The Portable Film School Everything You'd Learn in Film School (Without Ever Going to Class)

D. B. Gilles

St. Martin's Griffin



Trade Paperback

272 Pages



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In this guidebook for the aspiring screenwriter and filmmaker, Gilles, an instructor at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts for many years and author of The Screenwriter Within, directs students through the fundamental basics of screenwriting and shooting a short film, arming them with the necessary tools needed to break into a highly competitve industry. The Portable Film School's chapters are divided into different sections—Curriculum, Storytelling, Filmmaking, Dialogue and Characterization, Screenwriting, and How to Be a Well-Rounded Writer, Director, and All-round Film Buff—with resources and an index at the end of the book.


Praise for The Portable Film School

"The Portable Film School should be mandatory reading not just for those unable to go to film school, but for anyone thinking about it or even currently attending it."—David Benullo, former student and co-writer of the screenplay for Around The World In 80 Days

"Just when you think there aren't any more books to write about filmmaking, here comes D.B. Gilles' The Portable Film School: a wonderful on-paper process that shows you how to write screenplays and make both short and long films."—Lew Hunter, screenwriter, author of Lew Hunter's Screenwriting 434

"Will completely de-mystify the process of making a movie. Everything you need to know is here; you'll only have to supply the guts and a good story."—Chris Vogler, author of The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers

"A crash course in a film school education. The Portable Film School is rated 'R' for required reading."—Sheldon Woodbury, author of Cool Million: How to Become A Million-Dollar Screenwriter

"An excellent starter set for the fledgling filmmaker."—David McKenna, professor at Columbia University, Film Division

"Not only is The Portable Film School loaded with pertinent and valuable information told in an easy to absorb style but also it's truly enjoyable and fun to be in his 'class.' This instructor deserves high marks himself!"—Rick Rosenberg, Emmy and Peabody Award -Winning Producer.

Reviews from Goodreads



  • D. B. Gilles

  • D.B. Gilles, author of The Screenwriter Within, has taught in the undergraduate film and television department at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts for fifteen years. He has also taught in NYU's Department of Dramatic Writing and in the graduate film department at Columbia University. Many of his former students have been finalists in screenwriting contests, sold scripts and directed films. He has written for the stage, screen, and TV and is a member of the Writers Guild of America.

  • D. B. Gilles