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Q&A | February 27, 2014

Rene Denfeld: IMG Powell’s Q&A: Rene Denfeld

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25 Local Warehouse Film and Television- Screenwriting
12 Remote Warehouse Film and Television- Production

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How Not to Make a Short Film: Secrets from a Sundance Programmer


How Not to Make a Short Film: Secrets from a Sundance Programmer Cover

ISBN13: 9781401309541
ISBN10: 1401309542
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"Roberta Munroe is that rare person in the film world who can not only recognize an inspired, great film, but she can actually help you make one."

--Mark Duplass, Sundance and SXSW award-winning filmmaker.

"Roberta Munroe is brilliant. Her advice and insights on our project, The Tribe, from rough cut to completed film were instrumental and invaluable to its success. It is exciting to think that all filmmakers will have access to her incredible mind and experience through this book."

--Tiffany Shlain, award-winning filmmaker

Anyone can make a short film, right Just grab some friends and your handheld and you can do it in a weekend or two before being accepted to a slew of film festivals, right


Roberta Munroe screened short film submissions at Sundance for five years, and is an award-winning short filmmaker in her own right. So she knows a thing or two about how not to make a short film. From the first draft of your script to casting, production, editing, and distribution, this is your one-stop primer for breaking into the business. Featuring interviews with many of today's most talented writers, producers, and directors, as well as revealing stories (e.g., what to do when the skinhead crack addict next door begins screaming obscenities as soon as you call "action") from the sets of her own short films, Roberta walks you through the minefield of mistakes that an aspiring filmmaker can make--so that you don't have to make them yourself.

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Emma Coats, April 21, 2009 (view all comments by Emma Coats)
Okay, it's a dumb thing to say, but this is the only book you need if you're considering making a short film. Forget those books with chapters about what kind of DV camera you should get and what high-def workflow is like. All that stuff is obsolete before you even buy the book to look at that chapter. Roberta Munroe's book focuses on how to craft a solid story and work with people, which are two things that will always be important and current.

I went and directed a short before ever discovering this book, and everything that I learned through trial and error Roberta talks about here - flexibility, finding a producer, writing, what NOT to put in your script, where to spend your money so it counts. I had a producer who knew what he was doing, so I don't know that we would have done anything differently if we'd had this book, but for people who DON'T have a UCLA film production grad doing all their scheduling and hand-holding, this book would be valuable.

I feel like smart motivated people can make quality shorts for less than she thinks - she doesn't really address the DIY equipment option, which is an important alternative to renting expensive pro equipment. Definitely worth the $15 or so - and if you can ever see her speak in person, don't miss it!
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Product Details

Munroe, Roberta Marie
Hyperion Books
Munroe, Ro
berta Marie
Film & Video - Screenwriting
Short films - Production and direction
Film - Screenwriting
Film and Television-Screenwriting
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8 x 5.1875 in 8.4 oz
Age Level:

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Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » Screenwriting
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