Books… Books… Books…

Over the course of the film festival, I spent a lot of time travelling on trains, which although I hated, did give me a lot of time to spend reading books. I’ve spend so much money over the years on film-related books. I basically got a collection that rivals the ACMI bookshop! I’ve got everything from scripts, magazines, lighting books, production books, post production books, user manuals, audio books, movie books, acting books – pretty much something for every department. During MIFF, I’ve been reading some of my more recent purchases.

One I’m still in the process of reading is “Documentary: The Margins of Reality”, which is a book exploring the definition and understanding of the documentary form, as well as the relationship between documentary and drama. I’m finding this book really hard to read, because it’s written in a very academic and formal language. It reminds me too much like reading the stuff I need to read for the media studies class at Hawthorn. However, the content is very useful, and I will make myself get through it.

I also recently purchased the 3rd Edition of “The Guerilla Film Makers Handbook”. I’ve already got two of the original guerilla books by the same authors (Chris Jones and Genevieve Jolliffe), and loved them so much that I just had to buy this newest one. Yes, I guess you could say I’m obsessed with spending money on books. With 768 pages of jammed packed information, plus a CD with additional pages, this really is one of the most amazing books on low budget film making. Split into chapters such as training, concept, screenplay, finance, pre-production, production, post production, sales, etc. this book covers every aspect of making movies from conception through to completion, distribution and beyond. It’s full of easy to read, and in depth interviews with people actually working in the industry, and honestly answers most, if not all of the questions, you have. But the thing I love best about this book is that the authors are independent filmmakers who have actually made three movies; despite the huge obstacles they’ve had to work around (such as being thrown in jail). I have a great respect for these two people, as they’ve just gone out there and made movies, ignoring all consequences. Over MIFF I read this book from start to finish.

I also started reading “Friendly Enemies”, a book by Delia Salvi that explores director-actor relationships. Although I’ve only read the first couple of chapters, this is a really useful and easy-to-read book that will hopefully teach me more about dealing with actors when directing student films in the future. I also think it will assist with dealing with people when making my documentary.

I guess the reason I spend so much time and money on books such as the above is that I’ve come to realise that knowledge is power. You won’t learn half of everything you need to know about the filmmaking industry by just reading books, but the information you do learn will be invaluable and can only help to make you better at what you do.