Book #19: Making Movies

It would take a lot of coffee, thought, and patience to explain how I came about my love movies. It would probably take even longer to explain how that love grew to encompass the act of creating movies as well as watching them.

One day I'll crack that nut, but in the meantime let me leave you with this little nugget: If you love movies... if you're the type of person who listens to the audio commentary on DVDs... then you need to read Making Movies by legendary director Sidney Lumet.

Using his own incredible filmography as a launching pad, Lumet dissects and analyzes his own process for making films. From the choosing which projects to do, handling actors, screenwriters, editors, composers, and delivering a finished film only to be at the mercy of the studio system, Lumet shows that he's just at home on the page as on the screen. Words don't do it justice - Making Movies is an incredible love letter to film and a practical how-to for aspiring filmmakers. No one else could be more qualified to write this book. Who wouldn't want to hear anecdotes and film advice from the man who directed classics like 12 ANGRY MEN, THE FUGITIVE KIND, NETWORK, DOG DAY AFTERNOON and worked with such amazing people like Henry Fonda, Marlon Brando, Katherine Hepburn, Paul Newman and Al Pacino? Reading the book reminded me just how significant Lumet is in television and film, and the obvious love and joy he takes in his work is contagious. Be warned: you will probably want to run out and watch SERPICO or LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT immediately following the completion of this book. Maybe even before.

If you love film, this is one of the only books I would say is an "essential" read.