'Does for low budget film what Gray did for human anatomy. It exposes completely the complexities and hidden conflicts that lie unseen beneath the film gloss and shows the aspiring filmmaker how to plot a safe course through them'
James McGregor, Netribution


The Guerilla Film Makers Movie Blueprint is a NEW book written by author of the TGFMH, Chris Jones. 'It is everything we know and have learned while conceiving, producing and distributing worldwide, three independently financed feature films...'

So why a new book? This new volume is a kind of shopping list crossed with a production diary. It is NOT film makers recounting their tales, nor is it interviews with industry pro’s. But it is a detailed account of exactly WHAT TO DO, WHEN TO DO IT and HOW MUCH IT WILL COST to make a low budget Brit Flick. Everything is covered in excruciating detail, from writing to catering, make-up to costume, digital mastering to cutting the deal with Blockbuster video. It’s lavishly illustrated too, with flow charts, box outs, micro-views, mini budgets, full budgets, paperwork etc…

We have a new character, our very own kick ass indie film maker, JoJo, pictured here with a steadicam… Throughout the book, she pops up to guide you through the possible pitfalls you may encounter. If you want to have a look at some of the book, there is a whopping PDF here, 6mb and nearly 10% of the book! It's the camera section from the Movie Blueprint.

There is no other book on the market like it. You can get it direct from Living Spirit now for £25 inc postage! Just visit our online store to pay by credit card. If you buy it direct from Living Spirit it makes a difference to us... So thanks very much. If you want to pay by cheque, send one payable to Hard Copy for £25, to Hard Copy at Ealing Film Studios, Ealing Green, London, W5 5EP.


Read sections for FREE!

Download the complete Costume Design Department Section from the book
GFM MB Sample - Costume.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 1.7 MB
Download the complete Camera Department Section from the book
GFM MB Sample - Camera.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 2.8 MB

Latest Reviews and Feedback for The Movie Blueprint

'Virtually every problem a film maker is likely to encounter is covered in depth, even as far as providing recipes for on set catering! It covers the roles of every essential person on set from grips to DOP’s and runners to directors. Differing shooting formats and equipment are also covered...'



So what's in the book?

The book is broken down into 29 specific areas, detailing from the beginning to the end of the process, with flowcharts, budgets and timescales. Hidden pitfalls are always illuminated and where possible, we try to get past the important but simple, why? how much? where? how long for? what if? questions and go further, giving you a sense of what it actually ‘smells like’ at the front, what you will feel in those crucial moments when your film is coming together, and how best to maximise your opportunities.

At the heart of the Movie Blueprint, and in every section, there is a flowchart which details exactly what happens, and when - essentially, if you jump through all these hoops, you should enjoy as smooth and stress free a production as is possible.
Think of it as a detailed list of exactly what to do and when, in order to run your production smoothly and cost effectively, while maximising artistic possibilities and your budget.


1. Blueprint Overview
A look at the whole process and the overall arc of the journey that new film makers take. Why common mistakes occur and how best to avoid them. Most importantly, how to plan your career beyond this first movie, and what movie to chose to make… AND WHY!


2. Company Set-up Blueprint
This section looks at how to take care of the legal issues allied to making a film. It’s not hard but most film makers are wary of things like insurance, company start-up, management and accounts - the blueprint lays out the cheapest and most effective way of doing it all, leaving you time to focus on more important things like script and cast.


3. Screenplay Blueprint
This section isn’t about how to write the great screenplay, more about why you need the great concept, what that will ultimately mean to this project, the next project and your career. It also details the common screenplay problems for new and low budget film makers, and the very best resources to plunder in order to GET THE GREAT SCRIPT...!


4. Director’s Blueprint
A whole host of tips and tricks to get the most out of a first time directorial experience. How to squeeze value out of your tiny budget, how to pace and survive the marathon, how best to move quickly in times of crisis, how to communicate with your cast and crew… And what to do when you complete the shoot about that all important next step in your career.


5. Producer’s Blueprint
Managing a micro budget film often feels like fighting a constantly losing battle. There are so many compromises that are forced on the producer, while the cast and crew constantly battle for their share of the pie - and everyone always wants more. Worse still, the new producer has no experience so can find it hard to distinguish problems from disasters. The Movie Blueprint shows you how to maximise your opportunity, illuminating what is really important from what seems important.


6. The Crew Blueprint
How many people will you need? What do they all do? How do they interact? This section breaks down the crew and what they do, offering example crew sizes at various budgets, from a crew of ten, to a crew of forty. Getting the best out of your crew is all about knowing how best to oil the mechanics of who does what and when. The Movie Blueprint shows you how.


7. The Budget Blueprint
How much will your film cost? Rather than putting a figure on how much a film will cost, the Movie Blueprint works inside several models, detailing where you would spend your money at different budget levels, starting with a £10k movie, working up to a £250k movie - it’s not how much it will cost, it’s how much have you got?


8. Casting and Actors’ Blueprint
This section deals with how to get the best possible cast for your film, and how to keep everyone happy and producing their best work. It also deals with working with agents, casting directors and unions. The important link between cast and international sales is also distinguished.


9. Scheduling Blueprint
Most people know a movie isn’t shot in script order, but how do you make the most of your limited time? The Movie Blueprint shows you how to maximise your production through screenplay modifications and planned scheduling, without the need for over complicated and expensive software. The Schedule is one of the most important documents to get right before shooting - and here is the blueprint for getting it right!


10. Assistant Director Blueprint
The day to day running of your set is the job of the assistant directors team - get this wrong and you are headed for disaster - get it right and your shoot will run smoothly, freeing the creative crew and cast to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. The Movie Blueprint outlines how this team should work, including all the internal paperwork needed.


11. Production Team Blueprint
The production will be run by a tight group of hard working, rarely thanked, production people - the Production Team. The Movie Blueprint reveals the hidden secrets to an efficient production office, and how, through hard work and planning, your production can be enormously enhanced. Be pro-active rather than re-active! Example paperwork is also included in great detail (and explained rather than just examples).


We all judge people on appearances, and often, new film makers forget this and consider costume to be no more than what the actors wear. The Movie Blueprint details the somewhat complex but essential procedures needed to maximise the look of your cast, and how to manage that ‘look’ within the confines of a limited budget and often chaotic production schedule.

13. Make-up Blueprint
Getting your cast to look good and appropriate takes time and energy, and this is where the make-up department comes in. When you consider that when watching a movie, we spend most of the time looking at an actors face. It’s vital they look right, consistent, and always at their best. The Movie Blueprint explains the procedures and offers tips to maximise resources.


14. Production Design Blueprint
Production design is often overlooked by new film makers as simply the stuff in the back ground. Big mistake! Making the most out of your sets and locations is essential for low budget films, as one golden rule is that you minimise movement of your crew, ideally shooting in a single location. That means you need to choose that location carefully. And there is more to it than just the ‘look’. Can you get enough power? Where will people eat? Can it be more than one story location?

15. Sound Blueprint
‘We’ll fix it in post’ is the phrase you often hear from new film makers when they get the pictures right but not the sound - what that phrase actually means is ‘get your cheque book out!’ So many problems can be avoided by simple and careful planning, and by working hard with the sound recordist and production designer to get the right locations. Consider this - why did you spend months on the dialogue in your script if you are going to dismiss it on the day because you chose a location on the airport flight path?


There seem to be so many options when it comes to camera. The Movie Blueprint explains all the options, through film, DV, and HiDef. It also illuminates the disciplines, technologies, practices and art of the camera team. You can read the camera section here as a FREE PDF! Download it now and see what the Movie Blueprint is REALLY like. Requires Acrobat reader from Adobe.


17. Catering Blueprint
Keeping a cast and crew going for three weeks while shooting in extreme conditions and for long hours means you need to feed them well. The Movie Blueprint offers a cost effective, energising and healthy plan for your catering team, and also offers tips and tricks to ensure no-one ever goes hungry or complains. It’s been said before, but it’s true… A crew runs on it’s stomach!


18. The Editor’s Blueprint
Editing is where all your shots are brought together. There are two aspects to editing, technical and artistic, and you need to get both right. The editor is like the second director on the film, and the book discusses the relationships, best working habits and most effective technologies to be applied. Editing is where most new film makers make big mistakes as they fail to plan. We show you the simplest and most cost effective post production route.


19. Post Prod. Blueprint
The Lab is where your film is completed. Traditionally this meant shoot on film and finish on film. These tried and tested techniques are explained, alongside newer techniques - shoot digitally, master digitally and deliver digitally, as well as on film. It’s a minefield of potential problems, and the Movie Blueprint will help you chart the best course for your project.


20. Post Production Sound Blueprint
Sound editing and design is an essential second layer to the story telling in your movie. The Movie Blueprint details just how to create a rich and full sound track using semi pro tools at home, and why, because of the Music and Effects mix, this is 100% essential for international sales and distribution.


21. Music Blueprint
Music in film is often over looked to the last minute, which can be disastrous if you want a score to do its job properly - to enhance, emphasise, and expand your story telling. It is also an area fraught with legal problems that can often send the new producer into panic attacks! Get it wrong and you could find you and your film being sued!


22. Mastering Blueprint
Once the creative aspects of your film are complete, you need to master it to professional standards. On a big film, any problems are fixed by throwing cash at it, a luxury you don’t have. The final mastering is an expensive stage where it's easy to make costly mistakes. We show you EXACTLY what to do, when, where and how much it will cost.


23. Film Festivals’ Blueprint
Attending film festivals is both fun and essential for your career. It’s fun ‘cos you hang out with other film makers, screen your movie, and get to go round the world. It’s important ‘cos you will win awards, meet agents and distributors, and if you are smart, you can springboard your next movie into production by schmoozing studio execs in attendance.


24. Press and Publicity Blueprint
If they don’t know it exists, they won't go and see it! Press is the life blood of your film. It’s also VERY expensive. the Movie Blueprint shows you how to target your exposure, and how to get amazing coverage for FREE!


25. Sales and Distribution Blueprint - International
Selling your film is in some ways the whole point of making it in the first place! Why then do so few film makers consider this? This section deals with selling your film abroad, what you will need to provide, how to get and work with a sales agent, which markets to attend, how long it will take and how much you could expect to receive. This section and the following two, are the most important sections in the book.


26. Sales – Domestic Theatrical
Getting your movie into the cinema in the UK is not as hard as you would think. This section tells you exactly how to go about this, the pitfalls, the advantages and the whole machine that is Theatrical Distribution. So do you want to see your movie on a huge screen down at your local Odeon?


27. Sales – Domestic Video, DVD, TV
Most people will see your movie on either DVD, video or TV. This section explains how you go about getting these deals, what you have to supply, what you might get in return, and how long it all takes. So do you want your movie on the shelf at Blockbuster? Here’s how it works.


28. What is Next?
Too many new film makers get caught up in the ‘here and now’ of their movie, that they fail to recognise their own potential. Having a long term strategy is essential for success. Your first movie is a calling card and will get you into places you could only ever dream of - and when you get there, you have to act quickly, professionally and with enthusiasm. The Movie Blueprint details what happens next, and how best to take advantage of the opportunity YOU created.


29. Avid Rough Guide
A rough guide to using entry level pro editing software Avid Xpress DV on your home computer to edit your movie. Everything you need to know about using this powerful, industry standard software.


30. Index

Still not sure? Read the independent reviews here.