1st Edition

The Filmmaker's Guide to Creatively Embracing Limitations Not Getting What You Want Leading to Creating What You Need

By William R. Pace, Ingrid Stobbe Copyright 2024
    196 Pages 52 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    196 Pages 52 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Starting out as a filmmaker comes with a host of limitations and restrictions leading to one key question: how do you channel your creativity past these daunting challenges to create compelling and impactful films? Authors William Pace and Ingrid Stobbe advise the key is to not consider them roadblocks to being creative, but opportunities. Providing both historical and contemporary examples, as well as outlining practical exercises filmmakers can apply to their own creative processes, they illustrate how filmmakers can transform obstacles into successes.

    Looking into limitations and restrictions arising at all stages of the film production process, the book illuminates the importance of developing unique creative muscles and how to apply them to your own work. This is a unique text in the field that provides both a theoretical and practical approach to inspired and savvy filmmaking that uses limitations as points of inspiration. Drawing on examples from artists like Frank Oz, Pete Docter, Gabby Sumney, and Shaun Clarke, filmmakers will gain a well-rounded understanding of the creative processes behind motion picture production and learn how to shape their own independent creative voice when utilizing budget-conscious, creatively aware filmmaking. Foregrounding limitation-embracing strategy and capability, making a film for the first time or with limited resources is no longer overwhelming with this highly practical textbook. 

    Ideal for undergraduate students of film production and first-time filmmakers.

    Part 1: Limitation Throughout History  1. The Problem of Choice  2. Historical Limitations Throughout Film Production’s Evolution Leading to Innovation  3. Film, Digital, Accessibility and Contemporary Trends  4. From Sow’s Ear to Silk Purse: Successful Case Histories of Creative Victories Through Limitation  Part 2: Practical Implementation  5. The Why of Why: Why Is Each Element Important and how does Limitation Aid the Storyteller?  6. Exercises in Limitation: Storytelling on the Page  7. Exercises in Limitation: Storytelling on Screen   8. Exercises in Limitation: Storytelling in the Editing Room  Part 3: Conclusions  9. The Day You Have No Limitations is The Day You Have No Choice  Part 4: Interviews  10. Interviews With Working Artists On the Role of Limitations In Creating Their Work  Part 5: Addendum  11. Spare Scenes For Your Use and Practice


    William Pace is an alumnus of NYU's acclaimed graduate Film & TV program and has written five distributed independent feature films (four of which he co-produced), assorted TV episodes, and several optioned screenplays. He has also directed the award-winning feature film Charming Billy, and several award-winning short films, including "A Relaxing Day" (written by Pulitzer-nominated playwright Theresa Rebeck). He continues to work professionally as well as serve as a Faculty Associate of Digital Media Production at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, USA, where he teaches screenwriting, film production, and editing.

    Ingrid Stobbe is an Associate Professor of Digital Filmmaking at Lesley University’s College of Art & Design in Cambridge. She is an Advisor to the board of Women in Film & Video New England, as well as a former editorial board member of the Journal of Film & Video, and previously served on the Marketing Committee for the Metropolitan New York Chapter of the US National Committee for UN Women. She has comprehensive experience designing curricula for the visual arts, and her pedagogy has been internationally recognized - most recently including the 2021 Best-In-Track award at OLC Innovate, and the 2020 University Film and Video Association Award of Teaching Excellence. She additionally advises tenure track and full-time academic applications, and regularly speaks at various institutions about media production's evolving landscape, and its broader social impact.