We’re in principal photography for the Scary Cow Production of Matt Voss’ The Templetons (I am directing), and there are a couple of books that are good references for indie filmmaking.
A lot more useful than it might seem, Lloyd Kaufman’s book “Make Your Own Damn Movie” – the master of Troma films takes you through all the steps of developing, fundraising, and shooting your movie.
Smarmy as hell (have you seen any Troma movies?), Kaufman constantly gets in little squabbles during the narration with his Assistant Directors/ Production Assistants / buttslaves, Trent Haaga and Adam Jahnke, so the whole thing feels like a Troma Production. Bonus points for the introduction by Trey Parker & Matt Stone, which is nothing less than an inspiring tale of achieving the indie equivalent of Enlightenment.
This book is basically 500 pages of interviews with people in the film industry, in all sorts of jobs.Â The interviews are each tightly focussed on a single aspect of film production, including parts you may not think of like promotion, the bookkeeping, the script supervision.Â The audience is the independent low- or no-budget filmmaker.
I recommend reading this one completely through; all the interviews are interesting on some level, and like I say not everything will seem important to you… but actually it is.Â It is all important, to the point of biting you on the ass in the middle of your production if you don’t think about it in advance.
After you’ve absorbed all that, you are ready for the Blueprint. If the previous book is the text for the lecture, think of this as the text for the lab. It’s broken down by stage of production, and has forms and little hints.
One really cool sequence of chapters has a description of what roles in the crew you will have to fill, for different sizes of productions (budget or number of crew). Each role (such as Writer, Director, Art Director, Soundtrack, Production Designer, Lawyer, etc etc) has its own cartoon character, with a description. There’s a diagram with an expanding circle that shows the core you’ll need, and the additional crew you’ll need for the immediate next level.