Letters to Young Filmmakers
— Geoffrey Gilmore, Director, Sundance Film Festival, 1990-2010; Chief Creative Officer, Tribeca Enterprises. “Elegant, unpretentious, brutally honest but strangely encouraging, Howard Suber’s razor-smart emails and essays dissect and brilliantly illuminate the crazy marriage of film art and film commerce. There is so much insight to be had here for anyone who yearns to make movies… and a not-so-gentle reality check for those of us who are lucky enough to be making them.”
— Dan Pyne, screenwriter, The War of the Worlds , The Sum of All Fears, Any Given Sunday.
“Suber’s in-depth knowledge of film is simply unmatched. This is 50 years of cinematic wisdom expressed with wit, precision and philosophical elegance. An indispensable, inspiring piece of work from a truly legendary teacher who has somehow still managed to remain one of Hollywood’s best kept secrets. Not anymore!”
— Sacha Gervasi, director, Anvil! The Story of Anvil!; screenwriter, Steven Spielberg’s Terminal, and Alfred Hitchcock and the making of ‘Psycho’.
“Wise, kind, and direct. Howard Suber’s advice is as piercing as Don Corleone telling Michael who not to trust, and just as vital. I LOVE this book!”
— David Koepp, screenwriter Jurassic Park, Mission Impossible, Spider-Man, War of the Worlds, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
“This master teacher of film provides us with a multitude of brilliant insights and sound, sage, advice. He has mentored generations of writers, directors, and producers with his intelligence and compassion for the art of film and the industry that sometimes manages to produce it.”
— Tom Sherak, President, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
“Those of us lucky enough to work in film exist at an often vexing intersection between art and commerce, but also between creativity and achievability, idealism and practicality, inspiration and dogged perseverance. The maddening contradictions of what we do to make movies are explored in Letters to Young Filmmakers in a way you won’t find anywhere else. Howard Suber was the single most influential professor I had at the UCLA film school. In this sometimes painfully honest and always wise book, he brings decades of filmic and life experience to questions that everyone working in film, whether beginner or established professional, must deal with.”
— Laeta Kalogridis, screenwriter/executive producer of films by Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, Oliver Stone, etc. including Avatar, Shutter Island, and Alexander.
“For nearly fifteen years, I have team taught a course with Howard Suber aimed at preparing UCLA film and television students for the realities they will face in establishing and sustaining careers in the industry. Howard has advised students for decades about real life issues of getting recognition, dealing with collaborators and people you work for, and getting your films made. The longer I have listened to him, the more I have come to realize that I have been more of a student of his than a fellow teacher.”
— Kenneth Suddleson, former Executive Vice-President, Office of the Chairman, of Paramount Pictures; described by The Hollywood Reporter as “the dean of entertainment lawyers.”
LETTERS TO YOUNG FILMMAKERS
Creativity and Getting Your Films Made
Publication Date: February 2, 2011
Michael Wiese Productions
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
· Foreword by Mike Medavoy, who has overseen production of more than 300 films as head of production for United Artists, co-founder of Orion Pictures, chairman of TriStar Pictures, and founder and chairman of Phoenix Pictures.
· Becoming a Filmmaker
· Becoming a Professional Filmmaker
· Fate vs. Destiny
· Is it Who You Know?
· “Born Creative”?
· The Principal Principle of Creativity
· What’s It About?
· If The Screenplay Is So Important, How Come Screenwriters Are So Often Treated Like Shit?
· Emotional Storyboards
· Write What You Know?
· Creating Recognizable Characters
· Developing Your Writing
· The Audience
· What Audiences Want
· Strategy and Artistic Freedom
· What Movie Are You Living Now?
· Active vs. Effective
· Motivations vs. Goals
· Rules vs. Principles
· What’s Most Important?
· Readers and Coverage
· Marketplace Value of First Time Screenplays
· Writers vs. Producers
· Producers vs. Everyone Else
· Mentors and Models
· Sharing Your Passion
· How Much Does A Film Cost?
· What Happened To The Studios?
· The Golden Age of Independent Film
· Making an Independent Film
· Hip Pocketing
· Getting Started as a Director
· Doing Things for The Good of the Film
· Exhibition and Distribution
· Minorities and Women in the Industry
· Ageism and Youthism
· Copy and Other Rights
· Life Rights and Romans À Clef
· Being Screwed
· Other Opportunities
· The End of the Industry
· What Determines Success?
· Why Try?