PERFORMING ARTS

60 Stories About 30 Seconds: How I Got Away with Becoming a Pretty Big Commercial Director Without Losing My Soul (Or Maybe Just Part of It)

Post Hill. Sept. 2020. 320p. ISBN 9781642934021. $27. FILM
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Van Dusen has directed more than 1,000 commercials, three feature films, and a documentary over the course of a career that’s spanned more than 30 years. In this funny, no-holds-barred memoir, the author discusses how he did it. With a degree in TV and film production from Boston University, Van Dusen set out to become a director only to discover film school wasn’t adequate preparation. Nevertheless, he jumped in and through trial and error became a successful director of commercials. His book is a primer for film students, covering everything from landing a job to filming to editing to distributing the finished product. And, as he discovered, directing a commercial is decidedly different from directing a movie. Van Dusen also turns intimate, sharing life lessons: “Turns out life is about surprises and wrong turns and good luck and bad choices and showing up on time.” He also offers behind-the-scenes show business anecdotes that will please celebrity watchers (he liked working with Clint Eastwood; Charles Bronson and animals, not so much).
VERDICT For film students and celebrity mavens alike.

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