Film Industry Experts Share Experience with Aspiring Filmmakers and Students

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New filmmaking book from Macmillan Learning caters to the gap between learning and application.

"Filmmaking in Action manages to capture every detail and nuance of the incredibly complex filmmaking process, and will remain as current as the latest blockbuster thanks to its innovative integration of online resources.

Macmillan Learning announced today the publication of FILMMAKING IN ACTION, a new book by Adam Leipzig, Barry S. Weiss, and Michael Goldman offering core instruction to university students as well as aspiring filmmakers. With collaborative storytelling as the core principles, these industry pros guide budding filmmakers through the skills and the craft of video and filmmaking, providing them unparalleled access to industry experts, tools, and behind-the-scenes tricks of the trade.

Author Adam Leipzig says, “Our participating directors, writers, producers, editors, and designers have worked on movies ranging from blockbusters to indies, including The LEGO Movie, Divergent, Ant-Man, Zero Dark Thirty, and many more. We provide readers with unprecedented access to everything from scripts, direction, design and production, sound, lighting, editing, and overall problem-solving. It’s all there.”

“This is a wonderful example of how our partnership with authors and experts in the industry translates to instructive content,” says Macmillan Learning Publisher Erika Gutierrez. “Their guidance on all areas of filmmaking addresses technical logistics, storytelling challenges, and business complexities.”

Readers and students using FILMMAKING IN ACTION’S online platform, LaunchPad, will have additional access to exclusive content, tips, and advice including video interviews with some of Hollywood’s top professionals. In addition, readers will be learning from some of the most accomplished professionals in the film industry including Russell Carpenter, cinematographer (Ant-Man; Charlie’s Angels; Titanic); Paul Ottosson, sound designer (Zero Dark Thirty; The Hurt Locker; Spider-Man 2); William Goldenberg, editor (Unbroken; Argo; Heat); Ken Ralston, visual effects supervisor (Alice in Wonderland; Back to the Future; Star Wars); Alex McDowell, production designer (Man of Steel; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Fight Club); David Gordon Green, director (Pineapple Express; Prince Avalanche; Joe), and more. Together, their advice forms an expert crash course in all facets of filmmaking. Filmmaking in Action can be packaged with access to exclusive videos from the industry’s top moviemakers. Learn more here:

Industry Quotes:

"Filmmaking in Action manages to capture every detail and nuance of the incredibly complex filmmaking process, and will remain as current as the latest blockbuster thanks to its innovative integration of online resources. This is an invaluable guide for anyone interested in a film career or simply wanting a deeper understanding of what goes into the making of what goes onto the silver screen." 
– Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO, DreamWorks Animation

“There are so few books about how to make movies from start to finish that are both incredibly detailed yet easily digestible. Filmmaking in Action is a generous resource that can provide real guidance to film novices and professionals alike. “
– Amy Pascal, Chairperson, Motion Pictures Group of Sony Pictures Entertainment, 2006-2015

"My hat is off to the authors of Filmmaking in Action. I wish I’d had a book like this back when I was a film student." 
– Jim Morris, President, Pixar Animation Studios

About the Authors:

Adam Leipzig is an entrepreneur, filmmaker, producer, publisher, and author. He is the COO of CreativeFuture, a non-profit organization advocating for the creative community. He is also the CEO of Entertainment Media Partners, which provides informed guidance for independent media companies, financiers, and producers, and is the publisher of Cultural Weekly ( Adam teaches at Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, in the Executive Education program of UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business, and in UCLA's Professional Producing Program. He has overseen more than 25 movies as producer, executive, or distributor, including March of the Penguins; Dead Poets Society; Titus; Honey, I Shrunk the Kids; Amreeka; and The Story of the Weeping Camel. Adam served as president of National Geographic Films and as senior vice president at Walt Disney Studios, and in each of those positions was responsible for the movie industry's most profitable film of the year. His movies have won or been nominated for 10 Academy Awards, 11 BAFTA Awards, 2 Golden Globes, 2 Emmys, 2 Directors Guild Awards, 4 Sundance Awards and 4 Independent Spirit Awards. He is also the author of Inside Track for Independent Filmmakers: Get Your Movie Made, Get Your Movie Seen, a how-to manual with tips for solving the problems most faced by emerging and independent filmmakers. Adam is currently an executive producer of the prestigious HBO dramatic miniseries Lewis and Clark, and he has two feature documentaries in production.

Barry S. Weiss has worked on some of the most profitable, award-winning projects of the last 20 years. In the roles of animation executive, producer, and collaborator with Sony Pictures, Warner Brothers, Nickelodeon, and Turner Pictures, he has achieved an unparalleled record of success. Barry was instrumental in the creation of two animation studios, leading the teams that created the animated characters for the Stuart Little and Spider-Man franchises, plus characters for 20 additional films, such as Open Season and Academy Award nominee Surf's Up. He is credited on 62 films and shorts, two of which have won Academy Awards and eight additional nominations. Barry is also an Emmy Award winner.

Michael Goldman is a veteran entertainment-industry journalist and author, who has penned seven books including the New York Times bestseller John Wayne: The Genuine Article; Clint Eastwood: Master Filmmaker at Work; and Reality Ends Here: 80 Years of USC Cinematic Arts. He is a frequent contributor to American Cinematographer magazine and writes for a host of industry publications, newsletters, and websites, including CineMontage, SMPTE Newswatch, and Post magazine.

About Macmillan Learning:

Macmillan Learning improves lives through learning. Our legacy of excellence in education continues to inform our approach to developing world-class content with pioneering, interactive tools. Through deep partnership with the world’s best researchers, educators, administrators, and developers, we facilitate teaching and learning opportunities that spark student engagement and improve outcomes. We provide educators with tailored solutions designed to inspire curiosity and measure progress. Our commitment to teaching and discovery upholds our mission to improve lives through learning. To learn more, please visit or join us on Facebook, Twitter, or our Macmillan Community.

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Nikki Jones
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