David Gordon Green Is Co-Writing A Children's Book Called Let's Make A Movie

I love the idea of taking filmmaking down to a kid's level. I've read a whole lot of books on the subject, despite the fact that I don't, in fact, make any films myself or wish to anymore. As I live with a filmmaker, and spend my life interviewing other filmmakers, I am very much in awe of the insane level of craft and talent that goes into it, no matter what the outcome is, or the budget that is being worked with. 

Now, David Gordon Green ("Halloween Kills," "Pineapple Express") and Onur Tukel ("Applesauce," "Richard's Wedding") have gotten together to write "Let's Make a Movie!," an illustrated children's book about filmmaking.

To be honest, I think a whole lot of adults will purchase this book, and not just for their children. Making films is not an easy thing, and famous books like Sidney Lumet's "Making Movies," while wonderful, aren't for the hobbyist. Learning about the process in the simplest terms might make people appreciate them more, instead of dismissing ones they don't like offhand, and understanding how many people work to bring you the things you enjoy. 

I've been on the below-the-line side, as an extra, an actor, a makeup artist, and assorted crew in the past. None of it is easy, and lots of people don't make that much money. It's very often a labor of love, and the more we understand something, the more we appreciate it. 

Not their first book collaboration

Green said of the book: 

As an aspiring filmmaker, perhaps nothing educated me more about the highs and lows of making a movie than the many books I read on the subject by working filmmakers. But all of those books are written for an older audience. We thought it'd be fun to introduce the process of filmmaking to a much younger audience, to the adventure of making a movie, which can sometimes be as dramatic, thrilling, and entertaining as any crowd pleaser—or any beloved bedtime book.

I mean, I'm pretty much guaranteed to order this to explain to my niece and nephew how this all works. I remember reading a children's book about writing when I was little, and it helped me get a handle on what it means to write a book before I ventured into the world of actually doing that. I love this so much! 

Tukel added: 

When I first got into making movies, the only reliable sources of information I had were those many dog-eared filmmaking books I read and re-read. In talking with David, we wanted to give younger kids a taste of the filmmaking experience in a fun and engaging way—in a way their parents would also be able to enjoy. To really tell the story within the story.

Tukel has actually written and illustrated two children's books, so this is an area of expertise. He's known for indie films, which will give a whole different perspective from Green. Even more fun is that Green and Tukel have already teamed up to create an illustrated children's book-style adaptation of "Halloween."

'The Ninjas Fight the Killer Sharks at Bikini Beach'

"Let's Make a Movie!" is about a group of young filmmakers creating the film "The Ninjas Fight the Killer Sharks at Bikini Beach," and I would absolutely watch this film. Of course, I watched "Birdemic: Shock and Terror," so maybe don't go by my taste. 

Green said that this was a lot of fun, and though he probably wouldn't shoot this film, he liked "this campy mash-up of genres" so they could address different things that would come up outside of a regular drama or comedy. There are stunts and effects in here, and those are often the things that bring kids into the moviemaking fold. With access to phones and cameras, and experience with things like YouTube and TikTok, a lot more people are likely to pick this up than there were years ago when I was a kid. 

For the record, Tukel said he'd shoot the movie in the book. They even talk about budgets in here. As someone who has helped out on smaller films, I honestly tend to find that the less money you have, the more creative you are. That's the fun part; finding solutions to issues that come up that you can't throw money at. That's why films shot in your backyard are so much fun. You learn to do things in innovative ways. 

"Let's Make a Movie!" will be released on June 14, 2022 through Imp Works, an imprint of Pitchstone Publishing, in partnership with Rough House Academy.