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Editorial Reviews

Aspiring young directors will find a plethora of practical advice and behind-the-scenes anecdotes in prolific film and TV director John Badham's insightful book.

Badham's inviting, spirited performance of his own work guides the listener through these detailed and often entertaining accounts about extracting the best performances from actors, handling adversity on sets, and establishing healthy, collaborative relationships with casts and crews.

Film buffs or anyone with a fleeting interest in craft of directing will find this to be a must-listen.

Publisher's Summary

Veteran director John Badham explains the elements of action and suspense and dissects the essentials of any good scene from any genre. Badham's list of "12 Questions You Must Ask Before Stepping on Set" is an absolute must in any filmmaker’s toolbox. Whether actor, director, cinematographer, production designer, or any other creative, Badham gives you the tools to deconstruct and solve scenes that either don’t work or need sharpening. Continuing the work begun in his best-selling book I'll Be in My Trailer, Badham shares more insights into working with difficult actors, rehearsal techniques, and getting the best performance from your cast.

©2013 John Badham (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent

This would be a great book to review before starting a big project or even something on a smaller scale. There are points in the book that I feel help first time directors and directors that are looking to remember what they might've messed up on the first time.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Actually about leadership

Funny. I wasn't looking for a book about directing, but actually there are leadership lessons in here. Also I'm following acting lessons (very amateur, but nevertheless) and it's interesting to hear how top actors prepare for movies.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Very informative and well written and narrated.

a very good tool for all budding directors. I will check the checklist each time I direct a short film. excellent. I'm glad I bought this book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Some Good Material Among A Lot of Listening

There is some really good material here, but you really have to wade through a lot to get to the educational bits.

The man is more successful on any given day than I have ever been, but as a reader of these books, this one was work to get through.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Real Tactics From An A List Director

John Badham was a powerhouse director back in the late 70's and through the 80's. He directed John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever, Roy Schieder and Malcom McDowell in Blue Thunder, Ally Sheedy in Short Circuit, Goldie Hawn and Mel Gibson in Bird on a Wire, Bridgette Fonda in Point of No Return, and a ton of other movies. The man knows something about working with actors.

And, he's still working! He directs TV on shows like Supernatural, Arrow, 12 Monkeys, Nikita, and several other series.

This book is about the director working with his actors, and it is packed full of interesting ideas, tactics, and strategy for managing the psychology of others.

This is a must read (listen) for anyone wanting to be a real movie director.

It is read by the author, himself, John Badham.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Practical

if you are directing a movie and you can only find the time to read one book, this is the book. Tobe Fair I had the pleasure of working with the man 15 years ago, and though I haven't seen him since hearing his voice in this reading automatically created great associations. there are a lot of theories and conflicting ideas in the world of filmmaking, but this book is from a practical application standpoint first and foremost without ever really drifting up into the higher abstract stuff which makes it accessible to a much larger crowd. It's all the stuff you never would have thought of, and would have never come to without first making those mistakes. PS sorry for any run-on sentences speech to text while driving winky face

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Excellent Book. Must Hear.

Great information for aspiring and professional film directors. You will thank yourself for hearing this audio book. Very interesting.

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Loved it

A great guide and refresher for directors and wannabees. Got something for screenwriters, actors and editors too.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Recommended for anyone involved w/ film and video.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. Helpful and practical.

What other book might you compare John Badham on Directing to and why?

David Mamet's On Directing.

What about John Badham’s performance did you like?

Well delivered, pleasant voice of experience.

What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

How to work with actors.

Any additional comments?

A sage voice of wisdom.

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There's a lot packed in here.

Great listening and learning experience. Massive amount of information packed into this book. John Badham does an excellent job of condensing his experience and heartfelt observations into this package. Loved it!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Gabor George
  • 08-07-18

A must for new film directors

Simply one of the best books on directing. It's about directing and not about story structure or how to create great characters etc. that of course a writer and director should both know about, but it's way more practical and it's about what a director needs to do in preparation, on set and in post production to make the most honest and realistic representation of the story. It's about how to keep the story alive with the actors and collaborators. It's a university masterclass, not a book. Unfortunately, it's more than most will learn in university, but it's great news for new film directors as all you need to do is watch films, listen to this masterclass, watch courses online, maybe do a film course just for the degree and write your own script and I promise you'll be ready to go and you'll be ahead of most people in the industry who are starting out. Cuz most people are just lazy.