DIRECTING BOOKS THAT WILL SHOW YOU THE CRAFT

Rebel without a Crew by Robert Rodriguez

This is one of the first filmmaking books I read at film school and is still one of the best ever written. In Rebel Without a Crew, famed independent screenwriter and director Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, Sin City 2, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Spy Kids) discloses all the unique strategies and original techniques he used to make his remarkable debut film, El Mariachi, on a micro budget. This is both one filmmaker’s remarkable story and an essential guide for anyone who has a celluloid story to tell and the dreams and determination to see it through. Part production diary, part how-to manual, Rodriguez unveils how he was able to make his influential first film on only a $7,000 budget.

Shooting for the Mob (Based on the Incredible True Story)

A bipolar gangster, a naive, young film director and Batman. What could go wrong? Alex Ferrari is a first-time film director who just got hired to direct a $20 million feature film, the only problem is the film is about Jimmy, an egomaniacal gangster who wants the film to be about his life in the mob. From the backwater towns of Louisiana to the Hollywood Hills, Alex is taken on a crazy misadventure through the world of the mafia and Hollywood. Huge movie stars, billion-dollar producers, studio heads and, of course, a few gangsters, populate this unbelievable journey down the rabbit hole of chasing your dream. Would you sell your soul to the devil to make your dream come true? By the way, did we mention that this story is based on true events?, no, seriously it is.

Making Movies by Sidney Lumet

From one of America’s most acclaimed directors comes one of the best filmmaking books that is both a professional memoir and a definitive guide to the art, craft, and business of the motion picture. Drawing on 40 years of experience on movies ranging from Long Day’s Journey Into Night to The Verdict, Lumet explains the painstaking labor that results in two hours of screen magic.

The Declaration of Independent Filmmaking by Michael Polish

Less than a decade since they began working in the movies, Mark and Michael Polish have established themselves as critically acclaimed, award-winning independent filmmakers. Their innovative approach to art direction, use of digital photography, and ability to attract stellar talent to their modestly budgeted films sprang from necessity; now these aesthetics have become admired trademarks of their work.

David Mamet On Directing Film

Calling on his unique perspective as playwright, screenwriter, and director of his own critically acclaimed movies like House of Games, State and Main, and Things Change, David Mamet illuminates how a film comes to be. He looks at every aspect of directing—from script to cutting room—to show the many tasks directors undertake in reaching their prime objective: presenting a story that will be understood by the audience and has the power to be both surprising and inevitable at the same time. Based on a series of classes Mamet taught at Columbia University's film school, On Directing Film will be indispensible not only to students but to anyone interested in an overview of the craft of filmmaking.

The Film Director's Intuition: Script Analysis and Rehearsal Techniques

Acclaimed director Judith Weston, the author of "Directing Actors," offers a deeply creative exploration on how to access and stimulate the filmmaker's most precious assets: instincts, imagination, and intuition. If you want to understand the craft of directing, from inside the head of the director, then read this book.

Notes on Directing: 130 Lessons in Leadership from the Director's Chair

Gathered over Hauser's long career, and polished to a sharp edge by Reich, the 130 "Notes" address a wide range of topics, from "understanding the script" and "defining the director's role" to casting, how to handle a first read-through of a script, rules for rehearsal, how to talk to actors, how to get a laugh, and the key elements of staging. Filled with enduring good advice expressed in assertive, no-nonsense language, and supported with explanatory commentary, insightful quotes and examples, and five valuable appendices, this deceptively slim book has the impact of a privileged apprenticeship to a great master, providing deep insight into the hidden process of creating a live, shared experience.

Directing Actors: Creating Memorable Performances for Film & Television

This is essential reading for anyone interested in directing or acting. Judith Weston's brilliance is to recognize that directors, actors, writers, and technicians are involved in a process that is at essence a collaboration. In order for them to have the best shot at creating something true and meaningful, they must share a language and a method of exchange that fosters creative cooperation. Weston rightly sees the director as the central figure in inspiring the energy of a production's harmony. She advises the prospective director on every aspect of a stage or film production, showing how the director can draw the best performances possible from actors.

Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen

A complete catalogue of motion picture techniques for filmmakers. It concentrates on the 'storytelling' school of filmmaking, utilizing the work of the great stylists who established the versatile vocabulary of technique that has dominated the movies since 1915. This graphic approach includes comparisons of style by interpreting a 'model script', created for the book, in storyboard form.

Film Directing: Cinematic Motion

A sequel to Steven Katz's Film Directing Shot by Shot, this book tackles specific problems of staging cinematic scenes. How should directors shoot scenes in confined spaces, such as small rooms or the interior of a car, in large open spaces, or with a number of characters involved in busy dialogue? As in his previous book, Katz addresses these problems by storyboarding hypothetical scenes for the camera, laying out a drawing of each shot in the sequence for readers to study.

The Filmmaker’s Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for the Digital Age

A staple of indie filmmaker’s bookshelves for well over a decade, the latest edition of The Filmmaker’s Handbook has revitalized all of the essential knowledge which it has become known for and brought it right up to date. Widely acknowledged as the “bible” of video and film production, and used in courses around the world, The Filmmaker’s Handbook is now updated with the latest advances in HD and new digital formats. For students and teachers, professionals and novices, this indispensable handbook covers all aspects of movie making.

Cheap Movie Tricks: How To Shoot A Short Film For Under $2,000

Cheap Movie Tricks: Film school numbers aren’t down. They’re increasing at more than 2,600 film-related courses worldwide. You probably didn’t even realize 48% of all film schools are in the U.S. and U.K. Thousands of aspiring filmmakers are literally learning how to use cheaper, widely available filmmaking technology, as well as the craft of making movies from books pulled from bookstore and library shelves. They’re totally DIY and the most creative people you will ever meet. Rickey Bird’s Hectic Films is a Southern California enterprise that is building a filmmaking empire on a budget.

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