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Shooting to Kill

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  232 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Complete with behind-the-scenes diary entries from the set of Vachon's best-known fillms, Shooting to Kill offers all the satisfaction of an intimate memoir from the frontlines of independent filmmakins, from one of its most successful agent provocateurs -- and survivors. Hailed by the New York Times as the "godmother to the politically committed film" and by Interview as ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published March 17th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 1998)
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G.K. Noyer
Nov 08, 2015 G.K. Noyer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read a lot of books on these subjects, but this is probably the best I've read so far, along with Sidney Lumet's "Making Movies", and even more informative. Both are highly readable, amusing, down to earth and generous books but Vachon's offers even more details and her deadpan feet-on-the ground advice is priceless, candid and mature. Sure, some of the technical stuff has changed since she wrote it. Those minor details can be skimmed. But most of it has not.

I highly recommend it to anyone
Dec 01, 2010 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good, if a little dated by now in terms of digital film-making. There are sample budgets, complete with a line by line breakdown with real world explanations. That and the crew position descriptions were the highlights for me. Great to hear a personal perspective on a crew position, pitfalls, etc. -- rather then just a text book definition.

Would love to read an updated edition!
Jim Hunnicutt
Feb 08, 2011 Jim Hunnicutt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An indispensable guide for anyone who has the desire to create a film but none of the money. Vachon breaks down the film making process into a form that is easy to understand and follow. She effectively points out the problems encountered in low-budget film making so that you can avoid the majoriy of the pitfalls normally found by aspiring film artists.
Belal Khan
May 02, 2013 Belal Khan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Must read for anyone wanting to do professional filmmaking. Includes real life story of producer plus outlines for budgets and what to expect as a producer.
Jul 21, 2009 Jesse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2009
i want to be friends with Christine Vachon.
Jan 03, 2013 Priscilla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq, filmmaking
An amazingly detailed view into producing independent films in the 1990s. Insightful, engaging, and bursting with advice borne of experience.
Nick Escobar
Jun 17, 2017 Nick Escobar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent read for anyone getting started in independent film. Eighty percent of the challenges remain the same and while costs like film stock and development have all but disappeared new ones have emerged to take their place. The supplemental materials, like the budget breakdowns and questionnaire examples, are a boon for anyone starting out.

Additionally, it's always exciting for film enthusiasts to read about the behind the scenes of actual movie productions. No matter the scale.

Read if y
Oct 02, 2012 Renato rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cinema, non-fiction, 2012
Um resumo extremamente pragmático do universo do cinema independente americano durante os anos 90. A autora faz uso daquela escrita jornalística, muito "matter-of-factly" e com piadas imbecis pelo meio de que os americanos tanto gostam mas que a mim dá comichões (exemplo: um capítulo chama-se "The budget: making it count"); ainda assim, consegue metralhar centenas de histórias, peripécias e curiosidades sobre a sua experiência pessoal como produtora, o que torna o livro não o guia organizado e o ...more
shana naomi
Feb 26, 2011 shana naomi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: filmmaking
saskia called this book "generous" and i still can't think of a better word to describe it. a very smart, detailed inside look at running an independent film company during the '90s. great daily production diaries from the making of "velvet goldmine." plus, line by line explanations/summaries of production budgets for various sized indie films.

vachon has a steely fierceness but also a remarkable amount of candor about how often she has to either make shit up or just leap into some unknown. the t
Feb 04, 2013 Andrea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellant book, for anyone wanting to join the independent filmmaking ranks over to studio levels. Each time I read this book I continuously get inspired and motivated to push forward in what I do. Although the book is outdated due to the revolution of digital filmmaking and digital viewing, it's stories and passion can still teach you. She covers many movies that she had worked on, a lot of which are great films to watch, such as Kids, And I shot Andy Warhol, Velvet Goldmine etc. Christine Vach ...more
Sean Campbell
Jun 24, 2011 Sean Campbell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book, full of personal stories on producing an independent film. One minor issue I had with it, and it wasn't with the book itself, but it deals a lot with the author's experience producing a movie called Happiness. HAPPINESS IS A TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE MOVIE!!!

Thankfully I never saw it until I was finished with the book, otherwise I would have burned the damn thing.

Judy Alter
Aug 15, 2013 Judy Alter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think the author of one of my favorite series just came up with my favorite of the five books. Shooting to Kill is complicated and complex, and you'll be puzzled by who did what and who murdered the loveable vet, but you'll also, if you're a fan like me, be glad to enter Thea Campbell's familiar world and greet again all the people you've come to know. A great page-turner.
Kit Fox
Dec 02, 2007 Kit Fox rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Christine Vachon has quite the knack for writing and this book is crammed with all kinds of useful information about the roles of an independent producer. Can’t wait to read her next book, seeing as when this one was written, Velvet Goldmine was still being edited. Really makes one want to get out there and do stuff...if that's your thing, you know?
Nov 30, 2011 Christopherseelie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great little book that gives the producer's perspective on making movies outside the studio setting. Some of the info seems dated, but after reading it the process of getting a story from script to screen to wide/limited release is less mysterious.
Alissa Wilkinson
Want to be a movie producer? Want to know how the movie business works, especially in the low-budget world? Great, engaging book, full of anecdotes.

Vachon produced the recent film "I'm Not There".
Jun 21, 2007 Kristina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This was actually really good and interesting - I read it for my awesome erstwhile Fametracker book club. Sigh.
Benjamin DeHaven
Jan 09, 2014 Benjamin DeHaven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you want to produce independent films this is a great start!
I skimmed through a lot of this, but it was helpful for someone who is potentially getting ready to direct and produce a documentary.
Susan Long
Jan 09, 2014 Susan Long rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you want to produce independent films this is a great start!
Sep 19, 2007 MikeCro added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People
Very well written. Lots of facts but also many industry insights. It is fun and it is a quite easy read.

Sorry, I'm not very good at reviewing things.
TJ Westerfield
TJ Westerfield rated it it was amazing
Oct 31, 2015
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“The person smokes pot. Little alcohol, no hard drugs, but more than an occasional toke—although never while working: only at home, before bed. “Are you sure it shows up in your blood?” I asked, innocently. Ha. I’m an authority now. It stays in your bloodstream for six weeks. I called the executive producer, who said: “That can’t be what they’re testing for. It must be hard drugs.” Ironically, though, if you’re a cokehead or a heroin addict, relax: Those things go right out of you, a few days and they’re gone. And you can also be the biggest alcoholic on the planet, but they won’t test for that.” 0 likes
“The camerawork might be shaky, the plot might have holes, the audience might not even know what the film is about, but if your actors are compelling you can still keep people in their seats.” 0 likes
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