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The Complete Film Production Handbook Paperback – April 21, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0240811505 ISBN-10: 024081150X Edition: 4th

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The Complete Film Production Handbook + Producer to Producer: A Step-By-Step Guide to Low Budgets Independent Film Producing + The Producer's Business Handbook: The Roadmap for the Balanced Film Producer
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 4 edition (April 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 024081150X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240811505
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.2 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Product Description
This book is for working film/TV 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 delivery 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 decide. 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.

New topics and information in the fourth edition include:
* Low-budget independent films, including documentaries and shorts
* Information specific to television production and commercials
* The industry's commitment to go green and how to do it
* Coverage of new travel and shipping regulations
* Updated information on scheduling, budgeting, deal memos, music clearances, communications, digital production, and new forms throughout
* This guide to production management is on every producer's shelf and will save you time, money, and hassles
* Hundreds of forms, contracts, and checklists available to print and use on your production
* New edition is fully updated with information about low-budget productions and much more!

Amazon Exclusive: A Letter from Eve Honthaner, Author of The Complete Film Production Handbook

Dear Amazon Readers,

This book, now in its fourth edition, has been an amazing journey. It's continued to evolve and improve as my career has expanded and the industry has changed in ways I couldn't even imagine when it first came out. Because our business has become more specialized, what started as a collection of material that encompassed the scope of my experience has come to include incredibly valuable information on various facets of the industry. I couldn't share this with you without the help of several colleagues, friends and friends of friends who generously contributed their expertise to this and past editions. I've learned a great deal from them and continue to learn from the many talented individuals I've had the privilege to work with--the behind-the-scenes heroes who know how to make the magic happen while sticking to a budget and schedule, keeping the cast and crew happy (and moving), helping to achieve the director's vision and creatively overcoming countless daily challenges.

I collect new information and memorable experiences from every job and project I work on--both for the book and (when I teach) for the benefit of my students, who are the ones who never fail to remind me of why I love being in this business.

My goal is to make your job easier by compiling material on a great many aspects of production, providing useful checklists, an array of forms and loads of practical advice that will help you make your film. I want to guide you through the process, so you'll want to do again and then again after that--whether it's a 10-minute short or a big studio feature.

The Complete Film Production Handbook has become an industry standard, and I can't tell you how gratifying it is to see it in production offices and on sets--to know that it's helping film students and filmmakers all over the country. I'm grateful every time it's purchased, used and recommended, but would especially like to thank those who have been buying the book since its first edition.

-Eve Honthaner


"Eve has written two books on film, The Complete Film Production Handbook and Hollywood Drive, both of which have been very well received. The production manual is in its fourth edition and is used through the industry and at university around the country."--Studio City Magazine

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Customer Reviews

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Im glad i bought the book.
"The Complete Film Production Handbook" covers all the basics of film production and distribution, as well as the essential information of the film industry.
This book has 507 pages of very useful information about everything.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Scott W. Slavin on June 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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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...
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By City Of Rocks VINE VOICE on 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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