I just finished Michael
If you cut out every “I” in this book and taped them together they would circle the Earth. Twice. I wish authors would get their damn credentials, near-death-drug-rehab-and-how-it-changed-their-life-forever experience, and the worthless name-dropping out of the way in Chapter One so I can skip it and get to the ‘how to’ stuff I picked up the book to read about.
I didn’t like the way Michael would beg people to work for him for free, and then piss and moan when they didn’t come thru for him. Publishing the pissed off letter to someone who let you down is Capitol-C-Childish, especially when the person was working for free (or not working for free, which makes as much sense).
Later in the book, he says “Film is built on relationships…” and “…it’s all about people”. Riiight. I have a feeling this man is good at making movies by himself, because no one will work with him.
If you can sift thru the self-important bullshit, the rest is surprisingly good and chock-full of useful information. It has lots of useful tips on creating a movie yourself, everything from camera angles to format conversions, to duplication and distribution, clever methods for getting your film ‘out there’ and a good intro to contracts, copyrights and such.
I thought the best part of this book was the motivation. Michael W. Dean is clearly about the art, and wants you to be as well. Not quite Anti-Hollywood, but more Un-Hollywood. He doesn’t mind living meagerly as long as he can make his art and get it out to people.
The very very very best advice of all: Don’t do art for the money. While Michael might be an arrogant flake, I must admit he is an arrogant flake with artistic integrity.
The last chapter of his book made me want to make an independent movie. (Wait a minute, I just did. Almost forgot) OK, it made me want to make another.
I give the book an 8 of 10. It could have been a 9 if he had taken out all references to himself (then it could have been shorter and named “$25 Film School”).