Careers: Acting, Performing, Directing/books


hello sir thankyou for the last reply  one question left and that is can you give me the names of at least half a dozen books about the craft of film directing not something for one who is aspiring to be but for the one who is allready half way there to the most advances   please help  thanks   dillon

Hi Val,

While I'm not a director and have no aspirations to be one, I do try to familiarize myself with some of the psychology and technique of directing, being an actor. Austin, Texas is serioua hotbed of indie film production, with at least a hundred indie films going on at any time.

While you may have the best script, best acting and best production quality possible, yje other hand is having money for promotion. Most of these films will require going on the festival circuit to try to attract studios to buy the film and use their "machine" to make the trip to bigger screens. I imagine their are books for that, but that is off-subject here.

I will however mention a small piece of trivia here: The Wilson brothers (two of the are the actors, the other is actually a director) filmed "Bottle Rocket" here. It was a big hit as an indie film. So much, that a major studio wanted them to do it over with better equipment, some other actors, etc. It flopped then. Hmmmm!

Anyway, here are some good directing books for the indie director:

SHOT BY SHOT Steven D. Katz

MASTER SHOTS Christopher Kenworthy


Acting For The Camera- Tony Barr

On Directing Film by David Mamet

Rebel Without a Crew by Robert Rodriguez

Hope these help!



Careers: Acting, Performing, Directing

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Taylor Sheppard


I can answer questions: on starting a career in acting, mistakes in acting, etiquette when dealing with industry contacts, finer points on how to act, and things to avoid in the field.


I have been a professional actor 21 years, with appearances in TV, Film and commercials. I have made good decisions and potentially damaging mistakes. I believe anyone who has a dream deserves to explore it, and I take their aspirations seriously. That being said, I do not pull punches. I try to be tactful, but I will not lie to someone, honesty is more effective. My last film role was in "Teeth" which was picked for Sundance in January 2007. It was sold to Lionsgate and Weinstein Co. for somewhere over 2.5 million. The role was "Mr. Griffith", a sex-ed teacher.

Ciao Agency-Austin/Georgetown, Texas. (Formerly known as Donna Adams Agency. Matthew McConaughey was a good friend and fellow member. I also have belonged to agencies in three other Texas cities, but they have since closed.) TXMPA -Texas Motion Picture Alliance. Various other internet networking web rings as well as Actors Access. I was instrumental in advising actress Krista Allen on getting her career in acting started in Austin,Texas (we worked at the same Health Club in the early '90's).

Previously wrote on a now defunct website such as this one. I enjoyed helping new actors.

I have acted for 21 years. I studied under James Nelson Harrell as well as other talented actors at Southwest Texas State University. After college, I have taken classes with Julliard graduate Mona Lee, Bill Johnson, Van Brookes, Marco Perella and others in Austin Texas. I am constantly attending classes to maintain my edge and explore new directions. In addition to attending strictly acting classes, I have also taken business workshops with respected casting directors, such as Shari Rhodes ("Jaws","Close Encounters", "Raggedy Man".) Barbara Brinkley, Jo Edna Bolden and Donise Hardy, (Castingworks LA).

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