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Filmmaking Books

Filmmaking Books

Here is a collection of fantastic filmmaking books that can help you improve your filmmaking skills. The blurbs for these books are taken directly from the publishers and are not reviews of the books. Students at East Doncaster Secondary College are strongly encouraged to borrow these books from Media. Speak to your teacher for more information.

The Anatomy of Story

anatomy-of-story“If you’re ready to graduate from the boy-meets-girl league of screenwriting, meet John Truby . . . his lessons inspire] epiphanies that make you see the contours of your psyche as sharply as your script.”–“LA Weekly” John Truby is one of the most respected and sought-after story consultants in the film industry, and his students have gone on to pen some of Hollywood’s most successful films, including “Sleepless in Seattle,” “Scream,” and “Shrek.” “The Anatomy of Story “is his long-awaited first book, and it shares all his secrets for writing a compelling script. Based on the lessons in his award-winning class, Great Screenwriting, “The Anatomy of Story “draws on a broad range of philosophy and mythology, offering fresh techniques and insightful anecdotes alongside Truby’s own unique approach to building an effective, multifaceted narrative. John Truby is Hollywood’s premiere story consultant and founder of Truby’s Writers Studio. He has worked as a story consultant and script doctor for Disney Studios, Sony Pictures, FOX, and HBO, among others, and has taught his 22-Step Great Screenwriting and Genre classes to over 20,000 students worldwide. John Truby is one of the most respected and sought-after story consultants in the film industry. His students have gone on to pen some of Hollywood’s most successful films, including “Sleepless in Seattle,” “Scream, ” and “Shrek.” His first book, “The Anatomy of Story” is about the process of writing a compelling script. Based on the lessons in his award-winning class, Great Screenwriting, “The Anatomy of Story” draws on a broad range of philosophy and mythology and offers techniques and anecdotes alongside Truby’s own approach to developing an effective, multifaceted narrative. Truby’s method for constructing a story is at once insightful and practical, focusing on the hero’s moral and emotional growth. As a result, writers will explore their own values and worldviews in order to create an effective story. Truby provides a precise set of tools–specific, useful techniques to make the audience care about their characters, and that make their characters grow in meaningful ways. Writers will learn to construct a surprising plot that is unique to their particular concept, and they will learn how to express a moral vision that can genuinely move an audience.

Break Into Screenwriting

This is a comprehensive, jargon-free guide for all budding screenwriters. Its aim is not just to guide you through the techniques and skills you need to write for the screen (film and television), but also to give you guidance on how to approach the industry as a whole. Focusing on every aspect of screenwriting, from how to set about the writing process to how to develop your characters, plot and structure, this book will give you all the guidance you need to break into this highly competitive industry and make a career for yourself as a screenwriter.

Cinematic Storytelling

cinematic-storytellingHow do directors use screen direction to suggest conflict? How do screenwriters exploit film space to show change? How does editing style determine emotional response? Many first-time writers and directors do not consider this. They forgo the huge creative resource of the film medium defaulting instead to dialog and narration to tell their screen story. Yet most movies are carried by sound and picture. What the industry’s most successful writers and directors have in common is that they have mastered the cinematic conventions specific to the medium. They have harnessed non-dialog techniques to create some of the most cinematic moments in movie history. This book is intended to help writers and directors more fully exploit the medium’s storytelling techniques. It contains 100 non-dialog techniques that have been used by the industry’s top writers and directors. From “Metropolis” and “Citizen Kane” to “Dead Man” and “Kill Bill”, the book illustrates – through 500 frame grabs and 75 script excerpts – how the inherent stortytelling devices specific to film were exploited. You can learn how non-dialogue film techniques can advance story. You can discover how master screenwriters exploit cinematic conventions to create powerful scenarios. It is brilliantly illustrated throughout with 500 carefully chosen frame grabs from classic films of the past and present.

Conquering YouTube

Conquering-YouTubeConquering YouTube is designed as a fun, easy to read text. Walks any videographer — from a true amateur to an experienced filmmaker — through all the steps necessary to create exciting and memorable videos for the Web. In an easy-to-digest format, the book couples clear instructions and descriptions with shooting exercises designed to sharper the eye, develop specific and useful skills, and solve common production problems. 101 amazing tips in easy-to-digest sections allow the reader to work from start to finish, or to tackle more advanced skills right away. This book unlocks the secrets used on big-budget Hollywood films and TV shows, and turns them into affordable and effective solutions for making eye-catching videos for the Web.

The DV Rebel’s Guide

The DV Rebel's GuideWritten by Stu Maschwitz, co-founder of the Orphanage (the legendary guerrilla visual effects studio responsible for amazing and award-winning effects in such movies as Sin City, The Day After Tomorrow, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), this book is a must-have for all those budding filmmakers and students who want to produce action movies with visual effects but don’t have Hollywood budgets. The Orphanage was created by three twenty-something visual effects veterans who wanted to make their own feature films and discovered they could do this by utilizing home computers, off the shelf software, and approaching things artistically. This guide details exactly how to do this: from planning and selecting the necessary cameras, software, and equipment, to creating specific special effects (including gunfire, Kung Fu fighting, car chases, dismemberment, and more) to editing and mixing sound and music. Its mantra is that the best, low-budget action moviemakers must visualize the end product first in order to reverse-engineer the least expensive way to get there. Readers will learn how to integrate visual effects into every aspect of filmmaking–before filming, during filming and with “in camera” shots, and with computers in postproduction. Throughout the book, the author makes specific references to and uses popular action movies (both low and big-budget) as detailed examples–including El Mariachi, La Femme Nikita, Die Hard, and Terminator 2.

Film Directing Shot by Shot

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

The Filmmaker’s Book of The Dead

the-filmmaker-s-book-of-the-deadProduce, direct and promote your own chilling horror film with real-world advice from award-winning, independent producer/director Danny Draven. From the history of horror and the technique of the scare to pre-production and distribution, this complete, full-color guide to horror filmmaking uncovers all the insider secrets for creating your own successful movie. Sharing his personal filmmaking experience, Draven reveals how to create a spine-tingling horror film from start to finish. You’ll not only discover how to craft the story, but also how to master using production techniques, music, lighting and editing to thrill audiences. Straight-from-the-set tips will help you avoid common filmmaking pitfalls, and extensive information on marketing and distribution will show you how to get your film out to the public.

Filmmaking For Dummies

filmmaking-for-dummies-2nd-editionNow updated–the step-by-step secrets to capturing great moments on film. With all the recent advancements in filmmaking technology, more people than ever are trying their hand at filmmaking. Keeping up with the newest information in this booming field, this updated edition of Filmmaking For Dummies features up-to-the-minute coverage of the latest and greatest hardware, software, accessories, and trends–including high-definition technology and new outlets for films such as YouTube and MySpace. It demystifies the nuts-and-bolts of filmmaking, from developing a project and securing financing to hiring a cast and crew, editing, and getting distribution. This new edition also provides new movie examples and updated contacts and resources. Whether people want to become professional filmmakers or simply shoot quality home movies, this practical guide has all the advice and tips needed to succeed.

The Filmmaker’s Handbook 2013

the-filmmaker-s-handbook-2013The authoritative guide to producing, directing, shooting, editing, and distributing your video or film. Widely acknowledged as the ‘bible’ of video and film production, and used in courses around the world, The Filmmaker’s Handbook is now updated with the latest advances in HD and new digital formats. For students and teachers, professionals and novices, this indispensable handbook covers all aspects of movie making. Techniques for making dramatic features, documentaries, corporate, broadcast, and experimental videos and films Shooting with DSLRs, video, film, and digital cinema cameras. Digital editing with the latest video editing systems. In-depth coverage of lenses, lighting, sound recording, and mixing. The business aspects of funding and producing your project. Getting your movie shown in theaters, on TV, and on the Web

Grammar of the Edit

The Grammar of the EditLearn the basic “grammar” of editing films and videos in Grammar of the Edit! This book shows you in no uncertain terms (independently of software) what you absolutely need to know to edit your video production. Whether you are just learning how to edit or you need a refresher, this book gives you a basic toolkit to understand the basic terms and the common practices of editing to help create a coherent and meaningful story or visual presentation. This book concentrates on where and how an edit is made and teaches you how to answer the simple question: ‘What do I need to do in order to make a good edit between two shots?’ Grammar of the Edit begins with an explanation of the basic rules of visual construction that will allow you to arrange your footage logically. The book takes you from the basic vocabulary of editing, to knowing when to cut (and why), to transitions, and finally to good working practices. Designed as an easy-to-use reference, each topic is covered succinctly and is accompanied by clear photographs and diagrams that illustrate the key concepts presented in the book. Simple, elegant, and easy to use, Grammar of the Edit is a staple of any filmmaker’s library.

Grammar of the Shot

grammar-of-the-shotLearn how to use the basic “grammar” of making films and videos in “Grammar of the Shot” This book shows you in no uncertain terms what you absolutely need to know to put together your own film or video, shot by shot. Whether you are just learning how to frame a shot or if you just need a refresher, this book gives you a basic toolkit of how to build a successful visual story that flows smoothly. “Grammar of the Shot” begins with an explanation of the essential visual language of filmmaking-the book takes you from the basic shape of a shot, to different types to shots, to composition of visual elements within each frame. You will be given the basic building blocks essential for successful shot lighting, screen direction, 3D elements, camera movement, and many general practices that make for a richer, multi-layered visual presentation. Most importantly, you will be given crucial background information to expand your visual vocabulary and help jumpstart your career in film and video. Designed as an easy-to-use reference, each topic is covered succinctly and is accompanied by clear photographs and diagrams that illustrate the key concepts presented in the book. Simple, elegant, and easy to use, “Grammar of the Shot” is a staple of any filmmaker’s library.

Horror Screenwriting

Horror has, among all of the genres in film and written works, one of the longest, most distinguished, and often misunderstood bloodlines in history. It is often overlooked by critics who don’t see anything more than blood and guts on the screen, or a collection of cheap scares. But what is missed is the hard-hitting commentary on society and life contained in those works.

How to Build a Great Screenplay

how-to-build-a-great-screenplayAcclaimed USC screenwriting teacher David Howard has guided hundreds of students to careers in writing for film and television. Drawing on decades of practical experience and savvy, “How to Build a Great Screenplay” deconstructs the craft of screenwriting and carefully reveals how to build a good story from the ground up. Howard eschews the “system” offered by other books, emphasizing that a great screenplay requires dozens of unique decisions by the author. He offers in-depth considerations of: characterization, story arc, plotting and subplotting, dealing with coincidence in story plotting, classical vs. revolutionary screenplay structure, tone, style, and atmosphere, the use of time on screen, the creation of drama and tension, crucial moments in storytelling. Throughout the book, Howard clarifies his lessons through examples from some of the most successful Hollywood and international script-oriented films, including Pulp Fiction, American Beauty, Trainspotting, North by Northwest, Chinatown, and others. The end result is what could very well become the classic text in the field—a bible for the burgeoning screenwriter.

Lo-to-No Budget Filmmaking

raindance-producers-lab-lo-to-no-budget-filmmakingDiscover vital insider tips on producing movies with a micro budget! Covering both tried and true filmmaking techniques as well as insight on marketing, selling, and distributing your film, Raindance Producers’ Lab, Second Edition is the ultimate independent filmmaker’s guide to producing movies. This edition has been updated to include: Fresh features on low-budget, high quality video cameras, including new digital camera options such as DSLR; An extensive selection of new case studies and interviews with industry talents such as Ewan McGregor, Ate de Jong, James Youngs, Joe Pavlo, Martin Myers, Rolin Heap, and more; Essential advice on how to make the web work for you and promote your films through Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms; All new postproduction workflows; A companion website (www.lotonobudgetfilmmaking.com) providing all the contracts and material you need to run a production company and make successful low budget movies. The verdict is in: if you’re looking for a clear-cut, no-nonsense approach to micro-budget filmmaking and producing, Elliot Grove’s wealth of teaching and filmmaking experience combined with winning formulas for marketing and promotion make this book a must-have one-stop shop for filmmakers!

Master Shots

master-shotsMaster Shots gives filmmakers the techniques they need to execute complex, original shots on any budget. By using powerful master shots and well-executed moves, directors can develop a strong style and stand out from the crowd. Most low-budget movies look low-budget, because the director is forced to compromise at the last minute. Master Shots gives you so many powerful techniques that you’ll be able to respond, even under pressure, and create knock-out shots. Even when the clock is ticking and the light is fading, the techniques in this book can rescue your film, and make every shot look like it cost a fortune. Each technique is illustrated with samples from great feature films and computer-generated diagrams for absolute clarity.

Master Shots: v. 2

Building on the success of the bestselling “Master Shots,” this volume goes much deeper, revealing the great directors’ secrets for making the most of the visual during the usual static dialogue scene. Includes more than 200 diagrams illustrating camera positions.

Save the Cat!

Save the CatHe’s made millions of dollars selling screenplays to Hollywood and now screenwriter Blake Snyder tells all. “Save the Cat” is just one of Snyder’s many ironclad rules for making your ideas more marketable and your script more satisfying – and saleable, including: the four elements of every winning logline; the seven immutable laws of screenplay physics; the ten genres and why they’re important to your movie; why your Hero must serve your idea; and, how to get back on track with ironclad and proven rules for script repair. This ultimate insider’s guide reveals the secrets that none dare admit, told by an industry veteran who’s proven that you can sell your script if you can save the cat. It helps you learn the seven immutable laws of screenplay physics, and discover 10 genres and why they’re important. It also helps you to get back on track with ironclad and proven rules for script repair.

Screenplay: Foundations of screenwriting

ScreenplayA generation of screenwriters has used Syd Field’s bestselling books to ignite successful careers in film. Now the celebrated producer, lecturer, teacher, and bestselling author has updated his classic guide for a new generation of filmmakers, offering a fresh insider’s perspective on the film industry today. From concept to character, from opening scene to finished script, here are easily understood guidelines to help aspiring screenwriters–from novices to practiced writers–hone their craft. Filled with updated material–including all-new personal anecdotes and insights, guidelines on marketing and collaboration, plus analyses of recent films, from” American Beauty” to” Lord of the Rings”–Screenplay presents a step-by-step, comprehensive technique for writing the screenplay that will succeed in Hollywood.

Screenwriting For Dummies

screenwriting-for-dummies-2nd-editionSo you want to be a screenwriter? Whether you want to write a feature film or a TV script or adapt your favorite book, this friendly guide gives you expert advice in everything from creating your story and developing memorable characters to formatting your script and selling it to the studios. You get savvy industry tips and strategies for getting your screenplay noticed! Open the book and find: The latest on the biz, from entertainment blogs to top agents to box office jargon; New story examples from recently released films; Tips on character development, a story’s time clock, dramatic structure, and dialogue; New details on developing the nontraditional screenplay — from musicals to animation to high dramatic style; Expanded information on adaptation and collaboration, with examples from successful screenwriting duos.

Screenwriting Tips, You Hack

screenwriting-tips-you-hackConfused at the outline stage? Stuck in the swamp of Act Two? Don’t know who your protagonist is or where she’s going? You might feel like a hack. But don’t worry-you’re not alone. Even the most experienced writers feel like this at times. Sometimes we just need a few short pointers and reminders to set us on the path again. Xander Bennett worked as a script reader in the trenches of Hollywood, reading and covering hundreds of mediocre screenplays.ÿAfter months of reading about heroic Sea World trainers, transgendered circus detectives and crime-fighting chupacabras, he couldn’t take it any more. Xander started a blog called ‘Screenwriting Tips, You Hack’, a place designed to provide short, witty tips on screenwriting for amateur writers all the way up to journeymen scribes. This book is the evolution of that blog. Dozens of the best scripts (along with many brand-new ones) have been expanded into bite-sized chapters full of funny, insightful, highly usable advice. Let Xander’s pain be your gain as you learn about the differences between film and television structure, how to force yourself to write when youÿreallyÿdon’t want to, and why you probably shouldn’t base your first spec script around an alien invasion.

Setting Up Your Scenes

setting-up-your-scenesEvery great filmmaker has role models and films which inspired him or her to greater and greater heights. Here, for the first time, is an awe-inspiring guide that takes you into the inner workings of classic scenes, revealing the aspects that make them great and the reasons they have served as inspirations. An invaluable resource for screenwriter, cinematographer, actor, director, and editor, Peppermans book uses examples from six decades of international films to illustrate what happens when story, character, dialogue, text, subtext and set-ups come together to create cinematic magic. Use this book to emulate the masters and watch your films rise to new heights. With detailed discussions of the classic scenes in the best films of the last 60 years, this title is written by a veteran editor and educator with decades of experience to pass on. It covers a broad range of genres and international films – readers will learn what makes a scene great, regardless of subject.

Setting Up Your Shots

Filmmakers and cinema fans can turn to this visual encyclopedia for an array of creative camera setups and moves. More than 200 storyboards with simple descriptions show how to achieve many effects, images, and compositions.

A Shot in the Dark

lighting-from-the-hardware-storeThe most significant contribution to film imagery is lighting. Lighting is the key to turning amateur footage into professional stories and presentation. A SHOT IN THE DARK: A CREATIVE DIY GUIDE TO DIGITAL VIDEO LIGHTING ON (ALMOST) NO BUDGET shows that good lighting doesn’t always require expensive or extensive Hollywood hardware. With a little creativity, ingenuity, and some elbow grease, you can create your own lighting arsenal to handle a multitude of situations. This book will show do-it-yourselfers how to create their own equipment and how best to use it. The first part of the book teaches you about the basics–the fundamentals of light, color, exposure, and electricity–that are the building blocks of lighting. You’ll discover what light is and how to control it. Once you have that foundation, the book will introduce tips, techniques, and hands-on projects that instruct you on how to create your own lighting tools from inexpensive, readily available resources. The only limit to what you can do is your imagination.

Sound Design

With sound becoming more important in cinema exhibition and DVD release, “Sound Design” offers user-friendly knowledge and stimulating exercises to help compose a story, develop characters and create emotion through skillful creation of the sound track. Psychoacoustics, music theory, voice study and analysis of well-known films expand perception, imagination and the musical skills of the reader. Psychoacoustics, music theory, and voice study are covered through the detailed analysis of well-known films, to expand perception, imagination and the musical skills of the reader. The book helps you understand the importance and significance of the soundtrack, learn how to place a musical piece within a film, and includes exercises to improve story composition, and character development when creating/choosing a soundtrack.

Splatter Flicks

splatter-flicksTurn that demented concept and minimal budget into a real horror movie! From concept to screen, this comprehensive guide shows aspiring filmmakers how today’s most successful creators of horror finance, produce, and market their films. Interviews with the makers of such low-budget money-makers as “Dead Serious”, “Till Death Do Us Part”, “Scarecrow” and many others cover every aspect of the film making process: a producer tells how to make a movie for GBP2,000; scream queens discuss the acting challenges of horror; a director of photography shares tips for capturing fear on film; an FX makeup man reveals how to make the perfect monster; a composer talks about his approach to scoring suspense; and much more. Film distributors and horror film festival directors explain how to place a finished film in the commercial marketplace and a special section provides crucial tips for exploiting the internet to the fullest advantage. Anyone looking to make a killing in the horror film industry will need “Splatter Flicks”. This book offers comprehensive advice on budgeting, screenwriting, shooting, acting, creating makeup effects, scoring, editing, and marketing horror films.

Story

story-substance-structure-style-and-the-principles-of-screenwritingRobert McKee’s screenwriting workshops have earned him an international reputation for inspiring novices, refining works in progress and putting major screenwriting careers back on track. Quincy Jones, Diane Keaton, Gloria Steinem, Julia Roberts, John Cleese and David Bowie are just a few of his celebrity alumni. Writers, producers, development executives and agents all flock to his lecture series, praising it as a mesmerizing and intense learning experience. In “Story”, McKee expands on the concepts he teaches in his $450 seminars (considered a must by industry insiders), providing readers with the most comprehensive, integrated explanation of the craft of writing for the screen. No one better understands how all the elements of a screenplay fit together, and no one is better qualified to explain the “magic” of story construction and the relationship between structure and character than Robert McKee.