Horror movies, horror movie reviews, interviews, fiction reviews and more... Horror of Buried.com
Horror movies, horror movie reviews, interviews, fiction reviews and more... Horror of Buried.com
Horror movies, horror movie reviews, interviews, fiction reviews and more... Horror of Buried.com
Horror movies, horror movie reviews, interviews, fiction reviews and more... Horror of Buried.com
Horror movies, horror movie reviews, interviews, fiction reviews and more... Horror of Buried.com
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12.06.2016
Thirty Dollar Film School (2003)
Fiction Review by The Mortician
01.09.05

Thirty Dollar Film School (2003) Wow, a 500 page book on how to finance, direct, produce, shoot, edit, distribute, tour, and SELL your own digital movie!And author Michael W. Dean's credentials? He made ONE 55-minute 'documentary' on digital video called DIY, the highlights being talking head interviews. (Oh, and he's a punk rocker that has toured with a major label band a few years ago.)I was skeptical at first, but the author eventually won me over with his enthusiasm, his flair for artistic endeavors, and his generalization of 'success' (which is MAYBE breaking even on your movie's budget and doing something else). Sounds very familiar.However, the nuts and bolts of this book are so basic that you won't learn much from most of it if you've already made your own no-budget movie. Dean's chapters on the technical stuff are so bare bones that you might as well just grab a camcorder and experiment yourself, that would be the best way learn camcorder shooting...However, if you're a beginner who's never picked up a camcorder other than to tape the family barbeque or some home porn, then this book would definitely be helpful and set you on the right track to legitimizing yourself as more 'pro' in the 'pro-sumer' scene.There are some decent chapters on editing, burning DVDs (although the info is rapidly getting outdated with technology) and promoting your movie, although Dean's trip to the Sundance Film Fest turns out to be a complete bust, it's still interesting to read about his adventures. There's also tips on marketing yourself, booking your movie in bars, etc., although most of this stuff doesn't apply to works of fiction----Dean made a documentary about artists with a PBS flavor that is much easier to swallow than a moviemaker trying to direct amateur actors and sell phony special effects on a dimestore budget. What's amusing is Dean actually covers things like effects and actors and the whole nine yards---having never done a fictional feature before! So my question is, if the teacher doesn't have first-hand experience with this stuff, how can he write about it? (The answer is in the book---all this stuff that filmmakers need to know is covered in a paragraph!)Still, there's some good tips in this book for those just starting out, and Dean's 'punk rock attitude' eventually grew on me, and he has had some experiences on the business side of things that might be helpful. So all is not lost, although he really SKIMPS on many areas that might be helpful to the filmmaker.Dean likes cats, so he can't be that bad of a guy. There's also a very cool CD-ROM included with the book. On here, Dean gives you some basic contracts, a diploma for graduating the $30 Film School (reading his book, I guess!), and examples of his work. There's also some free music you can use and a 'how-to' documentary Dean made with his friends that is pretty amateurish, though amusing to watch. Dean is quite outspoken on things like copying movies and downloading, you'll get a chuckle from his views on these issues...Still, $30 Film School is recommended for those just starting out in the biz with not enough money for college. Read this book and many others to fill in the blanks on things---books by John Russo, Pete Bauer, Kevin Lindenmuth, and a host of others will help.So I recommend this book as PART of your DIY education.
Just don't stop with this one, there's much more to learn!
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