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on 29 April 2010
I'm a big fan of the Guerilla Film Makers Handbook series and I've got the complete set. I was, I supposed, pre-destined to be a fan of the all new Guerilla Film Makers Pocketbook, but at the same time I had my reservations.

Mostly it's to do with size: the thing I always loved about the Handbooks was that they're SO comprehensive, covering all areas of production, post-production and beyond in such minute detail even the most confused newbie to the film world could come out of it with a really solid background of knowledge.

I kind of felt, then, that Chris Jones, Andrew Zinnes and Genevieve Jolliffe were doing themselves a disservice in boiling it all down to something that slides neatly into your pocket - which it does. Very neatly.

As I've discovered in the last few days, being wrong can be great. And boy, was I wrong to worry about this book.
The Guerilla Film Makers Pocketbook is everything that the other GFHs are and more besides. Remarkably (and I want to know what kind of witchcraft the authors used) they seem to have distilled all the information down into prime nuggets of need-to-know info, combined with great interviews with people who are at the cutting - nay, bleeding - edge of the New Indie Filmmaking Order.

People like DP Philip Bloom who's been instrumental in showing just what DSLR filmmaking can achieve, having impressed the likes of Lucasfilm and others enough that they've converted to using Canon 5DMkII cameras for some recent shoots. People like Sheri Candler and John Reiss who are working to help revolutionise the way indie filmmakers approach the marketing and distribution of their films at a time when it's getting harder and harder to get huge sums for your finished flicks.

This book covers all the basic elements and nitty-gritty of producing quality short or feature films, but so much more besides. The great strength of the Guerilla books across the board is to give you all the information you want, all the information you need and then a whole load of truly vital information you had no idea you needed, wanted or could even ask about.

Congratulations to Jones, Zinnes and Jolliffe on another outstanding addition to their library. If you're a filmmaker and you're serious about learning, expanding and exploiting your craft, art and talent, you simply cannot afford not to buy this book.
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on 20 April 2017
Good book to bring around and throw at everyone who makes inconvenient questions during shots
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on 1 May 2010
In many ways reviewing a Chris Jones product is to review Chris Jones himself. This is because he cares. He pours his heart and soul in to, not just his films, but his books, workshops and podcasts. I find it heard to believe that anyone making films in the UK has not heard about him and decided to investigate one of his products or check out his blogs or websites ....and like many of us, ended up following his adventures due to his enthusiasm, passion, & open and supportive nature. He wants YOU to do well & he creates these products because he identifies something that film makers need, & currently do not have.

I have got to the point in which I just want to hand over my bank details to Chris and have each new product automatically paid for & delivered. They are always superb value for money full of advice, & this little book is no exception.

Other reviews have touched on how much content is jammed in to this 320 powder keg of tips, advice, case studies & interviews. They are correct. It is amazing just how much is in here, with every element of filmmaking included incorporating support for the zero budget first time filmmaker, up to the more experienced crews with a budget that have to take a whole range of scary legal & technical considerations in to account. Although this book takes that fear away.

It is also genuinely pocket sized and will be able to be on hand whenever & wherever you may need it. Its beautifully designed & has a great feel to it. Its made to be read.... not sit on your shelf.

I have made a couple of shorts & currently lecture in film & media at F.E level, & this book will be required reading for my students from now on.
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on 5 May 2010
I am going to keep this review short and sweet... I am a big fan of the Guerilla Film Book series, and was eagerly awaiting this one ever since I heard about it, and I am glad to say it doesn't disappoint. If you are serious about making a film (feature or short) then I urge you to check this book out. Full of great advice, tips, and interviews for all film makers of all levels, Experienced or Beginner.

And due it being a pocketbook means I will take it everywhere I go, for advice and inspiration.
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on 3 December 2011
The book is OK inasmuch that it is pretty standard in the 'How to' books of this genre. I didn't find any new pearls of wisdom or inside information that made me reach a eureka moment. It pretty much consists of pointless anecdote and trumpet blowing from "Industry" and "Meeja" types who are quoted as saying the same old rhetoric that you can hear at most film making courses. Film budgets are another point of contention where at one point it goes on about so and so only had 10k to make a short and to me this is so far from true 'Guerilla' film making that it misses the point. Then it goes on to list all the crew you will need from director to colourist and PR people and then suddenly we're in the 100k plus budget. I think this book and its authors are suffering from Hollywood syndrome and become ungrounded as to who their audience is. It may be the case that the authors are making enough money out of these books to either fund their own films or are concentrating more on book sales than on film making.

For my money the way to make a film is to just go and do it, make your own mistakes, learn from them and do better next time. At this level budgets don't come into it, you either find a way or make one. It would be best, in my opinion, to meet and talk with successful no and low budget film makers, take on board their experiences but don't rely on them because you can bet your experience will be different. I recently met with 5 directors, 4 of which had budgets ranging from 1.5M to 5.3M and one director wasn't deemed good enough or new the "Right people" to warrant any funding, so he done it all on a wing and prayer not to mention anger, passion and all the rest of it. The other 4 director's films are doing fair to flop. But the no budget director's film has won 27 awards and has now just obtained international distribution. So take from that what you want but Goldman's immortal words, "Nobody knows anything" springs to my mind. In conclusion, you don't need this book or any others, you do need passion, a great story and a vision.
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on 27 June 2010
The Guerilla Film Makers Pocket Book is, like all the other books in the Guerilla collection, absolutely jam-packed with facts, thoughts, knowledge and advice from micro-budget film makers who have truly been there, done that and got the crew T-shirt!
I directed my first (and I'm proud to say, very successful) feature film 'The Vampires of Bloody Island' based to a very large degree on the information in the Guerilla book series. It gave me a wonderful feeling of, not just having all the information to hand, but also of not being so out there alone!
Many low, micro and zero-budget film makers have now been there before us, and the knowledge of how they all pulled through is gold dust! Armed with that gold, my film was succesfully completed and sold so well around the world the media continually called it 'a cult hit'.
If you want your film to be a cult hit, like The Vampires of Bloody Island, you could do a lot worse than buying this book and making it your constant companion for a few months, to study or idly flick through in your spare moments.
In this game, knowledge is key. Get the book and get knowledgable!
Allin Kempthorne
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on 6 July 2014
This book covers everything from pre-production, to production, post-production and even distribution and marketing. The book is based around interviews from those in the industry, so you get a specialist's view on each aspect of filmmaking which was helpful. At the end of the book are interviews from filmmakers who have made successful films with very low budgets, including Oren Keli of Paranormal Activity. These were especially insightful, not to mention inspiring.

A small gripe I had was the lack of technical advice concerning lighting and camera: there was one section on cameras, but it was quite short. Aside from this, the book is very handy, full of great tips and worth getting if you are thinking of making a film with little money.
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on 25 July 2011
Once I discovered this little tiny book in my mailbox I was almost disappointed, then opening up the book I found it really intuitive published with this intuitive way of choosing one main guy for every aspect of the pre and post production to answer to smart and nice question which alway come to mind.

I really appreciated the fact this book doesn't just focus its attention on "how to do a short or feature film" but also, how to recup money from it, how to sell it, promote it, whether to choose a film festival path or a digital distribution one.

The book is really right for this time, greatly updated with the latest technology tricks like using reflex 5D Canon to film the short or etorrent to promote the movie.

I was also surprised about the last part of the book which take in consideration lucky indie film makers which came out from nowhere and did their once in a time lucky shot with no budgets film, their contribution makes the craft really opened to the most, including me by the way.

So if you are looking for a well updated "How To" make and sell your shorts/feature film you are getting it right.

5 stars definetely deserved.
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on 26 June 2010
Chris and his team have done it again!
The Pocketbook version contains no less information than the earlier (much heavier) series, laid out in a digestible and thumb-able size. It is packed with information on the basics of production through to things you might not think of, backed up with filmmaker's interviews and experiences from the front lines.
It's a great read for filmmakers or anyone involved or interested in the process of making a film to gain a firm understanding of all aspects of production.
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on 17 December 2010
good read. i find the best source of info being the "case study" at the end, it has some blockbuster movies that where made as little side projects in peoples spare time and the like. i feel it does not give accurate information to NEW film makers (like, it recomends getting a digital camera that has a film setting, not a proper camera...), but its good to pickup the slack on existing filmers.
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