There are a million books about film making. Yes, one million. Exactly 1,000,000.
What all those million books about film making, writing, directing or whatever have in common is they are all useless. Sorry to be a dick about it. Reading several books about any artistic craft, I feel, is “paralysis by analysis”. Put that shit down and go do it!
(…and now I enter hypocrite town)
I have, however, come across a few that I think are pretty good. These books have inspired me to make films. Specifically, they speak to my DIY ethic. When I thumb through the pages of these books, I feel very inspired to put them down and get to work. That’s a funny notion: these books are great because they make me want to put them down.
We’re doing this for free, so don’t go out and buy these. Ask for them for your birthday. Or maybe steal them. That’s right, I said go steal something. What? I’m not the Pope.
Make Your Own Damn Movie by Lloyd Kaufman
The book that started it all for me. Every aspect of filmmaking is covered in this one, with great stories and interesting footnotes. Lloyd speaks with a passion about filmmaking I rarely hear in other filmmakers.
Rebel Without A Film Crew by Robert Rodriguez
The 10-Minute film School appendix of this book is worth the price alone. Or you could go to the library and Xerox it for about 50 cents. The book is mostly the diary Robert kept while making El Mariachi, his $7000 hit indie flick. With the simple rule: Spend No Money, we go on a ride with Robert that starts at a medical test clinic and ends at Sundance. Inspirational to say the least.
On Writing by Steven King
Steven King is the man. No question. Who else better to get the straight dope on the reality of being a writer? Even if you don’t like his books, his reflections and advice are incredible and practical. “Life isn’t a support system for art. It’s the other way around.” -SK
Ignore Everyone by Hugh MacLeod
(Previously know as the online manifesto “How to Be Creative”)
Advertising guru turned cartoon guru turned internet icon turned author. Hugh was worked as a creative professional for a very long time, and wrote this manifesto about his observations of life as a creative. Doesn’t matter what you’re into, all passions can be funneled through this book. Check his site gapingvoid.com