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My First Movie: Twenty Celebrated Directors Talk about Their First Film Paperback – October 29, 2002
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"A pleasure." —Variety
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Top Customer Reviews
Each interview is different, just as each filmmaker's first moviemaking experience was different. Every interview is illuminating and serves to broaden the reader's view of filmmaking, as well as increase appreciation for the sheer hard work and endurance required to get a movie to the point of completion.
I found myself riveted by each director's account of their first movies, of the experience of getting the film to the point of being made, to the casting, to the pre-production, to the first day of filming, to editing and then trying to find a place to screen the darn thing. It was very interesting to get to know each filmmaker, the places they were in the beginning stages of their careers, and the places their films took them to.
I appreciated reading interviews with filmmakers I greatly admire (the Coen brothers), to those I am familiar with and jealous of (Kevin Smith), and especially the interviews with female filmmakers such as Allison Anders and Mira Nair (since I myself am female). Some other interviews I particularly enjoyed: P.J. Hogan ("Muriel's Wedding"), James Mangold ("Heavy"), and Ang Lee ("Pushing Hands").
If you like this book, I highly recommend "Rebel Without a Crew" by Robert Rodriguez, as it is a complete diary of the entire process of the making of his first feature film.
Throughout all of the interviews, I found the same recurring theme of panic surface. I was particularly impressed with the interview with Ang Lee where he discusses his quick success out of NYU and then 7 years of drought, as well as James Mangold's rocket to stardom taken down by his snide remarks to Katzenberg.
This book is probably more properly titled "Self Help" book for anyone that wants to make a movie, as you realize that the directors featured in this book are really no different from anyone else. In a few cases (I'll refrain from telling you), I actually found myself saying, "Why WOULD anyone have ever let this person direct a film." Thus, the reader will be comforted to know that if he or she keeps pushing, eventually they will get their project made.
Overall, the book is a wonderfully delightful read. My recommendation is to read a chapter a day, and then watch the director's movie... this will maximize the pleasure and reading experience.
I got this as a Christmas present, and I hope that a sequel is in the works.
I read the chapter interviewing P. J. Hogan first because Muriel's Wedding is my favorite movie, and flawless. I found very interesting The Crying Game chapter interview of genius Neil Jordan too.
Some directors are a bit too cerebral for me to get anything from them even with multiple rereads, but I have read most of the chapters and enjoyed them as well as learned much from them about how to get a film financed and how to make a film, what to expect, etc. I found the more famous the director is now, the less likely I was to get much out of their interview. I plan to purchase the book and keep it on hand for inspiration.
This book is well worth the price of admission to at least 5 movies.
Anthony Minghella felt at the limit of his abilities "every single day" shooting TRULY, MADLY, DEEPLY. Steve Buscemi got sick internalizing his anxieties about TREES LOUNGE and Barry Levinson remembers the first cut of DINER as "devastating" and how and how Pauline Kael forced MGM to release the movie. On a lighter note, GAS, FOOD, LODGING's Allison Anders laments, "The hardest thing for women directors: you don't get laid as much!" Kevin Smith's account of overextending multiple credit cards to finance CLERKS is as amusing as Tom DiCillo's recollections of filming JOHNNY SUADE are harrowing.
Throughout the instructive is tempered by the gossipy. Mike Figgis recalls Tommy Lee Jones complaining that his trailer was a foot shorter then Melanie Griffith's on the low-budget STORMY MONDAY; James Mangold relates how Shelley Winters destroyed and rebuilt the confidence of her leading man in HEAVY. Pedro Almodovar, Ang Lee, Mike Leigh, Neil Jordan, Stephen Frears, the Cohen brothers and others weigh in with insights and humorous commentary on their travails and good fortune. Only Oliver Stone wiggles out, insisting on discussing SALVADOR (1986) instead of his first horror efforts.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Book is in very good condition and a bargain at the price. A young aspiring movie maker in my
neighborhood is going to like it.
more gossip than substance. nor very insightful. It is nice for people who read variety magazine or us weekly or soPublished on May 27, 2013 by unnamed
I bought this book for a school paper. Boy, am I glad I got assigned the paper. I never would have found this great book that is a must read for film lovers everywherePublished on March 2, 2013 by Smith Curry
This is a great book of stories coming from the people not all that different then any other aspiring filmmaker trying to make their first film. Read morePublished on October 8, 2010 by Jay S
I like this book. It's people's first-hand experiences on how they got to make their first movie. Very revealing!Published on September 14, 2009 by Sonia K.
This is a great read for people who have just entered the film industry or even just for people who have an interest in where filmmakers begin their journey. Read morePublished on January 23, 2008 by J Donaldson
This is a really great and clever introduction on how to make a movie. The interviewer asks succinct questions that are informed and sincere and the directors do what they do so... Read morePublished on August 8, 2007 by Jason Murray
My friend, Paul Kyriazi, is also a film director, having done OMEGA COP before he turned to writing books. Read morePublished on June 8, 2005 by betty l. dravis