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Who is this book for?
on 8 March 2007
This book suffers from one fundamental problem: Grove's budget scale is about ten-fold of what I would asume available for the first production. His "no-budget" is "less than 100.000 GBP", and generally it seems that Grove is more concerned with the upper limit. If such money are available, the producer needs to know "what" and then find the people who know "how". As such the book matches it's target.
But, for someone getting the idea to shoot a short, cut it up and maybe send it to some festival, will likely not have that money at hand, but rather have to do everything himself. In that case, this book is not appropriate - the "how" is lacking.
If you are going to do all by yourself, you will likely find more use in books that teaches the different crafts of filmmaking, reading and writing screenplays, cinematography etc.
Secondly, since the book was published, advances has been made, in particular with High-def video. HDV has become available to semi-pros and prosumers and no-budget filmmaking require even less money. But Grove is still concerned with 35mm film stock - this is despite that he early remarks "shoot with what you have", and today digital video will likely be the media of choice for the first project.
Finally, the one thing that I would expect a producer should be in charge of - rights management - is only treated superficially: Grove does mention copyright, product placement, appearance and use of trademarks, talent release forms, clean chain of title etc. But Grove does not provide the knowledge needed to handle this. And there is no mention of privacy issues for people involuntarily appearing in a shot, such as when you shoot in public places.
So, while the book does give an interesting introduction to how the film business works it doesn't teach how to make a movie. And even if I just do it, I don't know if I dare show it to anyone.