Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In [Paperback]

“Women should never be judged by their personal appearance. They Should be Judged by the Size of their Hooters.”  – Joe Bob’s Rules to Live By

It’s easy to see why John Bloom aka Joe Bob Briggs would arouse the ire of pretty much everyone in the South. He is not a writer that’s intent on being politically correct, nor does he really pull his punches with his reviews.

He refers to women only as bimbos, he calls men turkeys, he has an article devoted to Steven Spielberg and his “wimpy” movies, he bashes Gene Shallit, he mocks Moustapha Akkad for being an ayrab, and he calls people who perfer to go to indoor movies rather than drive-ins, folks too poor to afford cars.

But that’s all apart of the character of Joe Bob Briggs. Rather than writing a Drive-In report as John Bloom, writer Bloom created Joe Bob Briggs, a Southern gent who is politically incorrect, offends at every turn, and has a deep passion for the drive-in.

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Film Craft: Directing [Paperback]

The crown jewel of the Film Craft Series is of course the volume entitled “Directing.” While every aspect of filmmaking takes work, time, and dedication, directing is essentially the most difficult aspect of making a film. Whenever a movie fails or succeeds the filmmaker is blamed. And whenever an acclaimed actor decides they want to direct it not only becomes a big deal, but it makes it impossible for other directors to step up and achieve acclaim. Which is not to say actors can’t direct, as the book “Film Craft” interviews many noted and incredible directors, all of whom have their own experiences in the field.

As with the previous books in the series, “Directing” is about the hard work and utter pressure it takes to be a director. Lensing a project and achieving some sense of success or artistic satisfaction is tough, and often times it requires massive sacrifice and stress for an artist to express themselves on film. Author Mike Goodridge is able to garner some truly excellent insight in to the directorial process from some very big name auteur. Engrossing and detailed, “Directing” lends readers an intelligent exploration in to movie making that all movie buffs will relish and aspiring filmmakers will treasure.

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Film Craft: Producing [Paperback]

Authors Geoffrey Macnab & Sharon Swart provide readers with a true insight in to what being a producer means, and seek out to break all the stereotypes about producers as a whole. Producers, as the book sets out to explain, aren’t all Hollywood fat cats who seek to remind you about budget. Sometimes they can be collaborators with directors. Sometimes they can be even more passionate about a movie than the actual director working on the film. And sometimes they can inject ideas in to a film to help make it much more entertaining and or approachable to audiences.

Producers are working men and women just like the director and the screenwriter, and “Film Craft: Producing” is a book solely for cinephiles and movie buffs who want to learn more about the industry that carries with it an unfortunate stigma among movie fans who often blame poor quality of a movie on a producer. True, producers can be just suits who come on a set to remind directors about budget and time restraints, but they can be friends to the artist and “Producing” offers accounts from many noted producers, all of whom have brought something unique and specific to the table in terms of cinematic contributions and molding pop culture juggernauts alike.

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Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made [Hardcover]

Long before the internet, long before the age of the world wide web, fan films were a rarity. Often times they were made by very serious filmmakers who wanted to pay tribute to their favorite pop culture facet, and more often than not the fan films were typically underground elements or screened only locally. These days with the world wide web at your finger tips, anyone can make their own fan film for a low budget, and become the hit of the moment. Not to mention, they can land themselves a sweet directing gig at a Hollywood studio, if someone eventually watches it and spreads the word. Sometimes, fandom just catches on and becomes an infectious bit of lifestyle to admire and acknowledge.

There are plenty of wonderful fan films with the motive only to entertain, and “Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation” is one of them. Filmed by three school mates (Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala, and Jayson Lamb) over the course of seven years, the fanatics of Steven Spielberg’s seminal “Raiders of the Lost Ark” took the initiative in constructing and directing their own full length version of his film with their own props and set pieces. The film was for many years a rare piece of filmmaking until it was screened years later and became a critical hit. This is mostly due to its ambition and ability to pay tribute to Spielberg’s film while also giving it the indie flair that many modern indie films lack. It has no real polish to it, but it’s still a damn fine remake from three guys who just loved the movie, and sought out to give it their own stamp.

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The Art of "Rise of the Guardians" (The Art of Dreamworks) [Hardcover]

For aspiring animators and or fans of “Rise of the Guardians,” this hardcover look at the development of “Rise of the Guardians” from a series of eight young adult books that were compressed and transformed in to a marketable fantasy animated film will be thrilled to learn all the facets and elements of the film that were finely tuned and included to give the movie that extra dimension.

Though the film is primarily built around the belief in deities, the film implements a lot of international aspects that reflect belief including the Middle Eastern influence on the Tooth Fairy’s costume, as well as the Bunny’s giant egg sentinels, all of which were influenced by Eastern mythology. There’s also a detailed glimpse in to the creation of the realms for the guardians, including the small trinkets and interesting details added to certain background and environments, including North’s toy shop, and the detailing of his Yeti workers, all of whom were a fine addition to the story.

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Sell Your Own Damn Movie! [Paperback]

It should serve as no surprise that since its initial release, “Sell Your Own Dan Movie!” has sold big with aspiring filmmakers across the country, and it should also serve as no surprise that “Sell Your Own Damn Movie!” is probably the best how to guide for indie filmmakers on how to get their completed films out there and consumed for mass audiences. Whether you love Troma to death or hate Lloyd Kaufman like date rape, there’s no denying that the man has amassed decades of experience in indie filmmaking and has built an encyclopedic knowledge on the do’s and don’t’s on selling your film and how to get certain audiences aware of your creative work.

Co-author Lloyd Kaufman has a lot of wonderful and genius advice for indie flmmakers on how to sell their movies and get them in to festivals, and he does so with a ingenuity and humor that’s admirable. True, the book is mainly a how to guide, but it’s also laugh out loud funny. The chapters are filled with addendums that will make you giggle more times than you can count, and often times co-author Sara Antill adds her own addendums to Kaufman’s own anecdotes or false information that will spark some real gut busters from the reader. The list of ways you can raise money for festival entry fees is probably the funniest part of the book. While Kaufman and Antill definitely have their fun and lighten the mood with their dry wit and sharp humor, the book doesn’t hold back with its facts and truths. Getting your film seen is tough, getting it out there is even worse. Odds are you won’t get a distribution deal, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try as hard as you can.

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Dan O'Bannon's Guide to Screenplay Structure: Inside Tips from the Writer of ALIEN, TOTAL RECALL and RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD [Paperback]

“Dan O’Bannon’s Guide to Screenplay Structure” often tends to read more like a memoir of a man who worked with the legendary late great director and writer, and less like an instructional book. Author Dan O’Bannon is able to build a book that’s outside the norm of your typical screenwriting book. Author O’Bannon stresses the importance of writing a book that stands out from the shelves of screenwriting books, and while demonstrating how he sought to break the formula of screenwriting in his days of making movies, he tries to break the formula of screenwriting books in general.

Much of “Dan O’Bannon’s Guide to Screenplay Structure” is based around Dan O’Bannon’s writing experience with screenplays, and co-author Matt Lohr’s experience working with Dan O’Bannon and how he changed his life. In the process, author Dan O’Bannon hopes to change the aspiring screenwriter’s life by assisting them in breaking free from formulas and clichés and attempting to re-mold stories no matter how old hat they may be. O’Bannon took what were traditionally cheesy and clunky premises and with his own sense of style and unique storytelling, reshaped them in to classics and hit films.

Author Dan O’Bannon hopes to instill this upon the reader by exploring all angles of creative writing and what you can hope to learn from him by his anecdotes and thoughts on storytelling in general.

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