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What They Don't Teach You at Film School: 161 Strategies For Making Your Own Movies No Matter What Paperback – August 16, 2000

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books; 1st edition (August 16, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786884770
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786884773
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Filmmakers Landau and White believe that "if you want to make films, make films." Since only four students in each class of 45 at the country's top film schools get chosen to direct an advanced narrative film, the authors urge hopefuls to honor the trial-and-error, Blair Witch-approved method: "if you want to be a filmmaker," they advise, "put down this book and pick up a camera." Though some of their imparted wisdom reads like an After School Special dialogue, the authors do project a healthy dose of industry know-how that could prove useful to those who have never entered the cutting rooms and bursar's offices of NYU, USC, UCLA or other prestigious establishments. The book offers concrete, creative suggestions for initiating a writing schedule, pooling financial resources (or choosing the right low-APR credit card) and feigning confidence in the face of blind fear. Among their best advice is this insight: "Your short film is only as good as your feature script" because "all that work and money [spent on the short film] add up, at best, to the invitation to submit a script to someone's office." The authors' enthusiasm for their subject is matched only by their delightful irreverence toward the industry itself, crediting doughnuts, duct tape and Red Vines as the stuff that reel dreams are made of. (Aug.) FYI: Landau and White are in preproduction for Three Loves, their first feature film.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Camille Landau and Tiare White are graduates of the American Film Institute and the USC film school. Together they have made over 30 short films, many of which have won awards in festivals throughout the world, and Freestyle, an award-winning feature-length documentary. They are currently in post-production for their first dramatic feature, Three Loves, and live in Southern California.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 61 people found the following review helpful By turtlex on September 24, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you've read some of my other reviews, then you know that I'm a true filmmaker wanna-be.
I love film and read about making films to feed my dream.
I've read text book style books, handbooks, and how-to's.
This book actually defies those brandings and makes itself into something all together new - an ENCOURAGING, HUMORFUL and HELPFUL book about what you have to do to make a film.
What a revelation I've found when by chance I purchased this book here at Amazon.
For those wondering, this is NOT a how-to guide.
What it is - well, it's a great book which does something (repeatedly) that very few other books about the art and craft of filmmaking do - it ENCOURAGES YOU TO MAKE FILMS: small films or grand epics, or videos of your dog - it doesn't matter - all they suggest is that you tell your story.
It encourages you to make a film - no matter what - if that's what you want to do - this book ENCOURAGES you to do so.
There's a whole lot of sensible information here, along with some gentle guidelines for deciding if filmmaking is really something for you.
With chapters titled "Fix the script, the rest will follow", "Sultans, dentists and Uncle Al" and my favorite "Donuts, red vines and keeping the crew together: the care and feeding of the set" you get a feel for the humor that's also used throughout.
Ultimately though, you have to ask the question, for a future filmmaker, is this book useful?
I'd have to answer a resounding yes!
It reinforces the notion that if you make a movie, no matter if it sells or doesn't, makes a million or never screens for anyone but your best friends - you are a filmmaker. That's a great gift to the reader.
Buy this book before you invest too much else in text and handbooks, and how-to guides. You won't be disappointed and you'll be getting a very good read.
Good luck making your film.
Best Regards,
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful By "jumpingjehosifats" on December 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
To try and level the playing field I felt I had to write this review. If you are an aspiring film-maker then you probably fall into one of three categories: 1. Going to film school, 2. Not going but going to use daddy's money to make an artsy film, 3. Just wanna get out there and make a cool film or 10.
The first 2 will probably enjoy the book. It doesnt tell you much about making films but feeds you with plenty of artsy stuff to impress the chicks at the coffee shop, ie "When having script-writing problems - Take out that picture of the moment you first met - Its a good idea when your just starting a project to write yourself a note about what it means to you and save it in a sealed envelope to take out in moments just like this!" - and this section continues with paragraphs headed, "Go on a special vacation together","seperation, or an open marriage", "divorce....now that you and your script dont have an exclusive relationship with each other, it might be easier...."!!!!
If this is the kind of stuff you enjoy reading then go for it. This book is really full of it.
If you just want to get out there and make films read "Rebel Without a Crew" by Robert Rodriguez first of all!! Then read "How To Shoot a Feature Film for Under $10,000" by Bret Stern.
Believe me after reading, "What they dont teach you at film school" I'm glad I didnt go to film school and I'm not sure that I learnt anything from this book either.
I tell a lie, I learnt that there are some really dull and condescending books out there.
In summary there's not that much in here that will help you out if you actually want to write, produce and direct an actual film.
Also cures insomnia. Only use under medical supervision!
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful By yarden on February 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
Sometimes I randomly buy books like this that SOUND like they have a really great premise, but they turn out to be amateur and doltish. Not so with this book -- it more than delivered on the promise made by the title and description. What a book!
I was struck in the first few pages at the encouraging tone of the book, and then again by the heft of the authors' intellects -- wow, these women have brains! But brains aren't all they have. They've got plenty of common sense about filmmaking with which they have been more than generous in their book. I learned more about filmmaking than I have from reading any other book, and at the same time I was energized and ready to pick up a camera, instead of discouraged and ready to run far away from any dreams of filmmaking.
It may be too late to go to film school, but it's never too late to read this book and get the down-low on everything you could want to know about making a film, conceptually, practically, and realistically. I'll have to read this book a few more times, and keep it close at hand for reference.
Well done, Camille and Tiare.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
I read lots of filmmaking books. I didn’t go to film school, so by reading these books it gives me an insight into the theories and aspects of filmmaking that I never thought about before.
It still amazes me that I can actually learn new things about a visual medium from a book, but I always have. Every time I’m at the local bookstore I swing by the film section to see if there is anything new worth reading. (Plus it’s a great location to meet new people to get involved in my future projects.) A couple of weeks ago I picked up “What They Don’t Teach You at Film School: 161 Strategies For Making Your Own Movie No Matter What” by Camille Landau and Tiare White.
At first I was skeptical about this book. Any filmmaking book that promises to show me the yellow brick road to Hollywood and filmmaking success just makes me laugh since we all know that no book can show each of us this path since it’s different for everyone. But, as I flipped through the book there in the aisle I found myself laughing and learning new things so I had to bring it home with me.
The book is organized into chapters named catchy phrases as “It’s the budget, stupid…”, “Sex, lies, and 16mm….” , and “Friends, enemies, lovers, and thieves.” Within each of these chapters is an ongoing bulleted list that make up the 161 strategies mentioned in the title of the book.
What I liked so much about this book is the mix of blunt honesty, real world insight and sharp humor. The authors are both graduates of USC film school and together have made over 30 short films. After completing the book I could tell that they’ve “seen battle” and are not just looking for a quick buck from writing a book.
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