Posted: 07/08/2010


The Filmmaker’s Book Of The Dead: How To Make Your Own Heart-Racing Horror Movie

by Danny Draven

Reviewed by Del Harvey

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Ever wanted to make your own horror film? Think you’ve got what it takes, but don’t know where to begin? Then you need this book.

Danny Draven’s new book is called The Filmmaker’s Book of the Dead: How to Make Your Own Heart-Racing Horror Movie, and it is great inspiration for any independent horror filmmakers. It is full of useful information not only for horror filmmakers, but also for anyone involved with independent film production. Sharing his personal filmmaking experience, award-winning producer/director Danny Draven reveals how to create a spine-tingling horror film from start to finish.

Readers will not only discover how to craft their story, but also how to master using production techniques, music, lighting and editing to generate thrills and suspense in their audiences. Straight-from-the-set tips will help readers avoid common filmmaking pitfalls, and extensive information on marketing and distribution will show you how to get your film out to the public. Mr. Draven shows you how to:

• Write, produce, and distribute your own low-budget but high-quality horror film.

• Find even more hands-on horror advice and over an hour of video extras on the companion web site.

• Reveals classic behind-the-scenes footage from Puppetmaster, Blood Dolls, Dead Hate the Living and more courtesy of Full Moon Features.

The book is full of tidbits of wisdom from groundbreaking horror legends such as Lloyd Kaufman (Toxic Avenger); Robert Kurtzman (From Dusk till Dawn); James Wan (Saw); Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger from the Nightmare of Elm Street films); Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator); Tom Savini (Night of the Living Dead); “Godfather of Gore” Herschell Gordon Lewis; Charles Band (Trancers); David DeCoteau (Puppet Master 3); John D. LeMay (Friday the 13th: The Series); Scream Queen Debbie Rochon (Tromeo & Juliet); Reggie Bannister (Phantasm); and many more.

As Draven says in his book, “Independent filmmaking can be stressful. Typically, you are the one doing everything and trying to make everyone happy. When I make a film, I plan everything very meticulously, but I know from experience that what I’m planning will usually not work.” He goes on to explain just how you can overcome production-stopping obstacles using common sense and a bit of creative thinking, just like any big budget filmmaker would do.

Whether you’re a first-time filmmaker or an old pro, Danny Draven’s book will likely show you scenarios to rattle your indie filmmaking bones or cause you to chuckle. No matter what your background, if you’re a lover of the horror genre, or a maker of independent films, you should pick up this book.

The Filmmaker’s Book of the Dead
ISBN 13: 978-0-240-81206-9
Publication Date: March 2010
US Price: $39.95

Del Harvey is the founder of Film Monthly, a film teacher, a writer and a film critic in Chicago.

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