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Nuts-and-Bolts Filmmaking book (Amazon link)

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Character traits for Writers

Documentaries for Art Directors / Production Designers

Interview with screenwriter Jack Sekowski Also includes free download of a produced script

Dan's Top 10 Tips for Short Film Makers

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. Books > Nuts and Bolts Filmmaking

Nuts-and-Bolts Filmmaking reviews

Nuts and Bolts Filmmaking is included in the curriculm of New York’s Hilbert College (http://com.hilbert.edu).

Here's what some people are saying about the book:

'Nuts and Bolts Filmmaking takes up where all the other guerilla filmmaking books leave off. If you want high screen value on a restricted budget, this book will stretch your money to the max.'
- James MacGregor, Penultimate Productions

'Indie filmmakers: Ignore this comprehensive production guide at your own peril. Everything you need to give your low-budget films that 'big budget' look is right here!'
- Michael Victor, Writer/Producer/Editor, FX Networks

An extensive review is available here:

Mister Disco review here

Kenneth Bearden, Walker Jane Productions

It sounds like you're looking for: Nuts and Bolts Filmmaking by Dan Rahmel,
published by Focal Press.

It's an incredible book for the indie filmmaker.

You won't be sorry.


Thanks for the suggestion; I got the book and found it made for both a
good read and a terrific resource.  (Not to mention a good gift for some friends who show promise.)

R. Michael

It is worth the money. I built the dolly the small dolly and am working on
sand bags now.


I wanted to make a movie with a camcorder I got for christmas but I did not really know where to start.
I saw this book on the shelf and thought I might get a few ideas.
Well, there's so much eye-opening information here and easy explanations, it made it easy to understand.
This is my first attempt at movies.
Some chapters were too technical for my needs, but I was able to use a bunch of the projects like "the sqeezer". I recommend this to anyone getting started in movie making.

Lucky Tiger

Having worked on a number of professional films, this book is the real deal.
Clearly the author has met a lot of challenges we all face on-set. While my
experience is primary limited to the Camera Department, the author seems to
have consulted others and included information from nearly every department.
Unfortunately, there isn't much information on cinematography that I didn't
already know. Thanks to Mr. Rahmel for writing this fine book. Hopefully the
next version will include more DP stuff.


A friend gave me a copy of this book as a gift and it has turned out to be one of the best gifts I have gotten in a long time. I used something from it the very same day I reveived it(it has an actor release form that I needed for a voice-over actor).

It's very comprehensive for such a small book. I don't need some of the stuff (like the art direction section), but I'll probably end up building all of the camera equipment. I never even thought of doing underwater shots until I saw the device in the underwater-cam chapter.

There is a Tips section at the end of each chapter that has some great stuff. Like the audio section has this tip about recording room tone. If I had read this tip a year ago, it would have saved me a lot of time and frustration.

The pictures are really good at showing all of the construction steps (although a few in the grip knots section are a little hard to see). I wish the title included the word "video" since I think videographer's like me will use this stuff even more than film makers.


I'm just starting to make my own movies and I am unfamiliar with constructing props and I can't believe how much I've learned already from this book already. I'm not handy, but most of the building is easy enough for me to follow. Most of the books I've read gave advice on how to shoot movies, but this is the first one I've seen that focuses on the tools and techniques for actually getting the production work done. The author gives a fantastic overview of almost every area of filmmaking...except for costume and make up :-) Very highly recommended.


This book is incredible. The author has gone out of his way to even measure the material on how to built your own lighting. This book has help me create night and day diferences on my movies. I've learn so much from it and showed me more tricks that i've been able to compile in all my years of shooting.
I would recomend this book for anyone as this book shows you in detail step by step with photos on how to make all the must equiptment to make your movie look and like the big $$ equiptment.


A reader

The author shows make-yourself tools, tips and tricks on moviemaking. The book goes through many interesting ideas and projects and is very dense with great info, both technical and real world. The pictures and descriptions are clear. The post-production chapters, although brief, have some clever and helpful techniques. I've begun working on making the reflector and his instructions make it easy and step by step.
This is a book you use as a reference, it's not a riveting read! But if you've been wanting to make you're own low-budget films, this book will save you countless hours of head-scratching. He figures out most of the problems you will run into and offers clear and intelligent solutions. The content is excellent. I've found other books on this topic to maybe be more inspirational but this book has helped me more than others with "The Nuts and Bolts" of making my own films. It's aptly titled... It's not one of those books that you won't be able to put down, but the author is a good teacher, if a bit dry. This is a book you should definitely buy and read before you start making your own films. This guy has figured out most of the problems so you won't have to...

If you are already making films, but are looking for new ideas and solutions to all the little problems that indie filmakers run into...then you should read this book too.

I think this book is a must own for anyone that wants to make their own films, wants them to look professional, but doesn't have a lot of money to spend.