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Planning the Low-Budget Film Paperback – April 1, 2007

5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"On all the movies [Bob Brown] worked on with me, he never failed to bring a film in on time and on budget. This book is a must read for anybody who is even thinking of producing a film!"  —Mel Brooks


"This comprehensive book . . . can apply to films of any sized budget. I wish all film schools used it."  —Gary Martin, president of production, Columbia/Tristar Motion Picture Group


"You will make a better movie for less money using this book . . . the ultimate guide to budgeting and scheduling the low-budget movie."  —Bruce Block, producer, Father of the Bride, Something's Gotta Give, and What Women Want


"An invaluable resource for anyone who wants to make a movie; essential for students and professionals alike."  —Brenda Goodman, senior lecturer and head of the production track at the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television.

About the Author

Robert Latham Brown teaches production planning at the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television. His credits include producer, line producer, production manager, and second-unit director on films such as The Anarchist Cookbook; Child's Play; Child's Play 2: Chucky's Back; Child's Play 3: Look Who's Stalking; Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom; Local Color; Robin Hood: Men in Tights; S.W.A.T.; and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. He lives in Los Angeles.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Chalk Hill Books (April 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976817802
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976817802
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,295,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert Latham Brown is a member of the Directors Guild of America and the Producers Guild of America, and has worked on over 40 films with budgets ranging from $1.6 million to over $100 million as both a unit production manager and producer. In addition, he teaches at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts, and is the author of "Planning the Low-Budget Film" which was a finalist in the 2007 Ben Franklin Awards and a winner at the Hollywood Book Festival.

Some of his credits include "The Blues Brothers;" "The Thing;" "Return of the Jedi;" "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom;" "Spaceballs;" "Child's Play 1, 2, & 3;" "War of the Roses;" "Robin Hood: Men in Tights;" "Starship Troopers;" "The Parent Trap;" "Hollow Man;" "S.W.A.T.;" "A Lot Like Love;" and "Local Color" (an official selection of the Tribeca International Film Festival).

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have been associated with the film business for the last 20 plus years, and have not read a book that addresses the real world of Low-Budget film making as well as Robert L. Brown has captured. His book should be cumpulsory reading for every film student, and those who would like to understand the nuts and bolts of the business. Mr. Brown has managed to make his book entertaining while being informative. (Not an easy job when talking budgets etc.).

Mr. Brown's years of experience in being one of the industries most respected producers has culminated in an interesting short-cut to understanding and Planning the Low-Budget Film process. Job well done... Patrick W.Adderson.
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Format: Paperback
I am enjoying Robert Latham Brown's Planning the Low-Budget Film. The first half introduces one to basic considerations in budgeting and scheduling a movie, with many anecdotes taken from Brown's experiences making movies for a variety of studios over the last thirty years. The second half is a virtual encyclopedia of film-making, organized according to the budget's chart of accounts. Brown educates the reader about each account, about the considerations involving that expense, in order to project how much money needs to be budgeted for it. A film production manager's job involves interfacing with so many aspects of the world that there is a lot to learn about reality from Brown's anecdotes and discussion of each budget account. He does not appear to hold anything back and is generous with his hard-won experience. For example, in a section titled Lindsley's Method in chapter 22 he shares a method he personally learned for tracking the film's progress - is it ahead of schedule or behind schedule? The book is suitable for film students, but should gradually find its way onto the desks, where it is close at hand, of every film production manager.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an entertaining discussion of how to prepare a budget for making a low-budget (less than $2 million) movie by a producer with experience making low-budget and high budget films going back decades. If you are making a student film, this is a lot more detail than you'll probably need. If you are looking at making a real movie, something that isn't three of you with a nice camera, this is the book you need.

My only regret is that I ordered the Kindle edition, instead of the paperback. There are a number of places where the paperback would actually be preferable because of the examples in the back.
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Format: Paperback
This book is mis-named. It is a thorough and comprehensive production guide for ALL types of films, high and low budgets. it should be required reading for film students and studio producers. It entertaining and full of insights and techniques for film production. In a way, Mr. Brown missed his calling. He is a gifted and extraordinary writer and teacher.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an outstanding piece of work. It is an entire course in Pre-Production Management all in one handy package. I have used it as a text for classes in Pre-Production a number of times and wouldn't teach my course without it.
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