Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
This trio of award-winning independent film actors-writers-directors-producers reveal how their desire to make movies that fulfilled their vision led them to create a rigorous, economical regimen that, for those "willing to forego a visit to the dentist so they can instead buy film stock," and who aren't well-versed in the technical and logistical aspects of film-making, is well worth the book's cover price. Drawing on their experiences making three feature films (Twin Falls Idaho is perhaps the best known), the Polish brothers walk would-be filmmakers step-by-step from script-writing to post-production to distribution, with an explanation of each part of the process. The amount of detail packed into short chapters (particularly the chapters on directing and editing) is impressive, and informative sidebars and anecdotes about actors like James Woods and Nick Nolte complement the text's how-to aspects. With their wise and simple advice, the Polish brothers and their co-author, Sheldon, have done aspiring filmmakers (but not their dentists) a great favor. Photos. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Review by Library Journal Review
DIY film literature grows with these two additions to the genre. Drawing on many years of experience as a screenwriting professor and story analyst, Gilles (NYU Tisch Sch. of the Arts; The Screenwriter Within) now attempts to venture into a broader topic: the experience of going through film school. Readers hoping for a comprehensive encapsulation will be disappointed. Direction is only touched on and technical aspects are barely considered in favor of a focus on writing (not a bad strategy for film beginners to adopt). Included are essays on finding script ideas, writing exercises, writing short scripts, and rewriting, as well as extensive guidance on treatment writing and outlining and advice about working with agents. Filmmakers Mark and Michael Polish employ a drastically different style and method, culling their experience writing, producing, and directing three moderately successful feature films-Norfolk, Jackpot, and Twin Falls Idaho. Chronicled here is the entire filmmaking process, from conception and fund-raising to shooting and finishing to selling and marketing one's film. Overall, the Polish brothers, joined by Jonathan Sheldon, head of their company's development, write in a way that illuminates the details more clearly than most technical scribes. While this approach doesn't raise Declaration above some of the genre's standards, e.g., Lenny Lipton's Independent Filmmaking, the authors' narrative form will certainly appeal to aspiring filmmakers. Meanwhile, what Gilles really offers is explicit guidance on film writing; that isn't to say that his book doesn't have a place in the growing canon of filmmaking books for neophytes, just that the title is misleading. Both works are recommended for general collections and especially for film libraries and performing arts collections.-Michael Tierno, New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.