Recommended Filmmaking Books

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    • #51988
      kandacewithak
      Participant

      Hello!

       

      I browse this website and forum quite often but have decided to now participate as I am beginning to try my hand at [basic] filmmkaing – mainly as a hobby. 

       

      I was considering looking into taking an online course but I thought it best for me to invest in a few good books and work at my own pace.  Essentially what I am looking for are some books that are good to give an overview of the basics of filmmaking – cinematography, editing, etc. with focus on documentary filmmaking as this is mainly what I intend on doing.  

       

      I saw Making Documentary Films and Videos by Barry Hampe mentioned in a lot of my searches.

       

      Any recommendations on the best books out there for a beginner like me?

       

      Thanks πŸ™‚

    • #204929
      composite1
      Member

      Kandace,

       

      Two good books to take a look at are:

      "Writing, Directing and Producing Documentary Films and Videos" by Alan Rosenthal
      "Producing & Directing the Short Film and Video" by Peter W. Rea and David K. Irving

      Also check out the numerous articles and how-to videos here at Videomaker.

    • #204930
      JackWolcott
      Participant

      A classic is Joseph V Mascelli's The Five C's of Cinematography, which will introduce you to the nuts and bolts of both the art and craft.

       

      Ken Dancyger's The Technique of Film and Video Editing is heavy reading but well worth it.

       

      Walter Murch's In The Blink of an Eye is, in my opinion, one of the most thoughtful analyses of editing I've ever read. Combine it with The Conversations (with Walter Murch) edited by Michael Ondaatje and you'll have covered a great deal of practical and theoretical territory. Murch, along with Thelma Schoonmaker, is arguably one of the best editors around today.

       

      Finally (at least for this list, as there are literally hundreds of good books dealing with the topic,) you might find Peter Ward's Picture Composition for Film and Television of interest. Ward not only covers composition in great detail but also touches on a great many other aspects of the art.

       

       

       

    • #204936
      mhageman
      Inactive

      Hi, Videomaker has some resources that might help. We write book and media reviews every so often and rate the content. Try this article http://www.videomaker.com/article/15070 or type in  "new titles" in the search bar. That will give you dozens of  book reviews on video production that will help you get started.

       

      Good luck with your learning!

    • #204941
      Woody
      Participant

      I firmly believe you just can't learn enough about anything you are passionate about, so I love these threads and usually pic up a good book I wasn't aware of or forgot about.

       

      Some great ones have been mentioned but I have two that I personally think every beginner should read. The shut up and shoot Documentary guide and Freelance Video Guide by Anthony Q. Artis. 

       

      You can get them together for less than 50 bucks and cover the basics from AV equipment to the business side of things. From weddings to music videos. Artis's writing style makes for an easy read and they encompass enough of the basics that people aren't left with just more questions. They are pretty up to date and modern. I got a good bit more out of them than just realising I was a bit behind the times. Together, I think they are a great "101" resource before getting into any heavy reading, its productive information that will get you moving in a focused direction.

       

      I wish they were around 15 years ago when I was getting going on this stuff.

    • #204951
      kandacewithak
      Participant

      Thanks so much you guys for your suggestions.

       

      I am going to dedicate some time this weekend to researching these options and deciding which ones are best for what I'm looking to do!

       

      I will likely be posting in the near future with 'beginner' questions such as 'oh gosh, how do I know which camera to buy?' and 'why is editing so tricky?' …. haha.

       

      Thanks again πŸ™‚

    • #204973
      channelone
      Participant

      [quote=kandacewithak]

      Hello!.  Essentially what I am looking for are some books that are good to give an overview of the basics of filmmaking – cinematography, editing, etc. with focus on documentary filmmaking as this is mainly what I intend on doing.  

      Any recommendations on the best books out there for a beginner like me?

       

      Thanks :)[/quote]

       

      For cine I would suggest you look into;

       

      Cinematographer Style Book (Vol.1)

      by Jon Fauer, ASC

      http://www.ascmag.com/store/product.php?productid=16326&cat=294&page=1

       

      Cinematographer Style Book (Vol.2)

       

      http://www.ascmag.com/store/product.php?productid=16417&cat=294&page=1

       

      For video;

       

      ASC Video Manual – 3rd Edition Paper Back

      Michael Grotticelli

      http://www.ascmag.com/store/product.php?productid=190&cat=294&page=1

       

      And for lighting;

       

      Ross Lowell's Matter of Light & Depth

       

      http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0966250400/lowellight-20

       

      Wayne

       

    • #204974
      channelone
      Participant

      Dupe deleted

    • #206227
      robvile
      Participant

      I know that this is a dead thread, and I'm going to Zombie it back up, but a good book for anyone interested in film making as a hobbiest, is

       

      HOW TO SHOOT VIDEO THAT DOESN'T SUCK.

       

      While what's covered may seem pretty basic, for someone who is just stating out as a hobby, it really is a great read, and doesn't rely on specific types of equipment. It informs you on what to put together to create interesting projects.

       

      It was a book that I purchased even after being in the field and continue to look back at it just to keep somethings in my head fresh like a mantra. 

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