Sunday, 6 October 2019

REVIEW: Rocliffe Notes: A Guide To Low-Budget Filmmaking by Farah Abushwesha

I first had the pleasure of meeting Farah when she hosted the Bafta Rocliffe writing showcases, so it is with even greater pleasure that I now review her latest book.

As with her previous book, A Professional Approach For Screenwriters and Writer-Directors, it is a fount of practical advice and good sense from a practitioner who has had the experience of low-budget filmmaking. Not only that, the book has handy templates for all sorts of schedules and contracts allied with straightforward analyses of all legal and contractual obligations.

Filmmaking on any budget is complex but this book demystifies the process. What I liked best were the contributions from such luminaries as Sean Baker and Sarah Gavron (to name but two), who give the reader the benefit of their positive and negative experiences. Advice on literally EVERYTHING from funding to how to hook an industry pro at Cannes is covered.

What was certainly brought home to me was the sheer investment of time that the filmmaker must make into their project. You'd better love what you do. At the end of every chapter is a set of tips that recap on the complexities - especially useful. The layout of the book is very approachable, making it perfect to dip into for particular info, or it's perfect to read as a whole - essential for anyone contemplating the cinematic life, because that's what it is.

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