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101 Things I Learned in Film School Hardcover – May 20, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Neil Landau's credits include writing and producing for Universal Pictures, Disney, Columbia Pictures, and 20th Century Fox. He is the screenwriter of the teen comedy "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead" and has worked on such diverse projects as "Melrose Place," "Doogie Howser MD," and MTV's "Undressed." He recently completed his second book, The Screenwriter's Roadmap (Focal Press, 2012). He teaches at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts.

Matthew Frederick is an architect, urban designer, and the creator of the 101 THINGS I LEARNED® book series. He has taught architecture, urban design, and urban planning at a number of colleges and universities. He lives in Hudson, New York.
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Product Details

  • Series: 101 Things I Learned
  • Hardcover: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1 edition (May 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446550272
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446550277
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 1 x 5.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,301 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you don't know anything about film-making this is not the place to start. Its a great book to refresh your memory and perhaps suggest areas you should do more reading and watching. If you are beginning to think about film, think about scenes in recent films you've watched, and perhaps start your analysis by diving into this book. The guys are good
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Format: Hardcover
Film making is essentially storytelling, and as a writing teacher and avid reader, it's always fascinated me. I have been wanting to learn more about this storytelling process, and about the nuts and bolts of movie-making -- including scriptwriting, camera angles, and editing -- in a way that's relatively quick and accessible. This little book was perfect for me. It's deceptively straightforward and simple but rich with information. It helped me grasp the process of film-making, which Neil Landau described as both "painstakingly deliberate and fortuitously experimental." I am excited about looking for some of techniques he described next time I watch an excellent movie.

Some aspects of movie making the author touches on:

* The stages of film-making -- from pre-production to post-production.
* The nuts and bolts of screenplays -- have you ever wondered how to format a screenplay or how long it should be? (hint: 1 screenplay page = 1 minute of screen time)
* Writing and editing the screenplay -- it includes some of the standard gems cherished by us writing teachers, like "show, don't tell," plus tips for plotting, advice on developing a compelling protagonist, and more.
* Coming up with an effective movie title.
* Creating believable dialogue.
* How to pitch a screenplay to a film studio executive.
* How to use lighting and various camera lenses and angles to tell your story and reveal important things about a character's psychology.
* Tips for casting.
* Things the audience should experience during a movie, like catharsis.

This is a concise, intriguing overview of the art of film making, strewn with quotes from movie makers, actors, and writers, that I'll be keeping on a side table in my T.V.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I write short stories and books, and I have NEVER found such a small book so useful for helping me set up my opening, plot, scenes, deepen my characters, and get my point of view correct. This takes what is written in words in so many of my writers books and explains it in visuals with a paragraph of text. It's like having a coach in a small book you can slip in a briefcase or a purse Great for those of us who are visual learners.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Condensed and directo to the point. Great to remember lots of the thing they teach us at film school that end up being interiorized. If you are going to start teaching (like myself), it's a great reference to make you remember everything you learnt.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My son seen this book and wondered if it was worth the price-limited funds while in film school. Later reading through the reviews I noticed it was loved by pretty much everyone, even photographers of which I am one. So...I bought it for him, but borrow it for me. Is that right? Oh well, it works for us.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For the novice or seasoned screenwriter, this book succinctly shares the golden rules of the craft from an amazing teacher and writer, Neil Landau. Neil graciously shares his decades of experience in Hollywood in a book that every screenwriter should own and consult regularly. He has been a great mentor in my life through the Goddard College MFA program, and has left a legacy in this book with the ability to mentor the masses. Thank you, Neil, for your contributions to this craft.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Chock full of great advice, tips, and reminders. You will find helpful information in this book whether you are a long-time professional, or a budding beginner. Easy to put down and pick back up, too.
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Format: Hardcover
Although this book may, at first glance, look similar to those little coffee table books with inspiring quotes or entertaining snippets of information that perhaps look nice and graphic versus providing anything more than an ephemeral experience and an aesthetically pleasing bound book on your table, this book is anything but. This little book is full of useful information that is concise, inspiring and useful. Each page presents you with a snippet of information that is specific and will either remind you of larger topics that you have read previously or interest you in learning more about a specific aspect of filmmaking. It walks the fine line of being concise and informative. I say this because I find that compact bits of information must inevitably sacrifice substance. In this case, the writers seem to have found just the right balance between too little and too much information. I pick this book up and can turn to any page in order or out of order and still feel in the flow. Often it reminds me of something truly useful that had just dulled in my mind over time or that simply was shadowed by the noise of every day life. Almost all pages offer something for me to think about that would affect the way I write or shoot on any given story. It is a quick read and, undoubtedly, the kind of book I would pick up and read again and again because the information that is provided is useful based upon context. If I am in different mood, solving a different problem or on a specific project, I know that I would think about the snippets and thoughts in this book differently. Definitely worth the price...
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