Film Directing & Production Books
Alfred Hitchcock was a strange child. Fat, lonely, burning with fear and ambition, his childhood was an isolated one, scented with fish from his father's shop. Afraid to leave his bedroom, he would plan great voyages, using railway timetables to plot an exact imaginary route across Europe. So how did this fearful figure become the one of the most respected film directors of the twentieth century? As an adult, Hitch rigorously controlled the press' portrait of himself, drawing certain carefully selected childhood anecdotes into full focus and blurring all others out. In this quick-witted portrait, Ackroyd reveals something more: a lugubriously jolly man fond of practical jokes, who smashes a once-used tea cup every morning to remind himself of the frailty of life. Iconic film stars make cameo appearances, just as Hitch did in his own films. Grace Kelly, Carey Grant and James Stewart despair of his detached directing style, and, perhaps most famously of all, Tippi Hedren endures cuts and bruises from a real-life fearsome flock of birds. Alfred Hitchcock wrests the director's chair back from the master of control and discovers what lurks just out of sight, in the corner of the shot.
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Indie Film Producing explains the simple, basic, clear cut role of the independent film producer. Raising funds to do your dream project, producing award-winning films with a low budget, putting name actors on your indie film-it's all doable, and this book guides you through the entire process of being a successful producer with bonus tips on how to effortlessly maneuver through the sphere of social media marketing and fundraising tactics. Indie film producer Suzanne Lyons pilots you through the actual making of low budget films to show you how easy and fun it can be. Laid out in a step-by-step, A to Z, matter-of-fact style that shows how the producer's role can be easy, how to treat the film as a business, and especially how to avoid the painful pitfalls faced by so many producers, this book gives you the essential tools you need to make your film a success from the ground up. . Begins with the earliest stages of concept development, continues through production & post, and ultimately concludes with distribution . Shows you how to create a buzz for your film through marketing and promotions . Interviews with global producers who produced films using social media, festivals, apps, and more, give you real-world insight that can be applied to your own films . Website points you to a fantastic collection of resources that you'll need to produce your own films (http://booksite.focalpress.com/indiefilmproducing)
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The New Iranian Cinema is considered by many to be the most fascinating cultural phenomenon produced within the Islamic Republic of Iran. Containing twelve first-hand interviews with the most renowned film-makers living and working in contemporary Iran, this book provides insights into film-making within a society often at odds with its rulers. Reflecting upon the 1979 revolution and its influence on their work, as well as the effect of their films on Iranian audiences, film-makers such as Abbas Kiarostami and Jafar Panahi highlight the key issues surrounding the reception of Iranian cinema in the West and also its role in the development of Iran's global image. Through these conversations Shiva Rahbaran reveals that the seeds of the New Iranian Cinema were sown long before the revolution, and that Iranian film-makers gave rise to a cinema which became a global phenomenon despite censorship, sanctions and political isolation.
Now Kathryn Bigelow has made history as the first woman to win an Oscar for directing, is this a new era for women film-makers? The figures in the USA suggest otherwise. In this unique international overview, we discover why and how women film directors are breaking through internationally. Highlighting emerging women directors alongside ground-breaking pioneers, this is a one-stop guide to the leading women film directors of the twenty-first century - and those who inspired them. From the blockbusters of the Hollywood studios to emerging voices from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Laos, we learn of women making films in traditionally male-dominated areas such as action, fantasy and horror. With wide-ranging contributions from countries with mature and nascent film industries, this volume demonstrates that economic and technological changes are creating new opportunities for women film directors everywhere as well as uncovering some surprising facts.
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The films of Claire Denis probe the idea of global citizenship and trace the borderlines of family, desire, nationality and power. Her films, including Chocolat, Beau travail and White Material explore connections between national experience and individual circumstance, visualizing the complications of such dualities. Following a foreword by Wim Wenders, international contributors explore the themes she addresses in her films, such as kinship and landscape, neo-colonialism and New French Extremity. Original interviews with an editor, actor and two composers familiar with Denis's working style and with Denis herself, also reveal fresh facets of this intrepid filmmaker.
Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Mieville are among the most important postwar filmmakers; they have worked across forms, across media, and across countries. This book, the first to be devoted specifically to the work they did together, examines the way they expanded the possibilities of cinema by using cutting-edge video equipment in a constant search for a new kind of filmmaking. Two Bicyclesexamines all of the films, videos, and television works that the two did together, and moves slowly across France and Switzerland, with detours in Quebec, Mozambique, and Palestine. Their amazingly varied body of work includes a twelve-hour television series, some experimental videos, an acclaimed feature film with Isabelle Huppert, a cigarette commercial, and much else. Overall the book shows the degree to which this work departs radically from the legacy of the French New Wave, and in many ways shows signs of having been formed by the distinct culture of Switzerland, to which Godard and Mieville returned in the 1970s to set up their "atelier," Sonimage. Two Bicyclesoffers a chance to explore a body of work that is as unique and demanding as it is rich and revelatory. Godard and Mieville have worked together for four decades but have never seemed more relevant.
Michael Mann is one of the most important American filmmakers of the past forty years. His films exhibit the existential concerns of art cinema, articulated through a conspicuous and recognizable visual style and yet integrated within classical Hollywood narrative and genre frameworks. Since his beginnings as a screenwriter in the 1970s, Mann has become a key figure within contemporary American popular culture as writer, director, and producer for film and television. This volume offers a detailed study of Mann's feature films, from The Jericho Mile (1979) to Public Enemies (2009), with consideration also being given to parallels in the production, style, and characterization in his television work. It explores Mann's relationship with classical genres, his thematic concentration on issues of morality and masculinity, his film adaptations from literature, and the development and significance of his trademark visual style within modern American cinema.
Wes Anderson is considered one of the most important directors of the post-Baby Boom generation, making films such as Rushmore (1998) and The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) in a style so distinctive that his films are often recognizable from a single frame. Through the travelogue The Darjeeling Limited (2007) and the stop-motion animation of Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), his films examine issues of gender, race, and class through dysfunctional family dynamics, with particular focus on masculinity and male bonding. Anderson's auteur status is enriched by his fascination with Truffaut and the French New Wave, as well as his authorship of every one of his screenplays, drawing on influences as diverse as Mark Twain, J. D. Salinger, Roald Dahl, and Stefan Zweig. Works such as Moonrise Kingdom (2012) and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) continue to fascinate with their postmodern, hyper-nostalgic attention to detail. This book explores the filmic and literary influences that have helped make Anderson a major voice in 21st century "indie" culture, and reveals why Wes Anderson is one of the most inventive filmmakers working in cinema today.
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Federico Fellini (Italy, 1920-1993) is a major figure in the history of cinema, who created his own highly personal and baroque cinematic language. He had his first major success in 1954 with La Strada, in which his wife and favourite actress Giulietta Masina plays the unforgettable Gelsomina, an innocent clown who falls prey to the violence of the post-war period. With La Dolce Vita of 1960, Fellini turned his attention to modern life and the scene in which Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg embrace in the Trevi fountain has become a globally-recognized symbol of seduction. Psychoanalysis is a clear influence on 81/2 (1963), in which the character of the film-maker, played by Mastroianni, is a fantasy double of Fellini himself, while Fellini Roma (1972) and Amarcord (1973) are highly personal films, combining caricature, dreams and nostalgia. In the 1980s Fellini made Ginger and Fred (1986) and Intervista (1987), both melancholic reflections on the death of cinema. Through the prism of the director's own desires and obsessions, Fellini's work is universal in scope, dealing with modern humanity in all its contradictions.
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Nominated for a nonfiction Edgar Allan Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America, Scripting Hitchcock explores the collaborative process between Alfred Hitchcock and the screenwriters he hired to write the scripts for three of his greatest films: Psycho, The Birds, and Marnie. Drawing from extensive interviews with the screenwriters and other film technicians who worked for Hitchcock, Walter Raubicheck and Walter Srebnick illustrate how much of the filmmaking process took place not on the set or in front of the camera, but in the adaptation of the sources, the mutual creation of plot and characters by the director and the writers, and the various revisions of the written texts of the films. Hitchcock allowed his writers a great deal of creative freedom, which resulted in dynamic screenplays that expanded traditional narrative and defied earlier conventions. Critically examining the question of authorship in film, Raubicheck and Srebnick argue that Hitchcock did establish visual and narrative priorities for his writers, but his role in the writing process was that of an editor. While the writers and their contributions have generally been underappreciated, this study reveals that all the dialogue and much of the narrative structure of the films were the work of screenwriters Jay Presson Allen, Joseph Stefano, and Evan Hunter. The writers also shaped American cultural themes into material specifically for actors such as Janet Leigh, Tippi Hedren, and Tony Perkins. This volume gives due credit to those writers who gave narrative form to Hitchcock's filmic vision.
Norfolk Summer presents the story about the making of a film starring Julie Christie and Alan Bates Joseph Losey's award-winning movie The Go-Between was filmed entirely on location in Norfolk in 1970. The film charts the tragic story of a young boy's loss of innocence during a hot summer and stars Julie Christie and Alan Bates as a pair of lovers crossing class boundaries in late Victorian England. The production brought together the playwright Harold Pinter, who adapted L.P. Hartley's elegant novel for the screen, the acclaimed director Joseph Losey and a cast of international stars for ten weeks' filming in and around Melton Constable Hall in north Norfolk - a time of happy creativity, some tension and a good deal of comedy. But the idyllic summer only came about after years of bitter battling over the rights of the book, and it was to be followed by yet more intrigue and high drama, which culminated in the film's triumph at the 1971 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the prestigious Palme d'Or.
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This volume is the first book-length study of the extensive career and prolific works of D.A. Pennebaker, one of the pioneers of direct cinema, a documentary form that emphasizes observation and a straightforward portrayal of events. With a career spanning decades, Pennebaker's many projects have included avant-garde experiments (Daybreak Express), ground-breaking television documentaries (Primary), celebrity films (Dont Look Back), concert films (Monterey Pop), and innovative fusions of documentary and fiction (Maidstone). Exploring the concept of "performing the real," Keith Beattie interprets Pennebaker's films as performances in which the act of filming is in itself a performative transgression of the norms of purely observational documentary. He examines the ways in which Pennebaker's presentation of unscripted everyday performances is informed by connections between documentary filmmaking and other experimental movements such as the New American Cinema. Through his collaborations with such various artists as Richard Leacock, Shirley Clarke, Norman Mailer, and Jean-Luc Godard, Pennebaker has continually reworked and redefined the forms of documentary filmmaking. This book also includes a recent interview with the director and a full filmography.
In this book, Peter Brunette analyzes the theatrical releases of Austrian film director Michael Haneke, including The White Ribbon, winner of the 2009 Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Perhaps best known to U.S. audiences for Cache, The Piano Teacher, and his remake of his own disturbing Funny Games, Haneke has consistently challenged critics and film viewers to consider their own responsibility for what they watch when they seek to be "merely" entertained by such studio-produced Hollywood thrillers. Brunette highlights Haneke's brilliant use of uncompromising visual and aural techniques to express complex themes. His most recent films contain what has become his hallmark: a moment of violence or shock that is not intended to be exploitative, but that nevertheless goes beyond the conventional boundaries of most art cinema. Lauded for graphically revealing the powerful influence of contemporary media on social behavior, his films offer a chilling critique of contemporary consumer society. Brunette discusses Haneke's major releases in English, French, and German, including the film that first brought him to international attention, Benny's Video. The first full-length study of Haneke's work in any language, this book also includes an interview with the director that explores his motivations and methods.
The fifty-one essays compiled in this book were written over a forty-year period by India's leading independent filmmaker. They provide new insights into a turbulent era in modern India's cultural history. Although known primarily as a filmmaker, Kumar Shahani has taught, spoken and written on a variety of subjects over this period, that include the cinema, but also politics, aesthetics, history and psychoanalysis. In these essays Shahani addresses diverse political issues, aesthetic practice, questions of artistic freedom and censorship. There are also personal essays on filmmakers and artists including his teachers and colleagues. Shahani's often polemical positions, as they occur in several previously unpublished essays and presentations, are essential contributions to film and cultural histories of the Indian cinema as well as of the New Cinema worldwide. The book includes a comprehensive introductory essay, "Kumar Shahani Now," by Ashish Rajadhyaksha.
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The films of the Coen brothers have become a contemporary cultural phenomenon. Highly acclaimed and commercially successful, over the years their movies have attracted increasingly larger audiences and spawned a subculture of dedicated fans. Shunning fame and celebrity, Ethan and Joel Coen remain maverick filmmakers, producing and directing independent films outside the Hollywood mainstream in a unique style combining classic genres like film noir with black comedy to tell off-beat stories about America and the American Dream. This study surveys Oscar-winning films, such as Fargo (1996) and No Country for Old Men (2007), as well as cult favorites, including O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) and The Big Lebowski (1998). Beginning with Blood Simple (1984), it examines major themes and generic constructs and offers diverse approaches to the Coens' enigmatic films. Pointing to the pulp fiction of Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain, and Raymond Chandler, the study appreciates the postmodern aesthetics of the Coens' intertextual creativity.
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Through intimate encounters with the life and work of five contemporary gay male directors, this book develops a framework for interpreting what it means to make a gay film or adopt a gay point of view. For most of the twentieth century, gay characters and gay themes were both underrepresented and misrepresented in mainstream cinema. Since the 1970s, however, a new generation of openly gay directors has turned the closet inside out, bringing a poignant immediacy to modern cinema and popular culture. Combining his experienced critique with in-depth interviews, Emanuel Levy draws a clear timeline of gay filmmaking over the past four decades and its particular influences and innovations. While recognizing the "queering" of American culture that resulted from these films, Levy also takes stock of the ensuing conservative backlash and its impact on cinematic art, a trend that continues alongside a growing acceptance of homosexuality. He compares the similarities and differences between the "North American" attitudes of Todd Haynes, Gus Van Sant, and John Waters and the "European" perspectives of Pedro Almodovar and Terence Davies, developing a truly expansive approach to gay filmmaking and auteur cinema.
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Over the past fifteen years, writer, producer and director Christopher Nolan has emerged from the margins of independent British cinema to become one of the most commercially successful directors in Hollywood. From Following (1998) to Interstellar (2014), Christopher Nolan's films explore philosophical concerns by experimenting with nonlinear storytelling while also working within classical Hollywood narrative and genre frameworks. Contextualizing and closely reading each of his films, this collection examines the director's play with memory, time, trauma, masculinity, and identity, and considers the function of music and video games and the effect of IMAX on his work.
Alain Silver and James Ursini, the editors of numerous studies of film noir, present a new anthology of essays that examine the visual style of the filmmakers of cinema s classic period. Some focus on individual films or directors; some discuss elements of style or sub-groups of movies within the movement. All are sharply focused on what makes the noir phenomenon unique in American motion-picture history. In addition to highlighting Silver s and Ursini s own innovative work and that of their late colleague Robert Porfirio, Film Noir: Light and Shadow features the work of many other contributors who have written and edited their own books on the subject including Sheri Chinen Biesen, Shannon Clute and Richard Edwards, Julie Grossman, Delphine Letort, Robert Miklitsch, R. Barton Palmer, Homer Pettey, Marlisa Santos, Imogen Sara Smith, and Tony Williams.As befits the topic, this anthology is lavishly illustrated with 500 images that capture the richness and breadth of the classic period s imagery.
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An invaluable set of career-length interviews with the German genius hailed by Francois Truffaut as "the most important film director alive"
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Most of what we've heard about Werner Herzog is untrue. The sheer number of false rumors and downright lies disseminated about the man and his films is truly astonishing. Yet Herzog's body of work is one of the most important in postwar European cinema.
His international breakthrough came in 1973 with "Aguirre, The Wrath of God," in which Klaus Kinski played a crazed Conquistador. For" The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser," Herzog cast in the lead a man who had spent most of his life institutionalized, and two years later he hypnotized his entire cast to make "Heart of Glass." He rushed to an explosive volcanic Caribbean island to film "La Soufriere," paid homage to F. W. Murnau in a terrifying remake of "Nosferatu," and in 1982 dragged a boat over a mountain in the Amazon jungle for "Fitzcarraldo." More recently, Herzog has made extraordinary "documentary" films such as "Little Dieter Needs to Fly." His place in cinema history is assured, and Paul Cronin's volume of dialogues provides a forum for Herzog's fascinating views on the things, ideas, and people that have preoccupied him for so many years.
This is the first book-length study of the work of Amy Heckerling, the phenomenally popular director and writer of Clueless and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. As such, the book constitutes a significant intervention in Film Studies, prompting a reconsideration of the importance of Heckerling both to the development of teen cinema and as a figure in Hollywood comedy. As part of the ReFocus series, the volume brings together outstanding original and previously published work, examining Heckerling's work from an interdisciplinary perspective. In addition, an interview is planned with the director herself, who will be invited to reflect on her own work in light of the essays. Teen cinema, film and television comedy and the place of female directors in genre cinema are all considered here in a book that attempts to go 'beyond Clueless' and examine the significance of the work of Amy Heckerling.
The films of Orson Welles inhabit the spaces of cities-from America's industrializing midland to its noirish borderlands, from Europe's medieval fortresses to its Kafkaesque labyrinths and postwar rubblescapes. His movies take us through dark streets to confront nightmarish struggles for power, the carnivalesque and bizarre, and the shadows and light of human character. This ambitious new study explores Welles's vision of cities by following recurring themes across his work, including urban transformation, race relations and fascism, the utopian promise of cosmopolitanism, and romantic nostalgia for archaic forms of urban culture. It focuses on the personal and political foundation of Welles's cinematic cities-the way he invents urban spaces on film to serve his dramatic, thematic, and ideological purposes. The book's critical scope draws on extensive research in international archives and builds on the work of previous scholars. Viewing Welles as a radical filmmaker whose innovative methods were only occasionally compatible with the commercial film industry, this volume examines the filmmaker's original vision for butchered films, such as The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) and Mr. Arkadin (1955), and considers many projects the filmmaker never completed-an immense "shadow oeuvre" ranging from unfinished and unreleased films to unrealized treatments and screenplays.
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This retrospective celebrates some forty years of Steven Spielbergs boundless energy and his unwavering commitment to excellence in all areas of his work. The distinguished writer and critic Richard Schickel, himself a documentary filmmaker, applies his unique knowledge of every one of Spielbergs 27 major films to appraise the directors remarkably prolific and varied career. Featuring many first-person observations drawn from Schickels interviews with Spielberg, as well as a personal foreword by the director himself, this book presents an insiders perspective on Spielbergs legendary achievements. Impeccably designed and illustrated with over 400 superb images (including revealing behind-the-scenes photos from DreamWorks own archives), "Spielberg: A Retrospective" is the ultimate tribute to a moviemaking icon, and a book to treasure.
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Raising Arizona , Fargo , The Big Lebowski , No Country for Old Men , True Grit --Joel and Ethan Coen make movies. They make movies that matter. But do these movies matter for religion? Coen is a masterful response to this question of religious significance that neither imposes alien orthodoxy nor consigns the Coens to religious insignificance. The Coen movies discussed each receive a chapter-length investigation of the specific film's relation to the religious. Far more than just documenting religion in all Coen films--from blink-and you'll-miss-them biblical references to gospel tunes framing the soundtrack--the volume, cumulatively, mounts a compelling case for the Coens' consistent religious outlook with an original argument about precisely what constitutes religion. The volume reveals how Coen films emerge as morality tales, set in a mythological American landscape, that critique greed and self-interest. Coen heroes often confront apocalyptic and unredeemable evil, face human limitation and the banality of violence, and force audiences to wrestle with redemption and grace within the stark moral worlds portrayed on screen. This is religion on Coen terms. Coen teaches its readers something new about religion, about film, and about the kind of world-making that each claims to be.
The film-making partnership of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger was one of the most remarkable and visionary in cinema. They made an extraordinary range of films, from "The Spy in Black" and "The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp" to "A Canterbury Tale" and "The Red Shoes". With champions like Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola, and revived critical interest worldwide, they now find new generations of admirers. This illuminating new book looks closely at these classic films to explore their complex relationship to national identity, and their interest in exile, borderlands, utopias, escapism, art and fantasy. Moor reveals for example how the visual imagery of the films of the Second World War question current cinematic styles and how post war films like "The Red Shoes" and "The Tales of Hoffman" are in their highly expressive use of design, music and dance utterly international in character.
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