Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The best books I read in a long time

It depends what you like of course. If you are into filmmaking these days keep reading, otherwise skip the post ;) A couple of months ago I bought a bunch of books about filmmaking. Of course before I bought them, I did a little bit of research about them. I must say I wasn’t sure if it they would help coz I read tons of books about photography before and basically it didn’t teach me anything, it was like the writer just copied and paste some notes from a student’s PowerPoint he got on his first class at uni. Anyway, the books on amazon are pretty cheap that I decided I’d give it a try.

The first one I read was ‘The DV Rebels Guide’. I consume this in only a few days!. It goes straight to the point, no BS, and Stu Mashwitz explains everything in such an easy way, that it’s awesome.  And the most important thing is, he teaches and encourages you to make a film with no budget. He shows you what an advantage it is not to be in Hollywood, not to have a big budget, or work for a big studio with great stars. He shows you that minimum budget, no fancy equipment and being your own captain can be your biggest asset. I truly loved this book.

The second book is ‘In the Blink of an eye’, a book about editing, from Walter Munch. This is another amazing book. In the first part Murch tries to find an explanation as to how the cuts work, but he approaches the entire question from a psychological point of view. Murch is an editor, a director, and a screenwriter, who has been honoured repeatedly along his career. Worked on notable films such Apocalypses Now, The English Patient, The Godfather  (part II and III) amongst other master pieces. Really an amazing source of knowledge inside this book. In the second part he writes about how he sees the future of editing. But because this book was written in 1999 this might sound a little bit out of date, but it is still awesome to read his mind and how he pictured at that time the future of editing and the filmmaking process would become in ten years.

And last but no least is ‘Rebel without a crew’ from Robert Rodriguez. This is kind of Rodriguez’ diary in which, basically, he explains how a 23 year old filmmaker with a $7,000 budget made a feature film called “El Mariachi” and created himself a space and name in Hollywood. It is a very inspiring story that forces you to think that sometimes it can pay back to just jump in the pool, make your own  film with the intention to learn as much as u can. After that, who knows, he did pretty well actually.

I learnt a lot from these books, and the funny thing is, the more theory I put in my head, the more pressure I feel, because I am now supposed to have all this knowledge and I’m worried that maybe I won’t be able to apply that knowledge and show it in a final product. It feels like the more I read, the more I postpone things. For example, I keep going back to the drawing board and make adjustments to my projects and that keeps delaying the start.  So now that I finished these books, I think the best thing to do is to not buy any more books until I do a short film first. Otherwise I will be reading forever without jumping in the pool like Rodriguez. Now is the time to action 

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