The Wild West of Film

The Wild West of Film
By Otessa Ghadar

Otessa Ghadar realizes there is an unfulfilled demand for educational tools created for students growing up in the 21st Century digital age, and outdated information being taught in traditional film studies. Now a much-beloved and highly-lauded show, Orange Juice in Bishop’s Garden, has been used in film and media courses in schools across the U.K. as a case study of filmmaking in the new media and digital age. Her new textbook, The Wild West of Film, has also been used at American University, and as a guide for a film program run by Global Kids, a non-profit educational organization for global learning and youth development. Ms. Ghadar has also presented on digital media, using this text, for companies such as Saudi Aramco.

The Wild West of Film

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The Wild West of Film

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The emergence of Web TV allows anyone with a creative mind the chance to gather a worldwide audience […], Otessa Ghadar is taking advantage of the growing trend.


There aren’t many non-reality web series that manage to be creatively, critically and commercially successful, but the teen drama Orange Juice in Bishop’s Garden [produced by Otessa Ghadar] definitely achieves the trifecta.

TV Week

The great personal stories she intersperses as her ‘tales from the trenches’ in the book draw most effectively from her experiences in a place where few had gone before. Whether the Wild West in her title describes her time starting out or the world of online video today is no matter. The book is meant to give notes from an early explorer (think Lewis and Clark), serving advice for would-be filmmakers on scripting, storytelling; directing and cinematography; fundraising; production planning; editing and post-production; marketing and promotion; web analytics; distribution; web design; and more.

Peter B. Kaufman, Associate Director; Columbia Center for Teaching and Learning

Long before the television networks ever heard the word webisode, pioneer filmmakers like Otessa Ghadar were making those webisodes and posting them on the Internet.

All Voices

This a really great guide on the script to screen process

Stephani DeLuca, Digital Media & Film Producer; Gossip Girl, The Amazing Spider-Man

The Wild West of Film is an excellent educational text that provides film students and amateur independent filmmakers with a comprehensive overview of the modern independent filmmaking process. Otessa Ghadar uses her experience as a filmmaker and web series creator to provide unique insight on the realities of being an independent storyteller in the digital age. As a teaching assistant in a directing course that used The Wild West of Film as its primary text, I can say that the book served as a valuable resource for the students, providing them with a strong foundation of knowledge for each stage of the filmmaking process.

Michael Henry, MFA Candidate and Teaching Assistant at American University, School of Communication