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There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Tom Reilly is a consummate pro If this were a movie, I'd see it twice. Author Tom Reilly, who has worked on more than 40 films as an assistant director and associate producer, has given film students and those of us who just love to watch films an invaluable guide as to how a film ends up on a screen.

Just read the titles of some of his chapters: Learn the vocabulary of film. Learn the language of the set. Pick your ten best shots. Face the realties of the budget.

Even fifty million won't seem like enough. The set has chemistry: Sweat the small stuff--routinely. Always have a nice lunch.


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  • The Big Picture: Filmmaking Lessons from a Life on the Set by Tom Reilly!

Ya gotta read this chapter alone several times if you're "in the biz" or plan to be! The chapters are all fast-paced and bring us right on the set with Tom. His spot on behind-the-camera descriptions of film industry folks just sweeps you along into his world. This should be a must read for all film school students. It is one of the few film books I've read that really brings the day-to-day details of making a picture egos and union issues included! The individual experiences really impart mental picture lessons that a student will never forget.

I originally bought it for my daughter who is in film school, but I'm keeping it for my own 'film-buff' library and buying another copy for her, my budding film-industry-worker-to-be! For those of you currently making films or planning to make them soon, this book is a VERY helpful list of pointers on how to approach the topics of filmmaking. Some tips tend to apply more toward million-dollar pictures, but almost all of the information in here can be applied to a low or no-budget film when you scale down the message.

I've read too many filmmaking books to count and sometimes you feel you've read just about all there is to say.

In this case, listening to a professional who isn't a major, known director gives a much different and valuable approach to filmmaking that you wouldn't normally get from a book written by your favorite director. Some books talk about how to get the great shots and cast the right mood but this book forces you to ask yourself how much will the shot really cost and can I do it a better way with a small budget. Sometimes, that's just as important.


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  5. One person found this helpful. Highly informative - and quite amusing! A must for anyone involved in any aspect of making films.

    The Big Picture: Filmmaking Lessons from a Life on the Set

    Also a truly enjoyable read for the layman. Broken down into short, easily understood topics - each shedding light on a separate aspect of movie-making.

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    Tom Reilly is a graduate of Harvard College. Upon graduation he applied for one of the Directors Guild of America's highly coveted trainee positions. He succeeded in securing one, fulfilling his desire for a career in which he would not have to wear a tie to work! This book is just great! I had a personal love for this book, I met Tom Reilly on many movie sets when I pursued acting,m wondered where he was WE both live in Westchester He was a great guy to know! So when i saw he had a book I was thrilled!!

    Will try to contact him one day. His illustrations of life on set are hilarious, and spot on accurate.

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    That being said, Tom Reily's perspective on filmmaking is from a life on set tethered to video village. As such I think it doesn't give you the depth or scope of what life on the set is really like. His tone switches from jaded diatribes, romanticized it's worth it vistas, and an obscene amount of name dropping. But what else would you expect from an AD?

    The big picture : filmmaking lessons from a life on the set / Tom Reilly - Details - Trove

    Speaking of name dropping, Woody Allen and his style of directing is referenced at least twice a chapter. Dec 26, Jodi rated it it was ok. This is a great book if you want to learn actual filmmaking lessons which is the title. I was hoping for more interesting stories from the set. Myles Salazar rated it really liked it Mar 14, Todd Woods rated it it was amazing Feb 09, Travis Sharpe rated it did not like it Feb 23, Yanal Kassay rated it really liked it Nov 12, Joana Ferreira rated it it was amazing Jun 09, Will Oxtoby rated it really liked it Aug 09, T rated it it was amazing Dec 16, Elene Mgeladze rated it liked it Dec 18, Peter rated it really liked it Jan 26, Victor rated it it was amazing Jul 11, Nishiggandha rated it really liked it Apr 25, Craig rated it really liked it Aug 20, Luke rated it liked it Dec 26, Peter rated it it was amazing Mar 04, Joe rated it liked it May 09, Kate rated it it was amazing Mar 09, Kerstin Glaess rated it it was amazing Apr 26, Emily Guzman rated it really liked it Oct 06, Tim rated it it was amazing Feb 22, What is blocking or matching, and how long should a script be?

    How do you decide when to build a set? Why is the color palette so critical? Is night shooting worth the suffering?

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    The Big Picture delivers the surprising answers to these and other fascinating questions about what it takes to make a feature film, offering a glimpse into what it's like when the lights are bright, the camera is rolling, and the moviemakers are calling the shots. Filmmaking has a lexicon and culture uniquely its own, but there is a divide between the academic theoretical semantics of film and idiomatic on-set language.

    Making a film and dealing with the He is married, has three children, and lives in Westchester County, New York.