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Recommended books, ask for your input
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  • +1 for Grammar of the film language.

  • Interesting topic, this. I'll definitely pick up some of these! Here are some books I have gained a lot from:

    • Film Production Theory (Jean-Pierre Geuens)
      • You won't learn much technical stuff from it, but it's a great critique and breakdown of modern filmmaking.
    • On Filmmaking (Alexander Mackendrick)
      • There's so much to learn from this, both for beginners and pros. It focuses on dramatic construction (how to build a good story) and film grammar (shot relationships, etc.).
    • Directing Actors (Judith Weston)
      • Invaluable advice on directing actors. I reccomend taking notes while reading it, as it contains a huge amount of good tips. Tips and tricks from this book have saved me in difficult shooting situations before!
    • The Five C's of Cinematography (Joseph V. Mascelli)
      • A well-known and often reccomended introduction to cinematography. The C's are Camera angles, Continuity, Cutting, Close-ups and Composition.
    • Cinematography Theory and Practice, Second Edition (Blain Brown)
      • While I feel I may have learnt more from some other books about this subject, this is still a thorough book on cinematography. Unlike older books like "The Five C's", this book also includes information on shooting digital, and it includes a dvd with useful video footage.
    • Acting in Film (Michael Caine)
      • A humorous book about the actor's role in a film production. Very different from the other books on this list, but an interesting read.
  • And how about more specific books about areas where money actually are present?

    I mean corporative films, professional interviews, weddings, etc.. May be some marketing for small firms.@VK

    I think that possibly the books regarding lighting would be good for interviews... Ironically most corporate clients now days want "AVATAR" - so great cinematic language books are a must... As for weddings- I thought that was a contact sport? Maybe some sort of great sportsman's biog?

    For marketing I would suggest reading ALL of Malcolm Gladwell's books... so many insights into marketing,.. and saleability, as most of the time one has to work out 'what' one is selling- then everything falls into place...

  • @Isaac_B

    Thanks for your input.

  • Wim Wenders:

    The Act of Seeing

    The Logic of Images

    Sorry, these are for when money is not present ; ) Not so practical on camera techniques, but still a good inspiration i think since technique without thought process is just as mechanical as the camera itself :)

    I have a few more of these but not sure if off topic.

  • I know I'd like to hear em, luxis. I didn't start the topic or anything and I'm only speaking for me, but I'm far more interested in the aesthetic/philosophy/theory side, the personal view, I suppose, and don't care to ever crack open another technical rag, or the professional view, I suppose. (not that they're not worth it, but if you don't understand basic film grammar, I wonder if you haven't seen many movies, since 90 percent of them all look and sound exactly the same. Best way to learn: Watch - Shoot. (the "Stanley Kubrick film school.") Just watch Godard's "Notre Musique" for all the discussion of shot/counter shot you'll ever need, and then dive into "Histoires du Cinema". Cuts down on the reading! More fun! I'm kidding, but....) Now the Gladwell angle, and all the marketing stuff, that's the fuck-me-swinging side, I suppose. Yikes. But that's what's cool about this site. Pretty all encompassing. (and we gotta keep "Sculpting In Time" on top folks! Even if the English translation is a little iffy...)

  • Doy, I got myself so sidetracked on that dumb rant I forgot why I was posting, which was to recommend Nestor Almendros' A Man With A Camera.

  • I made ​​a list of nominations, to see the preferred books:

    Sculpting in Time - 6 nominations

    The filmmaker´s eye - 4 nominations

    Cinematography theory and practice - 4 nominations

    In the blink of an eye - 4 nominations

    Master shots vol.2 - 3 nominations

    Film Directing shot by shot - 3 nominations

    Grammar of the Film Language - 3 nominations

    Notes on the Cinematographer - 3 nominations

    What is cinema - 2 nominations

    Filmmaker´s handbook - 2 nominations

    The visual story - 2 nominations

    The five C´s - 2 nominations

    Truffaut - 2 nominations

    Film Directing Fundamentals - 2 nominations

    Painting with Light - 2 nominations

    On Filmmaking - 2 nominations

    Updated at July 24

  • Definitely Painting with Light by the legendary John Alton. Other brilliant books:

    Notes on the Cinematographer - Bresson

    Sculpting in Time - Tarkovsky

    Hitchcock - Truffaut

    Film Directing Fundamentals - Nicholas Proferes

    The Five C's - Joseph Mascelli

    Cinematic Storytelling - Jennifer van Sijll

  • Caspar Neher by John Willet

  • Words from the master.

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  • Really liked this eBook as a screenwriter/ really good guide into the best Agencies to submit too when submitting work etc.


  • Are there any recommanded books or ebooks about

    • Documentary in general and editing/cut
    • Wildlife & Nature

    If anyone knows aswell a good forum/webpage about Documentary/Wildlife/Outdoor filming, I would appreaciate a link. So many things only about hollywood style movies, but didnt find much about the mentioned examples.

  • Bresson's notes on the cinematographer is awesome! its like a collection of Haikus on film making. Its like yoda talking about making films.

    I liked sculpting in time a lot, too. But like Tarkovskys films, which are among my favourites, its often abstract, full of metaphysical stuff. While Bresson is like a straight arrow.

  • One that I study along with watching Kieslowski's films . . .

    The Films of Krzysztof Kieslowski: The Liminal Image

  • Think in 3D, book about shooting in 3D, Kindle edition is now $0.00


  • Framed Ink: Drawing and Composition for Visual Storytellers by Marcos Mateu-Mestre

    I really liked the book. So true. If I can't imagine, I can't capture.

    The author's blog is full of lovely illustrations.

    I just ordered his new book "Trail of Steel: 1441 A.D."

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  • Magnum Contact Sheets [Hardcover]

    It's quite large book. Interestingly the contact sheets from film era sorta do storytelling.

  • Wow this is becoming my favourite thread. I love all the books mentioned here. Let's add :

    • Letters To Young Filmmakers - Howard Suber
    • The Power Film - Howard Suber
    • The writer's journey - Christopher Vogler
    • The Invisiblecut - Bobbie O'Steen
    • The leaning Forward Moment - Norm Hollyn

    I'll add more when I get to my den.

  • I was lucky enough to find a very good book for pennies in a book store (french version)

    • "A Man with a Camera" by Nestor Almendros.

    You can find it online between 50€ to 500$ (!) or sometimes get lucky like me : jump on it. Beside beeing a very enjoyable sum-up of his carreer (from his first shorts in Cuba, to oscarized work like Days of heaven), it's full of practical advice and original techniques on lighting, framing, etc. It will definitly influence your work/vision, no matter the budget you have (or don't) for you next masterpiece.

  • Soon we'll have new topic and updated list in FAQ

    But today more important stuff

    Amazon today

    $10 off any book order of $25 or more from Amazon

    Use code HOLIDAYBOOK.