My First Movie: Twenty Celebrated Directors Talk about Their First Film

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9780142002209: My First Movie: Twenty Celebrated Directors Talk about Their First Film

Nobody forgets their first time--and film directors are no exception.

In these vivid and revealing interviews, a collection of filmmakers as diverse as the Coen brothers and Ken Loach, Ang Lee and Kevin Smith, Anthony Minghella and Gary Oldman, Neil Jordan and Mira Nair talk in extraordinary detail and with amazing candor about making their first films. Each chapter focuses on a director's celebrated debut--be it Angel or Blood Simple, Clerks or Diner, Muriel's Wedding or Truly, Madly, Deeply--and tells the inside story: from writing the script to raising the money, from casting the actors to assembling the crew, from shooting to editing, from selling the movie to screening it. Along the way, every aspect of the movie industry is explored: from dealing with agents and moguls for the first time to pitching your movie as a debutante director, from languishing in development hell to confronting test audiences from hell.

The questions have been posed by Stephen Lowenstein, a young director with two acclaimed short films to his credit. Remembering the struggle to launch their careers, the directors have opened up about their first films and themselves to an unprecedented degree. Each chapter is not only a memoir of a particular movie, but also an emotional journey in which the director relives the pain and elation, the comedy and tragedy, of making a first feature. For anyone who wants to direct movies, these tales of triumph and disaster, of sleepless nights and nail-biting days, will be enthralling and terrifying in equal measure. For all other film fans, the interviews provide fascinating and entertaining insights into filmmakers who have become household names.

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Review:

Stephen Spielberg thought that the idea behind this book was "neat". He didn't have time to make a contribution, but then he's a very busy man. Thankfully, even without the participation of the director of Duel, Stephen Lowenstein managed to assemble an impressive roster of film-makers happy to discuss their earliest efforts. Lowenstein notes that he witnessed in every interview a real enthusiasm for the subject, saying that "my hunch was that the directors enjoyed talking about films that they weren't trying to sell". The interviews manage to capture the combination of freedom and fear which seems to characterise a first film: Gary Oldman speaks for many of the contributors when he describes the making of Nil By Mouth as "like saving things from a burning building".

Each of the directors interviewed attracted widespread acclaim for their debut film, and would never again come to a project with so little baggage. Lowenstein has chosen his subjects carefully, providing a survey of a refreshingly wide range of experiences. Pedro Almodovar attended film school and made short films before writing Pepi, Luci, Bom while working for a telephone company; the Coen brothers had never been on a film set before they began shooting Blood Simple; Oliver Stone came to directing relatively late, writing a number of hits including Midnight Express before he shot Salvador at the age of 40.

It is true that My First Movie covers some ground which has been dealt with in earlier interviews, often at the time of release of the films in question--for example, we read once again of Kevin Smith financing Clerks with credit cards. However, the book provides far more depth than magazine interviews would allow, and gathers in one place a great deal of material interesting to a wide cross-section of readers, about directors as diverse as Ken Loach, Ang Lee and Steve Buscemi. Lowenstein has a knack for asking interesting questions and eliciting fascinating responses, revealing a great deal about not only the stories behind these first films, but also the personalities of their makers. --John Oates

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Book Description Penguin Books, 2002. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: In these vivid and revealing interviews, a diverse collection of filmmakers talk in extraordinary detail and with amazing candor about making their first films. Each chapter focuses on a director's celebrated debut and tells the inside story of the film's creation. Along the way, every aspect of the movie industry is explored-from writing the script and raising the money to casting the actors and assembling the crew, from shooting and editing to selling the movie and screening it. These interviews are not only memoirs of particular movies; each one is also an emotional journey in which the director relives the pain and elation, the comedy and tragedy, of making a first feature film. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0142002208

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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 216 x 142 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In these vivid and revealing interviews, a diverse collection of filmmakers talk in extraordinary detail and with amazing candor about making their first films. Each chapter focuses on a director s celebrated debut and tells the inside story of the film s creation. Along the way, every aspect of the movie industry is explored-from writing the script and raising the money to casting the actors and assembling the crew, from shooting and editing to selling the movie and screening it. These interviews are not only memoirs of particular movies; each one is also an emotional journey in which the director relives the pain and elation, the comedy and tragedy, of making a first feature film. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780142002209

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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 216 x 142 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In these vivid and revealing interviews, a diverse collection of filmmakers talk in extraordinary detail and with amazing candor about making their first films. Each chapter focuses on a director s celebrated debut and tells the inside story of the film s creation. Along the way, every aspect of the movie industry is explored-from writing the script and raising the money to casting the actors and assembling the crew, from shooting and editing to selling the movie and screening it. These interviews are not only memoirs of particular movies; each one is also an emotional journey in which the director relives the pain and elation, the comedy and tragedy, of making a first feature film. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780142002209

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