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Making a Winning Short: How to Write, Direct, Edit, and Produce a Short Film Paperback – October 15, 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; 1st Owl book ed edition (October 15, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805026800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805026801
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,693,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

With 60 short films, three Academy Award nominations, one OscarR, and a position as a teacher of screenwriting at Columbia University to his credit, Levy is well qualified to instruct his readers in everything they need to know about the production of short films. He divides his manual into concise and straightforward chapters, the first of which is an analysis of the history and popularity of the short. Using examples from his own career, Levy then explains all aspects of creating a short film, from the development of the idea to what food and drink to provide for actors and crew. After Levy's easy-to-follow lessons are finished, he offers a list of film festivals that accept short films, titles of short films that he believes to be some of the finest examples of the genre, and a reading list. Levy has written a manual that will appeal to all students of film, from the video camera amateur to the student of cinematography. A worthy addition to all performing arts collections.
Lisa Johnston, Sweet Briar Coll. Lib., Va.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Spike Lee, Quentin Tarantino, and Jim Jarmusch are among a score of new film directors who learned the craft of the art in film schools, making shorts. More than ever, students are writing, directing, editing, and producing at least one short film over the course of their studies. This guide to making shorts is written for both those students and the curious, self-motivated person who owns a video camera and is fascinated by the medium. Author Levy is a screenwriting teacher and a filmmaker. He obviously handles both with some dexterity, given the way he effortlessly jumps back and forth between the rules and the creation of cinema, leaving the reader well informed, although humbled. From a definition that lays out the subject in a way that the short film becomes a quest, Levy hits every point in the journey, including the idea, the treatment, dialogue, screenplay format, working with actors, directing the camera, and postproduction. Along the way, he lightens the force of so much exposition with interesting examples from features and student shorts that are like thought-provoking trailers. A comprehensive treatment. Bonnie Smothers

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Robin Black Miller on March 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
There are precious few books available which deal with the writing and production of shorts, which is odd considering the grown explosion the form has gone through the last few years, so I almost hate to be critical of what information is available. That said, this 1994 guide is in desperate need of updating, as it does not deal with short films in the digital medium. Now that digital video has made it even easier to produce a short--not to mention that it's opened up the possibilities of what can be accomplished on film on a budget--the process of making a short needs to be addressed in the current context. In addition, with the number of internet sites specializing in shorts, and the practice of most film festivals of accepting digital submissions, the possibilities of making and distributing a short have far outgrown what this book covers. Please, Mr. Levy--give us a new edition of this fine guide!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
Edmond Levy in one book has given me a basic outline of what I would need to construct a film from start to finish.
The beginning touches on screenwriting techniques, then moves into some pre-production necessities. From there he briefly touches on production and then a short chapter on post-production (editing) and distribution.
This is a survey book and is in no means somthing to take as the "end all say all." But if you are curious or have some very general questions about the topic, then this is the book for you.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mark Brown on April 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is just another "how to make a film book". We are taken step by step through all the processes and given insight into the technicalities. However, it feels like you've heard it all before. Good for the begginer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Perry Schwartz on June 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book does an excellent job on the basics: how to write a treatment, develop a script thru the process of story outline and character profiles, the use of storyboards, the basics of directing and editing and on and on. It's all basic, yes, but a good starting point for the beginning filmmaker. The emphasis is the short, independent filmmaker where most of us started and most future great filmmakers will also. I use it for a course I teach for the American Film Institute called Movie Camp and in the basic moviemaking course I teach at Montgomery College. The students seem to find it very valuable.
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