Filmmaking Book Review

What they don´t teach you at film school - filmmaking book review

There are some books that help giving your life a new direction. Of course it depends on the kind of things you want to do in your life. If one of your goals is shooting your own movie then you should take a look at What They Don’t Teach You at Film School: 161 Strategies For Making Your Own Movie No Matter What by Camille Landau and Tiara White.

What they don´t teach you at film school - filmmaking book review

I have learnt a lot from this book – things I have already implemented in the shootings of my short films.

The book is written in an accessible way and has a lot of common sense tips for surviving the shoot of your film.

One of the tips I remember the most was something like this:
Always have the coffee ready before the first crew member gets to the set so that your crew feels welcomed by arriving to the smell of good coffee – hot and waiting for them. And it should be expensive coffee.
Why that, you mights ask. Well, chances are high your first film will be low budget, micro budget or even no budget. Your crew will work very hard, getting up early and going to bed very late. You won’t be able to pay them – or at least not very much. Most of them will help you just because they believe in your project and they want to be a part of it. So the least thing you can do to show them that you appreciate their work is having organised your shoot well beforehand – and having the coffee ready when they show up on set. (Or having a good soul on set who takes care of that.)

What the book gives you – the wannabe filmmaker – is the courage to get things rolling and it helps you to avoid many of the pitfalls first time filmmakes usually fall into. It tells you what to look for when you are casting your actors and how to find out who will probably stay with you during your whole shoot and who will possibly jump off the train midway. It will also give you some good advice for preparing and getting trough your shoot.

What they don´t teach you at film school - filmmaking book review

click on the image above to see the table of contents

What they don´t teach you at film school - filmmaking book review

click on the image above to see the table of contents

It also has some tips which I personally would not follow, like building steam for your film project by letting someone run into a screening room of a film festival and letting the person shout out your name and telling you that your film was bought by a distributor or something like that.

Nevertheless, the book is full of useful and heartfelt insights for first time filmmakers so that I’ll still give it 5/5 stars and really recommend it.

Maybe you have already read this book. So feel free to post a comment below and tell us what you think about it!

2 responses to “Filmmaking Book Review

  1. This book is a great one- but I agree, there are a lot of tips that are fun to imagine but would be goofy to do in real life, like having friends gossip about your movie in film festival bathrooms and having fake paparazzi following you around. They’re good ideas in theory, but it would come off pretty staged and obvious unless everyone you brought along was a decent actor who could play their parts well without cracking a smile. Still, they do have a lot of really great advice in here and I’ve got quite a few sections highlighted in my copy that I like to re-read for inspiration


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