Steev Hise's Reviews > Planning the Low-Budget Film

Planning the Low-Budget Film by Robert Latham Brown
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's review
Oct 19, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: filmmaking, own-it
Recommended to Steev by: website for "10 MPH" film
Recommended for: filmmakers interested in minutae of production management
Read in October, 2008

This book is title a bit misleadingly, relatively speaking - what I mean by that is that for the author, "Low Budget" is anything under 2 million bucks! This is not what most people think, probably, when they see the phrase "low budget film". Nevertheless, there is some invaluable guidance in the book about how to "line a script" and use it to creating a shooting schedule. The budget section offers a good glimpse into the way Hollywood works, but I think is pretty unrealistic for most non-union, truly low-budget independent films being made.

Like with most filmmaking books, this one is peppered with amusing anecdotes from Brown's days working on a variety of films, everything from huge blockbusters like Return of the Jedi to obscure indies like The Anarchist's Cookbook - by the way, in case his continuing use of the latter film as a case study tempts you to go out and rent it and watch it, I will warn you now - The Anarchist's Cookbook is a really crappy film! Brown's repeated mentions of this or that expert crew member giving him a good rate to work on the film because he or she "really believed in the film and liked the filmmaker" must be some kind of code for "somebody slept with somebody else", or something...

Anyway, it's a useful tool, but don't count on the book being exactly relevant to real situations, unless you're really in the Hollywood or pre-Hollywood track...

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