» Posts Tagged ‘books’

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Filmmaking the Hard WayUsually when we buy a book on filmmaking it makes all kinds of promises about having advice that will make the process more simple — something along the lines of, “Make films the easy way,” and “Shoot a feature film in 3 easy steps!” But, guess what — it’s never simple. Filmmaker Josh Folan’s book, Filmmaking, the Hard Way, is the cynical version of a how-to guide, offering a case study of the feature film production of All God’s Creatures, a film Folan also wrote. This “top to bottom analysis” of the low-budget filmmaking process may appeal to readers with its honest approach — aiming to help readers problem solve by knowing what they’re really up against. More »

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One of the reasons this site is named “No Film School” is because of the widespread availability of excellent materials for self-teaching these days: almost every movie is available on disc or online, DVD special features often make for great learning tools, and there are plenty of books on the topic. Oh, and digital cameras are cheaper than the film cameras of decades past, when access to a celluloid-shooting camera was a major reason to go to film school. While we hope this site is itself a good resource for learning, there are so many good books on filmmaking that we thought we’d start recommending and compiling them. Here are 15 of our top recommendations. More »

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Evan Luzi runs a great blog full of valuable camera department information, The Black and Blue. He also wrote a great guest post here about how to find professional crew members for free. Now Evan has released a free 145-page PDF entitled Becoming the Reel Deal, and it may remind you of a certain other free eBook — in a good way. Evan’s advice is focused on the camera department, as you’d expect given his background, but it should be brain candy for anyone looking to break into film: More »

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Did you know Final Cut wasn’t actually an Apple product but a Windows program written by Macromedia that Apple purchased? Did you know Apple purchasing Final Cut was a result of Adobe rebuffing Apple over a Mac version of Premiere? Did you know Apple was in danger of going under when it purchased Final Cut? Even if you already knew all of these things, the particulars of how Final Cut ended up in Apple’s hands is a fascinating story for anyone interested in video editing. John Buck’s $4.99 book [easyazon-link asin="B005ISB094"]Timeline: A History of Editing[/easyazon-link] (also available on iBooks) tells the full tale. There’s also a [easyazon-link asin="B0057CQOC4"]Volume 1[/easyazon-link] book, which covers editing up until the digital age. Let’s take it back to 1998: More »

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I’ve been waiting for this one for quite some time, and after flipping through it quickly, it looks to be an absolutely essential read for filmmakers. I’m talking about the free eBook Selling Your Film Without Selling Your Soul, which is presented by Prescreen and is co-authored by full-service indie nonprofit The Film Collaborative, filmmaker and distribution guru Jon Reiss (I called his first book [easyazon-link asin="098257620X"]Think Outside the Box Office[/easyazon-link] a “great gift for filmmakers“), and marketing strategist and social media expert Sheri Candler. It’s available in several eBook forms, including for iPhone, Kindle, Nook, and of course PDF. It’s free until October 1st. Go get it now. Or watch the trailer: More »

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Selling Your Film Without Selling Your Soul is a free, awesome-looking eBook coming in September from some heavy-hitters in the indie film scene. The book is a series of case studies that “dive deep into the real numbers and real details of independent film distribution,” and will be released free in September during Independent Film Week here in New York — when I’ll be taking meetings about my first feature film, Man-child. You may have heard of it? I just launched a Kickstarter campaign and I’m counting on your support! How’s that for an example of selling my film without selling my soul?!? Check out the book’s video trailer: More »

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I’m not the only one offering a free 100-page eBook with the goal in mind of helping other indie filmmakers. Jason Brubaker, who created the MovieMaker Action Pack, has just published a free 100+ page eBook entitled The Modern MovieMaking Movement. While his paid offering looks to have a number of informative multimedia resources, this eBook is completely free, with no hard sells attached. The book includes interviews with a number of folks featured on this site in the past, including the following: More »

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I just finished reading The Art of Immersion: How the Digital Generation Is Remaking Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and the Way We Tell Stories by Wired writer Frank Rose. The book provides an overview of all the changes taking place in our connected, interactive, game-ified culture, more than justifying its lengthy title in the process. As someone who’s interested in interactive storytelling in addition to more linear film narratives, I found the book to be packed with flavor crystals of brain candy (how’s that for an endorsement?). Here’s the first chapter, free: More »

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In a conversation with Errol Morris at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, Werner Herzog stated that you can’t be a filmmaker without reading books. More recently, Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky shared a list of his own favorite books. Taking their suggested reading lists in tandem, we now have a list of ten “must read” books from a pair of auteurs; the first five are Aronofsky’s selections and are on the topic of movies, and the second five are Herzog’s and aren’t limited to a particular topic. I’ve only read three of the ten; how about you? More »

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Whether you choose to go to film school or not, the idea behind NoFilmSchool is to self-educate in as many ways as possible. Our goal as artists is to make something different from our peers; to me, sitting in a classroom with the same syllabus as everyone else isn’t the best way to self-actualize. Any such theories aside, however, it doesn’t matter whether you discover a helpful book in a syllabus, via a friend’s recommendation, or via a web site like this one. Seth Godin’s latest book, Linchpin, is a bit hard to describe. It’s not a marketing book, it’s not a self-help book — it’s more about a gradual cultural shift away from factory-based wage labor, and how artist-entrepreneurs need to escape the “lizard brain” that instills fear in us in order to ship our art. More »

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Last week I wrote about bestselling author Seth Godin’s switch to self-publishing and what it could mean for filmmakers. Scott Macaulay at Filmmaker Magazine linked to the post in his invaluable Instapaper Sunday Morning Links, along with a pro-publisher argument written cogently at TechCrunch by author Paul Carr (whose book Bringing Nothing to the Party: True Confessions of a New Media Whore has been in my queue for a while). The slug of Carr’s post — “Self Publish and Be Damned” — makes his views pretty clear, but upon further reflection I think both Carr and I are oversimplifying the argument and missing out on a viable distribution strategy for the published and unpublished alike. More »

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Lately I’ve been reading a number of books for independent creatives — in film, in art, in business — and the one I’m currently working my way through is Linchpin by Seth Godin. As soon as I can find the time I’ll post reviews of these books, most of which I believe are very helpful in planning an independent career — and most of which align very closely with my own manifesto. Recently Godin announced that Linchpin will be the last book he’ll publish “in a traditional way.” For me to say I’m interested in distributing films in a new way is not news. For Godin (who has written twelve bestsellers) to say the same thing, however, is worth noting. And as it turns out, the decisions he’s faced with as an author aren’t much different than the decisions we’re faced with as filmmakers. More »