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Making Movies by Sidney Lumet

Making Movies

by Sidney Lumet

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This was utterly fascinating. I read it for a film class in college, & I was enthralled. It's pretty much an instructional how-to, from picking a script, getting financing, to the final cut. It's written by one of the best directors of our time, and I don't recall him relying on unnecessary name-dropping or anecdotes. If you wanted a first-class, respected, commercially & artistically successful director to tell you how to make a movie, you have it right here. ( )
  LauraCerone | May 26, 2016 |
A wonderful overview of the film-making process, full of practical info and great anecdotes from an experienced man-of-the-trade. It's also very well written, leading from the technical information to the personal process seamlessly. And it makes you want to watch all Lumet's films! ( )
  AmberMcWilliams | Aug 12, 2015 |
Sidney Lumet is one of those powerhouses of filmmaking. His films don't all have the greatest financial success, but over the years he has delivered some amazing cinema. I mean, this is the man who adapted 12 Angry Men and Murder on the Orient Express for the screen, who brought us Dog Day Afternoon and Network. Lumet has always been one of the best, so when I saw this book on the shelf, I knew it would be a must read. Took me a while to finally get to it, but here we are.

The book itself is part memoir and part manual on moviemaking. Lumet explains each technical aspect; starting with directing, moving on to writing, dealing with actors, lighting, music, sound, and even going through the processes of rushes and prints before the concluding chapter dealing with the studio and focus groups. Having been in the business since the late 50s, Lumet has had a wide and varied experience with every aspect of getting his movies made, and he shares them all here.

If you're looking for a straightforward technical manual or an up-to-date look at the process of making film in the digital age, this isn't the book for you. When Lumet wrote this, digital filmmaking was still in relative infancy, and certainly wasn't being used on the simple dramas that he made. But, if you're looking for some solid advice and storytelling about making a movie from one of the best directors out there, this is definitely a welcome addition to your library or reading list. ( )
  regularguy5mb | Apr 4, 2015 |
This is a review of Sidney Lumet's Making Movies. Before you get too carried away, you have to nail down what the book about. This book is about making movies. To communicate this to the reader, I have used words, one placed laboriously after the other. You gotta be careful about words though; you can't use just any old words, they've got to go together to make sensible sentences. Here's an anecdote about how Michael Dirda reviewed this book while eating two sandwiches at once - a real technical achievement, but what do you expect? The guy is a class act. Now we're at the end of the review. I hope you will excuse my current reviews and remember the good reviews I have written (many of them a long time ago) with fondness. ( )
  mattresslessness | Feb 6, 2014 |
I was surprised to learn that this book was published in the mid-90's, as a good chunk of it (the sections dealing with the technical aspects of movie making) is technologically passé. The book gave me a decent appreciation of the complexity of making a film and the challenges a director faces in terms of limitations and the simple realities of light and sound. The author is a serious name-dropper (there is one long paragraph towards the end of the book that is merely a list of directors he admires) and although he exercised tight control over his movies came across as a bit insecure. I would recommend this or Understanding Movies if you know nothing about filmmaking, but don't expect a thrilling read. ( )
  robertmorrow | Jan 24, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679756604, Paperback)

It's well known that a vast number of people work on any given movie in roles as varied as writing scripts, choosing locations, dressing sets, costuming the players, lighting scenes, manipulating the camera, directing actors, editing film, working on sound, advertising the finished product, and screening it to an audience. Have you ever thought about how these components are collated? Or why the director is most often considered the author of a film? Wonder no more, because Sidney Lumet's Making Movies is a terrific journey through each stage of filmmaking that is overseen by the director. Lumet, the veteran director of Twelve Angry Men, The Pawnbroker, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Network, The Verdict, and many other fine movies, knows the ins and outs of American filmmaking as well as anyone. In this excellent, personable account, Lumet tells what he's learned about making movies in the course of the last 40 years. He shows why fine directors need to have strong imaginations, extraordinary adaptability, and skill in many different fields. His enthusiasm for his life's work, particularly his love of actors, is evident on every page of this book. As Herculean as the labors of film directing are, Lumet takes great pleasure in his work, almost guiltily admitting that the film director's job is "the best in the world."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:20 -0400)

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The award-winning director journeys inside the world of film to illuminate the arduous process of creating movies, discussing the art and craft of directing, writers and actors, the camera, art direction, editing, sound tracks, and more

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