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DSLR Cinema: Crafting the Film Look with Video Paperback – 23 Nov 2010

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DSLR Cinema: Crafting the Film Look with Video + The DSLR Filmmaker's Handbook: Real-World Production Techniques + The Moviemaking with Your Camera Field Guide: The Essential Guide to Shooting Video with HDSLRs and Digital Cameras
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press (23 Nov. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240815513
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240815510
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 18.8 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 142,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


"A huge thank you to Kurt Lancaster for giving a voice to HDSLR in this new trail-blazing book.” -Shane Hurlbut, ASC (DP of Terminator Salvation)

"This book should be in every camera bag. A rich, comprehensive, and poetic examination of how filmmakers and cinematographers are creating stunning moving imagery with HDLSRs." -Rodney Charters, ASC (DP of TV series, 24).

"Kurt has written a masterpiece in HDSLR books-something that everyone starting to make a movie should read.”-planetMitch (

"Out of nowhere, two DSLR cameras came out, and over a period of 18 months, they have been embraced by everyone from Lucasfilm to keen enthusiasts .. This is easily the most exciting time I have experienced in my 20 or so years in the business.”-Philip Bloom, DP, Director, Filmmaker (

"It tells me exactly what I want to know - how to get the LOOK that I need. Hats off to the author for tackling this subject. It make the book INVALUABLE for the DSLR filmmaker." -Julian Grant, Producer/Director

"It will spread the revolution and introduce people to this way of would be a must read for anyone who has been filming for a year or two and still thinks in the old ways of looking through a camera." -Andrew Jones, Cinematographer

"If you are new to filmmaking with a DSLR camera and are looking for a place to get started, or if you are a seasoned filmmaker and just want to add some knowledge to your experiences, DSLR Cinema: Crafting the Film Look with Video is a great place to start that will give you solid information that you can put into practice immediately." - Tracey Lee,

"[T]his is the best book/training material about HDSLR video I have seen so far.. It summarizes of all the information available on the net about HDSLR on top of which Kurt has added interesting case studies and behind the scene tips from other shooters."---Canon5DTips

"A valuable reference to DSLR camera abilities, offering case studies from an international cast of DSLR shooter and covering all the basic tools, techniques, and composition opportunities of DSLR."--CA Bookwatch

"This is a fantastic resource for anyone just getting into the DSLR game. It has tons of information on using these cameras for the good of film kind. Kurt does a great job of breaking down everything from equipment to technique."

"It's rare for me to make a simple, blanket, superlative statement like this, but I absolutely love this book. I'm usually suspicious of technology specific books like this that would logically become outdated with the release of 'next years model' of camera or technology, but this book is different for so many reasons. Its difficult to narrow down what I loved most about this 320-page soft cover] book, but pressed I would have to say the professionals' comments. Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) shooters from around the world explain their experiences with this new technology and I couldn't get enough (luckily Lancaster has a website where the fun continues).. The book is inspiring, well written, excellently paced and chock full of pictures, screen shots and illustrations that tie everything together. One of the best cinema production books I've read."--VideoMaker Magazine

"Over the past year DSLRs have become a powerful tool utilized in cinema. From indie production to hollywood work, they have become a tool that is taken seriously by filmmakers everywhere. And now thanks to Focal Press and Kurt Lancaster, there is finally a physical guide to using them. There are some cons to publishing a detailed guide like this on paper. But its sooo nice to have a physical book with this many features in ones hands. Learn to think more like a cinematographer than a videographer, whether shooting for a feature, short fiction, documentary, video journalism, or even a wedding. DSLR Cinema offers insight into different shooting styles, real-world tips and techniques, and advice on postproduction workflow as it guides you in crafting a film-like look."

"This book will teach you to think more like a cinematographer than a videographer, whether shooting for a short fiction, feature, documentary, video journalism, or wedding. This account offers insight into different shooting styles, real-world tips and technique, and advice on postproduction workflow. 'DSLR Cinema' guides you in crafting a film-like look, case studies feature an international cast of cutting edge DSLR shooters, including Philip Bloom, Bernardo Uzeda, Rii Schoer, and others. Their films are examined in detail. The book covers the fundamental tools and visual techniques related to great stories offers wide array of technical information composition, camera movement, lighting; includes companion website which shows the films discussed in the book; offers inside perspective from master class of DSLR shooters."--NeoPopRealism

About the Author

Kurt Lancaster has shot documentaries that have screened nationally and internationally. He has also consulted for the Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor, training some of their print journalists in video journalism, as well as shooting and editing documentary journalism pieces. He is also an assistant professor of digital media in the School of Communication at Northern Arizona University, where he teaches courses on documentary multimedia production, scriptwriting, and production techniques. Kurt earned his PhD from New York University. His students have gone on to earn video journalism awards, screen documentaries at film festivals, as well as creating independent video companies. Dr. Lancaster's essays and articles on journalism, popular culture, performance, and communication have appeared in the International Journal of Communication, the Performing Arts Journal, Modern Drama, Journal of Popular Culture, Journal of American Culture, and The Christian Science Monitor. His previous books include: The Documentary Journalist: The Art and Craft of Video Journalism for the Web. Building a Home Movie Studio and Getting Your Films Online (Watson Guptill, 2002). Warlocks & Warpdrive: Contemporary Fantasy Entertainments with Interactive and Virtual Environments (McFarland, 1999).

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By I See You on 21 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
Excellent, well written, plenty of pictures and demonstrative examples.

The examples used, for followers of the DSLR movie making scene, are familiar ones. So a quick trip to Vimeo would enable you to actually watch them and understand the concepts more cogently still.

Plenty of Bloom collaboration in this book and why not? He seems like a good sort, has a great eye and his on the level objectivity for the most part is welcome; excusing himself when he expresses his opinions which he is entitled to.

Yes, there are things which at time of writing have moved on or iterations in the tech or kit have evolved, but that's real life isn't it?

Overall, and I don't say this lightly, it's a must have, Lancaster has taken a ridiculously fast moving snowball technology and summed it up well and in a satisfyingly detailed way.

(I make films for a living and this book has already given added value to my working practices)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By The Understudy on 20 May 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just to put this straight, there is a 1 star review elsewhere for this book due to the buyer feeling "deceived". They may do, but that's a subjective response. I am an accomplished photographer, and am technically savvy, and have found this book extremely useful.

You can go on the web and use at least a dozen generous bloggers sites for similar info, however this pulls it all together in a single resource. It's coherent, and well illustrated, and has prevented me making expensive and time consuming mistakes. Despite the fast moving nature of this emerging technical field the book remains valid and up to date, in fact a lot of the information is timeless as it is good practice.

A great resource for DSLR users who want to exploit and fully justify the video capture capability of their camera. The book outlines the minimum additional kit and techniques you will require to satisfy the genre, and you will understand why you may have been disappointed by your previous effort - video capture is far removed from photography. Some nice anecdotes too. At Amazon's price it's a no-brainer, buy it, you will learn something and won't be disappointed.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dave on 20 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you have an interest in DSLR filming then this book is essential. Its a blueprint for helping you get the best out of your camera and providing effective equipment/software workflows for getting your movie completed. Interviews with trailblazers such as Philip Bloom, great links to web material and a fantastic, punchy writing style makes this a must have.
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