Elevate Difference

Ms. Films DIY Guide to Film & Video, Third Edition

This anthology of DIY film techniques and ideas is nothing short of inspiring. It takes what I had thought of as a corporate and very difficult to break into medium and brings it to the level where anyone can become a filmmaker. Comprehensive and fascinating, with a lot of spirit, Ms. Films DIY Guide to Film & Video looks and feels like a zine, but is bound durably as a book. Geared toward women and girls, as women and girls are under-represented as film-makers, this book serves a meaningful purpose. I had never felt the desire to make films, but Ms. Films DIY Guide to Film & Video gives me ideas and makes me want to implement them—furthermore, it suggests how to implement them. This is a feel-good book in a deep and lasting way.

The filmmakers whose writing is anthologized in here are diverse and have a lot of personality. The reader gets a sense of the different filmmakers as people, and feels supported by their words. Some specific techniques and ideas presented include a DIY drive-in movie theater, how to make your own puppets for stop-motion animation, discussion of good lengths for short films, where to start with fundraising and publicity, a guide to film festivals, tips for script writing and personal writing of a filmmaker’s experiences with a specific production.

Suggestions I have for the fourth edition include a bigger inside margin for easier reading as well as cleaner fonts—a few of the typewriter fonts aren’t easy on the eye. Otherwise, I would recommend this book to anyone. Long-time filmmakers will be reminded why they started making films and find some new ideas, while newcomers, like myself, will be introduced to an entire new world.

Written by: Laura-Marie Taylor, April 28th 2007