Thursday, July 5, 2018

What You Don't Learn in Film School by Shane Stanley (review)

What You Don't Learn in Film School 
Shane Stanley


Multi Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Shane Stanley writes a book anyone and everyone should read if they want an entertainment industry insider's professional guidance on how to create a movie. This book is an especially invaluable tool to those who have, or plan to, attend a college or university film school. Your Complete Guide To (Independent) Filmmaking. An in-depth, no holds barred look at making movies from ‘concept to delivery’ in today’s ever-evolving climate while breaking down the dos and don’ts of (independent) filmmaking. Learn invaluable industry secrets from top to bottom and discover the truth about independent film distribution as the lid is torn off the many myths surrounding sales agents and today’s release platforms that are certain to open reader’s eyes - and ruffle a few feathers

This is very overdue and I apologize for my tardiness!

4.5 stars

What You Don't Learn in Film School by Shane Stanley is a wonderful resource, both for those who are joining the filmmakers’ world and for anyone else who is going to be either a worker or a boss. Does that sound like most of us? Yes. The practical information and advice is beneficial not only to those who have gone through cinema school but to anyone entering the workforce. I was intrigued by the opportunity to read this book both because I grew up in LA and attended USC—so I interacted with multiple people bitten by the Hollywood bug—and a member of my extended family just graduated from Cinema School.  
Yes, some of the concepts are proprietary to making movies, but the overall message…be prepared, treat everyone with respect, make connections, and be prepared (yes, that’s a deliberate repetition)…is applicable to any profession.

The author is generous about sharing his experiences and hard-won knowledge and isn’t afraid to relate his mistakes or his gems. The writing style is comfortable and easily absorbed, and the advice about things like getting decent insurance, writing certain details into contracts, being wary of deals that seem too good to be true, and making sure your product is properly protected are all invaluable. I think that most professional schools cram their students’ heads full of information but frequently forget to cover practical elements of life. This book does a great job of covering some of that lack.

A copy of this title was provided to me for review


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment, Jane! This was a great, practical book, and I learned more about the process of making movies.