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Old March 6th, 2011, 11:14 AM   #1
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must read books on producing feature films

Yup, I'm brushing up on everything I've forgotten from film school...

What do you consider must read books on producing feature films, everything from raising money, hiring crew, right through to (and most importantly) selling/distribution?

Thanks!
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Old March 8th, 2011, 03:05 PM   #2
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Re: must read books on producing feature films

Dylan, I would have thought the various forums would be a good source, the scene is changing so much with advances on the web eg: delivery with updates every week.

Time is paramount in doing this and you can't ask questions or get into a discussion with a book.

Cheers.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 05:02 PM   #3
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Re: must read books on producing feature films

I don't know about time being that paramount, putting a feature film together does take time, even developing a good script takes many months and often years. A major weakness with many features is having an under developed script.

Forums are good for asking individual questions or points, but tend to be weak on depth.

Just glancing through the 1982 Goodell book "Independent Feature Film Production" in some respects eg dealing with people etc not much has changed, whilst the technology has changed in many respects. Although, in this book the term "independent" does mean having a proper budget and a producer who is a producer who gets funding (i.e. the hardest part).

Downside to books being that they're not so good for the contacts needed, more the principles involved.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 08:21 PM   #4
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Re: must read books on producing feature films

OH man, the distribution model has changed - IS changing so rapidly, I'm not sure any book in print can readily address it. The new 'TransMedia' model of developing projects across media platforms SIMULTANEOUSLY rather than an after-the-fact marketing strategy is really changing the paradigm.

I know, I'm in the midst of discussions with a producer who is interested in one of my scripts - and this is part of the negotiations. How to develop 'the property' simultaneously with graphic novels, 'apps', games and such.

Brave new world.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 09:52 PM   #5
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Re: must read books on producing feature films

Two books I've read that may not be up to date but are still very relevant:

The Independent Film and Videomaker's guide - Michael Wiese
Making Movies - John Russo

I try to keep abreast over the different opportunities that pop up from time to time, but where I come from, the model is very different.
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Old March 9th, 2011, 02:06 AM   #6
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Re: must read books on producing feature films

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Alvarez View Post
OH man, the distribution model has changed - IS changing so rapidly, I'm not sure any book in print can readily address it. The new 'TransMedia' model of developing projects across media platforms SIMULTANEOUSLY rather than an after-the-fact marketing strategy is really changing the paradigm.
This an aspect of how a feature project of mine is being approached. It's not just it's potential as a film, but other markets.

Going to a workshop/seminar with successful working producers as the lecturers is a good way of getting up to date information. Although, you do tend to discover that a lot of the old stuff still applies eg the script and who's in it and you need to continuously develop new contacts. Each project has to be marketed individually, what worked and the people interested in your last film may not apply to the next one.

Reading the industry papers is also important.
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Old March 9th, 2011, 09:40 AM   #7
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Re: must read books on producing feature films

Agreed. Lots of books that cover the pre-production and production aspects are still current. Things like pre-viz and storyboarding - crew management - basic production workflow - these are still current.

It's the marketing and distribution element that is changing so fast. Seminars with experienced producers are the best way to go. The larger film festivals here in the US will host them - or workshops in NYC or LA. I was recently at the Austin Film Festival - and people from Universal, Sony, CAA and such were on the panels - and they were saying essentially "Everyone is scrambling to figure out the new distribution model. Everyone knows the internet is necessary - but how to maximize it - without giving away the store - is the problem. Honestly - nobody knows how best to do it - it's wide open."
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Old March 9th, 2011, 11:51 AM   #8
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Re: must read books on producing feature films

So the William Goldman phrase "Nobody knows anything." still applies. Surprise, surprise.
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Old March 9th, 2011, 10:51 PM   #9
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Re: must read books on producing feature films

Funny thing about the Goldman quote, I was at a seminar last year with a major Hollywood heavyweight speaking. I think his exact words were... "If any of you figures out how the f--k to make money on the web, please phone me directly." :)
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Old March 10th, 2011, 02:01 AM   #10
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Re: must read books on producing feature films

I've heard similar comments about the web from other executives at seminars. I suspect it's a different meduim that works best with interactive projects, for which people are willing buy subscriptions or where advertising can be embedded. That, or basically a variation of mail order.
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Old March 26th, 2011, 05:33 AM   #11
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Re: must read books on producing feature films

A book that may annoy, but could be worth a read.

Rebel Without A Deal: Book Review Film and Digital Times: News
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Old March 31st, 2011, 03:33 PM   #12
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Re: must read books on producing feature films

sent you a private message.
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