Saturday, March 25, 2006


Making Movies

Hey, I've been reading a really great book called "Teach Yourself Film Making" by Tom Holden. I like his no nonsense, direct and to the point style. While it is doubtful that anyone will able to storm Hollywood after reading the book, it will give any aspiring film maker a great intro to the endeavor of making an honest to goodness film.

I've been interested in making movies since I was about twelve. I used to read magazines such as Famous Monsters of Filmland, Starlog, Cinemagic just to get a glimpse into how my favorite sci-fi and horror movies were made. I've always felt that if I had grown up in Los Angeles I would be working in the film industry today.

When I was fifteen, I borrowed my parent's old Brownie 8mm camera and set out to make my masterpiece. I had decided that like Willis O'Brien and Ray Harryhausen, my epic would be made using stop-motion animation. I happened to have a collection of those Aurora prehistoric scenes snap-together model kits that worked fairly well as animation models. I also had a space craft model of the Spindrift from the "Land of the Giants" TV show. In my parent's basement, I built a set made out of plywood and 2x4's, and filled it up with sand to make the landscape. My 5 minute film took about two weeks to film, painstakingly moving the dinosaur and wooly mammoth models in a battle royal, along with having the Spindrift land on the planet. Riveting stuff...

In college, I helped a friend make his Star Trek fan film, however most of my involvement was in setting up lights, building sets, and so on. But recently I've become interested in the idea of amateur film making once again, mainly after I bought a snazzy new Mini-DV camcorder. These days you can do everything in digital and handle all the editing and post production on your PC, and turn out the finished project as a DVD for family and friends to enjoy (or suffer through as the case may be).

I've decided to start out slowly and work my through a couple of smaller projects involving various footage I've shot of my kids at school functions and at birthdays. This will help me work out the methods and how to effectively use the tools. Stay tuned for updates...

I love Cinemagic Magazine,I wish they still made it for todays young filmakers.I recently bought Issue 1 of Amazing Cinema off Ebay,this magazine was also produced by Don Dohler who made Cinemagic.Don now runs Timewarp Films.
Andrew, thanks for the comment and thanks for reading the blog. I also bought a few back issues of Cinemagic from Ebay to supplement my meager collection.
Hi, I'm a couple years late. . .

Found your blog after cleaning out a shelf of old SF magazines (Starlog, Cinefantastic, Fantastic Films) from the late 70s/early 80s and doing a Google search on Cinemagic. A friend and I used to read the magazine faithfully while writing our (quite amateurish, I can say, nearly thirty years later) little 20-page SF/Fantasy scripts. Ahh, the memories.


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