Howard Suber would, in all certainty, warn you against accepting at face value any of the plaudits and accolades that accompany forewords to books. And it isn’t false modesty or curmudgeonly cynicism that would drive this response (although he is uncommonly self-deprecating for a man of his accomplishments). Instead, he has always exhibited an extremely persistent aversion to the empty cacophony of hype, of academic self-congratulatory grandiosity, and of meaningless film industry bullshit. So it is with a strong degree of trepidation that I attempt to avoid these pitfalls and seek to reflect and comment on this book and its author.
Howard Suber is not necessarily a name you would know as an author or critic (although I think that will change once this book is published), nor is he part of some film industry elite. He is, however, a man with many admirers inside that industry, and countless former students lavish praise on him — many of whom are among the biggest names in film and television. Read more
“I knew after reading Howard Suber’s previous book, The Power of Film, that he knew a lot about what makes a film great as well as knowing the inner workings of filmmaking. He captured so well what I had to learn through decades of making over three hundred films and heading two studios. So I insisted that everyone working for me had to read his book. I explained to them that this was a guy who understands the creative process, and can explain not only how things work in films, but why they work.
Now, Suber has done it again. Letters to Young Filmmakers is a treasure trove of what all of us need to know about how films get made, not just writers but directors, producers and, yes, studio heads.
It is obvious from the fact that students of Howard Suber who graduated 20 or 30 years ago still keep up with him that he has had a continuing effect on their lives. It is also obvious that he makes learning about film and the film business fun and, at the same time, profound. He is a man many admire inside the industry, not only for the students who have studied with him (some of whom I’ve worked with) but also because he has often been a consultant in various capacities to several studios. Read more