Liz Whittemore

Holiday recommendation:

Steve Balderson gets back to the basics. You don’t need a fancy budget or a studio’s money to get your film made. This book is unpretentious and essentially a step-by-step guide for any age. With chapters like ‘Need Stars?”, “Product Placement“, and “Marketing: You Vs The Big Boys” Filmmaking Confidential is a down and dirty look into how Hollywood works and how you can get into the game. The chapters are short and concise, I’m talking 3-5 pages. It would make an awesome holiday gift for anyone in your life that wants to enter the industry. This is the perfect year as indie films are on top of everyone’s list. The more creative, the better. Balderson is actually the perfect person to write this book. His career is comprised of award-winning, risky, and visually striking films that have since become cult classics. He strips back the cliche and gets to the heart of it all. With Filmmaking Confidential you’re getting a guerilla-style film school class in 208 pages. It’s great.

Debbie Lynn Elias

Listen to the PODCAST HERE

An accomplished filmmaker of many years and in the many disciplines required for the making of a film, Steve has taken some of that hard-earned, practical, on the job knowledge, and written FILMMAKING CONFIDENTIAL.  This is one of the handiest books of filmmaking tips to come around in a while.  It’s not about what’s the right lens or camera or sound equipment.  In this book, Steve breaks down the filmmaking process based on his years of experience and gives great suggestions in an entertaining and fun prosaic style on topics like approaching budgeting, distribution, writing, storyboarding, intent versus practicality, shooting for the “stars” or not, the importance of sound, to fest or not to fest, editing, making a film shoot a fun and rewarding experience, and so much more.  Take a listen as we dig deeper into the genesis of the book, his writing process, and most important, more insight into his personal experiences with discussion on specific chapters with tips and hints.

Comments from Debbie during the episode:

“Filmmakers out there – I gotta tell you – GET THIS BOOK.  Some real gems.  I love this book.  The pearls (Steve has) in Filmmaking Confidential are godsends for filmmakers.  Godsends.  For those who are starting out, and even seasoned filmmakers – trust me, there are a lot of you out there who can really benefit from this book."

“Something that I really appreciated was when (Steve) talked about getting stars – big names…  So many people think they have to get a big-name actor tied into a film.  The discussion in the book on this subject I think is so invaluable.  (Steve) offers an alternative. If you can’t get a ‘name’ actor for your project, how about a ‘name’ musician?  That’s going to get you a lot of play, a lot of press, and a lot of interest from people...."

“One of my favorite chapters in the book is Tale of the Emerald Digger.  It is totally an anecdotal, allegorical story… It is so on point.  It is truly… I love this chapter.  If this doesn’t tell you about filmmaking, and the thought processes, I don’t think anything will.”


“I can say with relative confidence that Filmmaking Confidential – this book – the lessons that you have in this book Steve – are not just for filmmaking.  So many of the lessons in this book are applicable to almost any career, any avenue of life.  It’s stopping, it’s thinking, it’s using common sense.  It’s thinking ahead.  Planning.  There are so many great life lessons in this book that go beyond just filmmaking.”


“Nobody wants to give up the ghost on the secrets… (Steve) gives up the ghost.  (He) gives insight.  And (he’s) absolutely right.  I’ve been around for a long time.  So much of this people don’t talk about and it’s not common knowledge.  (Steve) pulls the curtain back with no nonsense, easy to read, short chapters, entertaining…  It’s fabulous.  The book is fabulous.”

- Debbie Lynn Elias, BEHIND THE LENS