The Guerilla Film Makers Movie Blueprint

''Does for low budget film what Gray did for human anatomy. It exposes completely the complexities and hidden conflicts that lie unseen beneath the film gloss and shows the aspiring filmmaker how to plot a safe course through them'
James McGregor, Netribution

 

The Guerilla Film Makers Movie Blueprint is written by author of the TGFMH, Chris Jones.

 

'It is everything we know and have learned while conceiving, producing and distributing worldwide, three independently financed feature films...'

So why a new book? This new volume is a kind of shopping list crossed with a production diary. It is NOT film makers recounting their tales, nor is it interviews with industry pro’s. But it is a detailed account of exactly WHAT TO DO, WHEN TO DO IT and HOW MUCH IT WILL COST to make a low budget Brit Flick. Everything is covered in excruciating detail, from writing to catering, make-up to costume, digital mastering to cutting the deal with Blockbuster video. It’s lavishly illustrated too, with flow charts, box outs, micro-views, mini budgets, full budgets, paperwork etc…

 

We have a new character, our very own kick ass indie film maker, JoJo, pictured here with a steadicam… Throughout the book, she pops up to guide you through the possible pitfalls you may encounter. If you want to have a look at some of the book, there is a whopping PDF here, 6mb and nearly 10% of the book! It's the camera section from the Movie Blueprint.

There is no other book on the market like it. You can get it direct from Living Spirit now for £25 inc postage! Just visit our online store to pay by credit card. If you buy it direct from Living Spirit it makes a difference to us... So thanks very much. If you want to pay by cheque, send one payable to Hard Copy for £25, to Hard Copy at Ealing Film Studios, Ealing Green, London, W5 5EP.

Read sections for FREE!

Download
Download the complete Costume Design Department Section from the book
GFM+MB+Sample+-+Costume.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 1.7 MB
Download
Download the complete Camera Department Section from the book
GFM+MB+Sample+-+Camera.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 2.8 MB

Reviews

Camcorder User

Virtually every problem a film maker is likely to encounter is covered in depth, even as far as providing recipes for on set catering!

Read More...

Netribution

'Does for low budget film what Gray did for human anatomy. It exposes completely the complexities and hidden conflicts that lie unseen beneath the film gloss and shows the aspiring filmmaker how to plot a safe course through them'
Read More...

Reader Feedback

‘Hands down the best book on the subject out there. Chris Jones is an authority and leaves no part of the process unexamined.’
Jonathan Newman, Feature Film Director

http://livingspirit.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341e322053ef011571c75727970b-pi
‘Everything you need to know; all in one book! Perfect!
Helen Oakleigh, Director 

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‘Guides you through the multi-layered maze of Film Production decision making with ease! A must read for every producer
Damien Donnelly – Producer

http://livingspirit.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341e322053ef011571c75727970b-pi


‘Making a movie is a daunting task, but this book takes away the initial fear by dividing the whole process up into simple steps that even I could follow!
Ian Read, director and webmaster of theclapperboard.com

http://livingspirit.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341e322053ef011571c75727970b-pi


‘Art is something special-and so is this guide’.
Andy Williamson, Film Maker

http://livingspirit.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341e322053ef011571c75727970b-pi

 

‘The Movie Blueprint Book is the single most important piece of film making equipment you'll ever own.
Allin Kempthorne - Producer / Director, ‘The Vampires of Bloody Island’

http://livingspirit.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341e322053ef011571c75727970b-pi

 

Read (tons) more here...

So what's in the book?

The book is broken down into 29 specific areas, detailing from the beginning to the end of the process, with flowcharts, budgets and timescales. Hidden pitfalls are always illuminated and where possible, we try to get past the important but simple, why? how much? where? how long for? what if? questions and go further, giving you a sense of what it actually ‘smells like’ at the front, what you will feel in those crucial moments when your film is coming together, and how best to maximise your opportunities.

At the heart of the Movie Blueprint, and in every section, there is a flowchart which details exactly what happens, and when - essentially, if you jump through all these hoops, you should enjoy as smooth and stress free a production as is possible.
Think of it as a detailed list of exactly what to do and when, in order to run your production smoothly and cost effectively, while maximising artistic possibilities and your budget.

1. Blueprint Overview
A look at the whole process and the overall arc of the journey that new film makers take. Why common mistakes occur and how best to avoid them. Most importantly, how to plan your career beyond this first movie, and what movie to chose to make… AND WHY!

2. Company Set-up Blueprint
This section looks at how to take care of the legal issues allied to making a film. It’s not hard but most film makers are wary of things like insurance, company start-up, management and accounts - the blueprint lays out the cheapest and most effective way of doing it all, leaving you time to focus on more important things like script and cast.

3. Screenplay Blueprint
This section isn’t about how to write the great screenplay, more about why you need the great concept, what that will ultimately mean to this project, the next project and your career. It also details the common screenplay problems for new and low budget film makers, and the very best resources to plunder in order to GET THE GREAT SCRIPT...!

4. Director’s Blueprint
A whole host of tips and tricks to get the most out of a first time directorial experience. How to squeeze value out of your tiny budget, how to pace and survive the marathon, how best to move quickly in times of crisis, how to communicate with your cast and crew… And what to do when you complete the shoot about that all important next step in your career.

5. Producer’s Blueprint
Managing a micro budget film often feels like fighting a constantly losing battle. There are so many compromises that are forced on the producer, while the cast and crew constantly battle for their share of the pie - and everyone always wants more. Worse still, the new producer has no experience so can find it hard to distinguish problems from disasters. The Movie Blueprint shows you how to maximise your opportunity, illuminating what is really important from what seems important.

6. The Crew Blueprint
How many people will you need? What do they all do? How do they interact? This section breaks down the crew and what they do, offering example crew sizes at various budgets, from a crew of ten, to a crew of forty. Getting the best out of your crew is all about knowing how best to oil the mechanics of who does what and when. The Movie Blueprint shows you how.

7. The Budget Blueprint
How much will your film cost? Rather than putting a figure on how much a film will cost, the Movie Blueprint works inside several models, detailing where you would spend your money at different budget levels, starting with a £10k movie, working up to a £250k movie - it’s not how much it will cost, it’s how much have you got?

8. Casting and Actors’ Blueprint
This section deals with how to get the best possible cast for your film, and how to keep everyone happy and producing their best work. It also deals with working with agents, casting directors and unions. The important link between cast and international sales is also distinguished.

9. Scheduling Blueprint
Most people know a movie isn’t shot in script order, but how do you make the most of your limited time? The Movie Blueprint shows you how to maximise your production through screenplay modifications and planned scheduling, without the need for over complicated and expensive software. The Schedule is one of the most important documents to get right before shooting - and here is the blueprint for getting it right!

10. Assistant Director Blueprint
The day to day running of your set is the job of the assistant directors team - get this wrong and you are headed for disaster - get it right and your shoot will run smoothly, freeing the creative crew and cast to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. The Movie Blueprint outlines how this team should work, including all the internal paperwork needed.

11. Production Team Blueprint
The production will be run by a tight group of hard working, rarely thanked, production people - the Production Team. The Movie Blueprint reveals the hidden secrets to an efficient production office, and how, through hard work and planning, your production can be enormously enhanced. Be pro-active rather than re-active! Example paperwork is also included in great detail (and explained rather than just examples).

12. Costume Blueprint DOWNLOAD THIS SECTION HERE FOR FREE!
We all judge people on appearances, and often, new film makers forget this and consider costume to be no more than what the actors wear. The Movie Blueprint details the somewhat complex but essential procedures needed to maximise the look of your cast, and how to manage that ‘look’ within the confines of a limited budget and often chaotic production schedule.

13. Make-up Blueprint
Getting your cast to look good and appropriate takes time and energy, and this is where the make-up department comes in. When you consider that when watching a movie, we spend most of the time looking at an actors face. It’s vital they look right, consistent, and always at their best. The Movie Blueprint explains the procedures and offers tips to maximise resources.

14. Production Design Blueprint
Production design is often overlooked by new film makers as simply the stuff in the back ground. Big mistake! Making the most out of your sets and locations is essential for low budget films, as one golden rule is that you minimise movement of your crew, ideally shooting in a single location. That means you need to choose that location carefully. And there is more to it than just the ‘look’. Can you get enough power? Where will people eat? Can it be more than one story location?

15. Sound Blueprint
‘We’ll fix it in post’ is the phrase you often hear from new film makers when they get the pictures right but not the sound - what that phrase actually means is ‘get your cheque book out!’ So many problems can be avoided by simple and careful planning, and by working hard with the sound recordist and production designer to get the right locations. Consider this - why did you spend months on the dialogue in your script if you are going to dismiss it on the day because you chose a location on the airport flight path?

16. Camera Dept. Blueprint DOWNLOAD THIS SECTION HERE FOR FREE!
There seem to be so many options when it comes to camera. The Movie Blueprint explains all the options, through film, DV, and HiDef. It also illuminates the disciplines, technologies, practices and art of the camera team. You can read the camera section here as a FREE PDF! Download it now and see what the Movie Blueprint is REALLY like. Requires Acrobat reader from Adobe.

17. Catering Blueprint
Keeping a cast and crew going for three weeks while shooting in extreme conditions and for long hours means you need to feed them well. The Movie Blueprint offers a cost effective, energising and healthy plan for your catering team, and also offers tips and tricks to ensure no-one ever goes hungry or complains. It’s been said before, but it’s true… A crew runs on it’s stomach!

18. The Editor’s Blueprint
Editing is where all your shots are brought together. There are two aspects to editing, technical and artistic, and you need to get both right. The editor is like the second director on the film, and the book discusses the relationships, best working habits and most effective technologies to be applied. Editing is where most new film makers make big mistakes as they fail to plan. We show you the simplest and most cost effective post production route.

19. Post Prod. Blueprint
The Lab is where your film is completed. Traditionally this meant shoot on film and finish on film. These tried and tested techniques are explained, alongside newer techniques - shoot digitally, master digitally and deliver digitally, as well as on film. It’s a minefield of potential problems, and the Movie Blueprint will help you chart the best course for your project.

20. Post Production Sound Blueprint
Sound editing and design is an essential second layer to the story telling in your movie. The Movie Blueprint details just how to create a rich and full sound track using semi pro tools at home, and why, because of the Music and Effects mix, this is 100% essential for international sales and distribution.

21. Music Blueprint
Music in film is often over looked to the last minute, which can be disastrous if you want a score to do its job properly - to enhance, emphasise, and expand your story telling. It is also an area fraught with legal problems that can often send the new producer into panic attacks! Get it wrong and you could find you and your film being sued!

22. Mastering Blueprint
Once the creative aspects of your film are complete, you need to master it to professional standards. On a big film, any problems are fixed by throwing cash at it, a luxury you don’t have. The final mastering is an expensive stage where it's easy to make costly mistakes. We show you EXACTLY what to do, when, where and how much it will cost.

23. Film Festivals’ Blueprint
Attending film festivals is both fun and essential for your career. It’s fun ‘cos you hang out with other film makers, screen your movie, and get to go round the world. It’s important ‘cos you will win awards, meet agents and distributors, and if you are smart, you can springboard your next movie into production by schmoozing studio execs in attendance.

24. Press and Publicity Blueprint
If they don’t know it exists, they won't go and see it! Press is the life blood of your film. It’s also VERY expensive. the Movie Blueprint shows you how to target your exposure, and how to get amazing coverage for FREE!

25. Sales and Distribution Blueprint - International
Selling your film is in some ways the whole point of making it in the first place! Why then do so few film makers consider this? This section deals with selling your film abroad, what you will need to provide, how to get and work with a sales agent, which markets to attend, how long it will take and how much you could expect to receive. This section and the following two, are the most important sections in the book.

26. Sales – Domestic Theatrical
Getting your movie into the cinema in the UK is not as hard as you would think. This section tells you exactly how to go about this, the pitfalls, the advantages and the whole machine that is Theatrical Distribution. So do you want to see your movie on a huge screen down at your local Odeon?

27. Sales – Domestic Video, DVD, TV
Most people will see your movie on either DVD, video or TV. This section explains how you go about getting these deals, what you have to supply, what you might get in return, and how long it all takes. So do you want your movie on the shelf at Blockbuster? Here’s how it works.

28. What is Next?
Too many new film makers get caught up in the ‘here and now’ of their movie, that they fail to recognise their own potential. Having a long term strategy is essential for success. Your first movie is a calling card and will get you into places you could only ever dream of - and when you get there, you have to act quickly, professionally and with enthusiasm. The Movie Blueprint details what happens next, and how best to take advantage of the opportunity YOU created.

29. Avid Rough Guide
A rough guide to using entry level pro editing software Avid Xpress DV on your home computer to edit your movie. Everything you need to know about using this powerful, industry standard software.

30. Index

 

Movie Blueprint Reader Feedback

'Every time I bought this book someone stole it. It's that good.'
Nicola Fletcher, Producer 

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‘There are filmmaking guides, and then there's the MovieMakers Blueprint. I can't think of a better companion to guide you through the filmmaking process. Brilliantly accessibly, engaging and packed to bursting with first-rate expert advice, worked examples, flowcharts and case studies; it's both a film school, and a 'cookbook' from a masterchef. Essential reading’.
Nic Wistreich – The Film Finance Handbook 

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‘The level of detailed knowledge in this book is simply incredible. It eased me through scriptwriting, guided me through pre-production, kept my sanity while shooting, cajoled me through editing and yelled at me through marketing! Every problem, every joy and every decision I encountered making my film was foreseen in it's pages. As a direct result, my debut feature got made, shown at the cinema and is now selling around the world.
Allin Kempthorne - Producer / Director, ‘The Vampires of Bloody Island’ 

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‘The Movie Blueprint Book was my second investment in the movie business -- after my camera. I tend to zone if confronted with too many obscure details or movie references, but this is the perfect mix of fun, technical details and everything you need to know to make your own movie. It leaves in the challenges of making movies, but encourages us to believe that we can create the world we see in our heads. And so I did. Thank you, Movie Blueprint Book’.
Michelle Denise Norton - President, Lonely Pond Productions, Inc.    

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‘Yet again Chris Jones has produced a career changing book. In the future how many great film makers will reference him for having shaped their careers. For god sake someone give this guy a decent budget to make his movies – the Future of British film depends on it. This book is marvellous!
Simon Cox - Writer/Director Kaleidoscope Man   

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‘Chris Jones knows how to make the complicated simple
Elliot Grove, Founder, Raindance Film Festival    

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'Every time I bought this book someone stole it. It's that good.'
Nicola Fletcher, Producer.    

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‘The bible of film making, the ultimate resource for anyone interested in making movies’ "A friendly easy to read guide that takes you step by step through each stage of film production, making the impossible seem possible."
Darren Horne - Film Lecturer Cumbria University   

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‘Buy this book... it's f***ing brilliant!’
Andy Sutton, Filmmaker   

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‘Hands down the best book on the subject out there. Chris Jones is an authority and leaves no part of the process unexamined.’
Jonathan Newman, Feature Film Director    

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‘Everything you need to know; all in one book! Perfect!
Helen Oakleigh, Director    

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‘Guides you through the multi-layered maze of Film Production decision making with ease! A must read for every producer
Damien Donnelly – Producer    

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‘Making a movie is a daunting task, but this book takes away the initial fear by dividing the whole process up into simple steps that even I could follow!
Ian Read, director and webmaster of theclapperboard.com    

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‘Art is something special-and so is this guide’.
Andy Williamson, Film Maker    

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‘The Movie Blueprint Book is the single most important piece of film making equipment you'll ever own.
Allin Kempthorne - Producer / Director, ‘The Vampires of Bloody Island’   

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‘If you are going to take the plunge and jump into Independent Filmmaking, this is the life-jacket you need!’
Dominic Bradley, Producer    

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‘Written for a filmmaker by a filmmaker. Whether you’re just starting out or advanced. A one stop no compromise Compendium of everything.’
Mark Williams – Film Maker    

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‘You'll probably develop a stoop from carrying this book. From pre-production, through shooting, editing and marketing, it has never left my side. I've now got back-ache, but my debut feature is in the cinemas!
Allin Kempthorne - Producer / Director, ‘The Vampires of Bloody Island’    

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‘The Movie Blueprint gave us the structure and mindset to continue when all
seemed against us. It's a MUST read for guerrilla filmmakers…
Glen Maney - Director - THE LIMELIGHT 

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‘I teach students Guerilla Filmmaking. This book is the text because it applies!
Leonie Jones - Lecturer, Film & Television
School of Creative Arts, University of Southern Queensland
Toowoomba AUSTRALIA    

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‘As Martin Riggs said in Lethal Weapon 4 “Don’t be a don’t be, be a do be!” Don’t talk about making movies do it! This book it’s a map guiding you through the hash jungle of movie making. Be a do be and kick the British film industry’s bum!
Ian David Diaz (Writer/Producer/Director)    

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‘Wow! this is the baby. Full, in depth and right to the point. Now there is no excuse not to make that next big picture.’
Harold Gasnier, Producer/Director-24 Carrot Films Ltd.    

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‘If you're serious about your craft - buy this book!
Shandé Niemann, Writer and Film Student, Bournemouth Film School    

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‘It's accessible, fun, practical, and reading it will turn your shoot into the professional project you know it can be!
Stephen de Villiers, Film Student (South Africa)    

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‘I've done the course and now I'm a producer, but still a virgin producer, this book has taken the confusion away and given me the courage to produce my first feature knowing I have back up whenever I need it.’
Jill Divine, writer and producer    

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‘It's a massive book, to download all the information you need about filmmaking directly into your head. Then put it into practice and wuallaaa!! you are a filmmaker, so I did!
Dan Rodriguez Writer/Director for the upcoming short film: "Guilt- Trip" coming soon! 

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‘Informs, educates and entertains... inspirational!
Martin Bowen - Film Student    

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‘If your serious about film making then make this book your BIBLE, a must have
Mark Rawlings, Film Maker.    

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'The Movie Blueprint was the first filmmaking book I read. By the end I felt that I had already made my first film and that experience was invaluable at the start of my career.'
Matthew Morreale - Director/Producer (Yoga Maya Films)    

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‘Whether you are a beginning filmmaker or an experienced veteran, The Movie Blueprint will offer insight and a lot of problem solving solutions when working on a motion picture. This book is direct and brutally honest, which makes it easy to follow and helps you prepare for a rigorous production. If you want to make a movie, then The Movie Blueprint will tell you exactly how to do just that.
Daniel Sanz, Producer
Fade 2 Black Productions, Inc, Boca Raton, Florida    

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‘This was a real eye opener. everything you need is covered to get you on your way and further. Truly inspirational very well written.
Wayne Campbell, Aspiring scriptwriter and director    

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'It's a weighty tome that lightens the load for low budget film-makers.'
Merlin Ward    

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'If you have a tight budget but want to make a professional looking film this book is essential. It never left my side whilst through the whole production
of man_in_a_hat'.
David Hare (Director, Producer and Editor of man_in_a_hat).    

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‘I've found it a great resource. Well laid out, easy access to vital information, when you need it fast, and a mass of accurate, sensible, advice. Great for new filmmakers’.
Susan Douglas Writer/Producer/Director    

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‘After I got your book I was really pleased with the purchase and your down to earth approach with things. The book and your advice has been an unbelievable insight into all things filmic!
Chris Lumb    

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‘I made a feature film and sold it to the first territory this month on the strength of this book. I've never been to film school and didn't have the first clue on how to make a feature. All I had was this book and some balls.
Janey, Toaster Productions    

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‘If I were ever on Desert Island Discs, I'd take my Canon XL2 as my luxury item and Chris Jones' Movie Blueprint Book as my reading material.
Ray Battersby, Moving-Media Communications    

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‘Inspiring. Invaluable. Indispensable.
Chris Burton, Filmmaker.    

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‘This book takes you step by step through the entire filmmaking process, and doesn't sugarcoat anything! Chris Jones tells it like it is.
Areya Simmons (Director and Writer)    

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‘Chris Jones inspiring book guided me all the way from just thinking about making a film to the 2007 Melbourne International Film Festival.
Stefen Lewis Writer-Director-Producer    

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‘This book is known on set as the Blue Bible. Without it I very much doubt I'd have successfully made a single feature; I'm now shooting my fourth. It's the best money you'll ever spend, and will save you the cover price a hundred times over during the production process. Seeing my film on the shelf of the video shop that I used to work in was one of the greatest moments of my life, and I doubt it ever would have happened without this book
Pat Higgins, writer/producer/director of TrashHouse, KillerKiller and Hellbride.    

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‘The Movie Blueprint is an invaluable resource for any production company that is either making their first feature, or like our company, moving into feature films having made a number of short films. Marry this with the masterclass offered by Chris, it is hard to see how you can ground yourself in the knowledge it takes to succeed in getting your feature made whilst avoiding the pitfalls that await the new filmmaker.
John Schwab - Producer, 'Solution Films'    

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'Without the essential information this book contains I'd have been lost in the world of film production. As detailed and enlightening a guide as a novice - or a pro for that matter - could wish for.'
Iwan James Benneyworth, Writer-Director    

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‘They have got me through film school and are an essential read and viewing to anybody wanting to make films. They are like the Blue Peter of film books. Cheers.
David Hare, Hare Brained Films    

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‘You can't plan on making a movie without this book.
Tom Waller, Producer    

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‘I use this book as a Bible on all my shoots and it's never once let me down. Buy it and let the worship begin.
Tom Armitage: Writer/Director    

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‘The Guerilla Filmmakers Handbook - invaluable education and inspiration from cover to cover’.
Pete Bryden - Producer (Summerton Mill)    

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‘If you want to know what goes on behind the camera to create what's in front of the camera, this book tells you all you need to know.
Lee Neville, Actor and Director    

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'Constantly reading, re-reading and recommending this book. If you're making a low budget movie and you don't have it buy this copy now.'
Mark Brisenden - Scriptwriter, Editor.    

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'If it's about low budget film making and it's not in this book you probably don't need to know it'.
Mark Brisenden - Scriptwriter, Editor .    

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‘We bought the Movie Blueprint specifically to help with production of our first feature project. An absolutely invaluable text… we start shooting in a month.
Maria Ellis-Producer, Bradgate Films  

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‘The Guerilla Film Makers Movie Blueprint by Chris Jones is a road map for film makers. It shows you how to go from dream to reality with the least amount of pain for gain. If you do get lost making your film this will put you back on track.
David Fussell  

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‘Absolutely brilliant book. I recommend it to all my students and have personally bought 3 copies so I have one at work, one at home and one I lend out.’
Phil Peel Course Leader BA Film - Arts Institute at Bournemouth  

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‘Easily the best way to get the fire started, everything you need to know, in an accessible and straight-forward manner, if you’re lost, start here, and you will know where to begin your journey, as well as having a reference for the times when your own experience-doesn’t quite cover the situation.’
Joshua Halewood (Beginning Film-maker/Writer/Musical Composer)  

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‘I'm starting shooting my first feature next week - without this book I would never have got anywhere near this far. It's an essential kick in the pants for the serial procrastinator.’
Rakie Keig, Director

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