Making Movies on Your Own

Practical Talk from Independent Filmmakers

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About the Book

You see them on the video shelves, with titles such as Domestic Strangers, The Bride of Frank, The Blood Between Us, Strawberry Estates and Sandman. Skeptically, perhaps, you rent one and slip it into the VCR. Hey, you think, this isn’t so bad—sometimes actually quite good. Suddenly, you discover that there is a whole range of movies from filmmakers operating outside the studio system that have their own attractions that the big budget fare can’t match.
You have, of course, discovered the world of independent filmmaking. Intrigued, you begin thinking that maybe you could do this, maybe you could make an independent feature film. In this work, J.R. Bookwalter, Ronnie Cramer, Mike Gingold, Eric Stanze, Steve Ballot, and 20 others tell what it is really like to make an independent feature. Covering such topics as the script, equipment, actors, publicity, distribution, all facets of production, and budgeting, these indie filmmakers give a virtual how-to for those interested in joining them or just learning more about how those interesting titles end up on video store shelves.

About the Author(s)

Kevin J. Lindenmuth has worked in the film/television business for about 30 years, in New York and Detroit. He has written and produced a dozen features, with worldwide distribution, and seven documentaries, most of them for PBS. He is the author of three previous books on independent filmmaking.

Bibliographic Details

Kevin J. Lindenmuth
Foreword by Ted V. Mikels
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 200
Bibliographic Info: 75 photos, appendices, index
Copyright Date: 1998
pISBN: 978-0-7864-0517-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0611-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword     1

Introduction     3

About the Interviewees     5

1 Getting Started     17

2 Thoughts on Film Schools     31

3 The Script     41

4 Equipment and Format     57

5 Budget and Funding     79

6 From Preproduction Through Postproduction     99

7 The First Film: How Long Does It Take?     125

8 Publicity     137

9 Distribution     149

10 Thoughts on Being a Filmmaker     171

Epilogue     177

Appendix 1. The Interviewees Collaborate: The Alien Agenda Movies     179

Appendix 2. Resource Directory     183

Index     189

Book Reviews & Awards

“practical advice for the low-budget filmmaker…the author, a working filmmaker, has gathered two dozen colleagues to answer basic questions about budgets, scripts, publicity, and distribution”—Library Journal; “for anyone with the guts…to make films on a shoestring budget, this book should be of considerable help. The Resource Directory, in particular, is of interest”—Classic Images; “you’ll love [this] book”—Cult Movies; “the indie directors featured provide a virtual how-to”—Alternative Cinema; “NYC filmmaker Lindenmuth asked 25 other low budget indie regional directors a series of questions and assembled the candid responses”—Psychotronic; “a definite must…an amazing jump-startish, self-help book”—Fright X Magazine; “interesting”—Public Library Quarterly.