7 Books Worth Reading for Aspiring Writers & Filmmakers

Over the years I've read a few books pertaining to production and post-production that I have found to be practical, inspirational, and motivational. Here are seven that I believe are worth reading:

Rebel Without a Crew

Description (from Amazon): In Rebel Without a Crew, famed independent screenwriter and director Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, Sin City 2, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Spy Kids) discloses all the unique strategies and original techniques he used to make his remarkable debut film, El Mariachi, on a shoestring budget.

 

How NOT to Write a Screenplay

Description (from Amazon): All good screenplays are unique, but all bad screenplays are the same. Flinn's book will teach the reader how to avoid the pitfalls of bad screenwriting and arrive at one's own destination intact.

 

 

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Film Directing Shot By Shot

Description (from Amazon): A complete catalogue of motion picture techniques for filmmakers. It concentrates on the 'storytelling' school of filmmaking, utilizing the work of the great stylists who established the versatile vocabulary of technique that has dominated the movies since 1915. This graphic approach includes comparisons of style by interpreting a 'model script', created for the book, in storyboard form.

The Screenwriter's Bible

Description (from Amazon): The 20th anniversary edition of one of the most popular, authoritative, and useful books on screenwriting. A standard by which other screenwriting books are measured, it has sold over 200,000 copies in its twenty-year life. Always up-to-date and reliable, it contains everything that both the budding and working screenwriter need under one cover five books in one!

Story Structure Architect

Description (from Amazon): Build a Timeless, Original Story Using Hundreds of Classic Story Motifs! It's been said that there are no new ideas; but there are proven ideas that have worked again and again for all writers for hundreds of years.

 

 

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Placing Shadows

Description (from Amazon): A mix of theory and practical applications, Placing Shadows covers the physical properties of light and the selection of proper instruments for the best possible effect. For the student, advanced amateur, and pros trying to enhance the look of their productions, this book examines the fundamentals and is also a solid reference for tips on better performance.

What They Don't Teach You In Film School

Description (from Amazon):  Two filmmakers who've beaten the system give the real dope on what it takes to get your movie made. Do you have to go to film school to get your movies made? No, say two young entrepreneurs who survived the grind. Here they offer 140 strategies for making movies no matter what. Amateurs as well as seasoned veterans can pick up this entertaining and incredibly useful guide in any place--at any point of crisis--and find tactics that work. Whether it's raising money or cutting your budget; dealing with angry landlords or angry cops; or jump-starting the production or stalling it while you finish the script, these strategies are delivered with funny, illustrative anecdotes from the authors' experiences and from veteran filmmakers eager to share their stories. Irreverent, invaluable, and a lot cheaper than a year's tuition, this friendly guide is the smartest investment any future filmmaker could make. Strategies from the book include: Love your friends for criticizing your work--especially at the script stage; Shyness won't get you the donuts; Duct tape miracles; Don't fall in love with cast or crew (but if you do...).


Feel free to leave your recommendations in the Comments section below.