This section will continue to grow as we discover additional material. We welcome your recommendations of resources—books, websites, and other items—that you have found valuable in your moviemaking work. To send us your thoughts
Here are a few books that have helped us with various aspects of our moviemaking work. If a book has made a difference for you, please tell us about it. To send us your recommendations in the following—or other—categories click here.
The Eye Is Quicker by Richard D. Pepperman (Michael Wiese Productions, 2004).
Although his chapters are eccentrically named (for example, “Editing With Two Left Feet,” “Ask Gertrude Stein,” and “Juxt About Right”), Pepperman covers all the fundamentals—from matching cuts to playing with time. He illustrates his points with storyboard-like illustrations, most of which represent shots from well-known movies. In other words, this smart and practical book is not all words.
Contracts for the Film & Television Industry: 62 useful contracts for producers covering all areas of film and television production by Mark Litwak (Silman-James Press, 1998).
This book is prized among moviemakers who’d rather spend their money on production values than on lawyers. The contracts can be used “as is” or adapted to your needs. Litwak provides easy-to-understand mini-essays explaining the legal issues. Major topics include Depiction & Copyright Releases, Literary Submission and Sale, Artist Employment, Collaboration, Music, Financing, Production, Distribution, and Merchandising. There’s even a helpful Glossary, plus—predictably—a legal disclaimer.
Screenwriting: The Art, Craft, and Business of Film and Television Writing by Richard Walter (Penguin, 1988).
Richard Walter doesn’t mince words. But he knows how to use them to delight and inform. Take for example his opening chapter: “Impolite Language: Seven Naughty Words: Entertainment, Commercialism, Voyeurism, Contrivance, Exploitation, Hollywood, and Audience. His explication of that list gives the beginning and experienced screenwriter plenty to think about. But he follows up with much more practical advice covering story structure, characterization, dialogue (“Talk Is Cheap”), Acting and Setting, Sight and Sound, Writer’s Block, and Script Sales Strategies.
The Power of Film by Howard Suber (Michael Wiese Productions, 2006)
Suber is the founder of the Producer’s Program at UCLA. Here’s a description of his book by David Koepp, screenwriter of “War of the Words,” “Spider-Man,” “Mission Impossible,” and “Jurassic Park”: “”What Aristotle did for drama, Howard Suber has now done for film. This is a profound and succinct book that is miraculously fun to read.”
The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Volger (Michael Wiese Productions, 2007)
Inspired by the works of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell, Volger’s book explores common elements frequently found in the stories of dreamers, novelists, dramatists, and screenwriters. The book famously discusses the hero’s journey—examining the stages through which characters go through on whatever quests they have chosen—or whatever quests have chosen them.
PLEASE HELP US FIND USEFUL LINKS. According to a contributor to Yahoo! Answers, there are more than 70 million active websites in the world. That number gives new meaning to the phrase “finding a needle in a haystack.” One solution is for members of this community to report on websites offering truly helpful moviemaking information and resources. To add to the examples below click here.
BOSTON FILM FESTIVAL is one of the senior film festivals, now in its 26th year. For information
MOTIONOGRAPHER is a set of blogs plus a forum for exchanging information about filmmaking, animation, and design.
MUSIC FOR PRODUCTIONS (MFP)) is an online superstore where you can find and license music in a variety of styles and genres from music production libraries. You can also commission original music from composers working with MFP.