Book Review: Filmmaking Simplified by Flax Glor

Flimmaking SimplifiedTaking an idea from a screenplay to a finished film involves a lot of moving parts. For the beginning filmmaker, it can seem overwhelming to the point of not even starting a project. Flax Glor’s new book does exactly what it’s title promises: it simplifies the filmmaking process by offering up a clear outline of what is involved at every step of the journey to finished film. Do not let the small size of this book fool you into thinking it is light on information. Glor packs each chapter full of lists of resources, which are especially useful for a beginning filmmaker looking to build their library of resources.

My knowledge of filmmaking is limited, so I jumped into this book a novice. Glor’s style is easy to read. He does not rely heavily on industry jargon, which made it straightforward for someone like me. In the book’s introduction, Glor explains that he is, “a working Filmmaker without a fancy degree or powerful industry connections who has been a part of almost every department on every size Set imaginable.” This comes through in how thorough the book is, and it also shows how important it is for a filmmaker to understand every phase of the project.

Glor’s book is a glimpse into the technical side of being creative in the film industry, and this was perhaps the most fascinating part of this book for me. Making a movie is not as simple as writing a script, getting a camera and hiring a couple actors to act out your story. Even a small budget film requires securing financing, hiring a crew and planning for post-production. This book makes that process accessible to filmmakers at all levels.

In the chapter on screenwriting, Glor encourages new filmmakers to start small by writing a short film of only a few pages. This is an exercise to get comfortable with the format. He encourages beginning filmmakers to do the same to get used to shooting a film, even if it is simply following your pet around with a camera or shooting wildlife. Regardless of the subject matter, this will provide some footage that is perfect for practicing editing. You can even show the film to a few friends and get some practice using feedback to improve upon your short film. Stephen King once said, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” I think something similar holds true for filmmaking. As Glor explains, “Become a Filmmaker the only way possible–by making a Film.” If you want to be a filmmaker, you need to be actively making films–even if it is short films for practice.

It would be easy to build a detailed project plan from this book, and that is perhaps where it succeeds the most. With so many steps and people involved, Filmmaking Simplified will help even veteran filmmakers to make sure they are accounting for every step as they plan, hire and map out the process of taking a story from page to screen.

Filmmaking Simplified is available from Amazon.

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