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Life Just Is: Director's Journal Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
All of his frustrations and set-backs as well as the successes are here in incredible detail. He's very honest and open about how he's feeling at every step of the process.
For me the book became more interesting once it got closer to the intricacies of the film getting closer to production - finding producers, a DOP, the cast, crew, money, locations, equipment, etc. There's a lot of very useful information to be found.
I would also recommend it for any recent graduates of film.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
"This morning I had an urge to reorganize my DVD collection."
"Spent the morning dealing with more emails and setting up a meeting with another producer."
I couldn't believe anyone would publish this stuff. Wait a minute... it can't be... this guy has SELF-PUBLISHED HIS JOURNAL. ARGH! The photo of the author on the cover seemed to be smugly saying "yup. I self-published my journals. I did that."
Well I kept on reading. The guy has the right spirit, seems to take a rigorous approach, and hsa some compelling ideas going into the film. But the book lapses into the mundane details of making a film, without colorful description or insight. In this day and age everyone knows that a movie has stages of writing, pre-production, shooting, etc. It's not interesting to hear descriptions of collaboraters like: "he seems pretty good." Or day-to-day mood swings: "I feel frustrated today." And alas, it does not "slowly build" into anything. From the end section of the book:
"worked on the update for the postcard design. We're going to get some printed for Cannes."
As for a "philosophy ... of life"... perhaps I blinked but I did not notice one. What is this guy's life, anyway? He never mentions anything about his background, upbringing, or formative experiences. For the eight years covered in the journals he never mentions a need to make a living or work even part-time, nor any relationships, nor any trials and tribulations of any sort. As far as I can tell his non-filmmaking life consists of watching DVDs all day long. Wow, way to build character. He makes a very elliptical reference to "investors" for the movie but never goes into any detail. Doesn't he think aspiring filmmakers are curious about how someone gets over the funding hurdle? Apparently not. From these journals he doesn't seem to appreciate the role money plays in human endeavors on any level. The only conflict in this story comes from him whining that the process is taking so long. I guess on some level he thinks everyone lives like he does.
Well, I got my answer. How did he get his film made? By being privileged and not having to work, the same way countless other films get made. The book could have been a hell of a lot shorter.
Okay, that's not totally fair. I haven't seen this guy's movie and it might be good. And anyone who finishes a movie, under any circumstances, deserves an award. But the fact that he self-published these inane journals is not a good sign. If I was able to just play film director for eight years with no income, I would be embarrassed ... or at least I wouldn't publish a book about it. Not without some ironic consciousness, at least. Something to show that I wasn't.... clueless?
If you want to learn something about filmmaking, read "Moviemakers Master Class", "Rebel Without a Crew", "Directing Actors for Film and Television", "Story", or so many other books. Not this one.
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