Filmmaking: Direct Your Movie from Script to Screen Using Proven Hollywood Techniques

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  1. Christina Paul says:
    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    No matter what your filmmaking ambitions are, get THIS book!, February 17, 2011
    By 
    Christina Paul (Anamosa, IA USA) –
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    This review is from: Filmmaking: Direct Your Movie from Script to Screen Using Proven Hollywood Techniques (Paperback)
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    The illustration on the cover of this book is very apropos. As someone who jumped in to the industry with both feet and not a first clue about what I was getting into, I can say that I WISH that I had had “Filmmaking: Direct Your Movie from Script to Screen Using Proven Hollywood Techniques” by Jason Tomaric back then! It is just packed with just about every single detail that any aspiriing, or even established independent filmmaker can have a question about.

    The one thing that really thrilled me about this book is that it goes beyond techniques and how to film scenes, three point lighting, cameras, etc. This book also effectively delves into the nitty-gritty of the business side. This is the one area, in all honesty, what so many film students or would-be filmmakers painfully lack. Filmmaking is a business, and Tomaric brings that reality home. Jason Tomaric shows step-by-step on scheduling, casting, dealing with the various unions and organizations, as well as keeping things nice and organized during the all-too-important post-production and distribution stages.

    If you want to make movies, and you don’t necessarily have the time and inclination to go to film school, there is no better book that I have found than this one that covers it all in one volume. It simply is a must-own!

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  2. Andre Lawrence says:
    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A Landmark Work on Filmmaking. FILMMAKING: Direct Your Movie From Script To Screen: A Critical Review., February 12, 2011
    By 
    Andre Lawrence (Miami, Florida) –
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    This review is from: Filmmaking: Direct Your Movie from Script to Screen Using Proven Hollywood Techniques (Paperback)
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    This is, perhaps, the closest you’ll get (or need) to having a comprehensive overview of film school, but in a book. Although nothing can take the place of hands-on practice with a working professional, this is nothing short of a 500-page personal diary of an independent filmmaker and the steps he took from creating a story to working as an independent filmmaker.

    It’s that good.

    **** **** ****

    I couldn’t help thinking as I started spending time with this book about my life 16 years ago.

    I had just left grad school at FSU with one class left to take over and a five-hour comprehensive exam to look forward to. But, I left to pursue a career in filmmaking (that in and of itself would prove to be an education of enormous proportions, as I’d soon find out.)

    It was around this time, coincidentally, that the author says he struck out on his own to become a filmmaker. So, our experiences, at least from that point, is parallel. As I went through this book, I found myself having remembered long-forgotten moments of stumbling out of the gate and making the same kinds of presumptions, starry-eyed predictions of creating works of art that any intelligent person would pay to see.

    Around that time, most indie filmmakers (and aspiring ones, too) had two choices: rent 16mm cameras, buy film and try to negotiate the best possible deal with an editor/ studio. The other alternative was to buy a 8 mm camera and repeat the process, except you also had the added burden of upgrading and losing even more resolution than the 16mm equipment.

    But something interesting happened as well. Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg were making waves with their Dogma 95 film festival in Denmark outside the reaches of Hollywood’s dominion. It was here that Vinterberg’s “The Celebration” was surprised indie hits. Mostly celebrated for the script, The Celebration was also notable for being shot using Sony Hi-8 videotape. This along with several award-winning documentaries (made with Sony and Canon digital cameras) ushered in this new wave of independent filmmaking. Although the limitations were woefully apparent, this success also signaled to that the future for feature filmmakers can now be attainable with much less expense.

    This is the era that author Jason J. Tomaric begins his professional career.

    FILMMAKING, the book, is a very detailed breakdown of what you should do if you MUST be a filmmaker. Throughout this book, Tomaric breakdown each section and highlights in bold print definitions that’s common currency in the filmmaking industry that the novice needs to be familiar with AND why. Also, Tomaric does something useful that I am tirelessly recommending to people who publish the better books about the industry (because to be frank, there are literally several hundred books just on the style of filmmaking, let alone scripts that are published and movie memorabilia publications) and that is, he includes real-life situations that worked and didn’t work. This is important because it reinforces the subject at-hand and certainly lends credence to the author’s veracity.

    Highlights***** ******

    The Script (Ch. 1, pp’s 5-45)

    Preproduction (Ch. 2, pp’s 47-53) A Brief overview and flowchart outlining the immediate goals once a project has been “Green-Lighted.” Such topics as creating a preliminary budget, hiring a cast & crew, securing equipment/ rental facility, hiring an appropriate lawyer and scheduling the “Shoot Dates.”

    The Budget (Ch. 3, pp’s 55-74) Flowchart. Thoughts on raising money; allocating & controlling fixed and variable expenses. Being fiscally creative.
    * Cast and Crew.
    * Above-The-Line talent (The Director, Producer, Writers & Main Actors)- negotiable salaries.
    * Below-The-Line crew. Day, week and “locked” rates.
    * Union & Guilds
    * Agreement Ranges- Expenses & responsibilities related to the gross budget.
    * The Business Plan & The Business Formulas
    * Forming A Company

    Breakdown & Scheduling (Ch. 4, pp’s 77-97)
    * Breakdown of script
    * Breakdown of scene
    * Determining the number of “Shooting Days”
    * Making a daily schedule
    * Contact List & Call Sheet

    Insurance (Ch. 5, pp’s 99-103)
    Types of (mandatory) insurance

    Casting The Roles (Ch. 7, pp’s 121-140)
    * Consideration for casting the director, “Name” actors.
    * Working with casting agencies.
    * Preparing for and after the audition.

    The Crew (Ch. 8, pp’s 143-167) Notes on working with the Behind-The-Scenes crew.

    Equipment (Ch. 9, pp’s 169-204)
    * Film vs. Video. Comparison and advantages.
    * Post-production costs.

    Directing (Ch. 12, pp’s 251-291)
    * Flowchart
    * Reading The Script
    * Creating the…

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