Books on Film

Austin filmmakers and the books they love

Books on Film

Keith Maitland

Filmmaking book: There are quite a few books on directing – I haven't read many of them. But when it comes to producing, the book I learned from was Shooting to Kill by Christine Vachon. As a producer of some of the most daring and interesting indie films out there, she's got a great foundation of experience to draw from. And she lays it all out: the roles, the responsibilities, day-by-day and through each stage of filmmaking ... it's a road map. Vachon looks past the creative (and the luck) and confirms that it's hard work and good decision-making that gets a film made.

Influential book: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote really intrigues me because I'm both drawn in and repelled by his storytelling and by the personal connection he makes. It's a chilling view into the spectrum of humanity. Capote's fascination and connection to Perry, to the questions of how and why are so engaging – and there aren't any easy answers for him. Capote walks a line here, and I wonder if he's crossed that line.

Dream adaptation: Please Kill Me by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain is an intense oral history that changed the way that I saw a lot of my favorite music. Usually as I'm reading about music, I'm looking up songs and live performances on YouTube for a more interactive experience. I want that experience with Please Kill Me without the juggle between paperback and laptop. I'd love to make a deep-dive documentary into the world of the Velvet Underground, the Ramones, Blondie, and Television through these incredible interviews by integrating the best live performance material that's floating around out there. It'd be a gift for fans, and a gift to the teenager inside of me who grew up loving this music.


Keith Maitland had two films premiere at this year's SXSW Film Festival, Tower and A Song for You: The Austin City Limits Story.

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