- Paperback: 296 pages
- Publisher: Focal Press; Pap/DVD edition (September 10, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0240809351
- ISBN-13: 978-0240809359
- Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 7.3 x 0.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Shut Up and Shoot Documentary Guide: A Down & Dirty DV Production Pap/DVD Edition
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"The key to Artis' style is his instant accessibility. He strives to give daunting, complicated technical and aesthetic concepts total and immediate clarity....he's as attentive to the subjective, intangible aspects of filmmaking (such as working with crews and interview subjects) as he is to the objective, technical ones....Most of this information is as applicable to fiction filmmakers as documentarians, making Artis' book a handy guide for a wide range of beginning independent directors and cameramen." - American Cinematographer
"Anthony Artis' "The Shut Up and Shoot Documentary Guide" is a good primer for the entry-level documentary filmmaker, presented in a breezy, down-to-earth vernacular style."
-Thomas White, Editor of Documentary Magazine, a publication of the International Documentary Association.
"I vouch for this book...extremely helpful for the newborn documentary filmmaker." -Albert Maysles, Grey Gardens
"A superb addition to the 'how to' subsection of your library, Artis' tome is concise, while containing useful, accessible information on every aspect of documentary filmmaking, all with a doggedly hands-on attitude. Five stars." - Empire Magazine
"The book is a very easy, straightforward read with plenty of graphics to demonstrate proper and improper techniques.It is also extremely user friendly in its layout.. [It] will be helpful to you for many, many years to come." - Microfilmmaker Magazine
"The book has a luxury presentation that makes you feel like a successful filmmaker - or that you soon will be - from the word go...Carried out in full colour, which makes a relief from too many academic tomes, its 296 pages are chock-a-block with very useful illustrations. But the clincher seem to be the DVD which is all part of the package. You're a filmlmaker, after all. A visual artist. Why would you want to spend all your time reading when you can be watching and learning." - British Film Magazine
"Anthony Artis has consolidated years of practical, professional experience into the quintessential blueprint for documentary filmmakers. I have used the techniques in this book on my documentary and narrative film projects, knowing that budget should never stop a filmmaker from seeing his or her vision through. I highly recommend this book if you want to turn your limitations into assets. Now shut up and shoot!" -Pete Chatmon, Writer/Producer/Director PREMIUM and 761st
"Plain and simple, nuts and bolts on making documentary films. It's told in a conversational manner with no wasted or minced words and most importantly no BS! Few books of this type would mention how important it is to take care of your crew and how that can dramatically improve the outcome of your film. Definitely told from an insiders point of view with useful and practical info that won't go over your head." -Cliff Charles, DP, When the Levees Broke, ThePeoplesDP.com
"The practical approach promised in the title is delivered fully by the text. Artis exposes the pitfalls that can swallow a beginning filmmaker and offers straightforward advice to avoid them." -Jonathan Luskin, Flying Moose Pictures, San Francisco.
"The book is comprehensive and detailed. Indeed the most comprehensive practical (I do hate the word 'guerrilla', a filmmaker is surely at the end of the day just a filmmaker!) guide to documentary filmmaking I have ever come across! ... It has three principle outstanding qualities that you seldom find individually let alone together in the same book. The first is how comprehensive it is; the second is how intensely practical it is; and the third is how clear it is... But remember that this book will not tell you how to make a great film or indeed a good film. Or indeed even pretend to. But it will give you clear and practical guidance on how to make your film. And without such guidance it is hard to even get started. This book will help you do so much more than that!
-Nik Powell (Director of the National Film and Television School in London)
"...jam packed with useful information spelled out in a useful way. You can't ask for much more. This book gets a big recommend for aspiring documentarians and a solid recommend for other filmmakers, including aspiring narrative filmmakers, who will find plenty of the advice applies beyond documentaries." - Making the Movie
"While focused first and foremost on documentaries, this is an utterly indispensable resource for anyone who wants to get their films made, on any budget... Smart, fun, and on your side, Shut Up and Shoot is packed with good stuff you'll otherwise have to learn the hard way."
-Bill Camarda, from the December 2007 Barnes and Noble Newsletter
Mr. Artis sets us straight from the start: "this ain't your mamma's film book; this is a book for people who want to make documentary films". He makes it emphatically clear when he adds: "This book is for people who are done talking about the films they want to make and who are ready to shut up and shoot".
--Rob Goald, Film Festival Today, Online
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Top Customer Reviews
One of the most refreshing features of this guide is that it strikes a good balance between the "down and dirty" guerilla style independent filmmaking it encourages and the recognition that professionalism and "mainstream" approaches to documentary filmmaking developed for a reason. He doesn't diss Hollywood style filmmaking, and is obviously well versed in it, and gives pointers for how to make work professional; at the same time he recognizes that professional standards urged in several mainstream filmmaking guides can become hurdles that keep aspiring filmmakers from picking up a camera and just getting started as they need to in order to develop professionally. Sometimes the "down and dirty" approach that encourages innovation and problem-solving over spending top dollar on the best equipment is just the right approach both for a particular subject matter and a particular style.
But the book as a whole covers it all: what to do when you are in a pinch and what to do when you can afford the time and money to give your project extra polish. He covers pre-production, including location scouting and getting releases, making budgets, raising money and securing a crew and keeping them happy; he covers cinematography and lighting and sound, how to get the best picture and sound regardless of your budget and equipment -- while at the same time pointing out clearly what does get sacrificed when you cut back on essentials; he covers shooting and interviewing, editing and distributing. Each chapter is refreshing and clear, written in an engaging style that isn't afraid to use street language but doesn't abuse that freedom to the point of sacrificing clarity. There is a thorough index and glossary and table of contents and even a tutorial dvd that illustrates some of the techniques he mentions and includes helpful charts and forms such as release forms and checklists. There are lots of great books on filmmaking out there -- and Mr. Artis mentions and describes several of them in an index on further reading in his book -- but I can't imagine another guide that is as clear and useful for one who really just wants to get out there, shut up and start shooting. I look forward to other titles in his "down and dirty dv" series (see the website at downanddirtydv.com). I've already assigned this one for a film class I'll be teaching in the Spring for which my students will be making small documentary projects as part of a course on the history of American independent cinema.
I was looking for a "how to" book that went into the depth of the subject of making movies with digital equipment. I need detail on how to light the scenes, how to construct sets, the use of blue and green chroma screen backgrounds, how to rig up cameras, how to direct, and etc. Instead, the book covered such mundane things as how to fold a blanket, the types of cameras used in video production, the models of cameras currently being sold to the public, how not to overload the circuit panel with your lights, doing your video as inexpensive as possible, elementary lighting, and more. Unfornately, the text appeared in a BOLD font which made it difficult and frustrating to read. Of course, readers who have difficulty reading the book can always look at the many pictures and diagrams.
This is the type of book that you can skim in 10 minutes and get 80% of the content. I would expect that this book would be very well received by 7th adnd 8th grade students studying digital movie making. Regardless, I returned it to Amazon.
I know that I am going to be "dinged" for this review by all of those individuals who thought the book was great. However, when reviewers write book reviews which do not accurately describe the content of the book, then other individuals such as myself will fall in to the trap of buying the book in reliance on the reviews only to return it for a refund. Inaccurate reviews cost everybody in the long run.
Note that I did find the book "How To Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck" by Steve Stockman to be very informative and instructional. It met my needs for the planning and shooting of videos. It did not cover the equipment. Regardless, I found the quote at the top of that book to be accurate where it stated that that book was ... "Like two years of film school in 248 pages." That book covers everything in detail with the exception of the equipment. I also found the book "The Green Screen Handbook: Real-World Production Techniques" by Jeff Foster exceptional: that author clearly knew the subject matter, although he went into such complicated and intricate detail as to make me realize that I needed a more intermediate book on the use of green screen in video.