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Digital Filmmaking 101: An Essential Guide to Producing Low Budget Movies Paperback – July 26, 2001

4.0 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Celluloid will always be their first love, acknowledge the authors of Digital Filmmaking 101: An Essential Guide to Producing Low-Budget Movies. But after their second feature-length film, Beyond Bob, Dale Newton and John Gaspard recognized that they might never shoot in such an expensive medium again, "at least not when we were putting up the money." With chatty, postslacker humor and savvy one chapter is called "Special Effects (Please Pass the Construction Paper)" they guide the novice through each stage of using digital film: writing the script, drawing up a budget, getting funding, equipment, cast, crew, etc. Would-be indie filmmakers seeking practical, friendly advice will find this a handy reference.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Review

These guys don't seem to have missed a thing when it comes to how to make a digital movie for peanuts. It's a helpful and funny guide for beginners and professionals alike. --Jonathan Demme, Academy Award Winning Director, Silence of the Lambs
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Wiese Productions (July 26, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0941188337
  • ISBN-13: 978-0941188333
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #682,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bruce Boertje on January 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is the book I've been looking for. If you are looking to make your first digital feature or short, this is the place to start. After purchasing 15-20 books on shooting film and video, this is the book I wish I had read first.
The book describes in plain terms (without being patronizing) what is needed to produce a digital feature. From finding scripts, to casting actors and crew, all the way through to post-production and distribution, this book will guide you all the way. It gives examples of special effects, breaking down your script and creating a shooting schedule, sample actor and location release forms, even inexpensive meal suggestions for feeding your cast and crew during production!
Dale Newton and John Gaspard know their craft. They've shot feature films in both film and video formats, and have many essential tips for the low/no budget filmmaker. The book is written with a sense of humor. The authors laugh at some of their mistakes while helping us avoid those same problems.
If you are a novice or budding filmmaker but need a little direction to get started, this is the book for you.
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By A Customer on September 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a pretty good book that tells you about how to make a movie without a lot of money. There's a lot of good nuts and bolts info. But if the thought of haggling and begging for everything doesn't strike you as very fun then you might want to look elsewhere. Also, DV film is changing so fast that there's a world of technical info that makes books like these obsolete the by the time they get published. (Props to the authors for noting this themselves)
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Format: Paperback
I ordered Digital Filmmaking 101 a few days ago. Since then, I live in a well-isolated world where only this book exists. And of course snacks and pops close enough not having to get off the couch. Not only does it give you essential information but keep you entertained through the last page. It's a great pick for your first book about filmmaking just as well as your next one for your shelf. Thoroughly walks you through the development of your movie from picking the perfect script, budget building, recruiting your crew, find locations. Even what business forms you should consider. To pre-production, casting the cast, production and post-production. And finally: distribution. In a nutshell, I can highly recommend this book to anyone with the dream of making their first low-budget digital feature film. It's a must read.
Good luck.
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Format: Paperback
An excellent overview to the filmmaking process for anyone seriously interested in acquiring a knowledge of the process at any level, not just those intending to work on a low budget. It's a light read - without being frivolous - and the authors share their real-life experience in a practical and accessible fashion.

When you have read this, you will have a fair grasp of what awaits you and an appreciation of the total process. Highlights for me were the sections on Preproduction (a very digestible overview), and Casting (you can save yourself some unnecessary and awkward moments here - this was my favourite chapter), Finding Crew, and Distribution.

This is not a pump-you-up motivational book for dreamers. It's a practical overview for people who are committed to engaging with their own learning curve and realise they can minimise the pain by learning from others.

My only criticism is that it uses the ridiculous personal pronoun inversion Americans seem so dead set on ruining perfectly good books with (she and he, etc) in the name of so-called sexual equality. It's annoying, distracting and not something those with healthy hormone levels should engage in. Having said that, it's not on every page and certainly not a reason to miss this book.

This book should be followed by both the Guerrilla film maker's handbooks for the sake of additional depth.
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Format: Paperback
When I decided to go down the path of becoming an indepedent filmmaker, I knew I needed to read up on the subject. After reading various reviews, I decided to get Digital Filmmaking 101 by Dale Newton and John Gaspard. I'm SO glad I did. This book is amazing! It covers everything you need to know about independent digital filmmaking, all from the perspective of doing it on a shoe-string budget.

Although it doesn't go into great detail on any one subject, it covers every aspect to at least a general level, making this a great introductory text. I've read it cover to cover at least three times and have re-read specific chapters several more times on top of that.

Newton and Gaspard's writing style is humorous yet matter-of-fact and you always get the feeling they are in your corner. Most other books written by industry experts tend to have a "talking down to you" tone to them.
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Format: Paperback
Collaboratively written by film production experts Dale Newton and John Gaspard, Digital Filmmaking 101: An Essential Guide To Producing Low Budget Movies is a highly practical and informative guide to the creation of low-budget movies utilizing innovative film making technologies and the personal computer. From how to handle digital video equipment, to scripting and casting, production and distribution, to working the film festival circuit, Digital Filmmaking 101 is a superbly organized and presented resource recommended for all aspiring student and independent filmmakers.
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