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BASICS FILM-MAKING SERIES AN EXCELLENT INTRO
by Susan Royal

Inside Film recommends AVA Academia's trade paperback series, Basics Film-making, for the film student, the novice filmmaker and anyone seeking to enrich their understanding of the key elements involved in making films. The attractive, well-laid-out textbooks cover both the theory and practice of each of the book's subjects, which include producing, directing, writing, etc. Each book manages to simplify the process, while still providing a comprehensive overview of its subject.

Basics Film-making: Producing guides the student or novice producer through the production process from development, through production, post-production and distribution. The case studies of working producers is particularly useful.

Basics Film-making: Screenwriting includes a running glossary defining key terms, a series of practical exercises for conceiving and realizing a script, and interviews with established and emerging screenwriters. It also provides advice on marketing one's screenplay.

For more info, go to www.avabooks.com

A TO Z GUIDE TO FILM TERMS IS BEST IN FIELD
by Susan Royal

Over the years I've read a number of directories of filmmaking terminology, but the most comprehensive and useful I've ever come across is A to Z Guide to Film Terms by Tim Moshansky (First Wave Publishing).

The entries are highly informative, many going beyond a basic explanation to include the derivation, as with the following definition for "gaffer":

The person in charge of all electrical and lighting requirements on set. This name comes from the early days of theatre in Britain, when all of the lighting was provided by candles. The lighting person would use a long stick called a gaff to light all the candles, and was therefore called a "gaffer." His son, whom he would teach the trade, was called the "best boy."

For more info, go to: www.filmterms.com

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: "The Dialogue: Learning from the Masters"

By Susan Royal

Mike De Luca knows a thing or two about screenwriting. While head of production at New Line, he developed such hits as The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, Boogie Nights, Se7en, Wag the Dog, Magnolia and The Wedding Singer. As an independent producer he has two films out this year – 21 and the upcoming The Love Guru starring Mike Myers.

Jay A. Fernandez has been an entertainment journalist since 1996. Most recently he wrote the highly regarded "Scriptland" column for the Los Angeles Times before being hired away by The Hollywood Reporter.

Both De Luca and Fernandez host "The Dialogue: Learning from the Masters" – a DVD series featuring 27 of today's most successful screenwriters. In these 70 to 90-minute interviews, top writers share their personal experience and insight into both the process of screenwriting and of navigating one's way through the film industry. The combination of screenwriters of this caliber being interviewed by hosts this knowledgeable makes for a must-see mentoring experience for all aspiring writers.

The series was created by Aleks Horvat, who also created the Hollywood Creative Directory and owns theOffice (a popular creative workspace for writers in Santa Monica), along with his partner, personal manager Larry Shuman.

For more info, go to: www.thedialogueseries.com

THE PERFECT PITCH:
How to Sell Yourself and Your Movie Idea to Hollywood

by Ken Rotcop (Published by Michael Wiese Productions)

The author, who previously held top creative positions at Embassy Pictures, Hanna-Barbera, Transworld Pictures and Cannon Films, is best known for creating "Pitchmart," the precursor of the many script picthing seminars of today. When it comes to pitching, Rotcop knows what he's talking about. This is all sound advice and well worth the read--even by experienced pitchers.

THE SAVVY SCREENWRITER:
How to Sell Your Screenplay and Yourself Without Selling Out

by Susan Kougel (Published by TL Hoell Books)

A concrete, step-by-step guide to writing and marketing your screenplay.


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