The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide

Part One, Making the Extreme No-Budget Film
Narrated by: Kelley Baker
Length: 6 hrs and 46 mins
Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Art
4.5 out of 5 stars (62 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Kelley Baker is the Angry Filmmaker. But his independent films are not angry - they're honest. He's angry at the state of independent film. For Baker, it's about telling the story, not what actors are starring in it.

Baker worked in Hollywood for over 20 years. He was the sound designer on six of Gus Van Sant's feature films, including My Own Private Idaho, Good Will Hunting, and Finding Forrester.

He is a graduate of USC's film school and has written and directed three full length features (Birddog, The Gas Cafe, and Kicking Bird), eight short films, and quite a few documentaries. His films have aired on PBS and Canadian and Australian television, and have been shown at Film Festivals including London, Sydney, Sundance, and Edinburgh.

He travels the country showing his fiercely independent work at art house theaters, media art centers, colleges, universities, and even bars. Here, with all his attitude, is the wisdom of an Angry Filmmaker, gained the hard way, through experience.

©2009, 2016 Kelley Baker (P)2016 Kelley Baker

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the hard truths every aspiring filmmaker needs

great and informative. at first I thought "this guy is just another bitter filmmaker who can't compete in the new market. by the end I realized I was a dumb ass.

1 person found this helpful

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No Bullshit, Straight Up

If you could sum up The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide in three words, what would they be?

The practical realities of independent filmmaking.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Kelley is delightfully salty.

What does Kelley Baker bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I wouldn't have read the book because I have a print media disability. If not for the audio format, I'd never have had the pleasure. Hearing the author's own voice is well worth the trouble he took to record it.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

If I could have... but I never WANT to listen to books in one sitting because it uses them up and I like to have time to think about what I read in between sittings.

Any additional comments?

I liked this book so much that I just gave the author money and recommended the book to my friends on facebook. It may not have been much money, but that's tough. It's nice to hear the real voice of experience unguarded and unhindered by the BS language standards of polite society. He tells it as he knows it and as he feels it. Wonderful and extremely helpful to a student about to enter film school.

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Mandatory Listening for Independent Filmmakers

Where does The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is the best book you'll find on independent filmmaking.

What other book might you compare The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide to and why?

There really are no comparable books to The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide. There are plenty of books written by independent filmmakers but none of them have the combination of honesty and motivation that Baker's book provides. Other books prepare you to enter an industry. This books prepares you to express yourself with practical guidelines.

What does Kelley Baker bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

You get a hint of emphasis from headings and italics but nothing in the written form translates Baker's passion. He genuinely cares for his readers as filmmakers and his voice never fails to communicate that. Also, cursing is far better spoken than written. Baker curses with the best of them. George Carlin would be proud.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

As a fellow filmmaker, there are two sections of the book that meant the most: writing and post-production. Baker does a great job of articulating the creative AND practical implications of the writing process as it pertains to the production of your movie. He also does a great job of dissecting the potential successes and failures in post-production as a result of what you did in production.

Generally speaking, I'm loathe to read the anecdotes of successful filmmakers as they often do a great job of showing off for the author but don't demonstrate anything of use for the reader. Baker does quite the opposite. Many of his anecdotes could be qualified as "failures" in the filmmaking process but Baker presents them as learning opportunities that he's taken into subsequent productions. Baker isn't out to wow you with his resume. He's out to inform you about the process.

Any additional comments?

Anyone who sets out to make personal, meaningful films should be required to listen to this book. It's as though you have a terribly cool uncle in the same field you want to enter and he pulls no punches in telling you what you really need to know before you get started. Baker's tough love and hard-earned wisdom are great antidotes for all the books that promise to give you all the secrets to making a great film. He promises nothing more than generously sharing all the knowledge he's accrued through decades in film. This filmmaker is grateful for that.

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I'm an Indie Filmmaker and this is Gold

Kelly's voice comes off loud and clear. He's genuine, has plenty of regrets, and a wealth of knowledge for anyone who is trying to start making their own films.

This would have been perfect to listen to before my first short, but the next ones will be better thanks to this audible.

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good independent Filmmaker summary and info

overall, I really strong book from independent filmmaker and clearly a passionate, driven and knowledgeable man with years of experience doing what he loves.

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Cathartic.

Angry Filmmaker says what we’ve all thought but haven’t yet expressed about the film industry. Thank you, angry filmmaker! Rock on. :)

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a lot of good meat on that film knowledge bone

no sauce needed. Salt and Pepper? Definitely not. just chew and masticate. it goes down really easy like.

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  • Hal S.
  • 07-23-19

it's anarchy, jim - but only as he knows it

DISCLAIMER: i'm a relative novice. i used to make feature films, as part of the camera crew of major productions here in the UK, but many years ago in my teens before i broke off to pursue a career in music & acting. i'm returning to filmmaking, but have no recent titles with which to address the perennial retort of "well hey buddy, if YOU think you could do any better...". i don't, i currently can't, but i certainly hope i will be able to soon, but perhaps via the help of a different book altogether on how to get your short film made and seen.

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i paid for this audiobook with my existent credits because i was attracted to the DIY ethic of its description (which suits my current position as a latecomer to the industry) yet knew nothing of its author. in retrospect, this is perhaps my error and i should possibly have done my research into who kelley baker is, was and purports to be.

to the best of my understanding, it appears that baker fancies himself as something of an enfant terrible of contemporary cinema. there's something to be said for gripping so hard to the belief that every rejection is an affirmation of your subversive genius - a little self belief can go a long way, so by the amount that baker exhibits you'd think he could cross oceans with it.

on the flipside, within minutes of listening to baker's breathily stulted, almost struggling delivery and the stark confessions he makes of the way he treats even his own family, one can't help but confirm a lingering suspicion that (unless this is simply an elaborately contrived persona that he's meticulously fabricated) he just isn't a very nice person. like, at all.

the benefit of the doubt is duly given, so you trek on with hearing the man out. it's true; the industry doesn't seem to have treated him terribly well. it treats very few well, and that i can attest to personally.

baker's tone throughout the audiobook seems to aim at being a permanent 'flip the bird' sense of swagger complete with a 'f*ck you' attitude and 'telling it like it is' nose-breaking level of frankness, which could be refreshing if it worked but all too often falls more into the territory of an embarrassing uncle who still thinks MTV owe him one for not playing enough rock & roll.

this is perhaps a personal beef of mine but one i feel could be worth stating - why is it that the staunchest anarchists and self-styled anti-heroes who seem to feed off the very dust they kick up in the arena of established industry are the ones who also list the strictest rules on who is *actually* worthy of making 'art'? apparently, the structure he presents is that the people above him who don't want to help are the bloodsuckers and idiots, whereas those attempting to rise either beneath or near his level and who don't follow his acumen are "posers" and wannabes.

i have a very strong inclination to think that my words will glance off baker with barely a second thought on his part. what's also possible is that much has been lost in tone that i can identify with between the united states and the united kingdom. to me, the language and idiosyncrasies used are the same sort of cringe-inducing americana that i expect to hear coming from the mouths of the 'older brother / bully' characters in 80s kids adventure movies.

what can't be denied is the guy's confidence and his extensive years spent battling an industry that just won't dance to the tune he's playing, no matter how hard he plays it. countless hopefuls will have fallen by the wayside and called it a day within mere months of the treatment he's received, so hats off to the man.

i checked out his films. it's enough to say - they're not for me. by many accounts they have picked up a strong following and that cannot be taken from kelley baker.

i've tried to take as much as i can from this audiobook. regrettably, the majority of the lessons i'm left with are how i'd not like to be, although i can't deny that a great many might benefit from his level of bluntness and refusal to accept that his work just might not be what's wanted at any one time.

well done, mr. baker - long may you shine on. sadly i won't be behind you on this particular crusade.

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  • Adam Chamberlain
  • 08-08-17

If you're a filmmaker

I love that the angry filmmaker narrated his own audible book, why not?! It was one of the only filmmaking audible books that worth listening to for an aspiring filmmaker. It is entertaining, informative, and angry. A true insight and helpful guide to doing what I love, independent film. Although I do wish to make a Hollywood film, (sorry Kelley) it has a great basis of what really matters to me, story.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-06-18

informative and real.

Kelly Baker tells it as it is. and whilst at times it may be disheartening to budding filmmakers it a a slice of reality we all need.