Most books about film production assume that you have an idea and a script to shoot. Most screenwriting books are geared to how to write a script that you can sell to Hollywood (as though the authors of these books had the slightest clue) and do not take into consideration that you might be shooting the script yourself, possibly with your own money. This book is about how to write a script properly that you can rationally shoot, how to shoot it, how to finish it, how to sell it and also how to get it shown. ... Read more
Customer Reviews (6)
Great advise a must read for film makers
Josh Beck has a down to earth realistic style to his writing. He doesn't fill you with crap, about how easy it is to make a movie. This is the Third book I've read on film making. His writing style is of the true artist. He's honest and tells you straight up, what it actually takes to make a movie. I've read A Rebel with out a crew first. Which was a fun read, but it didn't say how to make a movie. Josh, gives real advise and his bit on how to deal with actors is great. He has a direct approach to making movies and follows some very strict guidelines about budgeting. Which makes sense if you're paying for your own movie. He covers vast amounts of information in his book. He covers editing, cost of film, production, post production and much more. He even was nice enough to explain what the job titles are and who does what and why. But he get angry if you even mention the kelvin scale. Telling us to go look it up. A paragraph could have covered that. But he's right look it up. It's complicated. Or take my approach purchase a reader and plug the numbers in. Saves you time and hassle. Or check it out on wikipedia.
"The kelvin is often used in the measure of the color temperature of light sources. Color temperature is based upon the principle that a black body radiator emits light whose color depends on the temperature of the radiator. Black bodies with temperatures below about 4000 K appear reddish whereas those above about 7500 K appear bluish. Color temperature is important in the fields of image projection and photography where a color temperature of approximately 5600 K is required to match "daylight" film emulsions. In astronomy, the stellar classification of stars and their place on the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram are based, in part, upon their surface temperature, known as effective temperature. The photosphere of the Sun, for instance, has an effective temperature of 5778 K."- wikipedia
He uses his own movies as examples and a few others. Make sure to rent his movies so you understand what he is talking about. But even if you don't watch his movies it's still easy to understand what he is talking about when it comes to transitions and editing techniques. Though, this book may discourage a few people from going into the movie business; since the cost of film is outrageous. About 100 grand for a 90 min movie. The book felt a little dated since he didn't cover anything about new technology such as how most studios use final cut pro and convert their film to digital. But I do believe he is correct in stating that shooting on film is higher quality than any digital camera you might posses. He explains the types of film for camera and the cost and the trouble of not using the best film available. Overall, its a good book to purchase if you want a real taste of what it takes to make a movie. I have never made a movie but would like to someday. So reading and thinking like Josh is the first step.
The quality of the paper and the book overall is poor. The paper is a gray and the ink was light. So if you have bad eyes it could be troublesome. The design on the book is clutter. The sketches in the book are fine, they get the message across, but could have been improved. At times the book can be a touch reminiscent on areas of people he didn't like or fired. But no names were mentioned and since this was his personal experience its only normals to have a few examples of people you hired don't perform. Though, I felt that how to fire someone wasn't necessary.
If you don't know anything about film or movies this is a must read. It will make you appreciate the art of film making and the hard work it takes to produce a quality movie. Thanks Josh for the book. I'll look forward to seeing your next movie.
Please forgive the writing errors. I'm not a professional writer.
not helpful, and almost impossible to read
From the little I could read, it's nothing I haven't seen in lots and lots of other books.This is a script.This is what "genre" means.This is an outline.Make up three acts and and ending, and there's your story.However, I couldn't really read most of the book, as evidently the publisher is also low-budget -- I've never seen such faint print, even in bright light I could hardly make it out, my eyes watered and my head hurt, I finally gave up and threw the book in the trash.So maybe I missed something.
It's got some good advice but so do a lot of other books
Okay so I bought it, read it, and well overall I'm not that impressed.
Sure it's a good read and he really does give some good advice but there are a lot better books out there.
First of all the title is a little misleading. Low Budget well most indie film makers don't put $100,000 production cost price tags on there films. My husband is an indie filmmaker and trust me he never spends anywhere that much. Sure if you wanted to hire SAG actors then the price adds up quickly but we product feature films for a lot less.
Take it for what it is. A okay book with a few gems in it.
Practical Insights into film production from a veteran.
The big difference between Becker's book and a lot of those other "Make a Digital Feature with your spare change" books is that he tells you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.Making a movie, even a short or a mediocre one is VERY hard work.Your movie may suck.If you don't spend time and effort on the story, it most likely will.How will you sell/market it?There are movies with stars that can't find distribution so your independant movie with no stars better be damn good.I work in computer animation, and digital is not the solution to all problems like some of these books profess (although it can be a big help in many aspects).Film still looks better and is easier to light.Becker approaches filmmaking with a straightforward no-bs atitude.He has a chip on his shoulder when it comes to Hollywood and the state of recent movies, which according to him have been in a slump since the late '70s.Even if you disagree with him his rants are entertaining and well informed.He just wants to see better movies like all of us.If you want a touchy feely book that says you are special, all your ideas are wonderful and you will inevitably succeed, look elsewhere.If you want a realistic perspective and useful info on the entire film production process, buy his book.It doesn't have the whole puzzle but it has a lot of the pieces.
Road Tested. Smart, Invaluable
This book is packed with solid, tested, real-world advice about filmmaking. Ignore it, and you'll waste time, money, and energy piddling around. Ask me, because I made a short film before I read it. Had I spent more time with Becker's book, I would've had a better time getting the film together, and perhaps a better film. The book's like having an ideal big brother take you aside and give you the low down. Out of the several books I've read, this offered the most practical and solid advice - not surprising, since Becker's actually directed four independent films, along with some TV shows. Profit from his experience. I can't emphasize enough how much more valuable this book has been to me than nearly every other `how to' guide out there.
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