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The Book


"Hollywood filmmaker Shane Stanley writes a book anyone and everyone should read if they want an entertainment industry insider's professional guidance on how to create a movie. This book is an especially invaluable tool to those who have, or plan to, attend a college or university film school."


"Impressively informative, exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "What You Don't Learn in Film School" is an iconoclastic and invaluable course of 'real world practical' instruction and directly usable information that is unreservedly recommended as a film school curriculum textbook, as well as professional, community, and academic library Cinema Technology collections and supplemental studies lists. It should be noted for personal reading lists of film students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject.

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief



"...a unique and personal perspective from a well-rounded, solid vantage point. A quality reference for anyone interested in independent filmmaking. Film school curriculums would do students a services to include Stanley's book on a required reading list. A very valuable resource which needs to be in everyone's bookshelf from the beginning actor to the accomplished director/producer."

Carol Davala


"Stanley illuminates the world of movie-making in detail in his fast-paced book, speaking from his own sometimes-agonized experience in the film realm. His book gets down into the nitty-gritty, touching upon real-life topics...” 

Stacy Jenel Smith 


A no holds barred, transparent look at making movies from concept to delivery. This book isn't just for students - it's for anyone trying to carve out a career in the film or television industry and evident that Stanley is trying to help bridge the gap between the classroom and real life by giving the next generation of filmmakers as much ammunition as possible before they venture out into Hollywood.”

“Effectively engages the readers' curiosity and forces them to pose questions concerning the process of their own independent filmmaking and if in fact they are on the best path to its production. Stanley is someone that certainly would be the perfect fit as your trustworthy guide and provides some sage advice. It is quite an eye-opener to explore along with him the multitude of components that go into the film making process in the pre and postproduction stages. Insights abound in this superb guidebook that comprises page after page of blue-chip treasures conveying priceless nuggets, wise advice, and practical tips and tricks that may save thousands of dollars in producing an independent film as well as a truckload of grief.”

Norm Goldman, Reviewer & Editor 

“Shane offers a wealth of knowledge from several aspects of the industry focusing on educating future storytellers and helping them bridge the gap between what’s taught in the classroom and what they’ll experience in the real world. He often implements real life scenarios while sharing pitfalls from his own trial and errors that can help any aspiring or seasoned filmmaker navigate a less painful career regardless of what position they hope to fill in the industry.” 

"Great book from a guy who's been bringing a wholesome attitude to Hollywood for a long time. This one's staying in my collection and going on my list of recommendations.” 

CJ Walley


“Great practical advice…a wonderful resource. The information is beneficial not only to those who have gone through cinema school but also to anyone entering the workforce.”  

Barnes & Noble Online Review

“A well written book that would be a valuable resource to any high school or college student considering pursuing a career in the film industry. Stanley does a great job of shining a light on the realities of filmmaking without discouraging anyone from pursuing a career.” 

Sefina Hawke’s Books



"What You Don't Learn in Film School pulls no punches. It's one of the most insightful and accurate books ever written on the subject. A master class bridging the gap between school and real life experience that will save you years of heartache. A must-read for anyone interested in pursuing a career in film." 

Neal H. Moritz, Producer (Fast & Furious,S.W.A.T., 21 and 22 Jump Street)


"Shane Stanley takes you to a Film School that only years of practical experience can teach. He covers both the business of independent filmmaking as well as the hard earned secrets of a successful production. A must-read for anyone who wants to produce." ’

Jeff Sagansky, CEO Platinum Eagle Acquisition Corporation 

Former President of Sony Entertainment and CBS Entertainment 


"While resources to finance independent film is getting scarce, the expectation to deliver a product that can compete against studio pictures has only escalated. Shane knows how to deliver a quality production, puts it all on the screen - and without compromise. His step-by-step guide is a must-read for anyone hoping to break into the world of independent cinema along with many useful tips for those who desire to work within a studio or network system."

Jane Seymour, 2-Time Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner Actress/Producer 


"Shane is experienced and passionate about the art and craft of filmmaking…a natural born teacher who's successfully navigated big budget filmmaking and nickel and dime production...You're in really good hands."

Paul Williams, Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy Award Winner

and Hall of Fame songwriter 


"Shane’s knowledge and experience in this book will give you what no film school can - a practical guide towards achieving the dream of having your idea reach the rest of the world. He’s a bright light of optimism; when you speak with Shane you feel as if anything and everything is possible.”

Adam Kane, Director & Producer (Prodigal Son, 24: Live Another Day, UnREAL)


"Shane Stanley has written the definitive book on indie film production. It is a primer on what to do and not do in making a feature film starting with script, financing, production, post-production and distribution. Shane writes of practical experience and goes deeper into the many aspects of production not taught in film schools. This book is focused on helping others navigate the world where dreams are made of."

Michael Gonzales, Ph.D. Chair Emeritus, Biola University Cinema & Media Arts Program 

"As a recent graduate from film school, I can attest that What You Don’t Learn in Film School lives up to its name! Shane Stanley provides a refreshingly frank and relevant account of the day-to-day realities of the filmmaking process, bridging the gap between the classroom and the real world. With invaluable insight and real advice, he lays out the specifics of how to navigate the industry while remaining humble and having fun – something every student wants and needs to know."

Dana Gieselman, UCLA Honors Graduate Film/Theater/Mathematics 


“What you don’t learn in film school is that this business is f***ing tough. The good news is that while Shane’s book doesn’t sugar coat that reality, he does provide you with the best roadmap to success possible. If you wanna be in the entertainment industry, this isn’t recommended reading, it’s required reading. A mentor in book form.” 

Matt Leslie, Writer & Producer “Summer of 84" 


"What You Don’t Learn in Film School may be the most honest, relevant and personable book that you will ever read about filmmaking. Shane Stanley gives us an in depth and realistic approach to the industry that will leave you with pure insight and understanding. This book will help you to bypass the confusion and headaches when pursuing a career in film." 

Amy Johnston, Actor/Stuntwoman (Suicide Squad, Deadpool, Iron Man 3) 


"Shane’s films should be required viewing in every film school. They demonstrate what can really be done on a limited budget."
Barry Van Dyke, Actor and Producer 


"What You Don’t Learn in Film School is an incredibly practical guide to making indie films in the current marketplace. Film schools should be teaching this stuff in addition to everything else they teach about the art of film, because it’s all essential to actually getting something done and getting it seen. The advice in this book obviously comes from real experience!" 

Chris Hansen, Professor and Chairman, Baylor University Department of Film & Digital Media 


"When aspiring filmmakers are first starting out, the simple fact is, they don’t know what they don’t know. Luckily for them, Shane Stanley does. He knows how things really work. He knows how movies really get made. He knows what is important and even more importantly, he knows what isn’t. Listen to Shane. Learn from Shane. Consider him a helpful friend who has seen and done it all...because he is and you’re lucky to have him, and this book. You don’t need to read one more word about Italian Neorealism or French New Wave cinema. You just need to read this book from this guy, who has real world experience and concrete advice."

Kelly Graham-Scherer,VP Business Development, Production SIM International and Former Los Angeles Representative, Toronto/Ontario Film Office


"Shane Stanley has spent his whole life making films in virtually every medium from the studio blockbuster to commercials and music videos. He's done it all and inWhat You Don't Learn in Film School he reveals a solid, straightforward approach to making movies. He makes even the more complex aspects of filmmaking easy to grasp. In what is often a hilariously entertaining gut level style he penetrates the mystery, but leaves in the magic."

James Riordan, New York Times Best-Selling Author, Break on Through: The Life & Death of Jim Morrison and Stone: The Controversies, Excesses & Exploits of a Radical Filmmaker


"Shane, like myself is a “Drealist" - a dreamer and a realist. In this business you have to be able to conceptualize, visualize, modify and then have fun and get it done. His energy and ability to kick ass and adapt on any project big or small is non-stop. He, is driven by passion and purpose from start to finish and cares outside of just the project which is rare to find in this business. And he can almost beat me in motocross. Almost!"

Bret Michaels, Multi-Platinum Selling Recording Artist Reality TV Star, Producer and Director 


"Shane shares his epic wisdom that one only possesses from a lifetime in the cinematic trenches, and takes the proverbial Hollywood onion and peels back the often confusing layers of what it really takes to get a project successfully done from A-Z. A must-read for any aspiring or working filmmaker of our time."

Shawn Frederick, Director and Published Photographer Author, Idiot’s Guide to Digital Photography 


"This book is a comprehensive guide of important information on the business of the business. These points are often missed by film school students and new filmmakers in their educational process."

Frank Kay, Marketing Director, JL Fisher, Inc. 

"If I ever make the leap from pulp to cinema, Shane will be my guide, guru and partner. I trust his good soul and musical heart."

Lonn Friend, Journalist and Radio Personality
Author, Life on Planet Rock and Sweet Demotion 

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