he is a wonderful teacher.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good book for aspiring actors
A very entertaining, short, helpful, addictive read. I bought this on a whim, and I'm pretty sure it's one of the few (if not the only) successful blind book purchase(s) I've made (Da Vinci Code, anyone? blegh). I read it straight through from start to finish, and will probably reference back to it in the future. Whether you are an actor or just interested, this book is great, from a great. I gotta say, Michael Caine is pretty extraordinary and consistent. Then again, I suppose he could have written a pamphlet on hard drive installation and it would be every bit as truthful, direct, and easy to read. Michael Caine knows the film business, he knows what he is talking about. I learned so much from reading his book. This is the type of book that I could continue to read and discover great treasures each time.

5-0 out of 5 stars As an Acting Coach this IS the #1 tool
Michael Caine gives the truth about acting and the tools to practice your technique that work 100% of the time. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to remove anything false about the "how to's" in performing. I have an entire collection of books and have written two. This by far is simply the best...with no stoppers on being a success.

5-0 out of 5 stars great read
This is a great read and has lots of info for both the working and hopeful actor.If you're serious about the craft, read this book.

Mr. Caine's anectdotes and advice is both useable and enjoyable.I had put his advice into practice days before filming an episode.While on set, his words rang true countless times, and made the days shoot far more productive to say the least.

This book sits among my favorites, along side Moss' "Intent to live".

... Read more

8. The Eye Is Quicker: Film Editing: Making a Good Film Better
by Richard D Pepperman
Paperback: 350 Pages (2004-03-25)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$14.09
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0941188841
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

The most comprehensive book on the principles, methods, and strategies vital to the creative art of film editing.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential Book for Editors
This book won't be the last book you have to read on editing, but it is one of the ones that gives practical advice and sound explanations to what works and why.Definitely worth a read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good, but could be more clear
This book is good, and there are a lot of ideas that were new to me as an aspiring editor.The only negative comment I would make is that some of the examples described were unclear to me.There are storyboards, which help, but still left me wondering about some things at times.

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely helpful for everyone who wants to edit a film
An excellent book for everybody who wants to edit a film, either a professional or a student if a Film School. Written in a simple way and with lots of easily understood examples.

3-0 out of 5 stars A little grandoise, not the first book you should read
I may be spoiled from reading other editing books (i.e Murch etc.) but from the high brow tone of this book, I expected the author to have a much more impressive film background.There are good bits mixed in there which is why I gave it three stars, but you have to wade through an apparently unedited and not fully developed mess to get there(my opinion).This is particularly ironic in a book that is supposed to show you how to seemlessly integrate something.Read this book because you have to for the few essential concepts that it does bring across, but I bet you won't enjoy it.It appears as a series of half formed lesson plans.I found it a very taxing read and should be read as a last of a series of editing books not only for comprehension but so you are not discouraged from the field altogether.Perhaps another edition with a coauthor and an editor would be in order.Also, too long by half.Again you should read this book, but maybe try and borrow it from somebody.

5-0 out of 5 stars Maybe the best...
Many books are written on filmmaking, yet far too few are written by those who can bridge the gap between theory and application.In this book, you get both.

Anyone who does not appreciate the INVALUABLE education that this book is, simply does not have enough experience with editing to understand the value of the insight.

As a professional filmmaker, I nearly butchered my first feature, only to ressurrect it by applying what I learned in this book.The author references many films I had not seen, but the lessons were clear, and the illustrations more than clarify the cut points he is referencing.

This book is written by an editor, for filmmakers, with the lessons being most profound to someone who can nod there head, and say, "yes, I too have experienced that challenge, and / or made that mistake."

This book is not formulaic but an in-depth look at the principles of not only good editing, but good story-telling from the perspective of the editor.It is the principles and techniques learned in this book that allow the reader to come away with an arsenal of tools and check-points.When you are stuck and frustrated, you have to understand good fundamentals, and be able to check your work against those principles.Without an understanding of these principles, a filmaker is left with only instincts, opinions, and guess-work.OR, even worse, become reduced to chasing his/her tail in a vain attempt to make a film that pleases people.

If you are a filmmaker looking to learn the science of good editing, then this book is for you.Once you learn the science, the art is up to you.

Mike Reilly ... Read more

9. Basics Film-making: The Language of Film
by John Marland, Robert Edgar-Hunt, Steven Rawle
Paperback: 184 Pages (2010-05-25)
list price: US$32.95 -- used & new: US$19.44
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 2940411271
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Basics Film-Making: The Language of Film explores the means by which film communicates meaning to its audience. Despite the fact that most films are a mosaic of fractured images and fragmented narratives, we have little problem piecing them together into a complete, meaningful sequence. The average audience is capable of following the most labyrinthine plots, feeling genuine emotion for the most improbable characters, and believing that their worlds continue to exist even after the film has ended.

This book examines how films communicate by considering the stories they tell, the sign systems they deploy, the interpretive contexts the viewer is invited to place them in, and the range of aesthetic elements that contribute to the cinematic image. Each chapter concludes with a case study in which key ideas are seen in context within a particular film, or a specific scene.  

Basics Film-Making: The Language of Film presents complex ideas in a clear and straightforward style, enabling you to apply these ideas to your own analysis or film-making.

Other titles included in the Basics Film-Making series include: ProducingScreenwriting and Directing Fiction

... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars THE first and only textbook for an intro to filmmaking...
As a chair and instructor for a four-year BFA filmmaking program, it has been a long, yet worthwhile wait for this publication from AVA to come along. This book is an essential to any first year or introduction to filmmaking course and I cannot praise it more for the accessibility, readability and outright straightforward presentation contained therein. If you are in my position, then what is missing in a time when students expect a "quick fix," a one-time class that will make them the next, great director? Of course, a book that can present them with the foundation of "reading film" and essential cinema language. This book is it, no kidding. you won't be disappointed!

J. Carlos Peinado
Chair, New Media Arts
The Institute of American Indian Arts

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Read!
What a read! After reading other titles in the AVA Basics Film-making series and The Fundamentals of Film Making I picked up this title, and I was really pleased I did. This is a great read for anyone studying or interested in film-making or media. The book considers how film-makers use different methods and themes to construct meaning. The content is interesting yet easy to follow, with really useful discussion questions included.

The AVA Basics are great because the case studies are always clearly displayed, explained and relevant to the content of the text - something which is so rarely the case in art and film books. This title does not disappoint as the case studies are fantastic. I found that I followed up on a lot of examples which I found interesting - and this was doable thanks to the excellent referencing and the glossary at the end.

I also really enjoyed watching the films on the publisher's website which were included as case studies for discussion. I often feel I'm paying a premium price for film books which include a CD or DVD, and I usually end up misplacing them or damaging them, so this was great. Accessing them on the website means I can return to them whenever I like, rather than tracking down my DVD - although maybe that's just me! ... Read more

10. Westerns: Making the Man in Fiction and Film
by Lee Clark Mitchell
Paperback: 348 Pages (1998-05-08)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$14.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0226532356
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Ranging from the novels of James Fenimore Cooper to Louis L'Amour, and from classic films like Stagecoach to spaghetti Westerns like A Fistful of Dollars, Mitchell shows how Westerns helped assuage a series of crises in American culture. This landmark study shows that the Western owes its perennial appeal not to unchanging conventions but to the deftness with which it responds to the obsessions and fears of its audience. And no obsession, Lee Mitchell argues, has figured more prominently in the Western than what it means to be a man.

"Elegantly written. . . . provocative . . . characterized by [Mitchell's] own tendency to shoot from the hip."—J. Hoberman, London Review of Books

"[Mitchell's] book would be worth reading just for the way he relates Benjamin Spock's Baby and Child to the postwar Western."—The Observer

"Integrating a careful handling of historical context with a keen eye for textual nuances, Mitchell reconstructs the Western's aesthetic tradition of the 19th century."—Aaron M. Wehner, San Francisco Review
... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Body Languages
Excellent book that relates a very specific and particualr genre like the western with a very wide source of refernces, from baby care to painting. It has a very good historical background that helps understand the obsession of gender and sex in the western genre.I particularly enjoyed the chapter where the author talks about Leone's living dead, it seems like if Jim Jarmusch had read it carefully for his "dead man". ... Read more

11. The Reel Truth: Everything You Didn't Know You Need to Know About Making an Independent Film
by Reed Martin
Paperback: 544 Pages (2009-04-28)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$15.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0571211038
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Did you know that most of the biggest indie filmmakers, screenwriters, and producers working today each made the same avoidable mistakes early on in their careers?

The Reel Truth details the pitfalls, snares, and roadblocks that aspiring filmmakers encounter. Reed Martin interviewed more than one hundred luminaries from the independent film world to discuss the near misses that almost derailed their first and second films and identify the close shaves that could have cut their careers short. Other books may tell you the best way to make your independent film or online short, but no other book describes so candidly how to spot and avoid such issues and obstacles as equipment problems, shooting-day snafus, postproduction myths, theatrical distribution deal breakers, and dozens of other commonly made missteps, including the top fifty mistakes every filmmaker makes.

From personal experience and his years as a freelance reporter covering independent film for USA Today and Filmmaker magazine, Martin uncovers the truth about the risks and potential rewards that go with chasing celluloid glory. Whether you’re writing a screenplay, looking for financing, about to start shooting, or thinking about investing time and money (or someone else’s money) in an independent film, The Reel Truth is a must-read.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (32)

5-0 out of 5 stars Priceless
Reed Martin's book is like a glass of cold water in the face."The Reel Truth" is exactly what its title states: the truth about what happens when a film is made or a script is written.And while the truth may not be pretty, it's worth its weight in gold.The book is so well written it reads like a confessional and I couldn't put it down.I've been in and out of the business for thirty years and have seen many of the things Reed writes about firsthand.One thing I hadn't experienced was having a script ripped off.That is the most eye-opening part of this book.I'll tell you one thing.After reading about pitch festivals and how they are nothing more than a license to steal ideas, I'll NEVER, EVER participate in one.I think this book is a MUST READ for anyone even thinking about getting into the film business.Excellent book!

5-0 out of 5 stars A gem of wisdom on every page
This book is a great read. Full of wisdom, insight and wonderful anecdotes, I would highly recommend this book to any starting out filmmaker.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well Written & Engaging
THE REEL TRUTH is a real good read. I love books about the business and any of them that can give you real insight into the process and the battles is invaluable for anyone who wants to get into filmmaking - whether you are an actor, writer, director, editor, etc. Knowledge is Power and that is never more true than in show business. Martin has pulled together a terrific book - full of interviews with fascinating filmmakers (Herzog, Payne, etc.)that share war stories that'll make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.It's well written, engaging and funny. You will really feel like you paid a ton of money to attend a seminar on the ins and outs of Indie Films - but what you've really done is purchased this informative and wonderful book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A superbly insightful book about the entire film universe.
These days it seems nearly everyone and his brother/sister has written a book about filmmaking, film production, screenwriting, selling your script, some combination thereof or all of the above. As a fledgling filmmaker, I have read dozens of those in the last several years, and I can declare with genuine conviction that Reed Martin's book, The Reel Truth, is one of the best books about filmamking that I have ever encountered from any era, period.
It's a knock-out and it puts to shame a great many of it's competitors. Actually, it lays waste to most of them. As the subtitle suggests, his book fills in the holes in one's film knowledge that many don't realize even exist. That added element, and that approach, makes it a must for any serious student of the art and craft of cinema. It's a bold, fresh take on all things film-related.
His general knowledge is immense, and combined with his expertise in the nuts and bolts of filmmaking, he brings the reader right into the center of the "film universe", as it were. It's a fairly hefty tome at 516 pages, including the appendices, and it is densely packed with a copious amount of information, yet it reads with ease, due to Reed Martin's excellent prose. His writing is conversational, and it flows so well he is able to infuse a lot of detail without mucking up the central ideas involved.
In every area of film there is a vast amount to be learned and understood in order to be able to perform at a competent level. The Reel Truth provides the reader with just about every possible tool they would need to either get started and do it right, or to make up for things unlearned and do it better. Every tool except one: talent. Add a bit of that on your own and you're well on your way. FIVE STARS! A great gift for the cinephile in your life!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Advice, Great Read.
Martin's overview of the challenges filmmakers face in the current climate of independent productions offers essential advice for anyone practicing the craft today, but it's also a compelling read for all moviegoers interested in the story behind how cinema winds up (or doesn't wind up) on the big screen. It's a dangerous world out there, filled with endless contracts and festivals and policies that are tough to follow and often more trouble then they're worth. This book, with its up-to-date details, provides clear-headed insight into these necessary evils and puts it all into context with a logical flow. ... Read more

12. Daughters of the Dust: The Making of an African American Woman's Film
by Julie Dash
Paperback: 173 Pages (1992-11-01)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$8.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1565840305
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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In the winter of 1992, nearly one hundred years after motion pictures were invented, the first nationally distributed feature by an African American woman was released in the United States. The film tells the story of an African American sea-island family preparing to come to the mainland at the turn of the century. In her richly textured, highly visual, lyrical portrayal of the day of the departure, Julie Dash evokes the details of a persisting African culture and the tensions between tradition and assimilation. Daughters of the Dust: The Making of an African American Woman's Film, which includes Dash's complete screenplay, describes the story of her extraordinary sixteen-year struggle to complete the project. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars History from a different perspective.
This book is the companion to the movie Daughters of the Dust. Or the other way around. I have loved the moviw and the book since they both came out. By reading the book you get a deeper understanding of the struggle between old and new. The movie shows it as well, but the book allows you to spend more time on the specifice. I was glad I was able to find it again.

4-0 out of 5 stars a good book about a fascinating movie
Daughters of the Dust was a fascinating movie about the struggles of a female-headed, multigenerational family moving to the American mainland.It was made in fits and starts due to continual fundraising for the movie that Dash had to do.This book documents getting the movie made.It has a good section in which Dash and cultural critic bell hooks discuss the symbolisms in the film.Given that even Spike Lee has trouble raising money for his films, it is essential that incipient black filmmakers get advice on what they'r getting into.In that way, this book is an important first tool.Those majoring in film studies, feminist studies, or Afro-American studies will want to have this book. ... Read more

13. Wig Making and Styling: A Complete Guide for Theatre & Film
by Martha Ruskai, Allison Lowery
Paperback: 240 Pages (2010-03-25)
list price: US$49.95 -- used & new: US$38.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0240813200
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Top off that costume with the perfect accoutrement with this first real guide to creating and styling costume wigs. No longer will you need to comb through old references on hairstyles of different time periods, Wig Making and Styling contains everything you need to be a cut above, offering snippets on styling tools, hair types, wig making and measuring, coloring, cutting, and even creating beards and toupees. Other great features include:

-Versatile techniques to create all different historical hairstyles
-Tips on altering existing wigs and creating wigs from scratch
-Multiple approaches and solutions to solving wig-making problems and needs
-Information about the industry, including history and best practices

Full of inspirational and directive photographs, this book will groom anyone from novice to professional stylist into a skilled wig designer.

* inspire your artistic ability with lots of color examples and in-depth directions
* learn to work with wigs based on time periods specific to your production
* develop your skills with the only guide specifically for wigs and hair

... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful illustrations and detail
First off, I need to say that I am not a wig-making professional nor even a theater or film professional. I approach this book as a novice hobbyist. We have a big Halloween costume party every year, and I've been many times frustrated with the quality and styling of synthetic commerical wigs available for any specific period.

To that end, the part of this book that is most interesting to me are the chapters on "Fronting and Other Adaptations of Commercial Wigs".This has marvelous information and photographs on how to add a natural front hairline, natural back neck hairline, natural part, etc.Granted, it's still work, but even professionals have found that adapting a commercial wig may be the way to go.

The whole book is really wonderfully illustrated. It is so inspiring. The detail is great. For example, in the section on "fronting laces" (the base for the front hairline of the wig), you're not just given the different types of fronting lace available, you're told which is better for film (closups) or stage, for light or heavy wigs, which is flexible, tintable, strong. Brand names are given, which makes it easier to find what you need.

The sky is really the limit on wigs. Ruskai and Lowery have illustrations on wigs made from ribbon, nylon rope, felt, raffia, modelng clay. They cover full wigs, balding wigs, wolf wigs, samurai wigs, toupees, pull throughs (additions to existing hair). How to put on, take off, clean and store wigs of natural and synthetic hair.

How to measure the head (no, you can't do it on yourself!) and, more important, place the natural hairline and bone lines for eyebrows and facial hair, too. If you've worn commercial wigs, like me, you've undoubtedly been frustrated that your back neck hair is exposed. That's because a commercial wig has a rounded (generally elasticized) bottom, while your back neck hair is in a square or a W.

How to create a hairstyle from a photograph!The difference it makes to tie the knots in different directions when tying in the hair (called ventilating) - with photos to illustrate. I was fascinated to learn that you must never make a wig from a pile of hair. The roots have ridges and if you mix them up so that a ridge apears at the bottom of the flowing locks, you'll end up with a tangle when the ridges catch on each other.

To do all this right is not a little accomplishment. I laughed out loud when I read this in the directions for ventilating:"Do not be discouraged if the knot is not tied properly the first few dozen times you try it."The first FEW DOZEN times!I defintely don't have the patience to make a wig from scratch, but I am itching to use this book on my next adaptation.

I have a full synthetic wig and I want to add rubber snakes for Medusa without the snakes drooping like spaghetti or the heavy wig falling off down my back. This is a small step in wig-making, but this book has given me the tools and inspiration to pull it off magnificently, if I do say so (prophetically, I hope) myself.

5-0 out of 5 stars All i Ever wanted
This book is all i ever wanted. It has everything i need to start making Wigs.
Just try to balance this book off with some form of video reference. Maybe videos on Youtube.
It'll get your ventilating in no time. Great book!

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting and Helpful read
I thought I wouldn't be able understand a lot of the things the author spoke about, but I was pleasantly surprised to read very careful instructions along with great pictures of step by step how to's in order to create great effects for the hair for film and theater.

The book didn't stop of just old styles or current styles, but took it one step forward with a touch of sci-fi and mystical as well. I really enjoyed the playground the book offered me in terms of what i could do and how far I could take my imagination without breaking the bank.

My teen daughter was even able to pick this up and come up with great ideas for costumes and stuff that even she could do simply.

Whether this is for amateurs or advance, I highly recommend this book to have as a resource in your library for creating great wig and styling for the theater and film effects.

4-0 out of 5 stars Thorough and Detailed
This is a really excellent book for those interested in the art of wig-making and styling. It covers everything you need to know about creating your own wigs from scratch, cleaning and caring for them, styling them, and wearing them. The target reader is someone going into theater or film costuming, but the book is easy enough to understand that it would be useful to anyone seriously interested in wig-making, even as a hobby. Be aware that it is quite thorough and detailed in the subject. Basically, it's an educational textbook, but it is presented in a way that's easy to read, and there are plenty of photographs to illustrate the instructions, so the layman should be able to catch on fairly quickly.

I wanted this book because I indulge in the hobby of historic costuming, and my own hair is too short and modern for most historic periods. Sadly, I found that true wig-making is going to be too extensive, exhausting, and expensive for me to bother with, however I did learn a few things about partial wigs and hairpieces that I can use in my hobby.

The only deficit I found is that it's rather lacking in the styling department. It tells you HOW to style (for example, start at the front and work your way back) but I was dearly hoping for some actual step-by-step instructions, such as "How to Make an 18th Century Pouf" or "How to Make a Victorian Updo". Instructions like these were absent, and the few photos of historic hairstyles were minuscule. If that's what you're hoping for, you'll need to look elsewhere, as will I. However, if you simply want to learn how to create wigs, this book will surely teach you all you want to know.

5-0 out of 5 stars Informative and Enlightening!
Though mainly geared toward those who create wigs, this text will be of interest to anyone in the film or theater industry who want to better appreciate this art.

While I have always admired wigs in period-pieces (like Coppola's Marie Antoinette or Frears' Dangerous Liaisons), I never really understood the devotion required to create one (likewise, I never even considered that wigs extend beyond period-pieces! So naive!) In the most minute-but-necessary details, this text illustrates the extraordinary skill and talent required of a wig artist. And, if you are entirely new to this topic, Chapter One includes an extensive glossary with illustrations. Therefore, those with little expertise in this specialized area can easily follow along. (A very welcome and inclusive move on behalf of the author. Thank you!)

The illustrations and photos are ample (nearly consuming half the book ...which is entirely appropriate for the visual nature of the subject matter). Moreover, the examples are in full color and extremely helpful. And, as with most Focal Press texts, the paper stock is extremely thick and will endure many, many years of use.

What may surprise the reader is the attention granted to facial hair. Mustaches and beards are thoroughly addressed. Similarly, more unexpected topics are discussed. A wolf wig (from a production of Sleeping Beauty) and a Samurai wig showcase the range of these artists (105, 108). There is also text that focuses on a variety braids (standard, French, reverse French, rope, and herringbone) and dreadlocks. Additionally, an entire chapter is devoted to "Hair That Isn't Hair: Wigs Made From Other Materials." This chapter shows the innovation involved in this field. Prepare to be dazzled.

The bottom-line: you do not have to be a wig-maker to enjoy this book. If you always wanted a better understanding of this art, buy this amazing, thorough book! ... Read more

14. Shadows, Specters, Shards: Making History in Avant-Garde Film
by Jeffrey Skoller
Paperback: 264 Pages (2005-08-14)
list price: US$26.00 -- used & new: US$22.23
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 081664232X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Avant-garde films are often dismissed as obscure or disconnected from the realities of social and political history.Jeffrey Skoller challenges this myth, arguing that avant-garde films more accurately display the complex interplay between past events and our experience of the present than conventional documentaries and historical films. Shadows, Specters, Shards examines a group of experimental films, including work by Eleanor Antin, Ernie Gehr, and Jean-Luc Godard, that take up historical events such as the Holocaust, Latin American independence struggles, and urban politics. Identifying a cinema of evocation rather than representation, these films call attention to the unrepresentable aspects of history that profoundly impact the experience of everyday life.Making use of the critical theories of Walter Benjamin and Gilles Deleuze, among others, Skoller analyzes various narrative strategies - allegory, sideshadowing, testimony, and multiple temporalities - that uncover competing perspectives and gaps in historical knowledge often ignored in conventional film.In his discussion of avant-garde film of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, Skoller reveals how a nuanced understanding of the past is inextricably linked to the artistry of image making and storytelling.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Thinking about Avant-garde Film
I've been reading film criticism for two decades, from my first experiences with Bordwell `s film histories to Laura Mulvey's treatise on visual pleasure to the densely layered cinematic revelations of Deleuze.But it wasn't until I read Jeffrey Skoller's Shadows, Specters and Shards that I discovered the kind of lively, intellectually rigorous observations of a "film thinker" who allowed his adventurous imagination to tackle the sadly undervalued world of avant-garde film.As a teacher of film production and studies, I was thrilled to discover this erudite series of essays which have provided my New York University film students with a remarkable introduction to the works of contemporary experimental film artists. By describing and then interpreting their aesthetic processes, Skoller guides his reader through the political and historical dimensions of works by such illustrious makers as Ernie Gehr, Craig Baldwin, Leandro Katz, Dan Eisenberg and Zoe Beloff. If you are lucky enough to have seen these brilliant works of filmmaking, then you will find that Skoller's engaged observations will enhance your initial understanding.If you have not yet had this viewing opportunity, don't worry!Skoller provides such a vivid sound/image recounting in his analysis that your vicarious experience will prove surprisingly rewarding!

5-0 out of 5 stars innovative techniques in alternate films portraying history
The filmmaker and associate professor of new media at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago sees that despite being "unapprehendable" though being "often sensed," the shadows, specters, and shards of the title "are nevertheless part of the energy of the past and exert themselves as a force on the present." It is the avante-garde filmmakers rather than the mainstream or conventional ones relying on narration, chronology, and cultural symbols who tap into such "unseen forces" in their films to create an "awareness of other temporalities in which linear chronologies are called into question in favor of other temporal structures such as simultaneity and virtuality." This not only better reflects the way individuals and societies are aware of history, but also reflects the innumerable heterogeneous incidents, events, personalities, tendencies, etc. which make for history and have little coherence. Skoller goes beyond analysis of the shards, etc., as characteristics of postmodern culture; and as these have often been used by writers and artists to reflect this culture or to comment on or in some cases criticize it. Skoller puts these characteristics in a useful and in some respects productive light by examining them as techniques rather than simply effects. His material is not laudatory, however; nor does it especially commend the techniques; for history does not lend itself to stable definition or complete comprehension by means of any techniques. The author is concerned mainly with noting that the shadows, specters, and shards despite their elusiveness, incompleteness, and even insubstantiality are better suited to not only recording but also conveying history. The material of the book is in large measure illustration of this central point by considering how movies by leading and influential avant-garde filmmakers such as Jean-Luc Godard, Daniel Eisenberg, Ken Jacobs, and Patricio Guzman have dealt with historical issues and material even though this has not been widely recognized or accepted. ... Read more

15. Documentary Storytelling, Second Edition: Making Stronger and More Dramatic Nonfiction Films
by Sheila Curran Bernard
Paperback: 400 Pages (2007-02-08)
list price: US$31.95 -- used & new: US$15.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0240808754
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Documentary Storytelling offers a unique in-depth look at story and structure as applied not to Hollywood fiction, but to films and videos based on factual material and the drama of real life. With the growing popularity of documentaries in today's global media marketplace, demand for powerful and memorable storytelling has never been greater. This practical guide offers advice for every stage of production, from research and proposal writing to shooting and editing, and applies it to diverse subjects and film styles, from vérité and personal narrative to archival histories and more.

Filled with real-world examples drawn from the author's career and the experiences of some of today's top documentarians, Documentary Storytelling includes special interview chapters with Ric Burns, Jon Else, Nick Fraser, Susan Froemke, Sam Pollard, Onyekachi Wambu and other film professionals. This second edition has been brought up to date with a more international focus, a look at lower-budget independent filmmaking, and consideration of newer films including Super Size Me, Murderball, So Much So Fast, and When the Levees Broke.

* Storytelling techniques are one of the most powerful tools in the documentary filmmaker's arsenal--learn how to harness them with this book
* Top documentary filmmakers provide their storytelling strategies
* Covers a wide range of documentary styles ... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

2-0 out of 5 stars Documentary Storytelling
Wish the book was a little more hands on and practical. sometimes found the book too intense for the new-be documentarian.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent primer on documentary storytelling, but weak on ethics
This is an impressive discourse on the art of storytelling in the documentary film form.Bernard writes as if she were in the front of a room speaking informally with a group of earnest students. Her approach is granular: she tackles each of the essentials in turn: story basics, approach, structure, manipulating time and then provides some case studies to sum up her initial points. Next she moves into research, casting (an all too often overlooked aspect of documentary storytelling), pitching and proposal writing and the hows and whys of outlines, treatments and scripts. Finally, she moves into more general advice on shooting, editing, writing narration and voice-over and provides a checklist for storytelling. All very useful information, packaged in a very comfortable form.

Overall, this is an excellent book, but it leaves a bit troubled in that it is light in advice on ethics, though some of the examples given are telling. Documentaries have long been a favored form of the left-wing for propagandistic purposes. Many times, documentaries expose genuine social evils. Unfortunately, all too often they just make things up. Think of the Alar scare some years back. Think of Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" which a British court found to contain untruths and misstatements. In short, documentary storytelling should be honest even when promoting a particular point of view. This makes the creative process much more difficult, of course, and doesn't lend itself to provoking fear and controversy. Essentially Bernard devotes two pages to ethics under the heading of "Documentary or Diatribe?" In my opinion, not only is it not enough, but Bernard seems to me to be taking a "wink wink, nudge nudge" stance on the issue.

Bu the reality is that Bernard is not writing a text on the ethics of the documentary film. She is writing a text on storytelling in the documentary and this goal she does extremely well in achieving.


4-0 out of 5 stars Lots of information - worth a second read
By the time I finished the book, which ends with detailed interviews with successful documentary makers, I had forgotten the details of the first half of the book.I think this is more due to the large amount of information for someone to absorb than it is to any deficiency in communication.I'll be reading this book again soon.

5-0 out of 5 stars great text
I am thoroughly impressed with Ms. Bernard's book and I intend to use it to teach my Documentary Filmmaking course this fall. It is rare to find a book so full of wisdom and so well-written. The emphasis on storytelling rather than production how-to is in line with the way I intend to teach. Thanks for this gem.

5-0 out of 5 stars Easy read
Coming from someone with little to no experience with documentaries, this book seems to fly by as a clear and concise "how-to" book for documentarians.The author's many examples were very helpful. ... Read more

16. Basics Film-Making: Producing
by Charlotte Worthington
Paperback: 176 Pages (2009-01-06)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$18.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 2940373574
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Basics Film-Making: Producing, the first in the new film-making series from AVA, helps emerging producers understand and manage the production process from development to post-production and distribution. What is the role of the producer? What are the relationships between the producer and the other members of the production team? Basics Film-Making: Producing explores these questions and many more as well as presenting case studies of producers from the UK television industry, who reveal the day-to-day realities of their jobs and the responsibilities they hold. Copyright, production management, and multiplatform delivery are also covered, making this the complete introduction to an exciting and challenging field.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Valuable information in a compact book - Review written by J Rahman
The book is laid out in an easy to understand way. There are a number of sections which you can refer to depending on what you intend to produce: a film, documentary etc. It's packed with information eg. gives definitions on the different industry roles, talks about high profile people in the industry including actors and directors, as well as tips for the inexperienced on each stage of the production process. There are also many photographs including screenshots from film editing software, as well as links to helpful websites. I think it's a very useful book for any budding producer.


5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
What a book - great content combined with a well structured layout and useful images! The content simplifies what is a complex job; even those new to film-making can completely understand the theory and practicality behind the financial and scheduling of production. The layout and images, combined with the content, left me feeling relaxed and confident with the subject. I felt like I was finishing this book with a wealth of knowledge and understanding; this gave me a lot of confidence.

There were two elements which really impressed me about this title. I really enjoyed reading the case studies of producers such as Andrew Eaton, who produced amongst others, The Road to Guantanamo. I found these experiences insightful and interesting. I felt truly inspired about film-making after reading these accounts. Secondly, I found the way the author combined dealing with financial and managerial aspects of being producer impressive; it is clearly a tough but rewarding role and for someone to consider the practicalities of it, as they do in this text, is refreshing. If you are interested in film-making and/or a media/film student this is an essential read. ... Read more

17. Making Your Film for Less Outside the U. S.
by Mark DeWayne
Paperback: 272 Pages (2002-03-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$1.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1581152159
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Now every filmmaker can make the film of his or her dreams for less money (and with more artistic control), thanks to the sound advice in this essential step-by-step guide to producing and distributing films overseas. One-on-one interviews with nine industry professionals reveal the latest information on out-of-country marketing trends, writing for overseas production, new digital film and video techniques, and much more. Also featured is a sample budget for an overseas shoot, as well as a valuable overview of production costs among the US and Canada, Mexico, England, France, the Philippine Islands, Australia, Thailand, and many other top locations. For any director, producer, screenwriter, or filmmaker who wants to turn a film project into a reality, Making Your Film for Less Outside the U.S. is the perfect, hands-on guide! ... Read more

18. The Making of Fantastic Mr. Fox: A Film by Wes Anderson Based on the Book by Roald Dahl
by Wes Anderson
Hardcover: 192 Pages (2009-11-03)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$21.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0847833542
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Originally published in 1970, Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox tells the story of the Fox Family.After twelve years, the Fox Family’s quiet home life proves too much for Mr. Fox’s natural animal instincts.When his young nephew arrives, Mr. Fox slips back into his old ways as a smart bird thief and, in doing so, endangers not only his beloved family, but the whole animal community as well.In Fall 2009, audiences will cheer as award-winning director Wes Anderson (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Darjeeling Limited) brings us his take on the tale: a blockbuster stop-motion animation film shot entirely in high definition. Starring the voice talents of George Clooney (Michael Clayton), Meryl Streep (Doubt), Bill Murray (Lost in Translation), and Jason Schwartzman (Marie Antoinette), the movie is sure to please fans of the original story as well as enchant new generations.Fantastic Mr. Fox: The Making of the Motion Picture is a family-friendly behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the film.Filled with photos, script pages, storyboards, and interviews with cast and crew, this book is a delightful and intriguing peek at the magic that happens as the filmmakers bring to life one of children’s literature’s most beloved characters: the outrageous, audacious, Fantastic Mr. Fox. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
The package arrived two days after ordering, a major plus.

The Making of Fantastic Mr. Fox has fantastic images of the construction, the drawing, and writing process of the film, along with an interview with the film's director, Wes Anderson.

Excellent buy for those who are a fan of the film Fantastic Mr. Fox, or those who wish to see the process of making a stop-motion film. 5 Stars!

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Interesting
First off, I love every part of the movie and I really like seeing how it was made. This book has a lot of great behind the scenes pictures and concept drawings. The pictures themselves are of pretty good quality. There are a couple of fuzzy pictures, but the vast majority are great. The drawings and paintings by Turlo are awe-inspiring and are a great addition. The text in the book is mostly comprised of general interviews about the movie and the book. I would have liked some interviews with the animators, modelers or designers showing how they made the puppets, animated them, or the artistic choices that were made. Showing pictures of armatures, but having text discussing why a certain voice was chosen makes the pictures and text seem disjointed. This isn't a major complaint though, as the pictures and interviews are interesting enough. If you are fanatical about this movie like I am, then you should certainly buy this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb
To be honest, I haven't read many of the words in this book, so I'm not rating it on how well written it is. However, I have spent hours looking at the detailed pictures of the amazing puppets, costumes, props, sets, script excerpts, storyboards, and photos of the artists and their tools. The book is well laid out, and is presented on fantastic stock, as I expected from a Rizzoli book. The book itself appears to have been miniaturized from a larger format, as the text seems oddly small, but I like that aspect of it tho, as it makes it seem ever more precious. It's very inspirational, and one of my favorite 'Art of' animation books.

5-0 out of 5 stars If you like the movie or the medium...
To go off what another reviewer said, this book may not be for everyone.However, if you:

--Like the movie
--Like the book
--Like Roald Dahl
--Like stop-motion film

You will enjoy this book.At almost 200 pages, it will take you some time just to look at all the images and read the captions - they have packed a lot into the pages.It is obvious a lot of time and effort went into making this book (more than can be said about similar books which are light on content).There are also a handful of interviews which are interesting as well.

Downsides?This is a 'making of' book, and there was almost no content talking about how they made the movie (other than what was mentioned in the interviews).I do wish there was more content describing how the scenery, characters, etc. were made - though these can be found in online videos (and almost certainly will be included with the extras with the movie).Even with this factored in, if you fit the criteria above, you will love this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Mr. Fox book is "Fantastic"!
My son, Alex, is a young film maker and is smitten with this movie and has seen it 6 times.

This book is wonderful, beyond expectations, and is a great journey into the making of the film and the imaginations and talents of Wes Anderson and all those great artists who worked on the film. The wonderful photography and artists sketches add to the feast. ... Read more

19. Disney's Aladdin: The Making of an Animated Film
by John Culhane
 Paperback: 128 Pages (1993-09-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$23.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 156282757X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Must have for any Disney collector
"Disney's Aladdin: The Making of an Animated Film" consists of 7 chapters each features a main character from the film and each chapter handles a part of the production of the film. Through out the book you find sketches, frames, photos of the crew, storyboards etc, etc. Until and after the dvd is out in 2004 this book is the best source for detailed information on the production of this Disney masterpiece.

4-0 out of 5 stars Awesome content and layout!
The book is light and easy to carry!That's what I love about it first.But then this is more of a book explaining the progress and experiences of the film production team.It has good interviews on great animators like Andreas Deja, Glen Keane, and many more.It goes in detail of how animators cooperate with their actress/actors, designers, and even business folks (yes, those whom actually owns Disney, ahem.... Peter Schneider).What really bugs me is the absence of concept art and development sketches.It appears on several pages of the book, but not enough compare to "The Art of..." books.This is a great book to get for any Disney or animation fan, but if you want reference and simply....to get inspired by awesome Disney art--you may think otherwise.Do check it out before you purchase it, but it is a decent book!

5-0 out of 5 stars A well thought out, well-written, well-concieved work
This book is not only excellent for any rabid Aladdin fan, any Disney-enthusiast will appriciate the colorful, yet simple, layouts, and the organization of the book itself. Each chapter centera around one particular aspect of animated feature-making (such as pre-production, character design, color scheeming, etc.) and uses a main character as an example for each process. A truly excellent find.

--a bit of trivia: At the time "Aladdin" was being promoted, Robin Williams was working on another movie called "Toys," and didn't want to be promoting "Aladdin" as a priority over his other movie--since he had commited to the Disney project second. As a result, Robin Williams is not named once in the entire book! Instead, it used the phrases, "The Genie voice."

2-0 out of 5 stars Lack of respect for the actor who carried such a good movie
I collect the hyperion 'the art of' series conceirning the disney movies (and dreamworks)and found it terribly annoying tha author never mentions Robin Williams throughout the whole book. Unbelievable when you consider the impact his voice and humor has on the film. I really expected more info on his involvement. Compared to other making-of-books this has the least attractive lay-out and too much info on the historie of the artists. (it is also one of the smallest). Maybe my hopes were just a bit too high.

1-0 out of 5 stars Very poorly structured book
I enjoyed the film very much, and the images in the book are beautifully reproduced.It's a shame there seems to be no coherant structure to the book.The writing is extremely poor, and not once do the images and textrefer to each other in any semblence of organization. ... Read more

20. John Wayne's the Alamo: The Making of the Epic Film
by Donald Clark, Christopher P. Andersen
Paperback: 172 Pages (1995-03)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$24.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0806516259
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible Movie..incredible Book
This is a comprehensive and amazing inside look at John Wayne's greatestdream...to recreate on film the TRUE story of one of the most inspiringevents in US History. The book explains how the Duke spent 14 yearspreparing for this film and an equal number of years working to pay theexpenses this movie cost him PERSONALLY. He believed in this project somuch that he risked EVERYTHING putting it on film....sparing NOEXPENSE...in time, effort and money. The book is packed with glossy colorand b&w pictures....interviews, and background information about EVERYaspect of this great motion picture....The Alamo.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excelent insight into the making of John Wayne's epic film.
This is one of the greatest books concerning the making of Alamo movies. Full of rare pictures and interesting stories behind the making of the epic film. This is one you won't want to pass up ... Read more

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