Film Making Books

19 Mar 2013 - Video Production, Professional Video, Post-Production

Books for Film Makers

In any creative industry, a handful of publications emerge as the accepted canon. Based on recommendations and anecdotal evidence, we've compiled a list that represents some of film making's canon. These books provide an introduction into writing, shooting and lighting video productions.

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Matters of Light & Depth
By Ross Lowell

Matters of Light and Depth

Called "essentially practical & practically essential", Lowel Light founder Ross Lowell's critically acclaimed Matters of Light & Depth is published by Lowel-Light. Filled with illustrations, photographs, and decades of real world experience, the book has become a valuable resource for all those interested in expanding their knowledge of lighting.

Choosing the right lighting equipment is only half the battle. With something to offer any lighting professional, from novice to seasoned veteran, including thoughtful essays and lighting exercises in each chapter, it's certain to help you grow and develop your own approach to this creative art.

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Cinematic Storytelling: The 100 Most Powerful Film Conventions Every Filmmaker Must Know
By Jennifer Van Sijll

Cinematic Storytelling

There are hundreds of ways of conveying ideas in movies; dialog is but one. This book has assembled 100 non-dialog techniques, creating a kind of encyclopedia of cinematic storytelling. This "encyclopedia" includes examples from some of the most memorable moments in film history.

Cinematic storytelling is the difference between documenting and dramatizing, between employing the potent storytelling tools in the medium or leaving them silent. The pioneers of film made use of camera placement, lighting, composition, motion and editing rather than relying on dialog and narration.

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Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen
By Steven D. Katz

Film Directing Shot by Shot

A complete catalogue of motion picture techniques for filmmakers. It concentrates on the 'storytelling' school of filmmaking, utilizing the work of the great stylists who established the versatile vocabulary of technique that has dominated the movies since 1915. This graphic approach includes comparisons of style by interpreting a 'model script', created for the book, in storyboard form.

Katz provides in-depth coverage of production design, storyboarding, spatial connections, editing, scene staging, depth of frame, camera angles, point of view, and the various types of stable compositions and moving camera shots.

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Master Shots: 100 Camera Techniques to Get an Expensive Look on Your Low-Budget Movie
By Christopher Kenworthy

Master Shots

Master Shots gives filmmakers the techniques they need to execute complex, original shots on any budget. By using powerful master shots and well-executed moves, directors can develop a strong style and stand out from the crowd.

Master Shots gives you so many powerful techniques that you'll be able to respond to pressure and create knock-out shots. Even when the clock is ticking and the light is fading, the techniques in this book can rescue your film, and make every shot look like it cost a fortune.

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Film Crew: Fundamentals of Professional Film and Video Production
By Nicholas George

Film Crew

Whether you are an aspiring independent filmmaker, enrolled in film school, or an instructor, this book has something for everyone. Loaded with illustrations, up-to-date production terminology, and valuable industry insight, this edition also includes a valuable sample production forms section.

Film Crew focuses on the nuts and bolts of film and video productions, and helps take the mystery out of the movie making process. It bridges the gap between the craft of storytelling and the technical skills needed to bring a concept to life.

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Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting
By Robert McKee

Story

Robert McKee's screenwriting workshops have earned him an international reputation for inspiring novices, refining works in progress and putting major screenwriting careers back on track.

Writers, producers, development executives and agents all flock to his lecture series. In "Story", McKee expands on the concepts he teaches in his $450 seminars, providing readers with the most comprehensive, integrated explanation of the craft of writing for the screen.

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Producing Great Sound for Film and Video
By Jay Rose

Producing Great Sound

Make your film or video project sound as good as it looks with this complete training course by audio guru Jay Rose. You get hundreds of professional, real-world techniques that you can employ from preproduction through the final mix. This is a solution-oriented guide with FAQs, how-tos, tips, and time savers.

You'll get a primer on how sound and digital audio work as well as technical setups, guidelines, and real solutions for:

  • budgeting, scheduling, and preproduction planning
  • microphones and room acoustics
  • recording dialog, voice-overs, ADR, and effects
  • postproduction hardware
  • levels and digitizing
  • working with music and sound effects
  • producing the final mix

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On Directing Film
By David Mamet

On Directing Film

Calling on his unique perspective as playwright, screenwriter, and director of his own critically acclaimed movies, House of Games and Things Change, David Mamet illuminates how a film comes to be. He looks at every aspect of directing—from script to cutting room—to show the many tasks directors undertake in reaching their prime objective: presenting a story that will be understood by the audience and has the power to be both surprising and inevitable at the same time.

Based on a series of classes Mamet taught at Columbia University's film school, On Directing Film will be enjoyed not only by students but by anyone interested in an overview of the craft of filmmaking.

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The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film
By Michael Ondaatje

Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film

The Conversations is a treasure, essential for any lover or student of film, and a rare, intimate glimpse into the worlds of two accomplished artists who share a great passion for film and storytelling, and whose knowledge and love of the crafts of writing and film shine through.

It was on the set of the movie adaptation of his Booker Prize-winning novel, The English Patient, that Michael Ondaatje met the master film and sound editor Walter Murch, and the two began a remarkable personal conversation about the making of films and books in our time that continued over two years. From those conversations stemmed this enlightened, affectionate book—a mine of wonderful, surprising observations and information about editing, writing and literature, music and sound, the I-Ching, dreams, art and history.

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