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Top 10 Films That Are About Filmmaking

written by: Kristina Dems•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 5/26/2011

If you want to learn how the filmmaking industry works and what you can do to become successful in terms of your style and your commercial appeal, you should watch films about filmmaking. These films are not just expertly made with a strong story in their hearts, but they also provide great lessons.

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    For filmmakers who want to be good with their job, they need to have a unique creative vision and a deep knowledge of their craft. Their creativity lies within them, but knowledge needs to be gained. What better wat to learn about filmmaking than to watch films that are about filmmaking. If you are a filmmaker who wants to watch these kinds of films, read on and find out what you can learn from watching these 10 films about filmmaking.

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    1. Sunset Boulevard

    Sunset Boulevard This noirish look at Hollywood is one of the most iconic movies of all time. It tells the tale of a forgotten movie star trying to make a comeback. It says a lot about how easy it is to lose fame and fortune in the film industry while providing laughter, shock and plain old amusement. It will teach you that nothing is permanent in filmmaking, urging you to make the most of the time you are given in the industry.

    Price: $15.38

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    2. Ed Wood

    Ed Wood This film centers on the peculiar and bizarre filmmaker Ed Wood who made some of the most memorable B movies that are considered cult classics. The filmmaker himself faded into obscurity, but his body of work lived on. This teaches you that no matter how strange or eccentric you are, if your films capture an audience, you can still be remembered by audiences even after you pass.

    Price: $12.49

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    3. The Player

    The Player The Player pulls the curtain to reveal the seedy side of Hollywood business and politics with a tale of corporate struggles and murder. Creating a film may be a hard task, but that is only half of the battle. Thanks to this movie, you will learn that politics and the business side of creating films is as much of a struggle, if not more, as the actual process of creating a film itself.

    Price: $15.99

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    4. Barton Fink

    Barton Fink This dark comedy tells the tale of a writer from New York City who sells out to Hollywood to become the writer for a big Hollywood movie. Behind its comedic yet disturbing story lies a social commentary about people and their so-called principles. Watch this movie and learn that creativity can sometimes elude you and you may be forced to pick between sticking to your creative principles or sell out to The Man. It is up to you how you will go about your career as a filmmaker.

    Price: $8.99

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    5. Boogie Nights

    Boogie Nights Not only does this movie chronicle the rise of a porn star in a fun and colorful narrative, it also shows how style and storytelling can be combined to produce a truly unique and memorable film that stays relevant years after it was released. You can learn about how even the most unlikely people can make it big in the business and you can get some ideas too about turning something that is a potentially crude subject matter into a classy work of filmmaking art.

    Price: $19.99

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    6. Day for Night

    Day for Night This delightful film shows you the thrill and the fulfillment one can gain from filmmaking whether you are an actor, a film director or a member of the crew. The style and technical prowess shown here by director Francois Truffaut, who himself plays a role in the film as a director, embodies the joys of filmmaking and the amusement it brings not only to the audience but to the filmmakers themselves.

    Price: $13.85

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    7. Adaptation

    Adaptation The intricate and brilliant plot in this movie shows filmmakers young and old that something great can come out of something that is generally considered dull and boring. This film proves that story and plot are the life blood of any film and its strengths should be built around the story being told and not the visuals or any type of gimmick.

    Price: $2.65

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    8. Living in Oblivion

    Living in Oblivion If you are bent on independent filmmaking, this is one film that you should not let pass. It is a very accurate representation of all the hardships and joys that come in the process of independent filmmaking. To understand the business more in an independent filmmaking perspective, you should see this film.

    Price: $17.99

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    9. Swimming with Sharks

    Swimming with Sharks This is another dark comedy that exposes the darker side of the film industry. It teaches you that moving up in the business is not always easy and it often involves stepping on other people's toes. It is a cautionary tale for people who put ambition first above principles and kindness. The bottom line of the movie may be dark, but it is still quite comical, teaching you that you can create a serious film without being overly serious.

    Price: $13.49

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    10. The Big Picture

    The Big Picture This film is a light look at how the whole filmmaking business can be fickle. It teaches you that your first priority in filmmaking is to create the best product you can never fully trust anyone but yourself. Like most films about filmmaking, The Big Picture shows us the big picture of filmmaking both through style and substance.

    Price: $13.49