Book Review - Filmmaking for Change

              Jon Fitzgerald brings to light the key aspects in recognizing a story that can change the world.  Fitzgerald is co-founder of the Slamdance Film Festival, which started in 1995.  Filmmaking for Change is designed for the independent live-action filmmaker, but there is much in this manual for the independent animator as well. 

                To get you thinking on the right track, he has you reflect on your early movie experiences like the first movie you saw, and the first movie that inspired you to take action?  He takes these answers and molds them into a solid foundation of what it means to you, to create change from your films. 

The book is specifically designed to serve multiple functions. Whether you're an independent filmmaker, a student, a professor, or an industry professional, Filmmaking for Change will speak to you on every level.  As I read through it, I found myself motivated to write script after script of meaningful stories, both fiction and non-fiction.  A meaningful story can be told any way as long as it's told.  Fitzgerald not only inspires great stories but walks you through getting them done on time and under budget.

Jon has developed a new manual for making socially relevant films from concept development through production, to marketing. In straightforward sections, with descriptive breakdowns for each category, the book presents a new paradigm for filmmaking in the modern age, including case studies on numerous films and advice from industry professionals on each topic.

While the book focuses mainly on the making of documentaries because of their unpredictable nature it also touches on an upmost important topic for every type of filmmaking, distribution.  It’s hard to make a social difference when no one is able to see your film.  It’s well worth a read.

About the Author

            Jon Fitzgerald has more than twenty years of experience in the motion picture business.  After working in production on a number of studio features, Jon directed his first film in 1994, and then co-founded the Slamdance Film Festival in 1995.  He directed the event for the nest two years before becoming the Festival Director at the American Film Institute and then the Santa Barbra and Abu Dhabi International Film Festivals.  He was a VP of Programming for IFILM.com, where he helped to create a new online exhibition model, before launching Right Angle Studios, a consulting firm that provided services to film festivals and indie filmmakers.  In 2009, Fitzgerald moved back into production, focusing on socially relevant films.  Their first project was The Back Nine, followed by The Highest Pass and Dance of Liberation.  In 2011, Fitzgerald launched CineCause, a company that connects quality films, celebrities and news to related causes. 

 

Contents:

Introduction

How to Use This Book

PART 1 – DEVELOPMENT

1.  THE POWER OF FILM

      The Hero’s Journey – A Path with Purpose

      The Open Road – Calling all Storytellers

      The Shift is On – Time for Transformation

2.  DOCUMENTARY STORY STRUCTURE

      The History – Tales of Truth

      The Call to Action – Real to Reel

      The Finances – Shaking the Money Tree

3.  NARRATIVE STORY STRUCTURE

      The History of Cause Pictures – Movies with a Message

      The Stories – From Facts to Fiction

      The Finances – Shaking the Money Tree

Case Studies – Development

      Part Time Fabulous

      Moving On

      Project Happiness

      Forks Over Knives

      Bully

 Words of Wisdom from Industry Professionals

PART II – PRODUCTION

1.  PRE-PRODUCTION

      The Final Budgeting – On Your Marks!

      The Crew – Get Set!

      The Final Prep – Go!

2.  PRODUCTION

      The Artist Palette – Painting with Pictures

      The Non-Fiction Film – Documenting Reality

      The Narrative – Filming Fiction

3.  POST-PRODUCTION

      The Post Team – An Editorial Collaboration

      The Work Flow – Sculpting the Work

      The Final Package – Delivering the Elements

Case Studies – Production

      Part Time Fabulous

      Moving On

      Project Happiness

      Forks Over Knives

      Bully

Words of Wisdom from Industry Professionals

PART III – DISTRIBUTION

1.  MARKETING

      The Strategies – Marketing 101

      The Sales Tools – Adding the Polish

      The Internet – Window to the World

2.  PLAYING THE FILM FESTIVAL CIRCUIT

      The Landscape – Learning the Ropes

      The Submission Strategy – How to Join the Party

      The Process – Get Your Dance On

3.  DISTRIBUTION

      The Platform – Many Avenues to Explore

      The Internet – The New Frontier

      The Hybrid Strategy – A Paradigm Shift

Case Studies – Production

      Part Time Fabulous

      Moving On

      Project Happiness

      Forks Over Knives

      Bully

Words of Wisdom from Industry Professionals

IN CONCLUSION

RESOURCES

      Glossary of Terms

      Sample Budget

      Finishing Funds Campaign – Front the Back Nine

      Fundraising Sample – The Back Nine Keynote

      Sample Survey

      Sample Press Kit – The Highest Pass

      10 Keys to Playing the Festival Circuit

      Host Your Own Screening Sample

      Delivery Requirements – Digital Platform

      Delivery Requirements – International Sales

      Delivery Requirements – U.S. Theatrical & Ancillary Rights

About the Author

Paperback, 236 Pages

Published: 2012

ISBN: 978-1-61593-121-7