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Filmmaking in Action


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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Big Picture Why Make a Film?; ACTION STEPS: Getting Started; Three Filmmaking Principles; Six Filmmaking Viewpoints; PRODUCERS SMARTS: Congratulations, You Are a Movie Producer!; [video] HOW DO I…? Get My First Movie Made, with Cherien Dabis; The Filmmaking Path; BUSINESS SMARTS: Taking Care of Business; Chapter Essentials.- Part I: Concept and Preparation.-  Chapter 2: Start with the Script Where Do Ideas Come From?; Original Ideas; ACTION STEPS: Brainstorming Ideas; Source Material; Intellectual Property; Rights and Title; Fair Use; Theme, Story, and Character; "It’s about someone who…"; Structure; ACTION STEPS: How to Avoid Writing a Bad Student Film; Writing and Screenplay Formats; ACTION STEPS: How to Get Started Writing Your Script; Development; Developing Your Script; [video] HOW DO I…? Respond to Script Notes, with Julia Camara; BUSINESS SMARTS: A Writer's Contract; The Studio Development Cycle; PRODUCER SMARTS: How to Work with the Writer; Chapter Essentials.- Chapter 3: Directing The Director’s Role; PRODUCER SMARTS: Producer and Director, A Working Relationship; Seeing Your Project through a Director's Eyes; Getting the Script and Working It; ACTION STEPS: How to Mark Up Your Script; Casting Actors; BUSINESS SMARTS: Agents, Managers, and Lawyers; ACTION STEPS: The Audition Process; Selecting Department Heads; Planning and Visualizing the Shoot; Planning the Shoot; Visualizing the Shoot; [video] HOW DO I…? Set the Tone On-Set, with David Gordon Green; Different Styles of Aesthetics and Leadership; Working On-Set; ACTION STEPS: How to Work with Actors; Supporting Positions; Working the Movie You Just Shot; Finishing the Movie; "Final" Cut; Chapter Essentials.- Chapter 4: Conceptualization and Design The Principles of Designl; Composition Elements; Mis-en-Scène; ACTION STEPS: Choosing a Color Palette; TECH TALK: Color Theory in Design; [video] HOW DO I…? Use Design to Tell a Story, with Alex McDowell; Design Plan; ACTION STEPS: Design Analysis; Research and References; PRODUCER SMARTS: Dumpster Diving; Locations; Sets; TECH TALK: Common Set Structures; Previsualization; Sketches and Storyboards; Digital Previs; TECH TALK: Digital Storyboard Tools; Chapter Essentials.- Chapter 5: Production Planning and Management Management Overview; BUSINESS SMARTS: Business, Insurance, and Legal Requirements; Scheduling; Script Breakdown; Shooting Schedule; ACTION STEPS: Be Prepared; [video] HOW DO I…? Manage My Production's Details, with Lulu Zezza; Budgeting; Budget Document; Be Resourceful; ACTION STEPS: Planning Crew Meals on a Tight Budget; PRODUCER SMARTS: Finding Funding; Chapter Essentials.- Part II: Images and Sound.- Chapter 6: Camera Skills Your Screen is Your Canvas; Aspect Ratios and Formats; ACTION STEPS: Shooting for Multiple Formats; Special Formats: 3D Stereoscopic and Giant Screen; PRODUCER SMARTS: Creative Discussion about the Look of the Film; Image Capture Media and Machines; TECH TALK: What Are You Seeing?; Digital Cameras; How Digital Cameras Work; TECH TALK: Picking on Pixels; [video] HOW DO I…? Prepare the Camera, with Jacob Pinger; Types of Digital Cameras; ACTION STEPS: Using Your Digital Camera; Film; Film Formats and Film Stock; How Film and Film Cameras Work; ACTION STEPS: Using a Film Camera; TECH TALK: Go Negative!; Lenses; Focal Length; Focus; Key Factors: Shutter and Aperture; Depth of Field; ACTION STEPS: Rack Focus and Depth of Field; Supporting and Moving the Camera; BUSINESS SMARTS: The "Camera Package"; Chapter Essentials.- Chapter 7: Telling the Story with the Camera Basic Shots; Long Shots; Medium Shots; Close Shots; Camera Angles: How You View the Scene; ACTION STEPS: Low Budget Dutch Angle Trick; ACTION STEPS: Dirty vs. Clean; Composition; What is Good Composition?; PRODUCER SMARTS: Composition Outside the Frame; ACTION STEPS: Shooting People and Objects; Composition in the Moving Frame; Composition and Lenses; ACTION STEPS: Low-Budget Hacks to Make Your Student Film Look High-Budget; Creating Images for Continuity; How to Shoot a Scene; Don’t Cross the Line!; Eyelines, Visual Effects, and Animation; [video] HOW DO I…? Motivate the Camera, with Mandy Walker; BUSINESS SMARTS: How Many Shots Do You Need?; Chapter Essentials.- Chapter 8: Lighting Skills Qualities of Light; Shadows and Contrast; Directional and Diffused Lighting; Measuring Lighting; Exposure; Approaches to Exposure; Elements of Exposure; Exposure in Action; ACTION STEPS: Solving Exposure Problems; Color; Color Temperature; White Balance; Lighting Gear; ACTION STEPS: Lighting Safety First!; TECH TALK: Don't Blow that Circuit!; Lighting Instruments; Exterior Lights; Interior Lights; [video] HOW DO I…? Light with Minimal Tools, with Willie Dawkins; BUSINESS SMARTS: Renting Lights; PRODUCER SMARTS: How Much is Enough?; Mounting Equipment; Diffusers, Gels, and Cookies; Chapter Essentials.- Chapter 9: Telling the Story through Lighting Chapter { } PRODUCER SMARTS:The Sonic Business { } Planning Sound Design { } Dialogue and Sound Effects { } ACTION STEPS:Annotate Your Script for Sound Opportunities { } The Music Plan { } BUSINESS SMARTS:Licensing Music { } Sound Recording { } Recording Best Practices { } TECH TALK:Acoustics { } ACTION STEPS:Using the Boom { } Recording Sound Effects { } Recording Levels { } Microphones { } Recording Equipment { } Post-Production Sound { } TECH TALK:Mixing Consoles { } ACTION STEPS:Prepping for Editing and Mixing { } Dialogue Editing { } ADR { } Sound Effects Editing { } Foley { } Music Editing { } Art of the Mix { } NLE Hardware { } NLE Software { } Organize a Workflow { } PRODUCER SMARTS:Stretching Resources { } Organize the Assembly { } Files and Bins { } Timelines { } Technical Assembly Techniques { } ACTION STEPS:Art of the Trim { } TECH TALK:Native Editing { } ACTION STEPS:Adding Titles and Graphics { } Offline { } Color Correction { } Outputting a Master File { } PRODUCER SMARTS:Watch Yourself { } Find the Rhythm { } Analyze the Material { } Transition In and Out { } ACTION STEPS:Cutting a Conversation { } Editing Basics { } The Styles { } ACTION STEPS:Art of the Montage { } The Rules { } Breaking the Rules { } Types of Transitions { } Types of Cuts { } Planning Visual Effects { } PRODUCER SMARTS:Affording Visual Effects { } Storyboards and Previsualization { } Typical Visual Effects { } ACTION STEPS:Wire Removal { } Special Effects { } Computer Generated Imagery { } ACTION STEPS:Plate Photography { } Character Animation { } Key Techniques { } Motion Capture { } Managing Data { } Learning from your Audience While You Work your Movie { } ACTION STEPS:Preview Screening { } Kinds of Audiences { } Reaching Your Audience { } ACTION STEPS:Messaging Your Movie { } Publicity and Promotion { } Distribution Basics { } DIY Distribution { } Festivals { } BUSINESS SMARTS:Distribution Rights { } ACTION STEPS:Entering a Film Festival { } Studio { } Distribution Patterns { } Exhibition Venues { } The Right Date { } Windows { } BUSINESS SMARTS:Piracy { } Networking { } Internships { } Helping Yourself { } ACTION STEPS:Creating a Demo Reel { } BUSINESS SMARTS:Build Your Online Platform { }

About the Author

Adam Leipzig is the CEO of Entertainment Media Partners and teaches at Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, in the Executive Education program of UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business, USA, and in UCLA's Professional Producing Program, USA. He has overseen more than 25 movies as producer, executive, or distributor, including March of the Penguins; Dead Poets Society; Titus; Honey, I Shrunk the Kids; Amreeka; and The Story of the Weeping Camel. Adam served as president of National Geographic Films and as senior vice president at Walt Disney Studios. Barry Weiss has previously worked in the roles of animation executive, producer, and collaborator with Sony Pictures, Warner Brothers, Nickelodeon, and Turner Pictures. Barry was instrumental in the creation of two animation studios, leading the teams that created the animated characters for the Stuart Little and Spider-Man franchises. He is credited on 62 films and shorts, two of which have won Academy Awards and eight additional nominations. Michael Goldman is a veteran entertainment-industry journalist and author. He is a frequent contributor to American Cinematographer magazine and writes for a host of industry publications, newsletters, and websites, including CineMontage, SMPTE Newswatch, and Post magazine.


'An excellent resource for budding filmmakers.' - Chuck Gloman, DeSales University, USA 'Manages to capture every detail and nuance of the incredibly complex filmmaking process, and will remain as current as the latest blockbuster thanks to its innovative integration of online resources. An invaluable guide.' - Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO, DreamWorks Animation 'One of the most useful and highly informative books on filmmaking.' - Lakshmi Tirumala, University of Cincinnati, USA 'An inspiring real-world introduction that speaks directly to students.' - Kristen Shaeffer, Chatham University, USA

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