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The Guerilla Film Makers Handbook (All New American Edition) Paperback – April 14, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

Review

'This book will save you about five years worth of trials, errors, heartbreaks, and unpleasant credit card statements…Totally indispensable…It really doesn't get much better than this.' Total Film magazine

'It's in an undisputed position as the indispensable guide for first-time filmmakers…Astonishing.' Film Review magazine

'Comprehensive and invaluable…a revelatory read that will inform and inspire in equal measure.' Empire magazine

'Immensely informative and entertaining to read…a terrific book for anyone interested in films.' BBC Radio 4

“Classes and books instructing novices how to make their own motion pictures often end up only lining the pockets of the instructor or author. Yet this oversized, 720-page guide—a US-geared edition of a book that debuted in the UK several years ago—leads me to believe someone taking its advice could eventually get their own movie off the ground. Offering information on everything from financing to film stock to distribution deals—and packed with nuts-and-bolts interviews with independent filmmakers (Donnie Darko, The Good Girl, etc.)—this invaluable tome is probably the next best thing to sitting on set with Richard Linklater or Kevin Smith.” –Creative Loafing, 6/2/04 (Matt Brunson)

“The British writing team has packed the book with useful information, making it an excellent reference for filmmakers. It consists of interviews with professionals in every craft within the film industry, including extensive sections on trading, development, organizations, finance, talent, production, postproduction, distribution, aftermath, and case studies. [Jolliffe & Jones] have spoken extensively with every kind of motion picture professional that one could think of. Thoroughly informative, this book has a lot of good information that all filmmakers would benefit from knowing.” (Ben Rock, –Backstage West, 7/22/04)

“What’s brilliant about this new US-based version of the low budget film makers’ guide is that it really gives you the feeling that it could be that easy – and then explains (over the following phone-book 720 pages) exactly how hard it is to turn your Scorsese daydreams into celluloid reality. This is as inspiring as informative. And it’s pretty funny.” –The Guardian, 8/14/04 (Richard Vine)

“…this all-encompassing manual offers a series of down to earth pointers on how to make a movie and, more importantly, get it shown….no stone has been left un-turned in this astonishingly thorough course, which poses every question imaginable, then answers them in as much depth as possible. Even if you don’t intend making a movie, this is a fascinating read-and if you do, you couldn’t ask for a better primer.” –Film Review, October 2004

“The Rolls-Royce of how-to film guides… Everything is in this book.” –Christopher Wood, The Times, London, timesonline, September 2, 2004

"In The Guerilla Film Makers Handbook authors Jolliffe and Jones, guerilla film makers themselves have compiled a 'Bible' of everything anyone considering a career in independent film making would ever need to know. Every conceivable aspect of making an independent film, from training (film school or not), development, finance, talent, and production, to post-production, sales, and aftermath, is covered in depth. No detail is spared; absolutely everything, including catering, color temperature, ad working with animals, is covered. The style is easy to follow, and it is written clearly and in easy-to-understand language." (American Reference Books Annual, Vol. 36, 2005 American Reference Books Annual)

"The Guerrilla Filmmakers Handbook is a compilation of one hundred and eighteen interviews with filmmaking personnel, from agents to visual effects supervisors. The book is divided into ten chapters; each focuses on the stage of the production process, from training to distribution. There is a glossary and an index as well. The result of tremendous research, the book contains material for practically all levels and all interests in the filmmaking process. The sheer volumes of jobs covered in the book illustrates the complexity of the production process and is quite an education for the novice, who may have no idea how many people are involved in the production of most theatrically released films. There's plenty of practical information in this book, for the beginning as well as the more advanced filmmaker. The authors present the information in an accessible, readable and entertaining manner."-
(Journal of Film and Video 58.4, Winter 2006)

“The British writing team has packed the book with useful information, making it an excellent reference for filmmakers. It consists of interviews with professionals in every craft within the film industry, including extensive sections on trading, development, organizations, finance, talent, production, postproduction, distribution, aftermath, and case studies. [Jolliffe & Jones] have spoken extensively with every kind of motion picture professional that one could think of. Thoroughly informative, this book has a lot of good information that all filmmakers would benefit from knowing.” (Sanford Lakoff)

"In The Guerilla Film Makers Handbook authors Jolliffe and Jones, guerilla film makers themselves have compiled a 'Bible' of everything anyone considering a career in independent film making would ever need to know. Every conceivable aspect of making an independent film, from training (film school or not), development, finance, talent, and production, to post-production, sales, and aftermath, is covered in depth. No detail is spared; absolutely everything, including catering, color temperature, ad working with animals, is covered. The style is easy to follow, and it is written clearly and in easy-to-understand language." (Sanford Lakoff American Reference Books Annual)

“The Guerrilla Filmmakers Handbook is a compilation of one hundred and eighteen interviews with filmmaking personnel, from agents to visual effects supervisors. The book is divided into ten chapters; each focuses on the stage of the production process, from training to distribution. There is a glossary and an index as well. The result of tremendous research, the book contains material for practically all levels and all interests in the filmmaking process. The sheer volumes of jobs covered in the book illustrates the complexity of the production process and is quite an education for the novice, who may have no idea how many people are involved in the production of most theatrically released films. There’s plenty of practical information in this book, for the beginning as well as the more advanced filmmaker. The authors present the information in an accessible, readable and entertaining manner.”-
(Sanford Lakoff)

About the Author

Chris Jones has been making micro-budget features since he and Genevieve Jolliffe made The Runner in 1992. In 2009, his short film "Gone Fishing" was Oscars shortlisted, won the prestigious Producers Guild of America's Best Short Film and collected over 40 international awards. He co-authored the bestselling Guerilla Film Makers Handbook in 1996, and also wrote the hugely successful Guerilla Film Makers Movie Blueprint. On top of writing and making films, Chris teachers new filmmakers and runs his business from the historic Ealing Film Studios in London.

Genevieve Jolliffe met Chris Jones at film school and the two went into independent filmmaking through their production company, Living Spirit Pictures. She directed their third film together, Urban Ghost Story, in 1998. After moving to Los Angeles, Genevieve was a major force in pulling together the US edition of The Guerilla Film Makers Handbook, and she also co-authored The Documentary Film Makers Handbook in 2006. With her husband and screenwriting partner Andrew Zinnes, she has sold projects to Warner Bros and has two indie features set to be filmed in 2010.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic; Revised edition (April 14, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826414648
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826414649
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.6 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #757,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Robert C. Baruch on November 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
When I think of guerilla tactics, I think of making do with what you have to achieve some kind of a result. So I figured that I could learn a lot of can-do stuff from this book. Boy, was I ever wrong.

Don't get me wrong -- the book is full of useful information about the film industry. My problem with the book is that it is mostly composed of interviews with film industry workers, who feel the need to justify themselves, with the result that you really don't get the sense that it's possible to pull off an ultra-low budget film.

For example, entertainment attorney Mark Litwak says about incorporating your company, that "If you're a person who thinks it would be okay to do your own brain surgery, then you're probably the kind of person who might want to do this on your own." Cost: $15-$25k in legal services.

Movie financier Lew Horwitz says this of borrowing money to finance your film: "...the borrower will also pay the lenders attorney fees which are generally around $20k..."

It's not all lawyering and accountancy, though. Jeff Blauvelt of HD Cinema, predictably pushes HD cameras and tapes, saying, "The DV era has ended for filmmaking." A three-week camera package rental is $9k. Thanks for crushing my dreams, Jeff.

Are you getting the idea? This isn't guerilla filmmaking. This is filmmaking on a budget of hundreds of thousands. So if you're looking for a book on how to make a movie on the cheap, this isn't it, unless your idea of cheap is enough money to pay for a Ferrari Enzo F60. So I'm giving this book 3 stars. Really 5 for content, but subtract two for the misleading title.

I was much happier with the book Digital Filmmaking 101, by Dale Newton and John Gaspard. That book, at least, shows how it's possible to make a film for under $10k, and includes many cost-cutting tips.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Film Reviewer on November 19, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is amazing. I bought 4 highly rated books on amazon on how to make films. This one is hands down the best by far. I would say by a large margin. Over 700 pages of information. It covers a broad range of subjects such as Sound, Lighting, Directing, Screenwriting, etc. Each one is addressed by a professional in that field. Complete with illustrations, pictures, and explanations, that I believe a beginner can understand, and some great tips on how to maximize each area, and some pitfalls to watch out for. This is worth the money, and I am sure will be a great reference even after you start making films.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By TJ on May 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have read many books on film making and I find this to be one of the best. The authors interview successful people in the industry to inform you about what you'll be facing both from a production standpoint and a business standpoint (legalities to distribution). If you're interested in film making, get this book. I learned more from this book than three years working in the industry.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By KB on May 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
I was browsing St. Mark's Bookshop a couple weeks ago and I picked up this book and started flipping through it and was so impressed. I thought it might be kinda lame and simplistic for me since I graduated from NYU's Tisch Film School 2 years ago, but it was so comprehensive and really wide-ranging and interesting. Not dumbed down, but really accessible at the same time.
See, I'm trying to get some work in the film industry this summer (and get out of LA and back to NY!)and there are all these different actual names and contacts in areas like camera rental and finance and post-production and at the IFC, which has been really useful to me. A few people have even got back to me about possible jobs! So anyway, I highly recommend this book for both the experienced and inexperienced film maker. Also for guys like me who are sort of somewhere in between. This is seriously the best book on everything you'd ever want to know about how to actually go about financing, making, and marketing an independent film.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jon Downing on May 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
Where to start with such an enormous book? Let me make this clear, in case my review ends up being too long and rambling: if you are interested in filmmaking, YOU NEED TO OWN THIS BOOK. It's that simple.
Right, now...the first thing to say is 'thank you' to the two authors. I have never heard of either of you before, and I've never seen any of your three movies. But what you have achieved here is amazing. Especially because you're British, and what the hell do British people know about making movies?? (joke) The amount of information in this book is truly incredible. First off, there are over a hundred very honest and interesting interviews with people who work in the industry. And they're not just the same old people trotting out the same old platitudes about how great the industry is, or how to get a job, yawn yawn...these are people who - almost without exception - are brilliant at describing the various aspects of their roles, and also come across as very enthusiastic and passionate. Perhaps the key here is that Jolliffe and Jones (I'm not sure if they both do the interviews, or what) know exactly which questions to ask, and they know how to extract the right information from their subjects. No small skill. What is staggering is the range of professionals and experts they have gathered together here. Here are just a few of their job titles: Financial Advisor, Line Producer, Entertainment Attorney, Steadicam Operator, Director of Photography, Foley Mixer, Animal Trainer...yes, you read that correctly! Now, if I'm giving the impression that the book is just a stream of un-interrupted interviews, think again - another strength of this book is its visual presentation on the page.
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The Guerilla Film Makers Handbook (All New American Edition)
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