First Time Director: How to Make Your Breakthrough Movie


A first-time director needs a survival guide, not an encyclopedia.

Gil Bettman tells you everything you must know about the easy stuff—preproduction and postproduction—so you can convincingly discharge your duties as a director in those areas. More importantly, he arms you with the information and strategies to kill the demons that will be coming at you right and left on the set.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Perfect your script and cast
  • Deal with your producer, cinematographer, First AD, editor and other key personnel
  • Move your camera and choose lenses that will capture the images in your head
  • Coax the best performance from any actor

This book will enable you to pull form from chaos and make the best film possible—no matter your resources.


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Meet The Author

Gil Bettman is a director and an Associate Professor in the Dodge College at Chapman University. He studied creative writing with Robert Lowell at Harvard, and, in 1970, was awarded the Harvard Prize for literary excellence.

Bettman has directed three feature films: Crystal Heart, Never Too Young to Die, and Night Vision, as well as multiple episodes of the television series Fall Guy and Knight Rider.

He also directed numerous rock videos for a variety of artists including Chicago and Sammy Hagar. He recently completed The Long Road to Cabo, a feature documentary for Hagar. More information about Gil Bettman is available under “faculty” at