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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
For the better part of 15 long years, I have been looking for a singular film industry book that I could use to help create a budget for a business plan. There are many, many books on the techniques of filmmaking, theatrical, animation and documentary filmmaking. (As a matter of fact, Focal Press produces, in my opinion, the best titles in the industry.)

There are also industry-related books on marketing and financing. But, with the exception of Attorney Mark Litwak's publications, there hasn't been a book that provides all of the necessities to actually breakdown a script to dollars and cents, nor is there a book that helps you to allocate resources for specific and specialized areas within the production. And, provide the forms necessary to contract out certain services. But, within the pages of this book, it is all here, including original copies of SAG forms.

This book, THE COMPLETE FILM PRODUCTION HANDBOOK, 4TH ED., is so much more than that. It is a 500+ page resource book/manual/insider info that is an expansive and an exhaustive handbook that has literally hundreds of various forms, outlines, releases and confidentially -agreement forms that are used in every major production in the United States.

Chapter Highlights:
+ Ch. 1. The Production Team and Who Does What.
+ Ch. 3. Basic Accounting
+ Ch. 4. From Script to Schedule
+ Ch. 5. Incentives (tax-related discounts)
+ Ch. 6. Pre-Production
+ Ch. 7. Insurance Requirements
+ Ch. 9. Building Strong Industry Relations/ Making Good Deals/ Navigating the Politics
+ Ch. 11. Unions and Guilds
+ Ch. 15. Clearances and Releases
+ Ch. 16. A Guide to Music Clearances
+ Ch. 18- Ch. 21 Locations/ Travel & Housing
+ Ch. 24. Television
+ Ch. 25- 26. Independent Filmmaking
+ Ch. 28 Commercial Production (Bidding on projects)
+ Ch. 29- 30. Wrap and Post Production
+ Ch. 32 Industry Survival Tips

THE COMPLETE FILM PRODUCTION HANDBOOK, 4TH ED, is an indispensable tool for anyone interested or working in the entertainment industry. This is a well-researched, well-written and fully documented publication. It is a repository of forms, rules and inspirational insights that is, in my humble opinion, undeniably essential. This book comes with my highest recommendation.

THIS IS A MUST-OWN BOOK. 5 gargantuan stars.
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on June 14, 2001
This book is for working professionals and students alike. If you're a line producer, production manager, production supervisor, assistant director or production coordinator -- the book has everything you'll need (including all the forms, contracts, releases and checklists) to set up and run a production -- from finding a production office to turning over delievery elements. Even if you know what you're doing, you will be thrilled to find everything you need in one place. If you're not already working in film production, but think you'd like to be, read the book -- and then deceide. If you choose to pursue this career path, you'll know what to expect, you'll be prepared, and you'll be ten steps ahead of everyone else just starting out.
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on January 17, 2003
This book is gift from heaven for any AD or UPM. I had the old edition and thought it was great. But this edition is even better! There are explanations and checklists from Preproduction to Post. The CD-ROM has both Mac and PC files which are very comprehensive and well organized. Your whole AD Kit on 1 CD!! Best of all the price is within anyone's budget. I've worked in the field for 8 years. I've already recommended this book to 2 other people. They bought it and love it.
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on March 4, 2003
Now in an updated and expanded third edition, The Complete Film Production Handbook by film production expert Eve Light Honthaner is a comprehensive, resource packed instructional reference enhanced with essential the "need-to-know" ins and outs of the film business, including checklists, example schedules for pre-production and post-production, guidelines for insurance policies, talent management, immigration details applying to actors and other film industry workers crossing national borders, forms used for the Screen Actor's Guild (among others), basic production forms and deal memos, and a companion CD-ROM containing numerous useful documents in easily printable form. A "must-have" for anyone seriously considering producing a film for the first time, The Complete Film Production Handbook is a practical, accessible, and essential reference for novice filmmakers, and is highly recommended resource for even the more experienced movie producer, whether independent or studio contracted.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon August 4, 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
"The Complete Film Production Handbook" covers all the basics of film production and distribution. It explains in succinct detail the various stages of organizing logistics, pre-production, actors, sets, effects, insurance, hiring trades and crew, making talent contracts, understanding union rules and pay grades, understanding the array and nature of current distribution and revenue streams, script breakdown, scheduling, equipment rentals, location problems and rules, budgeting, costs and so forth.

The technology of film making has seen tremendous change in recent years -- film to digital, home video theaters, 3D, digital visual effects and vastly upgraded sound are the most obvious. The distribution of films has also become vastly more complex, with almost limitless venues for showing, consuming and purchasing filmed content.

However, the core process of organizing and completing a film production has changed little over the years, so much so that someone who had beamed down from, say MGM in 1939, could readily understand what was going on today and get right to work. Nevertheless, books aimed at educating beginners, students and would be producers or directors on how to organize and make a film abound, and have been a staple of film education for decades.

Film production is one of those things that, once learned, seems obvious and repetitive to experienced Hollywood professionals. But, much like an aspiring cook needs lessons on basic techniques, so as to make countless recipes using the same trick or combination over and over, a aspiring film producer needs to know how all the parts fit together and are executed. In this way the "The Complete Film Production Handbook" is an excellent choice.

Old hands may skim the book and say: "But what about..." and "They didn't mention..." and "how could they suggest this and that is so simple when it's not..." and so forth. But you have to start somewhere, and "The Complete Film Production Handbook" is an excellent guide and reference.

"The Complete Film Production Handbook" is a comprehensive compendium of very useful and up to date film production information. RECOMMENDED.
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on June 23, 2012
I am rating this version (Kindle) one star, though the book does not deserve such a low rating. This is one of the worst eBook implementations I have seen.

- There is no table of contents
- The forms, on Kindle for Mac, are nearly illegible, and on Kindle of iPad/iPhone clumsy and cumbersome to the point of near-uselessness

How can a technical manual of 544 pages not include a Table of Contents in its eBook? It makes it nearly impossible to navigate, especially when wanting to refer to or brush up on specific areas of production.

The author provides dozens of templates for basing production documents on which can save many people lots of time and expense, but all this work is for naught if we can't read them (or it's very difficult to). Kindle for Mac does not even allow clicking on these forms to expand them. A number of them are literally illegible, even on a 23" monitor. I attempted to use the Zoom function in Kindle for Mac, but it is not enabled for this eBook.

Whoever oversaw this eBook implementation clearly did not care for their readers enough to put themselves in their shoes. Buyer beware.

Purchase the paperback version and this may actually be a useful, helpful resource for you.
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on February 17, 2003
This book, along with the Producer's Handbook, is tied at the top of my list! It is filled with excellent information on everything film related. From pre-production to post, you will find details on every single point of production and development. It introduces the novice to the world of production starting with crew position definitions, and at the same time it goes over many aspects that concern the professional filmmakers (like budgeting, scheduling, finding and bringing together a crew, a set, etc...). There are a considerable amount of forms and contracts/agreements that every filmmaker should know about, etc. It is truely a MUST if you seriously want to know what you're doing when it comes to filmmaking! This book is an A + + +!!
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on November 3, 1999
I NOT ONLY USE THIS BOOK OR SOME PIECE OF IT ON A WEEK BY WEEK BASIS, BUT I BUY IT FOR ALL OF MY SUPPORT STAFF TO TAKE WITH THEM ON THEIR NEXT PROJECT. IT IS COMPLETE, UP TO DATE INFORMATION ALL IN ONE PLACE AND THE CD ROM IS PRICELESS. I CAN'T TELL YOU HOW MANY TIMES I HAVE PRINTED OUT A DGA DEAL MEMO FOR THE SET ON THE FLY! GET IT!
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VINE VOICEon September 15, 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'm pretty skeptical about books that claim to be complete-I always find some major piece of info missing. Not so here. This book not only tells you everything you need to know, including helpful tips for the best success, but it also assumes nothing. Even a beginner can truly use this book. I found it an interesting read as well, which helps. The book is quite thick, as you might imagine, and has info for every step along the way.

When I say it covers everything, I mean it goes from defining roles and setting up and staffing an office to shipping, post production, music, running a greener office (!), interacting with local communities, pre-made clearance and release forms... I mean everything.

As you might expect, then, there is also a special section for low budget films. It includes practical ways to get things done on the cheap, and of course the distribution tip of releasing straight to DVD. I was sure when I read from the low-budget section that there would be nothing new here-I am the Queen O' Cheap. In fact, there was plenty of creative, good advice here and I'm delighted to have gleaned the incredible wealth of useful tips from this book.

Another plus: this book is not a dry theory textbook-it's a field manual. It comes from real experience and you do get the benefit of that. I really just can't think of a book I love more on the topic of film making, and I've read my share.

Cons? I can't think of any. Good info at a very reasonable price. I'm glad I have it.
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on July 11, 2000
Great book, but the advertised product claims CD-ROM included. It's not a CD-ROM, it's a set of MAC discs that must be returned to the publisher for a PC version of the discs!
Other than that, a great book.
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