4 out of 5 stars

The way in which we watch entertainment today is totally different than it was ten, or even five years ago. Streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney+ and HBO Max have made it easy for us to consume more film and television than ever before – without even leaving the house. Throw-in the shuttering of cinemas across the globe because of COVID-19 and it looks like even bigger changes are on the horizon. These changes may be great for those at home who have hours of entertainment at their fingertips, but how does it affect those producing and distributing this content?

The answer can be found in Gabriel Campisi‘s hugely informative and immensely readable new book, The Independent Filmmaker’s Guide To The New Hollywood: Success In The Era of Netflix And Streaming Video.

Similar in structure to Campisi’s 2012 book, The Independent Filmmaker’s Guide To Writing A Business Plan For Investors, this new tome offers insight into the swathes of changes which filmmakers are facing as they battle to keep up with this new era of Hollywood. Campisi looks back to the past and forward to the future to help illustrate how streaming has impacted the development, production and distribution of films and television.

Campisi goes into detail about how these huge streaming companies work and the challenges that filmmakers face in attempting to turn a profit in time where DVD sales are all but extinct and where box office participation means very little unless you’ve got profit points in a Star Wars movie or a superhero franchise. 

Campisi knows what he’s taking about. As a producer, screenwriter and director, Campisi has worked in the world of independent cinema for thirty years. He knows the world of film from fundraising and production to sales and distribution. This is very clear in the precise and well structured prose contained within The Independent Filmmaker’s Guide To The New Hollywood: Success In The Era of Netflix And Streaming Video. The book is as fascinating and it is informative. It also comes loaded with interviews with filmmakers including Val Hill (Blade Runner 2049) Pen Densham (Harriet, Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves), Patrick Lussier (Terminator Genisys, My Bloody Valentine), and Larry Kasanoff (True Lies, Terminator 2) – who have all seen the changing face of the movies over the last decade or so. They offer tremendous insight into how things are at the moment and where they see things going once the dust has settled when the streaming wars have ended. These interviews help show the human side to this world of multi- billion dollar conglomerates. 

A brilliant and informative document which catches an important moment in the history of Hollywood, The Independent Filmmaker’s Guide To The New Hollywood: Success In The Era of Netflix And Streaming Video is a worthy read for those who want to break into the industry and for those who want to know more about about where their entertainment comes from.