Books on how to make movies and home movies???

Talk about the work of collecting, restoring and preserving our film heritage here.
User avatar
Darren Nemeth
Posts: 1218
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:58 am
Location: Waterford Township, Michigan
Contact:

Books on how to make movies and home movies???

Unread post by Darren Nemeth » Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:05 pm

I am looking for a silent era, 1920s-early 1930s book on how to make movies. Either a text book or one that was published for the 16mm home move market.

Kodak published "How to Make Good Movies" in the 1950s. It is an instructional book for people who want to make better films and is the only one I have found in Google searches.

Does such a thing exist from the silent era? By or not by Kodak? The only ones I can find are from the 40s and 50s.

I am thinking of doing a project where I will take published home movie scripts and film some using a "how to" book as a strict guideline.

Thanks in advance.
"How to Film Moving Pictures in the 1910's" by Darren Nemeth
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/12 ... n-early-ci

Aaron_M
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 2:45 pm
Location: Detroit, Michigan

Re: Books on how to make movies and home movies???

Unread post by Aaron_M » Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:56 am

Darren,

In the 1920's Kodak published a book with several scripts for amateurs to make one-reelers from, and there were several books of varying quality written during the during the same time period that cover the technical aspects of filmmaking - everything from script writing to camera operation to titling and editing. Some of the best books on motion picture production from this period were written by a man named Herbert C. McCay. A search on Amazon or eBay for his name will turn up several titles. There was also a magazine published in the 1920's and 30's called Movie Maker. It was full of tips for amateur filmmakers working in both the 16mm and 35mm formats during the silent era.

Hope this helps,

Aaron

User avatar
Frederica
Posts: 4852
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 1:00 pm
Location: Kowea Town, Los Angeles

Re: Books on how to make movies and home movies???

Unread post by Frederica » Fri Oct 17, 2014 10:19 am

Aaron_M wrote:Darren,

In the 1920's Kodak published a book with several scripts for amateurs to make one-reelers from, and there were several books of varying quality written during the during the same time period that cover the technical aspects of filmmaking - everything from script writing to camera operation to titling and editing. Some of the best books on motion picture production from this period were written by a man named Herbert C. McCay. A search on Amazon or eBay for his name will turn up several titles. There was also a magazine published in the 1920's and 30's called Movie Maker. It was full of tips for amateur filmmakers working in both the 16mm and 35mm formats during the silent era.

Hope this helps,

Aaron
Do any of these home movie one reelers survive? I'd love to see one (or better yet, two or three of the same script).
Fred
"Screw the men. I've got the horse."
Helen B. (Penny) Chenery
http://www.nitanaldi.com" target="_blank"
http://www.facebook.com/NitaNaldiSilentVamp" target="_blank"

User avatar
Darren Nemeth
Posts: 1218
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:58 am
Location: Waterford Township, Michigan
Contact:

Re: Books on how to make movies and home movies???

Unread post by Darren Nemeth » Sat Oct 18, 2014 1:37 pm

Do any of these home movie one reelers survive? I'd love to see one (or better yet, two or three of the same script).
I'd like to see examples also.

I have two or maybe three home movies made by folks who made their own script. Would like to see some of the ones from the above mentioned books.

There are two amateur horror oriented b&w films on the MONSTERS CRASH THE PAJAMA PARTY dvd put out by Something Weird Video a while back that were very well done.
"How to Film Moving Pictures in the 1910's" by Darren Nemeth
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/12 ... n-early-ci

User avatar
Brooksie
Posts: 2802
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:41 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon via Sydney, Australia
Contact:

Re: Books on how to make movies and home movies???

Unread post by Brooksie » Sat Oct 18, 2014 11:52 pm

By coincidence, today is national Home Movie Day (yes, apparently there is such a thing!) My local historical society hosted an interesting event at which people brought in their old 8mm and 16mm family movies for projection. Their website has various resources that might be useful in finding movies that match up with the scenarios in the books - http://www.centerforhomemovies.org. They have also digitised some of their holdings at https://archive.org/details/home_movies.

Jay Schwartz
Posts: 148
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:54 am
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Books on how to make movies and home movies???

Unread post by Jay Schwartz » Sun Oct 19, 2014 10:11 am

Darren Nemeth wrote:There are two amateur horror oriented b&w films on the MONSTERS CRASH THE PAJAMA PARTY dvd put out by Something Weird Video a while back that were very well done.
What's especially remarkable is that one of the amateur horror movies on this DVD was made in the 1920s...and is clearly a home-made, abbreviated version of none other than LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT! It copies Chaney's makeup pretty well, and cleverly uses outdoor sets to look like indoor sets (probably to take advantage of the needed light).

Here are some other collections of (later) amateur horror film, which was evidently a rather popular hobby in the FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND era.

http://www.monsterkidhomemovies.com/" target="_blank" target="_blank

http://www.amazon.com/Was-Teenage-Movie ... B000GRTR8S" target="_blank" target="_blank

User avatar
Harlowgold
Posts: 469
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:06 pm

Re: Books on how to make movies and home movies???

Unread post by Harlowgold » Thu Nov 20, 2014 6:03 pm

Darren Nemeth wrote:I am looking for a silent era, 1920s-early 1930s book on how to make movies. Either a text book or one that was published for the 16mm home move market.

Kodak published "How to Make Good Movies" in the 1950s. It is an instructional book for people who want to make better films and is the only one I have found in Google searches.

Does such a thing exist from the silent era? By or not by Kodak? The only ones I can find are from the 40s and 50s.

I am thinking of doing a project where I will take published home movie scripts and film some using a "how to" book as a strict guideline.

Thanks in advance.
There was a monthly little digest size (Reader's Digest, TV Guide sized) amateur moviemakers magazine published during the early 1940's, I was very surprised to come upon it given one would think such a hobby would be limited due to the economy in that era. Probably went under not long after America entered the war, I have one issue somewhere with Dorothy Lamour on cover (not unlike other magazines, they apparently used star photos on the cover even though it was not remotely a "Hollywood" type magazine).

Jay Schwartz
Posts: 148
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:54 am
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Books on how to make movies and home movies???

Unread post by Jay Schwartz » Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:49 pm

I'm not familiar with the digest-sized publication, but MOVIE MAKERS and HOME MOVIES were two periodicals that published for some decades, including (at least for MOVIE MAKERS) through the great depression.

Post Reply