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101 Things I Learned in Film School Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Series: 101 Things I Learned
  • Hardcover: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1 edition (May 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446550272
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446550277
  • Product Dimensions: 2.9 x 2.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Neil Landau's credits include writing and producing for Universal Pictures, Disney, Columbia Pictures, and 20th Century Fox. He is the screenwriter of the teen comedy "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead" and has worked on such diverse projects as "Melrose Place," "Doogie Howser MD," and MTV's "Undressed." He recently completed his second book, The Screenwriter's Roadmap (Focal Press, 2012). He teaches at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts.

Matthew Frederick is an architect, urban designer, and the creator of the 101 THINGS I LEARNED® book series. He has taught architecture, urban design, and urban planning at a number of colleges and universities. He lives in Hudson, New York.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 22 customer reviews
This little book is full of useful information that is concise, inspiring and useful.
Ryan McDougal
He could write a book on each one of the 101 things and not let us know everything and make us wait until we bought all 101 books.
Mary Kinzelberg
The advice for filmmakers is also useful to me as a writer, and can help me tell the story more effectively and cinematically.
Stephanie Moore

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By S. Ward on May 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Film making is essentially storytelling, and as a writing teacher and avid reader, it's always fascinated me. I have been wanting to learn more about this storytelling process, and about the nuts and bolts of movie-making -- including scriptwriting, camera angles, and editing -- in a way that's relatively quick and accessible. This little book was perfect for me. It's deceptively straightforward and simple but rich with information. It helped me grasp the process of film-making, which Neil Landau described as both "painstakingly deliberate and fortuitously experimental." I am excited about looking for some of techniques he described next time I watch an excellent movie.

Some aspects of movie making the author touches on:

* The stages of film-making -- from pre-production to post-production.
* The nuts and bolts of screenplays -- have you ever wondered how to format a screenplay or how long it should be? (hint: 1 screenplay page = 1 minute of screen time)
* Writing and editing the screenplay -- it includes some of the standard gems cherished by us writing teachers, like "show, don't tell," plus tips for plotting, advice on developing a compelling protagonist, and more.
* Coming up with an effective movie title.
* Creating believable dialogue.
* How to pitch a screenplay to a film studio executive.
* How to use lighting and various camera lenses and angles to tell your story and reveal important things about a character's psychology.
* Tips for casting.
* Things the audience should experience during a movie, like catharsis.

This is a concise, intriguing overview of the art of film making, strewn with quotes from movie makers, actors, and writers, that I'll be keeping on a side table in my T.V.
Read more ›
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Estes on October 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I graduated from film school and I absolutely love little books like this one. Some of the wisdom was new for me though much of it was traditional film knowledge presented from the author's unique perspective. Some of the lessons were technical, like day-to-day stuff while working on a film, and some were about the art and how to best present it. The best tidbits had to do with trimming your work down for better clarity, better flow, better tension, and almost better everything. This applies to the screenplay, the film, and even the production itself.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is attributed to filmmaker Sidney Lumet: 'All great work is preparing yourself for the accident to happen.'
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Brown on May 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I carry around a little black book--101 Things I Learned in Film School by Neil Landau. Ever since I bought and read it, I have been carrying this excellent book around with me like a good luck charm so I can have Landau's sage wisdom and years of talent/expert advice and experience as a screenwriter/filmmaker at my fingertips. I am sure you will feel the same about its contents--you'll never "lose" this book - it's chocked full of 101 powerful lessons on screenwriting and film for the beginner, intermediate, or advanced student. Even professional filmmakers/screenwriters will benefit from reviewing all of the book's most pertinent ideas and advice to recharge their creativity or focus anew on a project or script.

As a professor of creative writing, I will now use 101 Things I Learned in Film School in all my film/screenwriting classes. Additionally, as the Director of both the Chicago Writers' Workshop and the Los Angeles Writers' Workshop, I am implementing this book into all of our screenwriting and film classes! Forget about spending thousands of dollars on film school when this book can give you so much at a fraction of the cost--expert advice from a master who knows Hollywood and his craft, Neil Landau. I highly recommend 101 Things I Learned in Film School!
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By Diego Sarmiento on March 25, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Condensed and directo to the point. Great to remember lots of the thing they teach us at film school that end up being interiorized. If you are going to start teaching (like myself), it's a great reference to make you remember everything you learnt.
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By Mark Eslahi on March 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very good book to have in your library if you're an aspiring filmmaker. You won't regret it, buy it and see for yourself.
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By Denny on January 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This really does have more information packed into it than film school did. Obviously actuall film school is clearly the way to incorporate these amazing lessons into your life and really experience and learn the lessons. However, some of the lessons are more economically stated than they were by my best professors.

Here are a couple of examples.
1. "Who is the intersection? A protagonis needs to choos between two seemingly irreconcilable situations. A pivitol character often provides the crucial connection between the two."
2. "Burn your character's bridges" ie cut off any path that would let your protagonist return to his old life.
3. "Beware children, animals and liquids" too expensive and troublewome

Tons of great advice for film makers.

HIGHLY REOMMEND!
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By Andrew Z on November 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Chock full of great advice, tips, and reminders. You will find helpful information in this book whether you are a long-time professional, or a budding beginner. Easy to put down and pick back up, too.
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