Reading List:

Filmmaking Books to Get You Inspired

As part of your active filmmaking crusade, it's never a bad idea to keep your passion burning by delving into some books on the subject. 


With this list, we wanted to focus on books that aim to inspire, to light your creative spark with encouraging tales and real-world advice from filmmakers with practical experience - showing what a tough, white-knuckle yet ultimately rewarding process filmmaking can be.


Do bare in mind that these books shouldn't be taken as gospel; guides and how-to's should always be looked upon with a pinch of salt. Anyone telling you they have all the answers is always lying, as filmmaking is so amorphous and unpredictable - which is a part of what makes it unique. Nonetheless, it's never harmful to use them as reference points with a few solid pearls wisdom to help you on your continuing creative journey. 


This set largely focuses on feature films, but the knowledge is directly transferable to short films or any other visual medium for that matter.


Should also be seen as a light starter pack, as there are undoubtedly a lot more we're missing out on. If you have any of your own suggestions then don't hesitate to throw them our way.

Rebel Without a Crew

Robert Rodriguez

Subtitled 'Or How a 23-Year-Old Filmmaker with $7,000 Became a Hollywood Player', which sums it up beautifully.


Documenting Robert Rodriguez's journey in making super low-budget El Mariachi as a young buck, this book is an inspirational lesson in motivation and self-start. Since it came out, Rebel has been a veritable bible for anyone with an empty wallet but a head full of ideas. ​


Detour: Hollywood: How to Direct a Microbudget Film (or Any Film, for That Matter)

William Dickerson

Another journal-style book with tons of real-world advice from someone who has actually been there and done it. The author's microbudget film never went on to be as successful as El Mariachi, but the experience of making it still left him with enough sage advice to make this an extremely worthwhile read.


Features checklists and other resources making it great to return to when you're preparing your next project. A very useful and practical handbook for any filmmaker.


Shooting to Kill

Christine Vachon

Another experiential retelling of hustling against the odds to get a film made by hook or by crook, this time from the perspective of an independent producer who isn't always satisfied doing stuff the easy way.


An inspiring and engaging report from the filmmaking trenches - especially unique as Christine is someone known for making confrontational and at-times controversial films.


Pi: The Guerilla Diaries

Darren Aronofksy

A real-time, first-person diary of Darren Aronofsky making his twisted indie-classic Pi before he became the Hollywood heavyweight he is today.


The struggle for financing and organisation sounds hairline-destroyingly stressful, not to mention juggling the 101 things that go wrong. But the fact that the finished film ended-up at Sundance and catapulted Aronofsky to enduring stardom makes the agonising process he goes through all the more inspiring for young filmmakers.


How to Shoot a Feature Film for Under $10,000

Bret Stern

It's much better to take this as a fun and engaging read with a huge pinch of salt. Some of the advice in this book is unrealistic, overdramatic and sometimes straightforward illegal. 


Having said that, the spirit it catches is important and the message it conveys is undeniable - get off your bottom and make the film!


How many time do we need to tell you?