Learn Filmmaking Without Film School

Learn Filmmaking Without Film SchoolProduct: Filmmaking By Jason Tomaric

Subject: Learn Filmmaking Without Film School

Authors: Jason Tomaric

Publisher: Focal Press

Language: English

Length:  536 Pages

Price: $24.56 ( Retail )

Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon.com

Our Rating: 9 out of 10

When I was a teenager my love of horror drove me into the arms of indie filmmaking – I thought I was the next big thing!

But as you get older you learn a valuable lesson – things in life you thought were easy never are!

Simply put – in the 90’s I wanted to learn filmmaking without film school commitments but there really were not that many options. The internet was just a word at the time and the only mobile phones spotted were the ones on Miami Vice.

So today I thought I’d cover an excellent publication that I wish had been available when I was a ‘green’ teenager – Filmmaking: Direct Your Movie from Script to Screen Using Proven Hollywood Techniques.

Filmmaking – Product Overview

Filmmaking is an extremely well put together resource for filmmakers that dives headlong into the secretive film industry. It introduces you to the Hollywood system of successful filmmaking and shows you how to adapt it into your own productions.

The book is put together by Emmy-winning director Jason Tomaric. He covers the thousands of tips, tricks, and techniques he has gathered from working on the Hollywood scene over the years.

Filmmaking systematically takes you through the process in easy to follow, step-by-step fashion. It is a guide that is aimed at ALL filmmakers – regardless of their budget.

The book also comes with an impressive companion site that includes the following:

Filmmaking points

The Good & The Bad

The Pros:

  • ​Jason provides a coverage of the entire filmmaking process​ ( even a section on distribution )
  • The step-by-step instructions are littered with handy tips, diagrams, charts and illustrations
  • The book also handles the nitty-gritty of the business side of movie production – very important for indie filmmakers!
  • Book reads like a diary of a successful independent filmmaker that highlights the mistakes as well as the success stories
  • The author provides real-world examples​ in the form of ‘Jason’s Notes’ which covers some background from films or projects he’s done
  • The book chooses to provide practical knowledge instead theoretical knowledge
  • The companion website offers industry-standard forms and contracts​ and excellent video tutorials

The Cons:

  • The book is a long read – it’s not aimed at people who just want to pick up a camera and start filming​
  • Jason chooses not to go into the actual filmmaking aspects straight away – the initial chapters cover more mundane topics like lawyers and contracts etc

Who is This Book For?

Well simply put – this book is for individuals who want to learn filmmaking without film school commitments.

This book is NOT for individuals who are looking to shoot and produce a film within a week!

Our Final Opinion on Jason Tomaric’s Filmmaking

As you may have gathered from the above information – this is not really a book that is aimed at indie filmmakers looking to get a film up and running on YouTube in a week!

Jason Tomaric has taken the time to make sure he covers EVERY element of filmmaking. Whatever you encounter on your project you can be sure he has covered it in these pages.

The book is derived from Jason’s personal journey of over 15 years working in the movie business. The tips he provides are therefore ‘hands on’ pointers as opposed to the drier type of guidelines often found in filmmaking manuals.

He has also opted to include numerous illustrations and images to help the reader along the path. I found this most helpful as I learn faster from visual representations and switch off when I’m confronted with a sea of text!

US Visitors – Find Out More About Filmmaking: Direct Your Movie from Script to Screen Using Proven Hollywood Techniques HERE

UK Visitors – Find Out More About Filmmaking: Direct Your Movie from Script to Screen Using Proven Hollywood Techniques HERE

We hope you enjoyed our book review and if you have any questions about the product or want to leave your own personal review, please leave a comment in the section below.


  1. Thanks for the great review,

    I found this post really interesting as I’ve always had a little bit of an interest in film making.

    What I learned from your review is that I’m not really the target market for this particular book because I’m at the point now where I will not be producing any big productions.

    WHat I would be more interested in is a book teaching me how to produce quick and short youtube videos. I could really use some help on that topic.


    • Well this certainly isn’t the book for you then Robert – serious indie filmmakers only!!!
      A simple Google search will bring up more than a few tutorials on production for YouTube…and they’re free 🙂

  2. Your review is very detailed and thorough. I have a son interested in film school and from this, I would determine that it is more detailed and maybe to long for a 17 year old. Thanks so much for the great review of a book I would have thought about buying!

    • Hi Maura,
      It depends on how serious the 17 year old is I suppose. If they are looking at taking on filmmaking for a career then this would be perfect for them. It is written in quite an easy fashion with step-by-step instructions. It’s down to the individual really – do you feel your son is serious about taking this sort of thing on?

  3. Hello, I think this a very valuable book for those that do not have the cash to go about film production in a big way. I never knew there could be possibilities such as this, that will provide the nitty gritty that are involve in filming without having to go to the school of filming.

    I want to be sure, with this book, can one really get all the basics in film production and on a budget?

    • Hi Nnamdi,
      Yes this book/guide is aimed at all indie filmmakers no matter what type of budget they have behind them 🙂

  4. Hi Chris,
    Great review. I really like the way you do your reviews and obviously the ebook Filmmaking by Jason Tomaric must a real good guidance for making films.
    I am not very much into making films, but I am the guy who loves to watch good films 😉
    I think it is important that different platforms of training are used like videos, ebooks etc.
    Have you already made experiences with this ebook and have you made a film with this guidance?

    • Hello again Don!
      Yeah I’ve gone through this book many a time – a great ‘hands on’ guide for the industry 🙂

  5. It’s great that a book like this exists to teach people everything they need to know about the film making process. I know you say it’s a long read and people might find it hard going especially the more boring chapters at the beginning. However, if someone is serious about getting into making films, they need to know everything.

    it even covers the business side of things and distribution, which a lot of people won’t know about. It just goes to show, there’s much more than making films than just being creative and filming people. There’s a whole business side to it as well.

    • You’re very right Marcus – if you are serious about getting into the film industry you have to brush up on everything out there. It takes a lot of hard work to produce a half decent film ( even at an indie level! )

  6. Thanks for sharing this review on what sounds like a great book for those wanting to learn all the nuts and bolts of filmmaking. I think it will be very useful for people who take filmmaking seriously and want to learn all the peripheral stuff too. Anyone looking to learn how to shoot short videos in quick time should look elsewhere. Thanks again.

  7. Wow, i did no know there could be a step by step book about film making. there is a lot of information about short film making but this!. Always thought these film guys will guard this minefield with their lives considering that it is difficult to get into film making. I believe this book will open a lot of doors especially for someone who would like to make a film without having to depend on big guns like Warner Bros to provide skills and budget. Thanks Chris

    • No problem Francina, it’s an excellent choice of guide for all newcomers to the subject of movie making 🙂

  8. Hi, this is a really detailed review, I can see how you are passionate about the subject in this article. I can see it’s only for hard core wannabe filmmakers if it’s a big read, I expect there’s a lot to take in! Are there any shorter books out there aimed at filmmakers wanting to produce something for YouTube for example? Sammi

    • Hi Sammi,
      The type of info you are looking for can be easily found online at various filmmaking sites ( for free! ). Mind you, if you want to be a filmmaker that stands out on YouTube you really should treat it as seriously as you would treat the big screen!
      Good luck 🙂

  9. Hi Chris, looks like you have a real winner here, 536 pages for just $25. Are you sure the price is correct? By the way, just as a courtesy to people (like me) who are not in the know: what do you mean by indie film makers? It might be an indication of India, however, I saw no capital I. Cheers, Jerry

    • Hi Jerry,
      Indie filmmaking is a shortened way of saying independent filmmaking. These types of films have a very low starting budget and require the directors/makers to think outside the box to get things completed. Hope this clears things up for you 🙂

  10. Thanks for the awesome review. My wife and I have had an idea for a film for years, we just never had the know how to get ‘er done.

    Your review came at the perfect time; we were just talking about getting this project off the ground.

    I’ve never been to film school, but like that say, you can’t keep a good idea down.

    I’ve not yet read the book, but was curious to know if you had (from your experience) a recommendation on a good camera (that’s not too expensive.

    Great article. Thanks.

    • Well there’s so many cameras out there that will do a job these days Jim it’s hard to pinpoint one. We do cover a few options in the Product Review section of this site ( see in the sidebar to the right! ). There are a couple of reasonably priced DSLR options there that would fit your needs – have a quick look and see what you think 🙂

  11. I am a still photographer and it would be interesting to learn about film making. I am one who does not expect to start making films by next week, so it would be perfect for me. I like how the author has contracts, story boards and all that fun stuff! I like that there are videos to go with it. Thanks!

  12. Thanks for an awesome blog. I am a film maker and i really like it. It will be very needful in film industry. Thanks for sharing it.

  13. Hey, Chris thank you for a great in-depth review. When I first read the title of the review “Learn Film Making Without Film School”, I thought this would be some flimsy twenty page eBook being promoted. I guess I was very wrong. Maybe that is what I was looking for. Something that I could read in a short period of time and make a You-tube video. This book is obviously much more than that. With over five hundred pages of details (contracts, forms, tips, tricks, schedules, scripts) and so much more I know this is not for me. But I appreciate you letting me know exactly who this book is for. Your review was very well written with a lot of details. Thanks for sharing.

    • OK Rick, glad the review helped you make your mind up. It is geared towards slightly more professional projects than YouTube videos – there are a lot of handy tips in there mind that might come in useful!

  14. I love this site I have been always interested in film making but the schools at my place aren’t good enough so I guess this post was made for me. I like your website but I could relate myself more to this post and hence I just love them 🙂

  15. Enjoyed your article very much and talking about coincidence.

    I have a niece who is inspired for years making films. She was at the top of her high school years doing things with her camera (documentation of a student, something like this), but could go to film school.

    She certainly would profit from your site and the book. I will forwarding your site to her.

    Glad I dropped by your site today.

    Thank you 🙂

    • Thanks for the heads up Sylvia – I hope your niece finds the site as interesting as you did! 🙂

  16. Hello there!
    I always wanted to learn filmmaking but going to college is not in my plans and I can certainly not devote the time needed for it.
    This looks like a great books and the price is so low! I really hope it is educative enough because I am getting this for sure!
    Thank you so much for sharing this review!

  17. Thanks for your thorough review! It’s amazing we can learn filmmaking without spending thousands in tuition. I have a sister who wants to learn filmmaking. She does not have the time commitment to attend school and prefers to learn on her own. She will love this information. Definitely, I will recommend and forward your website to her.

  18. This sounds like an excellent book for those who are actually serious about wanting to get into film making. I feel it is highly possible to learn a new skill such as this at home – at least you can learn at your own pace, which really helps!

    You’ve done a great job on this review. I know there will be a lot of people interested – the film industry is forever increasing in popularity!

    Nice one.

  19. Hi Chris,

    Loving this site, might just help me achieve one of my dreams and make a video documentary (semi travel related) and another one travel-food related documentary travel down mekong river (china–>Vietnam, winds and covers Burma, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia also and do foodie thing living with and cooking with locals doing it on a slow boat.down the meekong river..take in temples, culture (buddhism) food, locatons and local sites and be with locals..

    defo be fun!

    Keep the great info coming, learning a lot from your site with the information provided.

  20. Hey, Chris! I am interested in learning the very basics of Film Making, but I think this is probably to in-depth a read for my purposes. Do you have any other books or references that you would suggest? Something simple, just enough for putting together some Youtube material. I would truly appreciate if you shared your thoughts and comments.

    • I’m afraid not Daniel – filmmaking isn’t an easy subject. If you want to learn you will have to do it the right way – there are no shortcuts!

  21. Awesome post Chris!

    I know that I am very interested in film, but just don’t have the money to go to film school.

    I really like that the Filmmaking book offers practical knowledge about filmmaking because I know that I spend enough time learning about theories in my psych class!

    Once again, thank you!

    • No problem Evan – glad the article ended up being helpful towards your interests ( nice to hear from you again! ).

  22. Could I pick up this book and use any camera to get started? Or is there a specific brand and model that you would recommend?

    Good to know that this isn’t a book that would allow me to put together a video quickly otherwise I probably would’ve gotten frustrated with it.

    Thanks for sharing this. Keep up the good work.

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