$30 film school


$30 Film School by Michael W. Dean Publisher: Muska & Lipman Publishing (March 28, 2003) ISBN: 1592000673

Part “how to” and part motivational evangalism, $30 Film School is a decent introduction to the world of independent film making. It’s a quick, easy read and the author certainly succeeds at sharing his passion and dedication to Art. I’m motivated to follow his words and “make my own movie.”

I could have done without the information about the author’s sex life, and the flippant remarks about how much “sexier” DIY filmmakers are, both of which appear all too frequently.

Dean tries to cover every single aspect of film making, from planning to production to promotion. No single topic is thoroughly explained, but enough information is presented to allow the reader to be at least better prepared than they otherwise would have been.

The technical chapters on video and audio post-production were very tool-specific, focusing on the tools the author uses and recommends. Fair enough. I don’t use those tools, but seeing the author’s approach was informative. Having a little experience already in video processing, I found it easy to follow along; but I wonder how confused a complete newbie would be. For example Dean quickly explains how he exported a sequence of film into a collection of JPEGs which he then modified in Photoshop and re-imported into his video program… It’s not that what he did was particularly hard, but the whirlwind explanation might leave many scratching their heads.

The book closes with the line "Now go write your own book.“. Since I use GNU/Linux and different tools, I just might!

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