With teenagers more and more able to ma ke their own professional, solid movies a whole group of books have been released focused on helping teens make better films. The best of these books will let you get a better feel for the production process, and help you to figure out what snags are holding you back from that three picture deal.
These books should be on every teen filmmaker’s shelf:
Filmmaking for Teens: Pulling Off Your Shorts by Troy Lanier and Clay Nichols
Written by two filmmaking teachers at St. Stephens Episcopal High School in Austin(and former panelists at the Austin Film Festival), Pulling Off Your Shorts is a great primer for any teen interested in filmmaking. The book guides you through writing, directing, and distribution for short film or video projects. An ideal starting places for any aspiring filmmaker.
The Ultimate Filmmaker’s Guide to Short Films by Kim Adelman
A great guide book to the world of short films outside showing them to your friends at parties, Adelman’s book is written from the point of view of an experienced short film producer that knows her way around. Anything you might need to know to get the resources to get your film produced can be found in here, as well as useful information from someone that has done it all before.
Film Directing: Shot by Shot by Steven Katz
Now that you’ve got a couple of shorts under your belt, why not get a little more analytic? Steven Katz’s book gives a great breakdown of the fundamentals of film directing. It’s not something you might want to start off by reading, but once you are ready to have your films take that next step this should be number one on your to do list. Katz breaks down film language for you so that you can learn how to speak it in your own way.
Feature Filmmaking at Used Car Prices by Rick Schmidt
Ready to step up to the feature film? Well then this book can show you how to get it done on the cheap. Schmidt will show you the ins and outs of taking on a project that big, while showing you the tricks to make sure your film isn’t as expensive as King Kong. The differences between shorts and features are bigger and perhaps different than you might expect, but this book will get you prepared. If you think you’re ready, this is the perfect place to start your journey towards a feature film.
I know that you might be in filmmaking to avoid reading, but you are going to have to get over that. Some of the best lessons you can get in film will be found by reading about the art form. In addition to these books focused on production, check out some film theory and read up on the history of film. The more you know about movies, the better yours will be.
But of course, don’t forget to back these up with watching films!