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Alfred Hitchcock's Moviemaking Master Class: Learning about Film from the Master of Suspense Paperback – 1 May 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Wiese Productions (1 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1615931376
  • ISBN-13: 978-1615931378
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 222,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brolyn on 10 Sep 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tony Lee Moral's book is another well crafted tribute to The Master and deals with almost every aspect of film making: screenplay, pre-production, actors, editing, music, promotion and marketing. The book's target audience is perhaps a little difficult to judge; professional directors would be unlikely to consult the book for advice although they may read it for interest. Amateur film makers will probably find it both interesting and a valuable source of information.

A few minor carps however: as in his book on 'The Making of Hitchock's The Birds.' he sometimes refers to a production designer as an art designer. This is not really an official title, he has conflated the words art director and production designer. Some of the subheadings can seem a little odd, e.g. 'Work with a production designer'. Sensible advice no doubt but would any reasonable director not work with a production designer?

Overall the book is an interesting and workmanlike tribute and contains several quotes from Hitchcock, lists of directors who have been influenced by him and exercises to stimulate one's imagination.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
decent 4 Jun 2014
By dev - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
the reading is interesting but not as in depth as I hoped. You supposedly learn how to structure film like Hitchcock and seems over simplified. I want more in depth of how Hitchcock made films but it still gives some examples on how he kept audiences interested in suspense.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Extremely well-written, about one of our best 11 April 2013
By Dave Watson, Editor, Movies Matter - Published on
Format: Paperback
With Alfred Hitchcock's enduring legacy, this book promises a lot and delivers. Tony Lee Moral's writing quickly establishes this material as accessible, noting Alfred Hitchcock's enduring influence and why we as filmmakers should study the master. Moral sheds light on the director's ability to use cinematic tools such as sound, light, music, all with the audience in mind. "You have a rectangle to fill," is a saying I also learned from this book. That sentence alone, the title of chapter five, shows Hitchcock's approach as Moral elucidates the master's tools and leads you step-by-step through how to make a great film. Which comes back to the writing--Moral doesn't waste your time, is clear, and consistently thought-provoking, very much like his subject.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Great book about all aspects of film-making, not just about Hitchcock 17 April 2013
By Matthew Terry - Published on
Format: Paperback
Quick - name a famous director that has come out in the past ten years. Tarantino? No. Spike Lee? Spielberg? Anyone? I think the closest I could find is probably Christopher Nolan who made "Memento" in 2000 or Alfonso Cuaron who made "The Little Princess" in 1995. Is there ANY name that springs to mind? Anyone that is doing amazingly good and innovative work? Ah, found one: Zack Snyder who directed "Dawn of the Dead" in 2004 and has helmed the most recent Superman re-boot "Man of Steel." Sadly, though, directors have seemingly become footnotes to film - unless you're a name...and no director has a name that looms larger than Alfred Hitchcock. His work from the silent era, his classic films from the 50's, his ground-breaking work from the 60's, his dabbling in television and finally his last films in the 70's no one director has been more influential to Hollywood (and beyond) than Alfred Hitchcock.

As great as Hitchcock was, though, he sadly is linked to "suspense" or "horror" films. Romantic comedies were not his forte - though his films could be filled with humor. When I tell the wife we're going to watch a Hitchcock film she'll sigh and wander off to do something else. But Hitchcock was far more than a "suspense" film director or a "horror" film director. Sure "Psycho" and "The Birds" pop to mind and are synonymous with Hitchcock, and rightfully so, but to just say that he did shock horror films does a disservice to everything he has made (even his not-so-great films).

And that's the rub of this book: "Alfred Hitchcock's Movie Making Master Class" by Mr. Moral. I fear that people will walk on by assuming that the book is all about suspense films or horror films or creepy subject matter or planes chasing people down. No, no and, uh, no. Like Hitchcock, this book is far more than that.

Broken down in a logical format, Mr. Moral's book explores all the aspects of film-making (writing, casting, working with actors, lighting, editing, even promotion) and how both Hitchcock approached them, dealt with them, hired the right people to accomplish what he wanted - or took it upon himself to do it. This is, truly, a Master class of ALL aspects of film-making.

What sets the book apart, beyond that, are Hitchcock's own words. Filled throughout the book are quotes by Hitchcock on all these various parts of the film-making process. It truly is as if you're sitting down with the master himself. Sprinkled, too, are many quotes from the various directors working today and how they have been influenced by Hitchcock and his approach to film-making and storytelling.

I truly fear that wanna-be film-makers will walk by this book thinking that it has nothing to say to them and that it's a biography or something on Hitchcock and they will surely be missing out.

There are storytellers, there are movie directors and then there's Alfred Hitchcock who made a career out of re-telling stories and redefining film-making. Tony Lee Moral's book explores everything you need to know about Hitchcock and his methodologies...and then some.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Learn From the Master! 6 May 2013
By Jeffrey Hirschberg - Published on
Format: Paperback
"Alfred Hitchcock's Moviemaking Master Class" lives up to its title. As a screenwriter and film professor, I have been a fan of Hitchcock for years. Still, I learned quite a bit about Hitchcock's process and collaborations via this well-researched book. Tony Lee Moral takes us inside Hitchcock's mind: his motivations for selecting certain scripts over others, thought process re: shot selection, casting, and the like. This book works just as well for fans of Hitchcock's films and filmmakers looking to infuse a little suspense into their own work from the Master himself. A great read!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Hitching Your Dream to a Legend 15 Jun 2013
By Christina Hamlett - Published on
Format: Paperback
Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock may have left the building over 30 years ago but Tony Lee Moral puts the legendary director/producer's expertise at every reader's fingertips in his new book, "Alfred Hitchcock's Moviemaking Master Class." Moral's admiration for his subject matter is no secret; this is, after all, the third book he has penned about the iconic Master of Suspense. The amount of detailed research he has done is well evidenced and covers a career that spanned an enviable six decades. (Even though the book doesn't come with a soundtrack, I've been unable to shake the TV show's theme music out of my head ever since I finished reading it; during the late 50's, "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" was one of the few shows I was allowed to stay up late and watch.)

As familiar as you may be with classics such as "Psycho," "The Birds," "North by Northwest," and "Vertigo" - just to name a handful - you may not have understood exactly WHY these deliciously suspenseful plots left such indelible imprints on our memories. Lighting, color, set design, camera angles, music, metaphors, and casting choices were carefully orchestrated elements contributing to finished products that felt seamlessly natural.

The chapters are replete with photographs and insightful quotes from those who were fortunate to have known A.H., and it's a treat to learn backstory anecdotes about the occasions when he was required to make cinematic compromises. Nor is there any shortage of wicked mirth that seems incongruous for someone who projected such an above-it-all air of snooty superiority. When, for instance, he was once asked what he'd be doing if he weren't a director, Hitchcock "folded the tea towel and said very solemnly, 'A hanging judge'."

Whether you're an aspiring screenwriter/filmmaker or just a fan of the suspense genre, this book is highly recommended as a welcome addition to your home library.
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