A Detour Through Microbudget Filmmaking

April 17, 2015 12:27 PM

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The title of the new book, "Detour Hollywood: How to Direct a Microbudget Film," written by William Dickerson, suggests an instructional guide or self-help mantra for the impoverished cinephile with artistic ambitions. It is indeed both those things, but also a cautionary tale for the big dreamers who have yet to put it all on the line for the "one big project." (Disclosure: I worked as a production assistant on Dickerson's 2003 short film, "Confessions of a Dangerous Mime," and we have remained friendly ever since.)

In Dickerson's telling, these wide-eyed would-be auteurs will be confronted with false promises, missed opportunities, duplicitous power plays, incompetent collaborators, and the myriad pratfalls any first-time microbudget filmmaker encounters. But the skillful, tactful and very lucky few will actua...

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