The Portable Film School: Everything You'd Learn in Film School (Without Ever Going to Class)

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The Portable Film School is a private tutorial from an instructor at one of the nation's most prestigious film schools. D.B. Gilles explains the fundamental skills and techniques of screenwriting and making a short film arming you with the two calling cards you'll need to break into Hollywood – without having spent the tuition or a minute in a classroom.
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About the author

D.B. Gilles, author of The Screenwriter Within, has taught in the Undergraduate Film & Television Department at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts for fifteen years. He has also taught in NYU's Department of Dramatic Writing and in the Graduate Film Department at Columbia University. Many of his former students have been finalists in screenwriting contests, gotten deals, sold scripts and directed films. He has written for the stage, screen and TV and is a member of the Writers Guild of America.
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Additional Information

Publisher
St. Martin's Griffin
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Published on
Oct 1, 2005
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9781466833906
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Performing Arts / Film / Direction & Production
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Ed Catmull
From one of the co-founders of Pixar Animation Studios—the Academy Award–winning studio behind Coco, Inside Out, and Toy Story—comes an incisive book about creativity in business and leadership for readers of Daniel Pink, Tom Peters, and Chip and Dan Heath.
 
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Huffington Post • Financial Times • Success • Inc. • Library Journal
 
“[Creativity, Inc.] just might be the most thoughtful management book ever.”—Fast Company

Creativity, Inc. is a book for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights, a manual for anyone who strives for originality, and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation—into the meetings, postmortems, and “Braintrust” sessions where some of the most successful films in history are made. It is, at heart, a book about how to build a creative culture—but it is also, as Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull writes, “an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible.”

For nearly twenty years, Pixar has dominated the world of animation, producing such beloved films as the Toy Story trilogy, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Up, WALL-E, and Inside Out, which have gone on to set box-office records and garner thirty Academy Awards. The joyousness of the storytelling, the inventive plots, the emotional authenticity: In some ways, Pixar movies are an object lesson in what creativity really is. Here, in this book, Catmull reveals the ideals and techniques that have made Pixar so widely admired—and so profitable.

As a young man, Ed Catmull had a dream: to make the first computer-animated movie. He nurtured that dream as a Ph.D. student at the University of Utah, where many computer science pioneers got their start, and then forged a partnership with George Lucas that led, indirectly, to his co-founding Pixar in 1986. Nine years later, Toy Story was released, changing animation forever. The essential ingredient in that movie’s success—and in the thirteen movies that followed—was the unique environment that Catmull and his colleagues built at Pixar, based on leadership and management philosophies that protect the creative process and defy convention, such as:

• Give a good idea to a mediocre team, and they will screw it up. But give a mediocre idea to a great team, and they will either fix it or come up with something better.
• If you don’t strive to uncover what is unseen and understand its nature, you will be ill prepared to lead.
• It’s not the manager’s job to prevent risks. It’s the manager’s job to make it safe for others to take them.
• The cost of preventing errors is often far greater than the cost of fixing them.
• A company’s communication structure should not mirror its organizational structure. Everybody should be able to talk to anybody.

Praise for Creativity, Inc.
 
“Over more than thirty years, Ed Catmull has developed methods to root out and destroy the barriers to creativity, to marry creativity to the pursuit of excellence, and, most impressive, to sustain a culture of disciplined creativity during setbacks and success.”—Jim Collins, co-author of Built to Last and author of Good to Great
 
“Too often, we seek to keep the status quo working. This is a book about breaking it.”—Seth Godin
J. W. Rinzler
This enhanced eBook transforms The Making of Star Wars into an immersive multimedia experience worthy of the original film. It features exclusive content pulled from the Lucasfilm archives by author J. W. Rinzler:
 
• 26 minutes of rare behind-the-scenes video*
• 29 minutes of rare audio interviews with the cast and crew
• New bonus photos and artwork not found in the print edition
 
After the 1973 success of American Graffiti, filmmaker George Lucas made the fateful decision to pursue a longtime dream project: a space fantasy movie unlike any ever produced. Lucas envisioned a swashbuckling SF saga inspired by the Flash Gordon serials, classic American westerns, the epic cinema of Japanese auteur Akira Kurosawa, and mythological heroes. Its original title: The Star Wars. The rest is history, and how it was made is a story as entertaining and exciting as the movie that has enthralled millions for more than thirty years—a story that has never been told as it was meant to be. Until now.
 
Using his unprecedented access to the Lucasfilm Archives and its trove of “lost” interviews, photos, production notes, factoids, and anecdotes, Star Wars scholar J. W. Rinzler hurtles readers back in time for a one-of-a-kind behind-the-scenes look at the nearly decade-long quest of George Lucas and his key collaborators to make the “little” movie that became a phenomenon. It’s all here:
 
• the evolution of the now-classic story and characters—including “Annikin Starkiller” and “a huge green-skinned monster with no nose and large gills” named Han Solo
• excerpts from George Lucas’s numerous, ever-morphing script drafts
• the birth of Industrial Light & Magic, the special-effects company that revolutionized Hollywood filmmaking
• the studio-hopping and budget battles that nearly scuttled the entire project
• the director’s early casting saga, which might have led to a film spoken mostly in Japanese—including the intensive auditions that won the cast members their roles and made them legends
• the grueling, nearly catastrophic location shoot in Tunisia and the subsequent breakneck dash at Elstree Studios in London
• the who’s who of young film rebels who pitched in to help—including Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg, and Brian DePalma
 
But perhaps most exciting, and rarest of all, are the interviews conducted before and during production and immediately after the release of Star Wars—in which George Lucas, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Sir Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, composer John Williams, effects masters Dennis Muren, Richard Edlund, and John Dykstra, Phil Tippett, Rick Baker, legendary production designer John Barry, and a host of others share their fascinating tales from the trenches and candid opinions of the film that would ultimately change their lives.
 
No matter how you view the spectrum of this phenomenon, The Making of Star Wars stands as a crucial document—rich in fascination and revelation—of a genuine cinematic and cultural touchstone.

*Video may not play on all readers. Please check your user manual for details.
J. W. Rinzler
This enhanced eBook transforms The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back into an immersive multimedia experience worthy of the original film. It features exclusive content pulled from the Lucasfilm archives by author J. W. Rinzler:
 
• 28 minutes of rare behind-the-scenes video*
• 29 minutes of rare audio interviews with the cast and crew
• New bonus photos and artwork not found in the print edition
 
In this lavish thirtieth-anniversary tribute to the blockbuster film Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, New York Times bestselling author J. W. Rinzler draws back the curtain to reveal the intense drama and magnificent wizardry behind the hit movie—arguably the fan favorite of the Star Wars Saga.
 
Following his The Making of Star Wars, the author has once again made use of his unlimited access to the Lucasfilm Archives and its hidden treasures of interviews, photos, artwork, and production mementos. The result is a comprehensive behind-the-scenes, up-close-and-personal look at the trials and triumphs, risks and close calls, inspiration, perspiration, and imagination that went into every facet of this cinematic masterpiece. Here’s the inside scoop on:
 
• the evolution of the script, from story conference and treatment to fifth draft, as conceived, written, and rewritten by George Lucas, famed science-fiction author Leigh Brackett, and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan
• the development of new key characters, including roguish hero Lando Calrissian, sinister bounty hunter Boba Fett, and iconic Jedi Master Yoda
• the challenges of shooting the epic ice planet battle in the frozen reaches of Norway and of conjuring up convincing creatures and craft—from tauntauns and snowspeeders to Imperial walkers
• the construction of a life-sized Millennium Falcon and the swamp planet Dagobah inside a specially built soundstage in Elstree Studios
• the technique behind master Muppeteer Frank Oz’s breathing life into the breakthrough character Yoda
• the creation of the new, improved Industrial Light & Magic visual effects facility and the founding of the now-legendary Skywalker Ranch
 
In addition, of course, are rare on-the-scene interviews with all the major players: actors Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and David Prowse; director Irvin Kershner; producer Gary Kurtz; effects specialists Richard Edlund, Dennis Muren, Ken Ralston, and Phil Tippett; composer John Williams; and many others. Punctuating the epic account is a bounty of drawings, storyboards, and paintings by Ralph McQuarrie, Joe Johnston, and Ivor Beddoes, along with classic and rare production photos. An added bonus is a Foreword by acclaimed director Ridley Scott.
 
The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back is a fittingly glorious celebration of an undisputed space-fantasy movie milestone. Search your feelings, you know it to be true.

*Video may not play on all readers. Please check your user manual for details.
Jerry Weintraub
Here is the story of Jerry Weintraub: the self-made, Brooklyn-born, Bronx-raised impresario, Hollywood producer, legendary deal maker, and friend of politicians and stars. No matter where nature has placed him--the club rooms of Brooklyn, the Mafia dives of New York's Lower East Side, the wilds of Alaska, or the hills of Hollywood--he has found a way to put on a show and sell tickets at the door. "All life was a theater and I wanted to put it up on a stage," he writes. "I wanted to set the world under a marquee that read: 'Jerry Weintraub Presents.'"

In WHEN I STOP TALKING, YOU'LL KNOW I'M DEAD, we follow Weintraub from his first great success at age twenty-six with Elvis Presley, whom he took on the road with the help of Colonel Tom Parker; to the immortal days with Sinatra and Rat Pack glory; to his crowning hits as a movie producer, starting with Robert Altman and Nashville, continuing with Oh, God!, The Karate Kid movies, and Diner, among others, and summiting with Steven Soderbergh and Ocean's Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen.

Along the way, we'll watch as Jerry moves from the poker tables of Palm Springs (the games went on for days), to the power rooms of Hollywood, to the halls of the White House, to Red Square in Moscow and the Great Palace in Beijing-all the while counseling potentates, poets, and kings, with clients and confidants like George Clooney, Bruce Willis, George H. W. Bush, Armand Hammer, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, John Denver, Bobby Fischer . . .well, the list goes on forever.

And of course, the story is not yet over . . .as the old-timers say, "The best is yet to come."

As Weintraub says, "When I stop talking, you'll know I'm dead."

With wit, wisdom, and the cool confidence that has colored his remarkable career, Jerry chronicles a quintessentially American journey, one marked by luck, love, and improvisation. The stories he tells and the lessons we learn are essential, not just for those who love movies and music, but for businessmen, entrepreneurs, artists . . . everyone.
D.B. Gilles
 Writer’s Rehab is filled with tough love and unvarnished truths about the business of writing. D.B. Gilles gobsmacks both experienced and aspiring writers past self-delusion and towards productivity.

 

"D.B. Gilles has discovered the eerie correspondences among the 12 stages of the Hero's Journey, the 12 steps of AA recovery, and the sometimes challenging experience of becoming a professional writer.  In his earthy, human and extremely lucid style, he spells out how you can find much greater satisfaction and success in your writing through a 12-step approach.  It's a must-read for writers who struggle with their art, which would be all of us."

-Christopher Vogler, author, The Writers Journey

 

“D.B Gilles offers tough, practical advice about the craft of writing.  He gives a loving kick in the ass to help get the writer started and encouragement to keep the writer on track throughout the creative process. He identifies the many hurdles a writer faces and offers solutions to overcome those hurdles” 

-Matt Williams, Creator, Rosanne, co-creator, Home Improvement

 

"Trust me, there isn't a writer alive -- a veteran or a newcomer -- who hasn't had to wrestle with the inner demons that DB Gilles neatly identifies, skewers, and exorcises in this compact but indispensable book. I will keep it at my elbow for the next time I am laid low by any one of these persistent little bastards, which will  probably be sometime this afternoon. We writers are a highly neurotic and fragile bunch, and we need all the help we can get!"   

-Robert Masello, bestselling author, The Romanov Cross

 

"One of the first great reliefs of becoming a working TV writer was seeing those days when even a room of talented comedy vets hit the occasional wall.  It meant that it sometimes happens to the best of us and made me feel better when it’d later happen to me on my own.  Writers Rehab is an amazing new tool at conquering the one thing that frightens every writer -- the blank page.  Welcome to rehab!"

-Scott Marder, co-executive producer, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia

 

“Using a fiercely honest, psychological approach, DB shares his own experiences and knowledge about the creative and personal struggles that writers go through. Writers Rehab will surely become a must-have bible that writers will turn to for inspiration and guidance during periods of stagnation and self-doubt.”

            -Donna Rothstein, Psychotherapist and writer

 

“D.B. Gilles has done it again by taking all writers to..."Writers Rehab"!  I was convinced after hundreds of screenwriting and how-to writing books on The Writers Store shelves, there was nothing left to say.  Wrong!!!  D.B. beams a new spotlight on writing disciplines by giving us new tricks of the trade for all wordsmiths. Speaking from a forty year career of writing and professing, with my right hand palm in the air, I tell you  D.B. Gilles and his "Writers Rehab" is better than as good as it gets!  Applause, applause!! "

-Dr. Lew Hunter, screenwriter, author of Lew Hunter’s Screenwriting 434, Chairman UCLA Screenwriting Department

“In every page there's a real nugget of information to not only improve the work but make the work possible. Anyone who is struggling with the pain of dependency on script writing, Writers Rehab is for you  This is one of the few books I've read that I can wholeheartedly recommend to my students and know that they will be better writers because of reading it.”

-Mick Casale, Graduate Film Department, Tisch School of the Arts

D.B. Gilles
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