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1. Harry Potter Film Wizardry
2. The Music of The Lord of the Rings
3. 101 Things I Learned (TM) in Film
4. Film Art: An Introduction
5. The Art of Watching Films with
6. The Complete Film Production Handbook,
7. The Independent Film Producer's
8. Film Editing: Great Cuts Every
9. Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing
10. The Film Mystery
11. Cinematic Storytelling: The 100
12. On Directing Film
13. Michael Caine - Acting in Film:
14. Getting the Money: A Step-By-Step
15. Short Guide to Writing about Film,
16. The New Biographical Dictionary
17. Complete Guide to Film Scoring
18. Film Art: An Introduction with
19. The Film Noir Encyclopedia
20. How Not to Make a Short Film:

1. Harry Potter Film Wizardry
by Brian Sibley
Hardcover: 160 Pages (2010-11-01)
list price: US$39.99 -- used & new: US$19.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061997811
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Amazon.com Review
Product Description
Immerse yourself in the world of the spectacular Harry Potter film series. Learn why Yule Ball ice sculptures never melt, where Galleons, Sickles, and Knuts are really "minted," how to get a Hippogriff to work with actors, the inspiration behind Hogwarts castle, and why Dementors move the way they do. Written and designed in collaboration with the cast and crew that brought J. K. Rowling's celebrated novels to the silver screen, Harry Potter: Film Wizardry delivers an enchanting interactive experience, transporting readers to the wizarding world by sharing filmmaking secrets, unpublished photography and artwork, and exclusive stories from the stars. Full of removable facsimile reproductions of props and paper ephemera from the movies, this collectible volume offers a privileged look at the Harry Potter films and the talented group of Muggles that has made true movie magic.

A Look Inside Harry Potter: Film Wizardry
(Click on Images to Enlarge)

The Burrow The Yule Ball
Alan Rickman as Severus Snape The Cave
... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

2-0 out of 5 stars Doesn't cover much of the last 3 films
I was rather disappointed with Harry Potter Film Wizardry. For a list price of $39.99 it isn't very thick, it's very cheaply glued together (the spine cracked as soon as I opened it) and the paper paraphernalia isn't worth spending the big bucks as they're cheaply made and put into envelopes or glued right onto the pages of the book. While the book is packed with pictures from movies 1-5, it doesn't add much in the way of new information as it's mostly rehashed material, concept art and brief essays from the key stars detailing how grateful they are and what the movies have done. It would have been nice to see more about Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows part 1 & 2 but we get small pics of key scenes that were on the trailers, so nothing new. Many of the pictures featured in this book were in the new Harry Potter Ultimate Edition documentaries where they were elaborated on quite a bit more (the goblins get a small page and are featured in the creature documentary with more information-just not in print but via DVD). If you're looking for a book on all 8 of the HP movies, I would recommend that you wait until after DH part 2 is out when nothing can be ruined. In the meantime, this is just WB and the publisher wanting to cash in on the craze of DH part 1 coming out in a few weeks.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
This book is amazing.Big and sturdy, thick pages - lots of memorabilia.Great for any Potter fan!!

5-0 out of 5 stars LOVE IT!!
I love this book from cover to cover. it is like a huge Harry Potter film scrapbook. it was interesting reading about how the films, props, and costumes were made as well as all of the quotes from the actors themselves. I only wish they would have waited until DH part 2 was out and had a more complete book with all the films but the Deathly Hallows sneak peeks were a nice touch. This a must have for all Harry Potter fanatics.

2-0 out of 5 stars Concept Art Sorely Underrepresented
I love the books and films, but really thought this book would go more in-depth on the art of the film franchise. It was very disappointing to see only small thumbnail-sized images of the art, and for a book covering 8 films, this one could easily have been 300 pages. The art of Adam Brockbank and Andrew Williamson alone are certainly deserving of full-page spreads, and even production designer Stuart Craig- who's equally talented- had only a few sketches included in the book.
Although this book has great pull-outs that any fan would love to put up on their walls, I'll still be waiting for a book that properly showcases the works of the talented conceptual artists who worked on these classic films. If anyone wants to see a great example of a book that excellently shows the art of film, check out "The Art of Pirates of the Caribbean,"The Art of Pirates of the Caribbean. The "Harry Potter" artists are worthy to have their work shown in a similar manner.

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Spiffing Good Fun!

The 5 star reviews are spot on for this terrific addition to the Harry Potter world. I finally got a chance to see it in person last night and I will be ordering one for myself and another to give as a gift to my brother, who I think will appreciate it even more than I do.

He & I were fortunate enough to visit the Harry Potter exhibit in Chicago last fall and, by choosing to go right after Illinois kids went back to school, we missed the crowds and were able to savor each costume, set and prop. (My favorite? The huge winged statue from the graveyard scene at the end of Goblet of Fire.) I even got to sit under the sorting hat! (Ravenclaw) Of course, there's a difference between seeing actual sets and props and in perusing pictures of them, but the creative minds responsible for putting this book together have done a fantastic job of making that difference as small as possible. The layout is exciting, the image quality (mostly) top notch and the extras - a Marauder's Map, a program from the Quidditch World Cup and another from the Yule Ball, among many, many others - are, IMHO, worth far more than the cover price on their own. (I was very tempted by the $35 Noble Marauder's Map when visiting the exhibit in Chicago, but chose to buy a nice replica of Harry's wand instead. Needless to say, I'm thrilled to get a Marauder's Map with this book even though I have to admit it's not quite as nice or as large as the one I passed up.)

While I understand the temptation felt by some of the other reviewers to do so, I'm not in the least inclined to tear this book apart to decorate or for any other reason. Instead, I'm incredibly pleased to have all this great info and pieces of memorabilia all together in one attractive and high-quality volume. This is a book to pull out often and to pore over slowly, enjoying each tidbit, the remembrances and comments from the actors, the details on costumes and sets and make-up. The scrapbook look and style suit it perfectly and I'm so glad to have it and grateful that so much care was taken in its creation.

Very highly recommended.

Question: Does anyone have information on the Harry Potter encyclopedia thingy J.K. Rowling has mentioned compiling for publication? I haven't heard anything for awhile and am wondering if it's going forward. Seeing the pictures of Dolores Umbridge in this book last night reminded me of how much I detested her and I was hoping Rowling would let us know that Umbridge met some terrible end or, better yet, suffered deeply for her repulsive behavior. Not that I'm bloodthirsty or anything... Okayfine, maybe I'm a *little* bloodthirsty.

Totally personal note: In early December, my brother and I are heading to Orlando to once again immerse ourselves in Rowling's world. *squee!!* Can't wait!

... Read more

2. The Music of The Lord of the Rings Films: A Comprehensive Account of Howard Shore's Scores (Book and Rarities CD)
by Doug Adams
Hardcover: 416 Pages (2010-10-05)
list price: US$59.95 -- used & new: US$33.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0739071572
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Howard Shore's Academy Award-winning score for The Lord of the Rings has been hailed as among the greatest film music ever written. Sweeping in scope, it is an interpretation of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth as music --- an operatic tapestry of cultures, histories, languages, and principles. The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films takes the reader on an unprecedented journey into the heart of this history-making opus with extensive music examples, original manuscript scores, a rarities CD, and fascinating glimpses into the creative process from the composer himself. Includes: Foreword by Howard Shore Introduction by Fran Walsh Sketches by John Howe and Alan Lee Includes Exclusive Rarities CD of unreleased LOTR music Color stills from the films ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars A gift to film music
Howard Shore's score to the films of the Lord of the Rings is a modern masterpiece.The music adds another dimension to film.It enriches the experience, adding to the cultures and the tone of Middle Earth and informing us intimacies of the characters in a way that a screen play cannot do.It also takes the words of Tolkein and lift them into an operatic stratosphere.The elves sing, the dwarfs incant and the black speech lures us to Mordor.

But it is not until the music is taken away from the films and listened to on its own that really begins to enchant. Themesweave their way in and out of the music adding their mood and color. The simplicity of the fiddle for the Hobbits grows into the full orchestra and choir behind the bold Fellowship Theme and then dissolves into the strange, mystic and inscrutable eastern instruments that bring us to the world of the elves.

There is so much to discover in this music and as lovers of films, music and film music we have been blessed with the work of Doug Adams who eloquently takes our hand and leads us into rich and complex music of Shore's Middle Earth. His liner notes first appeared in The Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship Of The Ring (The Complete Recordings) and then subsequently in The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers (The Complete Recordings) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (The Complete Recordings).Now this book brings it all together in a beautifully illustrated and designed volume.

If you loved these films and want to understand a whole new dimension to the artistry that went into them, then buy this book.If you enjoy film music and want to get a better understanding of the art form, then buy this book.If you love good music or care about great art then buy this book.

Congratulations Doug.Bravo Maestro Shore.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
Way back in high school, I can remember painstakingly scrutinizing great works of English literature.We learned about such things as "thematic devices" and foreshadowing, climaxes and denouements.It struck me that no author in his or her right mind would have consciously focused on all of those plot intricacies unearthed by later scholars.The author would have gone bald from compulsive hair pulling, the work would have collapsed under its own weight, and no one would be reading it today.

Surely, the same must be true of great music.The music of The Lord of the Rings films is among the most intricate and nuanced I have ever heard.And yet, composer Howard Shore, in his own foreword to the book "The Music of The Lord of the Rings Films", states that he takes an intuitive approach to composing.It was up to his friend and constant shadow, journalist Doug Adams, to unearth a treasure trove of details after nine painstaking years of research.His book is surely a labor of love.

When I first purchased the three complete film scores as boxed sets, I also downloaded the companion PDFs for each one.They were chock full of fascinating details about those lovely melodies, and all alluded to an upcoming book with even more material.It is here at long last, and I eagerly dove into it the moment it arrived in my mailbox.

Having seen (five times) all of the "making of" videos from the boxed sets of The Lord of the Rings films, I already knew how much painstaking love and passion went into translating J.R.R. Tolkien's great work into films. The approach was not to dramatize a work of fiction, but rather to uncover a lost civilization and bring it back to life.Howard Shore did the same with his music.He states in Doug's book that he wanted it to feel as if someone had discovered it in a vault.

The book is everything I hoped for.After the introductory remarks, there is a table listing out 91 different themes, or "motifs", which form the building blocks of the music.Apart from a few key individuals, such as Gollum, Éowyn and Aragorn, most of the themes are dedicated to entire races or countries.There are monster themes and nature themes, and even themes for Middle Earth as a whole.And there are themes for the Ring.

Next, spanning some 120 pages, is a discussion, one by one, of each of the themes.After an introduction to the theme, there is frequently a "Thematic Relationships" section, detailing how the different blocks of music tie together.For instance, since Gollum is a sort of twisted hobbit, it is not surprising that there would be a few twisted, hobbity elements in Gollum's music.Likewise, the Ring's music ties in with that of Mordor and the Wraiths.

Some themes also have an "In Theory" section, which has staves of music linked by colored boxes and arrows, along with a more detailed analysis of ways in which the various notes may be rearranged, shifted or stacked to form another theme.I sang in choir back in school, and took a semester of basic music theory, but some of this stuff is well beyond what I can really grasp.However, I can frequently make out the melodies from the abundant snippets of music, and this added to my enjoyment of the book.

After the thematic overview comes "The Annotated Score", covering another 135 pages or so.This looks like a track-by-track discussion of the entire boxed CD sets, with a basic plot narrative and a discussion of the themes included in each melody.For instance, "Théoden Rides Forth" incorporates the "Rohan Fanfare", the "White Rider", and "Nature".I have every intention of sitting down with this music and going through it from start to finish, with the book in my lap.It will take many hours.

Even better, along with the track discussions are the lyrics of all of the melodies, rendered in Quenya, Sindarin, Adûnaic, Black Speech and other Tolkien languages.Plus Old English, employed in the Rohan music.I especially loved reading this.

The final part of the book include notes on the recording sessions, and a track-by-track listing of the bonus CD, which itself comes in a little pouch on the back cover.I enjoyed listening to the CD as well.It includes some concept music which never made it into the movies, variations on familiar themes, as well as a roughly ten-minute interview of Howard Shore by Doug Adams.

One very helpful feature of the book are the footnotes.Doug doesn't explain every musical term, but he does cover a fair number.This includes such gems as "aleatoric", "anhemitonic pentatonic" and "plagal".

In back are thematic and choral text indexes.

Finally, there is the gorgeous artwork.The volume is sprinkled liberally with sketches and photos of Middle Earth and its inhabitants.One of my favorites spans pages 208 and 209:The White Mountains rising above the Plains of Rohan.

I learned on the CD that Howard is looking forward to working on The Hobbit.I sincerely hope the movies get made.It would be tragic if Howard couldn't complete his epic of Middle Earth.Perhaps in 2022 or so Doug will be able to publish a new companion volume:"The Music of The Hobbit Films".

5-0 out of 5 stars AMAZING book ...
This book is a MUST HAVE for all Lord of the Rings fans ... or Howard Shore fans ... or Tolkien fans, musicians and artists ...it is a beautifully-written, comprehensive walk through the Lord of the Rings films, as expressed in Howard Shore's amazing soundtrack ... showing how Shore's beautiful music is like 'being inside the song' of Tolkien's (and Peter Jackson's) world - and it is beautifully illustrated on almost every page with Shore's music, or artwork by John Howe and Alan Lee, or very high quality stills from the movies! Not to mention a "rarities" disc at the end with "bonus" music and interviewing with Howard Shore - this book has something special to offer for every level of movie fan, Tolkien fan or musician out there! Thank you, Mr. Adams!

5-0 out of 5 stars A true milestone of Film Music as Art...
OK, first of all, full disclosure: the author of this book, Doug Adams, happens to be a colleague and friend, and I have thus enjoyed a unique view of the work as it came together over the better part of the last decade. That said, I don't benefit from its sales, nor have I been asked to write this review. I DO write this review because, irrespective of my association with the author, I am a film music journalist myself - and I firmly believe that THE MUSIC OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS FILMS is perhaps the most accomplished and significant analysis of a film score ever published.

Let's begin with an appreciation of the sheer magnitude of the film score under discussion. At the outset, we must note that there is very little in the history of music that can easily be compared to Howard Shore's score for Peter Jackson's film trilogy of THE LORD OF THE RINGS. When you consider that the films are most accurately viewed as one continuous story, with the similarly continuous score totaling more than TEN HOURS in length, you realize the true scope of Shore's opus. In the world of cinema, there is little to compare it to. One can draw some parallels with John Williams' work on the STAR WARS saga, although its entries are far more individualistic and spread out over a longer period of time. Certain composers for television have written more total hours related to a contiguous body of work; but the musical architecture of, for example, 200 episode scores from THE X-FILES is so vastly different as to defy direct comparison. Even in the world of classical music, it is likewise difficult to find points of reference. For sheer length, narrative scope, and leitmotivic complexity, we can turn to history's *other* great musical ring cycle, Wagner's DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN ... and that's about it.

Nor (as Adams ably demonstrates) is *length* all there is to it. No doubt any number of composers would have risen to that challenge, with varying degrees of showmanship and craft. But would any of them have entered into the same ambitious spirit of world-crafting as Tolkien himself? Shore did. His music goes beyond the traditional role of a film score to become a veritable musical representation of the peoples, languages, cultures, and histories of Middle-earth. Point by point, Adams reveals to the reader how Shore's choice of instruments, performance styles, method of orchestration, incorporation of texts, and even recording venues and techniques all contributed to express something deeply meaningful about the characters, races, locations, and events that comprise Tolkien and Jackson's stunning epic. To give just one example: Adams explains how Shore used a distinctive range-based style of orchestration, rather than relying on the traditional divisions of instrument families - creating a unique soundscape that would feel both cohesive and somehow ancient.

Adams further breaks down how instruments and thematic elements migrate between characters and cultures, constantly forging chains of interconnection. Take Gollum, for example. The primary instrument associated with the character - the cimbalom - is a relative of the dulcimer, one of the key instruments of the Shire; thus reinforcing the creature's twisted hobbit origins. Furthermore, the chords underpinning Gollum's pitiable theme have a surprising connection to the crucible of Mount Doom, where the character's destiny is bound. This sort of thing is largely invisible to the average filmgoer, but operates on a subconscious level to enhance the drama - and when considering the music on its own terms, it makes the listening experience infinitely more fascinating and enriching. Far from being a "cold" dissection, this sort of analysis will reward you with the ability to listen to the music with fresh ears ... it will come alive in ways you might never have imagined! This, to me, is the hallmark of good analytical writing.

At this point, you might say to yourself, "But I know nothing about the technical side of music! How on earth am I going to follow all this?" Or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, "I crave hard-core analysis - how do I know this isn't dumbed-down for mass audiences?" It's hard to be completely objective here, but in my professional estimation as both a reader and writer, Adams has pulled off something of a minor miracle. By treating the ANALYSIS AS NARRATIVE, the author allows the musical theory on display to unfold with surprising clarity and lucidity. Certainly, basic musical literacy will only enhance your ability to understand and enjoy this text. But you don't have to worry about a lack of "conservatory" training - I'd venture to say that anyone who enjoys listening to music with an attentive ear will benefit much from this book, regardless of their educational background.

You might also say to yourself, "I read the liner notes Adams wrote for the Complete Recordings box sets, and I read the Annotated Scores that were posted online - what more is there?" In response, you should first know that the aforementioned texts were extracted and abridged from the larger book-in-progress. They were portions of the whole, serving a valid purpose in their own right ... but they are no substitution for the total package. Here, you will find a more flowing and expansive text, with more space to discuss the big ideas, and a wealth of detail that was necessarily left out of the more restrictive earlier formats. You also get significantly more context in terms of Shore's creative methodology. and the history surrounding the composition and recording of this monumental work. Shore himself contributed a special foreword for the book, and the introduction was penned by LOTR screenwriter and producer Fran Walsh.

And there's more! The number (and readability) of musical examples has been greatly increased throughout, and includes full-page manuscript pages as well as samples of Shore's original sketches. The complete choral texts and translations are here - a real treasure for Tolkien linguists. As an officially licensed project, the book also includes numerous full-color film stills, and - more impressively - an amazing selection of sketch artwork from Tolkien artists John Howe and Alan Lee (who also drew an original piece for the cover). Book designer Gary Day-Ellison (whose portfolio includes work for that *other* Douglas Adams) had full access to Howe and Lee's sketchbooks for this project, so much of their artwork appears in print here for the FIRST TIME, making it doubly essential for enthusiasts. And speaking of the book design, it's simply beautiful. There is a gorgeous aesthetic on display throughout, making the pages a delight to the eye as well as the mind.

Finally, there is the CD which accompanies the book: THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RARITIES ARCHIVE. This album of previously unheard material includes theme mock-ups, unreleased versions of cues from the films' theatrical cuts, and other alternate or unused compositions ... all capped by an intimate conversation between the author and the composer. It's a thoughtful musical program that is amazingly coherent as a disc-length listening experience - a testament to the long hours Adams spent poring through Shore's personal archives. Such glimpses into the creative journey are exceedingly rare; even more rarely are they so very rewarding. If "Sammath Naur," an alternate vision of the trilogy's climax, doesn't make your throat catch and your eyes mist up, you may want to check your pulse!

It should be clear by now that I am an unabashed fan of this music, which I think is some of the best ever written for film. Not everyone agrees, of course ... but if you are a devotee of the art of film music in any capacity, you owe it to yourself to at least investigate this book. No study of a film score has ever been published on this scale (in truth, only the rare score could hold up to this kind of rigorous scrutiny), by someone with Adams' musical background and credentials, and with his unprecedented access to resources - extending to the composer himself, who was generous and enthusiastic in his support of this project. If you, like me, celebrate the art form, you should rejoice that a book of this nature exists. It is masterful; a true milestone ... and, I devoutly hope, the harbinger of good things to come. ... Read more

3. 101 Things I Learned (TM) in Film School
by Neil Landau
Hardcover: 212 Pages (2010-05-20)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$8.64
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446550272
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
How to set a scene? What's the best camera angle? How does the new technology interact with scenes? And how does one even get the financing to make a movie?

These basic questions and much more are all covered in this exquisite packaged book on the film industry and making movies as a profession.Written by Neil Landau, an experienced screenwriter and script consultant to the major movie studios, this is the perfect book for anyone who wants to know about the inner-workings of this industry. Whether it's someone who wants tomake movies as a full-timecareer, or just someone who is interested in film, this book covers it all.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good films are like this book: concise
I graduated from film school and I absolutely love little books like this one. Some of the wisdom was new for me though much of it was traditional film knowledge presented from the author's unique perspective. Some of the lessons were technical, like day-to-day stuff while working on a film, and some were about the art and how to best present it. The best tidbits had to do with trimming your work down for better clarity, better flow, better tension, and almost better everything. This applies to the screenplay, the film, and even the production itself.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is attributed to filmmaker Sidney Lumet: 'All great work is preparing yourself for the accident to happen.'

3-0 out of 5 stars 101 as an introduction
Matthew Frederick started the //101 Things I Learned// and he's expanded his architectural drawings to each new subject. A drawing accompanies each lesson so that the reader can understand the text and reinforce it with an image. In an interesting way, this technique is like learning a second language. The lessons vary in magnitude, some compile basic vocabulary for a novice film enthusiast, others engage difficult concepts like the fourth wall, how to utilize different lenses, or what the angles of a camera shot tell the viewer. That said, much of this book is about the issues behind making a film, not necessarily about the wrestling with understanding film as a viewer. The majority of the text is spent discussing how to shoot utilizing the principles of thirds, how to create and stick to a filming budget, how to keep the crew making the same movie, and primarily how to write a story. The writing advice is simple and relatively basic, a gloss of any 101 creative writing class will give most people these concepts. Thus we suggest that individuals concerned with a detailed understanding of these subjects seek more nuanced texts, or at the very least use the //101 Things I Learned// series as a starting point for further reading.

reviewed by Joe Atkins

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book!
This really is a great book.The info is concise, smart and useful.It distills down the essentials to good storytelling without being boring or pedantic.I teach film at a university and this really is the best book you can get if you want to learn about storytelling (that and Robert McKee's book STORY).Get this, read it over and over!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Little Basic Film Instruction Guide
I'm a lover of cinema and though I've done some amateur film work, I've never been to film school.I was supposed to attend one several years ago, but my life took a different turn.I have friends who work or worked in the industry and they've informed me that other than the contacts and the technical know-how I would have picked-up, I really didn't miss much and I can pick up much of what I would need to know reading film books.

I'm sure a book like 101 THINGS I LEARNED IN FILM SCHOOL is a book they would suggest.The book touches on all the basic aspects of film-making, from pre-production to post.It explains how to write a screenplay, how to edit a screenplay, and how to pitch a screenplay.It gives tips about lightening and sound and how different camera lenses and angles affect the way a story is told on film.The book also provides some suggestions for casting and what an audience should experience after watching a good movie, no matter the genre.Interlaced throughout are a handful of quotations from famous filmmakers and screenwriters.

101 THINGS I LEARNED IN FILM SCHOOL is an easy-to-read book that is concise and to the point.I had already learned some of these tips from previous experience and other books I've read.Still, I learned some new things (such as how different lenses can tell different stories) and the book was an enjoyable read for me.

I recommend this book for anyone who is interested in film, but doesn't have a great deal of experience working in the medium.I also recommend this book for anyone who want to write because many of the 101 things are just as applicable to the process of writing as they are to the process of making a movie.Also, because of the concise nature of the book, it also makes a good reference guide for those who already have previous film experience.

5-0 out of 5 stars A brilliant little gem
As the saying goes, good things come in small packages.One of the strengths of this little gem is that the wise advice Neil Landau gives is distilled to its essence.Nothing long, rambling, or drawn-out.Here we are presented with succinct tips for writers and filmmakers that can immediately be grasped and put to use.

I can flip through this book to remind me of things I already know about writing, but that have gotten bogged down in a muddle of too much information.And I can find tips and ideas about writing and story-telling that I had never considered.The advice for filmmakers is also useful to me as a writer, and can help me tell the story more effectively and cinematically.I'm not sticking this book on a shelf -- it belongs on my desk!

As a screenwriting teacher, this is a book I will enthusiastically recommend to my students.There is a vast amount of information about screenwriting out there -- books, blogs, articles -- much of it overly complex and difficult to wade through.Students get confused and frustrated.They don't want complicated theories -- they're just interested in some truths and guidelines.101 Things I Learned in Film School is the answer.The lessons are clear and deceptively simple, but each one is packed with valuable information.I know that the students who read this book will come away with a better understanding of how to write a good script. ... Read more

4. Film Art: An Introduction
by David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson
Paperback: 544 Pages (2009-11-25)
-- used & new: US$57.09
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0073386162
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Film is an art form with a language and an aesthetic all its own. Since 1979, David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson's Film Art has been the best-selling and widely respected introduction to the analysis of cinema.

Taking a skills-centered approach supported by a wide range of examples from various periods and countries, the authors strive to help students develop a core set of analytical skills that will deepen their understanding of any film, in any genre.Frame enlargements throughout the text enable students to view images taken directly from completed films, while an optional, text-specific tutorial CD-ROM helps clarify and reinforce specific concepts addressed in the text with the use of film clips.Building on these strengths, the ninth edition adds coverage of new technologies, updated examples, and references to the authors' acclaimed weblog to provide unparalleled currency and connect students with the world of cinema today. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

1-0 out of 5 stars Would have been a great book if...
had they edited it before printing and made a soft-cover book that actually didn't fall apart (the ninth edition, at least). There has to be over 10 typos on every spread and pages fall out every time I read it. It's a very interesting and insightful text that I wish I could enjoy. Instead, I find myself fixing typos and worrying about losing countless loose pages.

4-0 out of 5 stars How to get the CD:
This page isn't entirely clear whether the textbook comes with a CD or not but I can clear that up for you right now: It doesn't.Which is very strange because in the opening pages of the book it states that all new copies of the book come with the CD-ROM.The CD-ROM is essential for students because it has scenes with commentary that you can't access on the McGraw website.I'm sure it has other things too.

Anyways, the CD CAN be purchased separately on Amazon and they are receiving copy's of them on August 22, 2010. Here is the link to the CD page:
It's $22.81 and if you signed up for the student Amazon Prime thing that's going on you can get unlimited free two-day shipping until your prime status expires.This method saved me about $25 from buying it directly from my College.I'm really hoping Amazon gets their copy's on time, because if they don't I'm kind of screwed for school.

The only reason I gave this four stars is because the top-right corner got heavily bent while in shipping so I'm pretty bummed about that.Also, this page doesn't really specify whether this textbook comes with the CD or not.Hopefully people will read the reviews. =]
Other than that, it's a fine book.

3-0 out of 5 stars No CD?!
I just bought a new copy of the book directly from Amazon for a class, but it didn't come with the CD.The Amazon description does not mention a CD (however, under the "Editorial Review" heading, the CD is noted as optional, whatever that means), but the book says that it comes with a free CD (page xix).The CD is required for my class so I contacted Amazon today and I'll update this comment after I get their response.The CD is also available for purchase through the publisher website for about $25, but I don't want to pay that if it is supposed to be free with the book.This is the ninth edition of the book, but the eighth edition of the book is also available on Amazon with the CD explicitly in the description.

Update: Amazon replaced the book for free with no hassle, but the second book did not include a CD either.Apparently, Amazon direct does not include the CD, so if you need the CD, don't buy it from them.I'll be getting a refund and I'll be emailing other sellers to see if they sell the book with the CD. ... Read more

5. The Art of Watching Films with Tutorial CD-ROM
by Joe Boggs, Dennis Petrie
Paperback: 608 Pages (2006-12-12)
-- used & new: US$39.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 007331028X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This introduction to film appreciation uses both contemporary and classic movies to help students develop critical skills in the analysis and evaluation of film. By suggesting what to look for and how to look for it, the text challenges students to sharpen their powers of observation, establish habits of perceptive watching, and discover complex aspects of film art that will further enhance their enjoyment of watching films. In addition it makes the link from literature to film in chapters on Thematic Elements, Fictional and Dramatic Elements and a unique chapter on Adaptions. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (31)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Book! Where is the CD-ROM?
The book arrived in great shape and in plenty of time for me to use it for my class; However there was NO CD-ROM with it... being that it was a used book I didn't expect to get the CD... but when the book says it comes with one , I think it should!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book!
This book is great! The information given is perfect for those wanting to get a better understanding of films...

5-0 out of 5 stars The Art of Watching FIlms -Book Review
This was an amazing book, esp. because I was taking a film and literature class. It's readable; there aren't any big words that you can't understand just to make the text seem scholarly. The quality of the shipping was good. I got it the second week of class which was a good thing because usually when I order a book off of here I get it two weeks later and by that time I'd be three weeks behind in an 8 week course. All in all, it was a good experience.

5-0 out of 5 stars Class book for Ashford University
This was a class book I needed for Ashford University.The seller's price was much less than buying it through the school bookstore, which I really appreciate!The book was in super condition!Thank you!It's an interesting book, for anyone who loves movies, to read.It give you a lot of things to look for in movies.

3-0 out of 5 stars Homework assignment
The tutorial CD-Rom did not come with this book.It was needed for part of my homework assignments so I was not able to complete some of them without it. ... Read more

6. The Complete Film Production Handbook, Fourth Edition
by Eve Light Honthaner
Paperback: 544 Pages (2010-03-26)
list price: US$59.95 -- used & new: US$35.58
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 024081150X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This book is for working film/TV professionals and students alike. If you're a line producer, production manager, production supervisor, assistant director or production coordinator--the book has everything you'll need (including all the forms, contracts, releases and checklists) to set up and run a production--from finding a production office to turning over delivery elements. Even if you know what you're doing, you will be thrilled to find everything you need in one place. If you're not already working in film production, but think you'd like to be, read the book -- and then decide. If you choose to pursue this career path, you'll know what to expect, you'll be prepared, and you'll be ten steps ahead of everyone else just starting out. New topics and information in the fourth edition include:* Low-budget independent films, including documentaries and shorts* Information specific to television production and commercials* The industry's commitment to go green and how to do it* Coverage of new travel and shipping regulations* Updated information on scheduling, budgeting, deal memos, music clearances, communications, digital production, and new forms throughout * This guide to production management is on every producer's shelf and will save you time, money, and hassles* Hundreds of forms, contracts, and checklists available to print and use on your production* New edition is fully updated with information about low-budget productions and much more!Amazon.com Review
Product Description
This book is for working film/TV professionals and students alike. If you're a line producer, production manager, production supervisor, assistant director or production coordinator--the book has everything you'll need (including all the forms, contracts, releases and checklists) to set up and run a production--from finding a production office to turning over delivery elements. Even if you know what you're doing, you will be thrilled to find everything you need in one place. If you're not already working in film production, but think you'd like to be, read the book--and then decide. If you choose to pursue this career path, you'll know what to expect, you'll be prepared, and you'll be ten steps ahead of everyone else just starting out.

New topics and information in the fourth edition include:
* Low-budget independent films, including documentaries and shorts
* Information specific to television production and commercials
* The industry's commitment to go green and how to do it
* Coverage of new travel and shipping regulations
* Updated information on scheduling, budgeting, deal memos, music clearances, communications, digital production, and new forms throughout
* This guide to production management is on every producer's shelf and will save you time, money, and hassles
* Hundreds of forms, contracts, and checklists available to print and use on your production
* New edition is fully updated with information about low-budget productions and much more!

Amazon Exclusive: A Letter from Eve Honthaner, Author of The Complete Film Production Handbook

Dear Amazon Readers,

This book, now in its fourth edition, has been an amazing journey.It's continued to evolve and improve as my career has expanded and the industry has changed in ways I couldn't even imagine when it first came out.Because our business has become more specialized, what started as a collection of material that encompassed the scope of my experience has come to include incredibly valuable information on various facets of the industry.I couldn't share this with you without the help of several colleagues, friends and friends of friends who generously contributed their expertise to this and past editions.I've learned a great deal from them and continue to learn from the many talented individuals I've had the privilege to work with--the behind-the-scenes heroes who know how to make the magic happen while sticking to a budget and schedule, keeping the cast and crew happy (and moving), helping to achieve the director's vision and creatively overcoming countless daily challenges.

I collect new information and memorable experiences from every job and project I work on--both for the book and (when I teach) for the benefit of my students, who are the ones who never fail to remind me of why I love being in this business.

My goal is to make your job easier by compiling material on a great many aspects of production, providing useful checklists, an array of forms and loads of practical advice that will help you make your film.I want to guide you through the process, so you'll want to do again and then again after that--whether it's a 10-minute short or a big studio feature.

The Complete Film Production Handbook has become an industry standard, and I can't tell you how gratifying it is to see it in production offices and on sets--to know that it's helping film students and filmmakers all over the country.I'm grateful every time it's purchased, used and recommended, but would especially like to thank those who have been buying the book since its first edition.

-Eve Honthaner

... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow!There are lot of details in this book
I was a little put off when I first started reading this book and I must admit that I did not make it all the way through it.I got it for a student studying filmaking in college.This student needs to prepare for her senior project which is a complete production.

At first glance, the books seems like it is all text and very deep because there are not many illustrations, but what the book is made up of is lots and lots of sample documents.There is a goldmine of examples.The forms are now located online for easy access.

I had no idea how many details were involved in a film production- even a small one.At first when read some of the information about assigning parking spaces and how many staff meetings to hold and how to create id badges for cast and crew the details overwhelmed me.In hindsight though, the author's comment that you will be glad you read some of this stuff really rang true.If you want to learn from others' experiences this is a book that can do it for you.The anecdotes were interesting and personal and appreciated in the midst of all the details.

My student really appreciates all the details that take this book beyond a beginner handbook for videographers and really teaches you the steps necessary to make a full fledged production.There is a lot more to a production than a script and a camera and this book can be the one to show you the inside scoop.This is a great reference to have on hand.

5-0 out of 5 stars Useful, practical, and assumes nothing
I'm pretty skeptical about books that claim to be complete-I always find some major piece of info missing. Not so here. This book not only tells you everything you need to know, including helpful tips for the best success, but it also assumes nothing. Even a beginner can truly use this book. I found it an interesting read as well, which helps. The book is quite thick, as you might imagine, and has info for every step along the way.

When I say it covers everything, I mean it goes from defining roles and setting up and staffing an office to shipping, post production, music, running a greener office (!), interacting with local communities, pre-made clearance and release forms... I mean everything.

As you might expect, then, there is also a special section for low budget films. It includes practical ways to get things done on the cheap, and of course the distribution tip of releasing straight to DVD. I was sure when I read from the low-budget section that there would be nothing new here-I am the Queen O' Cheap. In fact, there was plenty of creative, good advice here and I'm delighted to have gleaned the incredible wealth of useful tips from this book.

Another plus: this book is not a dry theory textbook-it's a field manual. It comes from real experience and you do get the benefit of that. I really just can't think of a book I love more on the topic of film making, and I've read my share.

Cons? I can't think of any. Good info at a very reasonable price. I'm glad I have it.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Invaluable Reference for Filmmakers, But Overkill for the Curious
"The Complete Film Production Handbook" contains an encyclopedia of knowledge about the film-making process.Resembling a textbook on the subject, it goes into great detail on all phases of the project, providing guidance on both production- and business-related topics such as end-to-end scheduling, crew selection, and labor/union issues.There are also sections specifically geared toward the independent filmmaker, including information on low-budget strategies as well as completing your production in a more ecologically-friendly manner.Simply put, if you're seriously pursuing creating your own first film, this is an invaluable timeline and checklist of topics.Even more experienced directors would likely find some new material.

What this book isn't is for the curious.If you'd seen it in person, you'd know this based on the size/heft of the tome, but this isn't recommended for any film buff who just always wanted to know what the executive producer does compared to the assistant producer or the just-plain-old-producer.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Reference for Filmmakers
This review is for the "Complete Film Production Handbook, Fourth Edition" by Eve Light Honthaner, presented by VARIETY.Filmmakers who are on the startup will greatly benefit from this book.It is filled with a great amount of information.Maybe too much information.There are also many contracts displayed that a filmmaker will need to get his/her film produced.This book focuses on everything regarding the filmmaking industry. For someone looking for information on specific filmmaking equipment, you may want to search for another book, but for everything else, this is the book to get.

This book has 507 pages of very useful information about everything.This book will prepare you well for your filmmaking journey.There's also a glossary filled with industry words, and an index and table of contents for quick lookups.The chapters are easy to read and understand, organized well and cleanly, and broken into proper groups.Each chapter lists the Forms in each chapter, and some of the forms are pre-filled to help the reader understand.All the forms located in the book can be obtained from the website listed in the book for easy printing.

Here's a quick listing of the chapters and what they focus on: Production Team, Production Office, Basic Accounting, Script to Schedule, Incentives (Rebates, Tax Credits), PreProduction, Insurance Requirements, During the Shoot, Building Strong Industry Relationships, Deal Memos (letters for the Cast, Crew, Writers, Director's Guild (DGA)), Unions and Guilds, Principal Talent, Background Talent, Proper Use of Animals in Films, Clearances and Releases, Music Clearance, Safety, Locations (travelling to Distant and Foreign Locations), Housing, Shipping, Effects, Specifically Television, Independent Filmmaking, Practical Low-Budget Filmmaking, New Media, Commercial Production, Wrapping Up, Post Production, Greener Filmmaking, and Industry Survival Tips.

I also own the Third Edition, and this is an excellent update to that book from 2001.Highly recommended for all filmmakers.A great reference guide.5 STARS.

5-0 out of 5 stars Impressive up to date resource for every type of filmmaker.
The "Complete" Film Production Handbook... So complete, it may become a filmmaker appendage.

In the past few months, I have collected quite a few books about everything involved with film making and all the is involved in the process.This book, however, is so overwhelming with information, that it's not something you read.It's a book to study, and a resource of information.Not to mention the plethora of so many forms and paperwork needed. Like every single form you could possibly need for anyone you might have to hire, or staff, rentals, specialty pay, training, it goes on.

First of all, I have not read this book at all.I studied it.I have so many notations and bookmarks and flags, that I finally came up with something negative about it!... I wish it were hardcover. But the paperback is firm, and fine.

There are so many rules and regulations to film making and a lot of covering your butt.The sections on insurance, casting and crew and dealing with pay scales and negotiations is mind numbing.The more I read, the more I appreciate what is involved in just the smallest short independent film to a major Hollywood release.Even if you make internet videos, it's something I recommend, because you never know what could come out of a series you create.Certainly not a fun book, but it helps with confusion, and alerts you of information you never thought about. A book by "Variety", mostly known as a magazine for the entertainment industry, who certainly took the time to have their name represented well in this fine 4th edition.This is something you continue to pre-order for new editions, as information can change everyday. ... Read more

7. The Independent Film Producer's Survival Guide: A Business and Legal Sourcebook
by Gunnar Erickson
Paperback: 416 Pages (2010-01-15)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$17.14
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0825637236
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In this comprehensive guidebook, three experienced entertainment lawyers tell you everything you need to know to produce and market an independent filmâfrom the development process to deal making, financing, setting up the production, hiring directors and actors, securing location rights, acquiring music, calculating profits, digital moving making, distribution, and marketing your movie. This all-new second edition has been completed updated. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars Indispensable Guide Bookk
Although I am not an independent film producer nor do I aspire to become one, nonetheless,I have to admit the business of film production has always fascinated me.

With The Independent Film Producer's Survival Guide:A Business and Legal Sourcebook, attorneys Gunnar Erickson,Harris Tulchin and Mark Halloran have put together a reader-friendly and informative guidebook exploring and revealing some of the secrets concerning the various aspects of independent film development, production and distribution.

With their seventy years combined experience in the field of entertainment law focusing on the independent film market, the authors endeavor to guide independent film producers through the difficult tasks of dealing with complex legal issues and mastering the business side of film. As they point out, it is not their intention to guide you in terms of your artistic quest or the technical mechanics of the making of films. Moreover, as rightfully mentioned, the book is not a do-it-yourself kit.It is imperative that you secure experienced advice to supplement the book.

The Independent Film Producer's Survival Guide is organized into twenty chapters covering a multitude of topics as deal making, development process, getting the star elements,different kinds of financing, presales,production loans, setting up production,hiring writers,directors,actors,producers and other production personnel,releases, music in film,selling your completed independent feature,distribution,sales agency,licensing agreements, digital promotion,marketing and distribution, key issues in online distribution,and profits. Within these sections,the authors address in layman terms such issues as copyrights and titles, true stories, satires and parodies, optioning material,agreements,offers, counteroffers,reliance letters, deal memos,and a host of many other important steps in the process of producing a film. In addition,readers learn about the role of agents,anagers, lawyers,casting directors,producers,directors,movie festivals, workshops, seminars,grants,different types of agreements,tax incentives,importance of soundtrack albums, music publishing,product placement in the financing process,different kinds of agreements,accounting issues,and many other elements of the process.Included are basic forms required in the course of doing the legal production work for most motion pictures,however,again it is strongly advisable that you engage an attorney versed in this branch of law to help you with the legal work.

There is a great deal on the plate here,however,fortunately the authors have served it inan easily and digestible format,weaving together the multifaceted and complex world of independent film production without being pedantic.Apparently, according to the authors, there has never been a book that delves into the "nuts and bolts" of the legal and business aspects of independent film production.This indispensable book brilliantly fills the void and is a must reading for anyone who is involved in film production and even moviegoers that want to know more about the "nitty gritty" of the business side of films and what do all those people and companies mentioned in the credits at the beginning or end of the film actually contribute to the process.

Norm Goldman, Publisher & Editor Bookpleasures

5-0 out of 5 stars A 'must' for any college-level performing arts library
The Independent Film Producer's Survival Guide: A Business and Legal Sourcebook is a 'must' for any college-level performing arts library. It gives independent producers vital information about the business and legal concerns of movie production, from deal making and hiring directors and actors to finance and using industry-standard forms. All the basics pack an important industry 'must' that no film library should be without.

5-0 out of 5 stars Insight to the secrets: Have a plan A to plan Z.
This book was required reading for FSU's Film Producing class. Usually the film books we are recommended to read are redundant and old news. This book is far from that. It's educational to the point of strategy and for sure a morality boost. This is a Yes You Can book. It gives you a plan A and then the Z for when all the other letters won't work.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Independent Film Producer's Survival Guide: A Business and Legal Sourcebook
This is an excellent book for someone who is just starting in the business to someone who has actively been working as a Producer.
I learned so much from this book. I recommend this book 100%.

5-0 out of 5 stars Should Be Used As A Textbook
I purchased this expecting some advice on legal issues, but this book is so much more.It talks you through the whole process of producing a film from start to finish, including valuable information on finding investors, attaching stars, behind the scene terminology, production advice, sample legal forms and what do with your film once you've made a cut.All of the advice is indispensable.This is a must have for any independent film producer, especially those new to the industry.It should be taught as a textbook in film schools.The most helpful book on producing I've stumbled upon yet. ... Read more

8. Film Editing: Great Cuts Every Filmmaker and Movie Lover Must Know
by Gael Chandler
Paperback: 220 Pages (2009-10-01)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$21.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1932907629
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Film Editing: Great Cuts Every Filmmaker and Movie Lover Must Know makes the invisible art of editing visible by using nearly 600 colorful frames from popular, recent films. The frames, accompanied by brisk descriptions, make it perfectly suited for quick study readers who like to 'gaze' rather than 'graze' and don't want to read a book. Written by an editor and the author of Cut by Cut: How to Edit your Film or Video, it shows how editors can make or break a movie.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

2-0 out of 5 stars What are they thinking?
For all the claims this it makes and all the blind who don't know any different. This book is a joke.

I've taken several years of editing classes and cut a lot of my own work together to know the good from the bad. When it comes to this art form in film that always goes unnoticed and unseen by the average Joe. As well it should be. That's the job of the editor. To create the illusion of real time in an art form exclusive to film alone.

I've never thought much about books on this subject because it's something one must have a great talent and eye for. It's a "sit down and learn" experience that makes a great editor. No book can explain this exquisite form of art. When a book on editing doesn't even cover the "L" and "J" cutting technique. The backbone of all the truly great editors in Cinema history, then it really stops right there. What are they thinking?
Get some good software and pull out your video cameras. That's when you'll see the real magic behind the cutting. Better yet, take a look at some of Schoonmaker's work and learn from her. Four Academy Awards for Best Editing isn't from what she learned out of a book. You can learn a great deal more from focused observation of the best in this field,..than any book will ever touch upon.

4-0 out of 5 stars MicroFilmmaker Magazine reviews Film Editing with an 8.5/10 Score...
Gael Chandler's Film Editing has a lot of really helpful information on editing, especially for new filmmakers and/or film lovers.While more experienced filmmakers might find much of what's in this book to be concepts they're already familiar with, nearly anyone who reads this book will find their awareness of the art of editing expanded.As such, this is definitely a book to take a look at if you want to learn more about the process of sculpting and honing film, which is editing.
-Jeremy Hanke, Editor-in-Chief, [...] , Issue 43, Final Score: 8.5/10

5-0 out of 5 stars Great pictures and book design
A great book for movie lovers who want to know how movies are put together. Awesome book design makes it fun to page through and clear enough to convey the information.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well written and researched!
Truly informative and presented in a no-nonsense format that's easily comprehensible by anyone interested in film editing, filmmaking, or simply the average moviegoer, wanting a better understanding of the genre.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must have on Director's shelves

Gael Chandler's new book "Film Editing" published by Michael Weise Productions, provides a beautiful visual reference for anyone interested in learning the visual language of film time.The numerous stills selected provide excellent examples of screen direction, parallel actions, point of view shots, matching color and much more through the selected stills from contemporary motion pictures.This is a book that beginning film students as well as professionals can refer to as a reminder as to why the cut takes place and how to abbreviate moments in a film to make them more effective or to lengthen moments to intensify the suspense.Screen direction can be particularly confusing to new directors and editors and this book addresses these issues through the use of stills. This book is a must have for directors, producers, editors, cinematographers and anyone interested in the construction of a scene shot by shot. Should be in every filmmakers library. ... Read more

9. Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen (Michael Wiese Productions)
by Steve Katz
Paperback: 366 Pages (1991-08-14)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$12.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0941188108
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
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.

Amazon.com Review
Film Directing Shot by Shot offers a good introductionto the rudiments of film production. Steven D. Katz walks his readersthrough the various stages of moviemaking, advising them at every turnto visualize the films they wish to produce. Katz believes that one ofthe chief tasks of filmmaking is to negotiate between ourthree-dimensional reality and the two-dimensionality of the screen. Hecovers the number of technical options filmmakers can use to create asatisfying flow of shots, a continuity that will make sense to viewersand aptly tell the film's story. Katz provides in-depth coverage ofproduction design, storyboarding, spatial connections, editing, scenestaging, depth of frame, camera angles, point of view, and the varioustypes of stable compositions and moving camera shots. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (44)

4-0 out of 5 stars Knowing What to Look for!
This book is an absolute must for filmmakers. It is instructive on what you expect from your cinamatographer and determining if your director understands the screenplay the way the writer wrote it.

All the emphasis is done with camera work. The director (if it is not you) must know where and how to place the emphasis.

But you have to know also. How else can you be critical of a shot or series of shots.

Steven Katz, the author of "Shot By Shot" understands what filmmaking is all about. That is why this book continues to sell year after year. "Shot by Shot" is the icon for scene setting and filmmaking.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great place to start.
I bought this for my teenage son who is an aspiring videographer.Anyone who is just getting started will benefit from this read.Even though it is dated in a few parts, overall it gives a very good explanation of the fundamentals of the film-making art. However, if you've already been shooting and have done some reading and studying on your own, or you've taken some film classes, the book is probably a review.If you want one book on the nuts and bolts of directing, this is a good one.

5-0 out of 5 stars My Bible throughout Film School
This book should be in any aspiring director or DP's arsenal.It has very thorough descriptions of how to stage, frame, and choreograph a shot.As a film school graduate and crew member on a hit TV show, I am continually shocked and amazed that there are working Director's in this Industry that seem to have no idea what the Axis of Action is... and rely heavily on their DP to essentially figure out the shot for them. A quick read of this book would bring them up to speed in no time. Easy to Understand, and completely thorough in covering most situations one would encounter in this business. This was my bible in school and I still refer to it these days as a brush up. Just buy it...you will not be disappointed!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Mark F Armstrong, Filmmaker
A catalogue of visual techniques and their stylistic implications using a combination of storyboarding and still photos of shots that enables screenwriters, directors, and editors to excellently construct scenes.
Highly recommended!

1-0 out of 5 stars A bit of a disappointment
I expected something completely different. So far the book offers outlines of ideas and tips nothing profound. ... Read more

10. The Film Mystery
by Arthur B. Reeve
Paperback: 146 Pages (2010-03-07)
list price: US$23.46 -- used & new: US$23.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 115370255X
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The book has no illustrations or index. Purchasers are entitled to a free trial membership in the General Books Club where they can select from more than a million books without charge. Subjects: Fiction / Mystery ... Read more

11. Cinematic Storytelling: The 100 Most Powerful Film Conventions Every Filmmaker Must Know
by Jennifer Van Sijll
Paperback: 257 Pages (2005-08-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$15.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 193290705X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

What the industry's most succcessful writers and directors have in common is that they have mastered the cinematic conventions specific to the medium.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (38)

4-0 out of 5 stars This Book Really Delivers...
Considering the potentially complex nature of telling stories through pictures, I thought this book delivered wonderfully on the promise of its title. Cinematic storytelling provides a really solid foundation with regard to understanding some of the most commonly used conventions in filmmaking. I particularly enjoyed the presentation of the imagery used to illustrate the correlation between the technical aspects of framing shots and the resulting emotional impact they can achieve. Really just a great lesson in the visual artistry inherent to the craft. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone wanting to further hone their filmmaking skills.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Resource For Film Students
After reading CINEMATIC STORYTELLING, my colleague and I decided to order it for an intermediate filmmaking class for Buffalo State College's Television and Film Arts program.Our program is all about developing great storytellers.To that end, we were looking for a book that could help our students bring their scripts to life.The examples given in this book beautifully illustrate the thought processes of some of our greatest filmmakers and are a wonderful tool to help budding filmmakers storyboard their scripts and make impactful films.

4-0 out of 5 stars Filmmaking Bible
My husband (whom I bought the book for) insists the only thing I needed to say about this book is that it is the bona-fide Bible of filmmaking.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for understanding the art if cinematic storytelling.
This is a fantastic book for anyone wanting to understand the art of cinematic storytelling. I have been doing production for over 18 years and was able to either reconfirm what I already know along with be reminded of what I forgot. This book is formatted to easily digest the concepts. Fred Meek - MindBOX Video Productions Austin, TX [...]

5-0 out of 5 stars An amazing resource
I stumbled on this book almost b yaccident - and thank goodness! It has guided my own films and videos and those of my students ever since. You can flip to any page in this, or run start to finish, and quickly and easily expand your visual storytelling skills. This is a "can't miss" book ! ... Read more

12. On Directing Film
by David Mamet
Paperback: 128 Pages (1992-01-01)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$6.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140127224
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
From a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright comes invaluable insights and practical instructions on the art of film directing. Mamet looks at every aspect of directing--from script to cutting room--and draws from a wide variety of sources to make his points.Amazon.com Review
According to David Mamet, a film director must, above allthings, think visually. Most of this instructive and funny book iswritten in dialogue form and based on film classes Mamet taught atColumbia University. He encourages his students to tell their storiesnot with words, but through the juxtaposition of uninflectedimages. The best films, Mamet argues, are composed of simpleshots. The great filmmaker understands that the burden of cinematicstorytelling lies less in the individual shot than in the collectivemeaning that shots convey when they are edited together. Mamet borrowsmany of his ideas about directing, writing, and acting from Russianmasters such as Konstantin Stanislavsky, Sergei M. Eisenstein, andVsevelod Pudovkin, but he presents his material in so delightful andlively a fashion that he revitalizes it for the contemporary reader. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (31)

5-0 out of 5 stars Film School in a book
Just the same Sergio Leone's ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST teaches everything there is to know on how to make a movie, writer/director Mamet shares his know-how on the medium in this insightful but direct manual on how to present drama in a film and come out alive from it. Absolutely essential.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dogmatic but fun - and useful
Of the hundreds of 'How To' books on movie making - or mostly screenwriting - this slim volume is succinct, provocative, dogmatic (as only Mamet is dogmatic), witty and more use than twenty texts on 'the rules'.It contains no doubt edited lectures to Colombia students - and sometime the students' too hasty responses.Although it's called 'On Directing Film', it is possibly of more use to writers in terms of what is necessary in a piece of screen storytelling and what is redundant dead wood.Mamet's ideas on 'backstory' and exposition - unnecessary - for instance, are radical, but his funny examples of how 'explaining' kills narrative drive are worth considering.Some may object that if one were to follow Mamet's principles, one would end up with a Mamet movie - that is, something less than a box office smash.But that is not the point.The point is to cause one to question one's own work and that can't be a bad thing.

4-0 out of 5 stars Do as I say
In this extremely short book composed of a series of lectures he gave in 1990, screenwriter turned director David Mamet puts forth his approach to directing. At the time he directed two films - "House of Games" (1987) and "Things Change" (1988). He would go on to make several more - "Homicide" (1991), "Oleanna" (1994), "The Spanish Prisoner" (1997), "The Winslow Boy" (1999), "Catastrophe" (2000), "State and Main" (2000), "Heist" (2001), "Spartan" (2004), and "Redbelt" (2008).

For none of his dozen films as a director has he received any award or nomination, although his work as a screenwriter has received many awards, including two best screenplay Oscar and Golden Globe nominations ("Way the Dog", "The Verdict") and 4 WGA nominations ("The Verdict", "The Untouchables", "Glengarry Glen Ross", and "Wag the Dog"). Films he wrote and directed never got an award/nomination for directing, but did receive acknowledgement for the writing, such as "House of Games", "The Spanish Prisoner", and "Homicide".

In the book, Mamet criticizes actors who bring more to the scene than the simple desire to follow the action. This seems like a strange recommendation for a director who frequently uses such actors as Ricky Jay, J.T. Walsh and Joe Mantagna, although we can see his model actor in people like William Macy and Alec Baldwin whom he also uses repeatedly.

It's also interesting to note that Mamet maintains that the best directing is done by juxtaposing visual images which is something we expect from John Ford or Michael Mann, but certainly not from a director whose main trademark is his powerful use of dialogue. Only in his last film, Redbelt, has he displayed his commitment to the visual in the manner that one would expect from this book.

Despite the contradictions, the book is interesting to examine Mamet's professed approach to directing circa 1990. It's well written and several pages involve actual transcripts of teaching sessions which I found instructive and worthwhile.

5-0 out of 5 stars Must reading for anyone who wants to direct
Ignore the advice here at your peril.David Mamet has a forty-year career in the theater and in film because he KNOWS THINGS.In his books, like this one, he shares THOSE THINGS.

Any intelligent reader picks the grain and leaves the chaff behind.You don't have to direct your actors to be "wooden" or "stilted."In fact, he never asks you to, not even in his equally excellent book on acting (/True and False/).If you are wise, however, you do consider what the shot means, how it is a unit of the scene, how to tell the story efficiently with action - in short, you master the vital parts of filmmaking FIRST.

This isn't a technical manual - lots of good ones already exist - but a provocative, and therefore challenging, attempt to address the underlying principles behind making a film. If more film schools insisted their students master these concepts (yes, I have a friend who went through the directing program at AFI), we'd have less dreck at the cineplex.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
The most important thing to learn about directing from this book is that it's all about the story. Mamet summed it up succinctly and profoundly. The book is quite short, and I read it in one day. So, if you're looking for a wordy, authoritative tome, this is not the book for you. If you want a book that will clarify the director's role and put you on the road to refining your skills, this is the book for you. ... Read more

13. Michael Caine - Acting in Film: An Actor's Take on Movie Making (The Applause Acting Series) Revised Expanded Edition
by Caine
Paperback: 168 Pages (2000-02-01)
list price: US$16.99 -- used & new: US$10.14
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1557832773
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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A master actor who's appeared in an enormous number of films, starring with everyone from Nicholson to Kermit the Frog, Michael Caine is uniquely qualified to provide his view of making movies. This new revised and expanded edition features great photos throughout, with chapters on: Preparation, In Front of the Camera - Before You Shoot, The Take, Characters, Directors, On Being a Star, and much more."Remarkable material ... A treasure ... I'm not going to be looking at performances quite the same way ... FASCINATING!"- Gene Siskel ... Read more

Customer Reviews (39)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wish I had read this book when I first arrived in Los Angeles.
This is a terrific book that is more about the business of acting than revealing any kind of technique for the actor's performance -- but it's a great book that I have highly recommended to anyone interested in an acting career. It's obvious to me that one of the reasons that Michael Caine works so much is that he has an unparalleled work ethic. It's apparent that he is a true soldier for the production company that hires him. What producer wouldn't want to hire Michael Caine after reading his book?
I wish I had read this book when I first arrived in Los Angeles to become an actor. It would have saved me a lot of problems, a lot of migraine headaches, and a lot of grief generated through trial and error (mostly error).

Jesse Vint

author of "A Film Actor's Handbook"

It is a wonderful acting class.Especially good for people with training in theatre and are starting to act on the camera.
I think this is a must have for an actor.
Michael Caine is not only a great actor; also he is a wonderful teacher.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good book for aspiring actors
A very entertaining, short, helpful, addictive read. I bought this on a whim, and I'm pretty sure it's one of the few (if not the only) successful blind book purchase(s) I've made (Da Vinci Code, anyone? blegh). I read it straight through from start to finish, and will probably reference back to it in the future. Whether you are an actor or just interested, this book is great, from a great. I gotta say, Michael Caine is pretty extraordinary and consistent. Then again, I suppose he could have written a pamphlet on hard drive installation and it would be every bit as truthful, direct, and easy to read. Michael Caine knows the film business, he knows what he is talking about. I learned so much from reading his book. This is the type of book that I could continue to read and discover great treasures each time.

5-0 out of 5 stars As an Acting Coach this IS the #1 tool
Michael Caine gives the truth about acting and the tools to practice your technique that work 100% of the time. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to remove anything false about the "how to's" in performing. I have an entire collection of books and have written two. This by far is simply the best...with no stoppers on being a success.

5-0 out of 5 stars great read
This is a great read and has lots of info for both the working and hopeful actor.If you're serious about the craft, read this book.

Mr. Caine's anectdotes and advice is both useable and enjoyable.I had put his advice into practice days before filming an episode.While on set, his words rang true countless times, and made the days shoot far more productive to say the least.

This book sits among my favorites, along side Moss' "Intent to live".

... Read more

14. Getting the Money: A Step-By-Step Guide for Writing Business Plans for Film
by Jeremy Juuso
Paperback: 240 Pages (2009-10-01)
list price: US$26.95 -- used & new: US$16.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1932907645
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Filmmakers interested in financing their own films have to start with a business plan. Few know how to put one together. Getting the Money gives a relaxed, step-by-step approach on how to do so. Of particular use are the financial sections where, for the first time, readers are guided on exactly what to do and exactly how to do it, using examples from sample plans. No more vague instructions that amount to hiring someone else. Once finished with the book, readers will have their own plan they can use to attract financing for their films.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (30)

5-0 out of 5 stars Are you a filmmaker with a great idea?
As we learn about the business end of the trade we must read, read and read. This book is a must. Put it on you reading list.
It will demystify the process of writing a business plan. And to be taken seriously you must have a business plan. Either pay someone to do it for you or read this book and learn how to do it yourself.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and concise...
Jeremy takes the process of creating a business plan for film into the tall weeds where the big dogs play. Having the processes, formulae and backing data for all financial projections or assumptions is something every filmmaker must have...and many sadly do not. It's not often that a producer will claim that a twenty dollar book helped make a fifteen million dollar film come together, but it did. Knowledge is power...buy the book.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not for Director or Independent Producers
This book has been a great dissapointment. It is well written, but it is to be understandable only for producers who are familiar with big film industry. Its full of financial charts only a profesinal bussiness man can understand. The production and financial terminology is complex and dense. The synopsis of this book is not well explain on the site, because it gives chance for missunderstanding its subjects, giving the wrong idea that it will explain the path ways to get the money from the inverstors. The word "plan" unfortunately is very ambiguous. I thought this was about a plan of how to reach the inverstors and achieve a proper impression of your film, about how to make a film package, how to present your proyect in film festivals, etc. I'm sad I bought the wrong book.

5-0 out of 5 stars An invaluable resource
I'm not terribly engrossed in the financing of motion pictures, but I have numerous friends who are. I feel very comfortable recommending this book to them for many reasons, not the least of which being that the author has taken the time to provide free financial spreadsheets to aid readers with their plans (whether they buy the book or not). This book clearly comes from someone whose best interest is that the reader completes a high quality plan with a better-than-average chance of raising funds.

J. Hillard
Sherman Oaks, CA

5-0 out of 5 stars Answered questions I didn't even know I had!
I rarely write reviews, but really felt compelled after finishing "Getting the Money".It has been extremely informative, which makes the process of film making much less daunting!The business side of film making is clearly complex, and this book does a great job of explaining all aspects clearly.In this business, you can never be too prepared or informed!Highly Recommended! ... Read more

15. Short Guide to Writing about Film, A (7th Edition)
by Timothy Corrigan
Paperback: 190 Pages (2009-02-05)
list price: US$42.60 -- used & new: US$29.65
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0205668941
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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This best-selling text is a succinct guide to thinking critically and writing precisely about film.


Both an introduction to film study and a practical writing guide, this brief text introduces you to major film theories as well as film terminology, enabling you to write more thoughtfully and critically. With numerous student and professional examples, this engaging and practical guide progresses from taking notes and writing first drafts to creating polished essays and comprehensive research projects. Moving from movie reviews to theoretical and critical essays, the text demonstrates how an analysis of a film can become more subtle and rigorous as part of a compositional process. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Pristine condition, fast shipping, great price.
Amazon offered this book at a fraction of the cost that my school library was asking for it, and it arrived quickly in crisp, brilliant condition.

5-0 out of 5 stars A perfect quick guide
This book provides a brief but descriptive and incredibly helpful insight into the world of film. Perfect for writers and film enthusiasts alike.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great!
Book arrived quickly and was in excellent condition.Pleased with every aspect of the purchase!

5-0 out of 5 stars Good product
Fast delivery great book if your in film school or doing film on your own.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great service
The book turned out to be fine. It came as it was described and overall I am completely satisfied with it's condition. If you are unsure about ordering from this person, I recommend that you do so and I have confidence you will be satisfied. ... Read more

16. The New Biographical Dictionary of Film: Fifth Edition, Completely Updated and Expanded
by David Thomson
Hardcover: 1088 Pages (2010-10-26)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$23.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0307271749
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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David Thomson’s New Biographical Dictionary of Film topped Sight & Sound magazine’s 2010 poll of international critics and writers as the best film book of all time.

Now in its fifth edition, updated, and with more than 130 new entries—from Judd Apatow to Lena Horne—the classic, beloved film book is better than ever.

For thirty-five years, David Thomson’s Biographical Dictionary of Film has been “fiendishly seductive” (Greil Marcus, Rolling Stone), “the finest reference book ever written about movies” (Graham Fuller, Interview), and “not only an indispensable book about cinema, but one of the most absurdly ambitious literary achievements of our time” (Geoff Dyer, The Guardian). For this edition, Thomson has brought up to date and in some case recast the biographies, and has added new ones (Clive Owen, Scarlett Johansson, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Marion Cotillard, for example). The book now includes almost 1,500 entries, some of them just a pungent paragraph, some of them several thousand words long, every one a gem.

Here is a great, rare book that encompasses the chaos of art, entertainment, money, vulgarity, and nonsense that we call the movies. Personal, opinionated, funny, daring, provocative, and passionate, it is the one book that every filmmaker and film buff must own, from the man David Hare called “the most stimulating and thoughtful film critic now writing.” ... Read more

Customer Reviews (46)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Who's Who of Hollywood
David Thomson's THE NEW BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF FILM has been called the greatest bathroom book ever written.
Writing at 1,000 word clips, Thomson opines on every major player in Hollywood's history. His favorites include Robert Mitchem, Anthony Hopkins ("the greatest living actor"), Howard Hawks, and Nicholas Ray. Those he trashes are David Lean (totally unconvincing), Robert Redford, and Tony Scott (utterly convincing). His writing is often vulgar, and at times a little too cute, but like Pauline Kael, he always has something to say and a judgment to be respected. What is amazing in retrospective is the incredible devotion to watching so much film over so many decades with such intensity and discernment. A highly engaging reference book from a first-rate critic.

4-0 out of 5 stars A marvelous though infuriating resource
This book is a marvelous resource. Other people reviewing it here have pointed potential readers away, with the advice that they'll get film reviews elsewhere. They complain that the book is far too opinionated and not objective enough for the name. It seems to me to be a 'biographical dictionary' though, with the title simply a little ponderous, as if the two words were just stuck together (biographies and in alphabetical order...) What we have here is a wonderful tome of essays, rather than simply basic film reviews. The man has in no uncertain terms a great talent for divining the core of these actors and directors, offering believable explanations as to what makes them tick psychologically. Who would have a film guide when they can have these names brought to life before their eyes, by a few well-chosen words (and much insight)? I've been gorging myself on it the last couple of weeks, opening the pages at random and diving in.

Given what I say, there seems to be no reason to dock a star. As with most reviewers here, I dock a star, or two, three or four consistent with the level of hurt I feel at the damning words given to my favourites. When a common-or-garden film guide fails to praise a film that they obviously should, they have few words to do it in, and it's mostly just the number out of five given that is objected to. (Though a complete lack of appreciation for, or absence of, Powell and Pressburger in a recent film guide/history prompts me to immediately place the book back on the library shelf to justifiably gather dust). This book on the other hand, has the space to twist and twist again, the knife in the wound, and after all, that's the strength of Thomson's compendium, that it gets to the innards of its subjects. Thomson gives himself the opportunity to not only be wrong,but to be very wrong. I see it as incisive and well-written rather than opinionated, but like everyone else, believe he is terribly opinionated, when he puts down my favourites.

It was my misfortune to begin the book (and thereafter put it down for a lo-o-ng while until next time) by turning to the section on Charlie Chaplin. It's been fashionable for some years now to not put up with the sentiment within his work (when he gave comedy depth and meaning by including more specifically the life of those at the bottom), but unfortunately Thomson's method doesn't allow for exceptions to the rule, and especially so when faced with icons. So the Mutual years' genius can not possibly be credited as such. For Laurel and Hardy too, Thomson gives a poor showing, wasting time on this occasion by blithely supposing an element of homosexuality (which of course is more of a flashy eye-opener than plain misogyny) rather than looking at their great work.

On other occasions, he admits to being ignorant of the films of a director before proceeding to dismiss them, which does down the medium he has obviously spent so much time on (see Maurice Tournier). Thomson appears to have little comprehension of wild, unruly and inventive fantasy, apparently finding it offensive to his very being (see Coen's brothers' Hudsucker Proxy; "travesty" I think he said!) He will often stick 'brilliant' or even 'magnificent' in front of an unknown film, which will turn out to to be justifiably unknown. (See Philip Seymour Hoffman's unchanging troubled expression and huffing in 'Owning Mahowney'.) He can never be said to be a snob however, which has been accused of him by other reviewers. See the section on Eddie Murphy for example, for someone that no film snob who would buy this book could like.

If the reader can (eventually) get passed his obviously utterly mistaken take on Chaplin/Fellini/John Ford etc etc, then this book is as I said, a marvelous resource.

3-0 out of 5 stars Some Real Insight mixed with a lot of " Bile and Blather"
I have picked this 2004 version of this book up and put it down [mostly infuriated} more times than I've got hairs on my head so for its kind it must be {in my case}at least provocative. He has made me reevaluate for the worse [amoung others} Frank Capra's, Paul Muni's Lauren Bacall's,Humphrey Bogart's, Emil Janning's and John Ford's overall bodies of work and I found myself agreeing with some of his views - against my will, in particular in Bogart's case. As a fan of Gary Cooper and William Holden I found his reviews on them "right on the button" yet tinged with the sadness of their physical decline that brought out their humanity and vuneralbility - very nicely done. Actors and Actresses that I would have expected him to "boil alive"- studio made contract stars such as Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, Virginia Mayo, Gene Tierney, Paulette Goddard, Linda Darnell, Cornell Wilde, Ann Harding and Jane Russell he was more than fair to with his reviews and even liked some of them !!!! While I'm not in love with Cary Grant and Howard Hawks as he is, nevertheless I found his pieces on them interesting - Grant never appealed to me much because of the nasty edge under the charm but now Mr.Thompson has made me rethink this actors appeal - in this case " to the better" .The piece on C.Chaplin was harsh and almost bitter yet I felt it caught his essential strenghts and weaknesses better than some of the biographies I've read. The piece on Johnny Carson was probaly the best thing in the whole book - he professes to like and even admire Carson while Thompson is really full of loathing for the Tonite show format,its success andits "simplistic" audience - he wants to appear to be spilt on this but definitely leans towards "loathing" !! HOWEVER, his prejudice against the Metro Goldwyn Mayer studio {and his distaste for their movies} starting with Irving Thalberg, to its producers, directors and stars is very obvious - Roz Russell, Clarence Brown, Sidney Franklin, King Vidor, Greer Garson, L.B.Mayer, Gene Kelly, John Gilbert, Vera Ellen, Sam Wood, Agnes Moorhead,it is like he has to hold his nose in detailing their careers because they smell so bad!!! His distaste for Norma Shearer seems almost personal despite her 5 oscar nominations and one win and his opinion is fortunately becoming an obsolete and minority view thanks to Mick Lasalle among others. Calling Robert Taylor "a minor journeyman player" who by some miracle was popular is a ridiculous opinion. Robert Taylor was for 25 years a major leading man {in the 30s, 40s and 50s} with many box office hits and star appeal for men and women so the author's contention appears to be his personnel prejudice and petty spite - no matinee idol survivesfor 25 years as a major star who is a journeyman talent. When judging MGM he makes the most common critics mistake, Thalberg and Mayer were making movies for the audiences of their era {and was the most profitable studio for much of the era} -not for cranky old critics in 2004-2010 - AND they were the studio that in that era towered above the others. He liked Jimmy Steward and Edward Arnold and could tolerate Lana Turner without holding his nose - thats something anyway !!!. His dislike and disdain for William Wyler and George Stevens is beyond my comprehension espiscally in Wylers case look at Wylers film resume - Dodsworth, Jezebel, Wuthering Heights, The Letter, The Little Foxes Mrs Miniver, The Heiress etc what a film legacy !!!. He has his opinions,likes, dislikes and however wrong he may be - it is his book. However, in my view where he really goes off the rails is his wrong headed and hostile attitude towards the art of the silent cinema and its players. His hostility snd contempt for Lillian Gish, Emil Jannings, Mae Marsh, John Gilbert, Mary Pickford and Gloria Swanson amoung others is hard for me to swallow and he is dead wrong in his opinions.The author seems to have "a Grudge" against "good box male office bets" and matinee idols - he skewers Tyrone Power and George Brent and is barely tolerable of Ronald Colman. His diatribe on Bob Hope has more to do with his distaste for Hope being a conservative republican and he says little in a constructive sense about his work, box office success or strenghts as a comedian / actor - I doubt very much whether the incident he details is true about Hope being rattled by heckling !!! The author has a big chip of liberal political correctness on his shoulder along with a lot of incorrect assumptions and for these reasons I can give this book a halfhearted recommendation and a 2 1/2 Star rating.

I enjoy browsing through this book, but I often find myself in vehement disagreement with its author, David Thomson. I find many of his comments annoying. For instance, he dismisses Fellini's La Strada with a single disparaging sentence: "a desperately portentous film, laboriously drawing a trite humanist message." He calls La Dolce Vita "sluggish." Those who like it he dismisses as "facile spectators . . . It is a glib intelligence that can find any gravity" in the ending of La Dolce Vita, Thomson claims. (Anybody who likes the ending must take that comment almost as a personal insult, as I did.) The entry on Fellini only gets harsher. I'm going to simply quote because it shows Thomson's style. He uses words and phrases like "degenerate . . . chattering infantile crowd . . . empty talent . . . wearisome . . . undeveloped . . . . smarmy." He finally sums Fellini up thus: "Fascinated by ugliness and grotesques, he expresses himself on film without grace . . . There are no characters in Fellini's work, only caricatures . . . Fellini was an obsessional, vacuous poseur . . . a half-baked, playacting pessimist, with no capacity for tragedy . . . [Fellini is] doodling in chaos . .I wonder how many fervent admirers he has today?"Anybody who likes Fellini -- last time I checked, there were many admirers -- might be tempted to throw Thomson's book out the window. Woody Allen is another director that comes under fire. Watching an Allen film, Thomson writes, is like "being trapped in an elevator with people who talk too much." It's not all negative, though; directors Thomson praises include Robert Bresson and Jean-Luc Godard. His entries on actors follow the same pattern: excessively scathing when he hates something, and full of interesting observations when he's in a better mood. Do I recommend this book? Only if you don't mind Thomson's style, of which I've hopefully given you a taste. He sounds quite bitter at times. I like that he starts off every entry with a list of a particular person's film credits, sorted by year.

3-0 out of 5 stars Compelling read, but....
This is an interestingly paradoxical book, fascinating and well-written, but questionable in its balance.It ranges from funny to (unnecessarily) vulgar (see the entry for Clara Bow), and I find myself compelled to continue reading far beyond the point when I need to put it down. Unfortunately, even his complements are couched in negativity.It's a must-read book, but in the end, the book itself offers a portrait of an imaginative writer who is more apt at basking in the self-illuminating glow of his own intellectuality than at any balanced evaluation of the people and films he writes about. ... Read more

17. Complete Guide to Film Scoring (Berklee Guide)
by Richard Davis
Paperback: 416 Pages (2010-05-19)
list price: US$27.99 -- used & new: US$16.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0876391099
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Essential for anyone interested in the business, process and procedures of writing music for film or television, this book teaches the Berklee approach to the art, covering topics such as: preparing and recording a score, contracts and fees, publishing, royalties, copyrights and much more. Features interviews with 21 top film-scoring professionals, including Michael Kamen, Alf Clausen, Alan Silvestri, Marc Shaiman, Mark Snow, Harry Gregson-Williams and Elmer Bernstein. Now updated with info on today's latest technology, and invaluable insights into finding work in the industry. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (23)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
The perfect book if you're looking for an introduction to film scoring.And it's very up to date with the latest movies and technology.

5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT INSIGHT
A great little book on the elements that make up the film scoring business. Although it's mostly centered around the Los Angeles scene, its information gives a fresh and industry relevant insight into all aspects of the process behind film music. It reminds one of the harsh realities and time constraints a modern day composer faces when scoring for film (even harsher for television). There is a small section on creative process, but those looking for a guide to composing for film should look elsewhere as this mainly touches on the technicalities of creating music keeping budgets and time constraints in mind. Explanations of the different roles people hold in the music department and their interconnecting relationships are very interesting, especially working with directors. This book basically covers the lot and opens aspiring composers to the inner workings of the film music business. I'm glad I got it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great intro into the world of film scoring
This book is a very good introduction to the Film scoring business both from a musical point of view as well as business oriented.the only downside is that it was written in 1998-1999
which makes it a bit outdated but still highly recommended reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great For Begginers
All l ever want to know about the crew, the composer, the industry of the score's films you can find it in this book. I've read it whole in 5-6 day. I'm from Montblanc, Catalonia, Spain and However my english its not very well this book pick me upfrom the begin to the end. Great, great, great. And in some passages it's very very honest and Helpfull to put a price in something as etereal as music. Thank's

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Have!
I had a hard time getting through this the first time 4 years ago. However, I just read it in its entirety and it is well worth the wait. Now, having committed fully to a career in film and TV composing, it makes complete sense. This is a more comprehensive and academic reference book for scoring but it covers the basics very well. I suggest reading this along with a few more like Bellis' "Emerging Composer" and others. Be patient with it and it'll serve its purpose. ... Read more

18. Film Art: An Introduction with Tutorial CD-ROM
by David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson
Paperback: 576 Pages (2006-11-27)
-- used & new: US$56.14
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0073310271
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Film is an art form with a language and an aesthetic all its own. Since 1979, David Bordwell's and Kristin Thompson's Film Art has been the best-selling and widely respected introduction to the analysis of cinema. While it continues to provide the best introduction to the fundamentals of serious film study, the eighth edition has been revised be more classroom friendly by introducing film techniques earlier in the text, followed by the chapters on Film Genres. Supported by a text-specific Tutorial CD-ROM with video clips, Film Art is automatically packagedwith this outstanding student learning tool. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars Money back
I orderd Film Art: An Introduction with Tutorial CD-ROM here at amazon earlier this summer. Tree weeks later, as agread upon, I got the book in the mail. It looked shabby and I did not get the tutorial cd. On the cover it says nothing about a tutorial cd, but the second last page is ripped out. I told the seller that they must have sendt me the wrong book, and a used one. They apologiced and refunded all my expences. Its sad that I didnt get the cd, but I got a book for free and that is good service.

5-0 out of 5 stars good quality
The book I bought is in very good quality and it actually arrived before the date said in the email.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Product
I need this book for uni and the semester hasn't begun yet so i cannot tell you about the actual book. However, i can tell you this is a fantastic second hand copy which is in great condition. It also contains the learning CD so you should feel very confident buying from this seller.

5-0 out of 5 stars For Film Buffs!
This book goes through the basics into the intermediate stages of understanding film. The pages are bright and the text is very interesting. I read most of this textbook for fun. The specific reference films are good ones so you won't mind watching them(which I highly suggest anyway). The pacing is great and the topics covered include film art and how to understand what you're watching as well as some technical aspects. I learned quite a bit in the 1st chapter alone - this is what a textbook should be like!

1-0 out of 5 stars Very confusing and difficult to comprehend
One of the worst text books I have ever had the displeasure of reading. The text very confusing and often difficult to comprehend. If you are required to read this book for a Film class, I pity you. ... Read more

19. The Film Noir Encyclopedia
by Alain Silver, Elizabeth Ward, James Ursini, Robert Porfirio
Hardcover: 464 Pages (2010-05-13)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$27.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1590201442
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Enter the world of film noir, a world of darkness, ambiguity, and moral corruption. Meet the cynical and obsessive heroes of film noir portrayed by actors like Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, James Cagney, Joan Crawford, and Bette Davis. You may encounter a gun-toting gangster, a femme fatale wrapped in fur, a detective with the brim of his hat turned down, or a desperate murderer lurking in the shadows of a doorway. It's a world we all know - the seedy underbelly of the American Dream, and every bit as much a part of our culture.

This wonderfully exhaustive text - tallying more than three hundred thousand words with hundreds of film stills and photos new to the work - distills everything about the movement into one volume from movies to stars to themes and motifs, and brings us up to date with contemporary contributions to the movement. Now completely revised, expanded, and redesigned, this classic pioneering work is the final word on a dark subject. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars film noir: the dark side of hollywood
Best film noir reference I have found or read, including the old edition of this book. Highly recommended.

3-0 out of 5 stars Great subject, sloppy writing
I was exhilarated to discover that The Film Noir Encyclopedia had been revised and updated because this classic work is among the best reference books in the field of noir.Its offerings were plenty including a new section called "neo-noir." I eagerly cracked open the book seeking scintillating essays upon my favorite films written by those far more knowledgeable than myself.Instead, I found several factually incorrect essays marred by sloppy writing.

It is evident that the proofreaders and editors of this book were asleep at the wheel by failing to catch the multitude of factual errors contained in the essays.A far superior reference to film noir is The Film Noir Guide by Michael F. Keaney.Keaney's articles are smartly written and include a rating for each film. The Film Noir Encyclopedia's editors are undeniably the experts in the field thus my expectations were high but were quickly dashed by the bland essays written by lesser known talents who contributed essays to this book.Eddie Muller needs to write a reference book on this subject.

4-0 out of 5 stars A classic reference updated
I received my copy of the FNE 4th Edition last week.I was anxious to see what had been changed since the 1993 publication of the 3rd edition. They do seem to have addressed the plot synopses errors from previous edtions.

When I study the FNE 4th titles, they have now included some sci-fi titles - not sure how noir they really are: THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951), INVADERS FROM MARS (1953), THEM! (1954) + INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956) which was listed by Keaney (Film Noir Guide, 2003) & Selby (Dark City: The Film Noir, 2004).They have also added a number ofwesterns which had previously only been listed by Keaney:THE OX-BOW INCIDENT (1943), JOHNNY GUITAR (19540, RANCHO NOTORIOUS (1952), BLOOD ON THE MOON (1948) [also listed by Selby], DEVIL'S DOORWAY (1950) [also listed by Selby], NAKED SPUR (1954) [also listed by Duncan] (Film Noir: Films of Trust & Betrayal, 2003), RAMROD (1947) [also listed by Duncan]. Westerns not previously listed by the referenced sources are: DUEL IN THE SUN (1946) & I SHOT JESSE JAMES 1949). They also added the Ida Lupino directed film THE BIGAMIST (1953) to their list.

I don't have any real problem with these new titles, but I was very surprised at some that they dropped, such as MINISTRY OF FEAR (1944), THE TATTOOED STRANGER (1950), BLACK TUESDAY (1954) & THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962).Well - maybe I do have a problem - don't understand dropping a film like MINISTRY OF FEAR and then adding some very marginal titles instead.

5-0 out of 5 stars Knowing Noir
Overlook's Film Noir Encyclopedia Fills in the Shadows

Man, do I dig it when a plan comes together. When that plan wasn't even a plan to begin with and it comes together by accident, well, hell, that's even more diggable.

Take last Friday. I open my front door to find a package bearing Overlook's ultrafine Film Noir: The Encyclopedia ($45). I'd put in a request for a review copy some weeks back and had been itchy with anticipation ever since. And why wouldn't I be? I mean, I'm the kinda cat who's either watching film noir or attempting to re-create it in real life, and it's a cinch I'd wanna get my mitts on something that covers the subject in such depth.

Anyway, as I say, the book arrives. Thrill enough in itself for a shady guy like me. But then when I sashay out to my mailbox I find that the thrill has been compounded by Netflix. Yep, you guessed it, they'd kindly sent along some noir of their own. In fact, it was Where Danger Lives, one of the feistiest films in the genre. And it came backed by another dark little ditty called Tension.

Naturally I was psyched, doubly psyched, and keen to see if either of the above got any play in my new Encyclopedia. I shouldn't have questioned the premise. Not only are both flicks well covered in the book, but Danger gets its own six pages of duly explained sequence shots. That's right, shot-by-shots of "fugitive couple" Jeff Cameron (played by Robert Mitchum) and Margo Lannington (Faith Domergue) -- first before some roly-poly Alice in a back-alley burlesque; second, getting shaken down in a carny kingpin's office; and third, in four groupings, coming unhinged in some fleabag hotel room while they wait to make their escape to Mexico.

I tell ya, it was enough to make me flip my proverbial lid.

If this Encyclopedia would do all this for one of Mitch's lesser known noirs, what would it do for more famous flicks such as Crossfire, Macao, Out of the Past and The Racket?

Turns out, a lot. All four of the aforementioned are thoroughly covered as well, though not nearly as thoroughly as Danger. Perhaps that's because two of the four authors of the Encyclopedia handle Danger's "commentary." Or maybe it's just that the flick is held in higher esteem than I ever imagined. It was some kinda wonderful. And if noted noir ops Alain Silver and Elizabeth Ward see fit to give the flick major play, who am I to argue?

Indeed, Silver and Ward, and their encyclopedic colleagues, James Ursini and Robert Porfirio, have their mitts on just about all the noir out there, from each Film Noir Reader that's been fit to print, to every flick ever to be reissued. In other words, these four have cornered the market on shadows and fog. And they're undoubtedly the most informed film noir historians working today.

Of course noir didn't begin or end with Mitchum, nor did it stop with the dissolution of black-and-white, and Film Noir: The Encyclopedia fills you in on what came before and after, be it back in noir's heyday or in its more recent neo-noir incarnations. And the book does so with wily eye for detail.

There's a good reason why noir continues to be watched and studied and celebrated: It takes us to places where but for the grace of a god each and every one of us could easily go. Dark, dreary and dangerous places, dig? -- where the risk of death is all too real and the thrill of life is ever present. That the form just happens to do all this with a certain style only makes it that much more compelling.

If you dig noir (and you should), then you'd do well to have this handbook by your side while you're digging it. Besides, even the loneliest walk alone needs a guide every once in a while.

From Bound: SunPost Weekly May 6, 2010

5-0 out of 5 stars With a thoroughly 'user friendly' format and all inclusive content
'Film Noir' is a French phrase used to describe a particular genre of movies -- dark explorations of the human condition, a cinematic world largely populated by hard-boiled detectives, ruthless gangsters, and deadly but beautiful women. Knowledgeably compiled and expertly edited by the team of Alain Silver, Elizabeth Ward, James Ursini, and Robert Porfirio, "Film Noir: The Encyclopedia" is a comprehensive, nicely illustrated, 464-page compilation that organizes the film into 'The Classic Period' and the 'Neo-Noir' productions. In addition to listing the films in each section alphabetically, "Film Noir" includes numerous sidebars, an extensive bibliography, and a comprehensive index. With its thoroughly 'user friendly' format and all inclusive content, "Film Noir" is strongly recommended for personal, professional, academic, and community library Theatre/Cinema reference collections. ... Read more

20. How Not to Make a Short Film: Secrets from a Sundance Programmer
by Roberta Marie Munroe
Paperback: 288 Pages (2009-01-20)
list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$8.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1401309542
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

"Roberta Munroe is that rare person in the film world who can not only recognize an inspired, great film, but she can actually help you make one."
--Mark Duplass, Sundance and SXSW award-winning filmmaker.

"Roberta Munroe is brilliant. Her advice and insights on our project, The Tribe, from rough cut to completed film were instrumental and invaluable to its success. It is exciting to think that all filmmakers will have access to her incredible mind and experience through this book."
--Tiffany Shlain, award-winning filmmaker

Anyone can make a short film, right? Just grab some friends and your handheld and you can do it in a weekend or two before being accepted to a slew of film festivals, right?


Roberta Munroe screened short film submissions at Sundance for five years, and is an award-winning short filmmaker in her own right. So she knows a thing or two about how not to make a short film. From the first draft of your script to casting, production, editing, and distribution, this is your one-stop primer for breaking into the business. Featuring interviews with many of today's most talented writers, producers, and directors, as well as revealing stories (e.g., what to do when the skinhead crack addict next door begins screaming obscenities as soon as you call "action") from the sets of her own short films, Roberta walks you through the minefield of mistakes that an aspiring filmmaker can make--so that you don't have to make them yourself.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

3-0 out of 5 stars Not bad
I was going to rate this book lower but decided I should read the other reviews first for a refresher and what might have been good. I've been reading a lot of books about filmmaking recently and thought I may be acting unfairly towards Munroe. Turns out, I was. I read this book shortly after finishing 'Shooting to Kill' by Christine Vachon. Compared to that book (which could use an updating, a point Munroe wins on), HNTMASF feels very "outsider looking in." That's my real complaint about this book. It feels mostly an appeal to authority to her friends rather than a first person, "This is how we did it" like Vachon's book. I couldn't tell you how many times her friend Steak House is quoted or how many times her website is listed (www.steakhaus.com) but, after a point, you might just wish you were reading their book and getting insight into their professional, first-person experiences.

As a standalone book, this isn't that bad. It only feels less significant when compared to another book but that's entirely unfair to do. Would I still sooner recommend 'Shooting to Kill'? Yes. Would I discourage someone from reading 'HNTMASF'? Not at all! This is like a lighter version from the perspective of someone who fully acknowledges that your best course of action is to surround yourself with people that know the details better. That's her advice for your crew and it's what she puts into practice for the book!

The book covers a ton of subjects and aspects about filmmaking and Munroe uses the people she knows that know that stuff better than she does to explain it all. I hope that made sense. With that in mind, Munroe sometimes feels like she's directing traffic and steering the chapter toward someone's significant passage on a subject so, occasionally, the flow and progression of the book didn't work for me. Also, when she's got too much on a subject, the chapters feel like they're lingering until everyone has had a chance to say their piece.

Now, I did say that the point Munroe gets is for being more modern than Vachon. Vachon's book was published in 1998, I believe, so it's more a matter of that book predating technology rather than it not being covered. Munroe has it in there, but it's still such an emerging space that I'm not sure it's all that valuable.

There are a few things that are entertaining, like the list of cliches in short films, but I imagine that's available online and fwd'd around by film students like mad anyway.

A significant amount of the book is reference websites for everything under the sun. I might say that that's the real goldmine of the book. That and she tells you why not to bother with a fancy case, DVD menu or literature when you're submitting your film to a film festival. I won't spoil the ending by telling you why though. For that, you'll need to buy the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent guide for any independent filmmaker
The information in this book is stuff you need to know as a filmmaker. Reading this will help you make better films and feel more secure about the process that goes into making that possible. Your creativity and artistry is something you will have to bring to the table, but if you follow Roberta Munroe's advice you will be a few steps further on the path to success. You will get more value than the cost of this book and you would be a fool not to read it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Insightful
As cinematic artists, how do we know when an idea really hits a mark? Sure, we're going from our gut, it feels intense, it feels captivating. We're ready to invest thousands of dollars and turn it into a short film. What we don't know is that thousands of other filmmakers have gone from the same emotional gut and have recycled the same ideas over and over ad nauseam and make the same consistent mistakes. How does the inexperienced filmmaker get out of these common pitfalls and start making good decisions? Roberta Munroe's book provides solid, practical information that gets us back on the right path.

5-0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ for Any Aspiring Filmmaker!
Roberta Munroe's book, "How Not to Make a Short Film," provides hundreds of helpful tips from well-known filmmakers, producers, festival programmers, and distributors in the industry. Munroe's book is a page turner that I could not put down. It is encouraging , full of great wit, humor, and resources.

This is a "must read" for any aspiring filmmaker. The information and tips provided are invaluable and sure to take any aspiring filmmaker's career to the next level.Don't miss out on this book!!! It is one to cherish, keep, and hold, as you seek to manifest your dreams in the film industry.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is fantastic!
This book has all the information you need to know! A must have for any filmmaker.* ... Read more

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