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Digital Film-Making [Kindle Edition]

Mike Figgis
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Book Description

'Now there is no reason to prevent anybody from making a film. The technology exists, the equipment is much cheaper than it was, the post-production facilities are on a laptop computer, the entire equipment to make a film can go in a couple of cases and be carried as hand luggage on a plane.' Mike Figgis

In this indispensable guide, leading director Mike Figgis offers the reader a step-by-step tutorial in how to use digital filmmaking technology so as to get the very best from it. He outlines the equipment and its uses, and provides an authoritative guide to the shooting process - from working with actors to lighting, framing, and camera movement. He further dispenses wisdom on the editing process and the use of sound and music, all the while establishing a sound aesthetic basis for the digital format.

Offering everything that you could wish to know on the subject, this is a handbook that will become an essential back-pocket reference for the digital film enthusiast - whether your goal is to make no-budget movies, or simply to put your video camera to more use than just holidays and weddings.

Product Description


"Now there is no reason to prevent anybody from making a film. The technology exists, the equipment is much cheaper than it was, the post-production facilities are on a laptop computer, the entire equipment to make a film can go in a couple of cases and be carried as hand luggage on a plane.' Mike Figgis"

Book Description

The essential easy guide to using digital film cameras and editing, from one of the world's most successful film directors.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 303 KB
  • Print Length: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Film; 1st American Ed edition (16 Aug. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0095SSHF8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #187,005 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Like a chat in the pub! 14 Jan. 2009
If you imagine having an informal chat in the pub with a successful director/producer, that's a good description of this book. There is always the chance of coming across a real nugget (or possibly two) of really useful information, to be fair I think that's the best you can hope for in this book, and that of course will depend on what you're shooting and your level of experience.

You will of course probably also have to listen to a fair degree of them on their soapbox (keep your camera lens clean), or reminiscing about the good old days (Super 8)! There is a fair bit of that in this small, brief (156 pages in a pocketbook format) book in fact you could probably remove the first 29 pages (chapters 1 & 2) without impacting the book, plus several sections in later chapters as well.

Bits of the book talk to those starting out and other bit's to those who are about to embark on large productions. That's common in books like this (particularly when written by people who now teach, like Figgis), and for me at least, it doesn't work all that well, no one book can be a one stop shop, they always come across as too general.

All that being said it's a quick read and pretty inexpensive, would I put it on my must read list, well probably not.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential 11 Sept. 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
At last! A book that isn't 600 pages long telling you 'how to make a masterpiece' but rather offering simple advice and information from an established director with something to say. This book is absolutely ESSENTIAL for any film student or director with access to even the most basic DV camera. Figgis states the case clearly and effectively with personal examples from his own career. A short, concise, easy to read book that doesn't talk down to it's reader (if you have a camera you ARE a director, regardless - and thank Mike Figgis for saying it in this 'industry' obssessed age). Highly recommended, especially for students of the craft.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Anyone can make a film 15 April 2008
By kath
This is a truly inspiring book for any aspiring film-maker. Though it is by no means a "how to" manual it nonetheless equips the reader with a sense that there really is no barrier to creating a film with next to no budget and minimal equipment. Figgis points out that ideas, ingenuity and vision are the essential tools of the film director rather than expensive equipment and a professional crew. The style of the book is conversational and full of anecdotes (some useful and illuminating others simply reminiscences) from Figgis' own film-making experiences. For me the book is most useful on lighting, on which subject Figgis gives some really practical and surprising tips, and working with actors, where his insights into the motivations and insecurities of that profession could save the novice director a lot of grief! Altogether a useful and highly readable addition to the aspiring film-maker's bookshelf.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very useful book 12 May 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really liked this book. It was very personal and most useful. There are loads of books out there about how to do this and that. What I wanted was some great advice. For starters know your equipment inside out, get a book and write notes about how your settings work, try different combinations. I thought that might be obvious to some but it was inspirational to me. Another great tip was treasure your equipment. Keep it immaculate, really clean especially the lens, otherwise big blobs appear on the big screen! Its got a lot of really good points which I found most useful.

I like the fact that he talks about his work, his passion, his attention to every detail. It's important and very useful. Without passion nothing get done to the highest levels.

Creator of the Beginner Tai Chi (DVD)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be without it. 16 Aug. 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book made me realise how easy it can be to make your own films and get involved with other peoples. It gave me the confidence to just go out and get my own first camera without panicking over whether it was 'the right one'. It has great tips for when you are working on a budget and is a great encouragement to just go out and give it a go.

It gives practical tips, interesting and inspirational advice and is a quick and easy read that can be carried around with you wherever you go. I loved it and often use it as a point of reference.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book 6 July 2007
'When I was a young, aspiring, photographer, i read a book, in French, 'La photographie', by Edourd Boubard (i had just got A level french, so...) It was a simple book, that gave me enough courage to go out into the world, and take photographs.

I am now a professional film maker, and I wish I had read Mike Figgis's book before I started on that new adventure, because his book would have helped greatly.

if you are starting out, read this book, and 'In the blink of an eye', by Walter Murch
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lacking in Detail 23 Oct. 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Hmmm. . . This is a good book, I certainly found it inspiring and it's full of illuminating little hints. However, it's also very short and lacking in detail. Not a 'how to', more of an 'I did'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good effort at demystifying film making 7 Feb. 2012
Watching Robert Llewellyn you tube channel carpool, has me thinking more about AV as a medium to get a message out. Not knowing much about AV I had gone through several books on DV this is the first that seem to have a similar attitude to Llewllyn. Basically that the story or conversation is more important than the technology.

This is an easy read, which gives a good idea of both how game changing digital video cameras and computer editing are.
He has thought a great deal about the simple mechanics of this revolution.

Some of his best advice is common sense and yet profoundly challenging. His favourite still camera is one he has had years. As he points out the equpment is not as important as the person operating it.
A great photographer will be able to take a good picture with even the most basic equipment. In a world where we are constantly being told that we have to have the best and newest this is good advice.
He really encourages one to have respect for what equipment you have and to really really get to know it very well.
In a age where it is easy to pick up good quality second hand equipment this is a real incentive to stay focused on what is important.
He loves his craft but is obviously is highly frustrated by a lot of what goes on in the media industry. He also has a fascination with doing things at the most basic. His discussion of lighting, musical under scoring and of editing are
particularly interesting.
Good book, will definitely focus on getting to know the digital cameras I have better and stop worrying about having the newest and best.
Good advice to on questioning why you are doing things, definitely he does not believe in over gilding the lilly. He I think must be a nightmare to work with if you are old school, but a delight if you are
learning the craft.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
No images just pure writting. Disappointed
Published 1 month ago by Kindle user
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Amazing man!
Published 1 month ago by Kyle
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very interesting book and good price
Published 4 months ago by BA Page
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 11 months ago by CUSTOMER
2.0 out of 5 stars Not exactly what I expected
This book was published in 2007. Movie making has moved so fast in the last ten years that this book is already a past item. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Tar McAdam
5.0 out of 5 stars Anecdotes abound
Really interesting and insightful writing about film making for us budding (amateur) film makers out there. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Colin
5.0 out of 5 stars What A Book!
Great Books, I have been six months at my TV/FILM/MEDIA/PHOTOGRAPHY Course now and I love it. I am in the middle of shooting my first short film. Read more
Published 13 months ago by J J Walsh
5.0 out of 5 stars Good fun as well as informative
I always look at the negative reviews first before buying or writing a customer review. The negative ones in this case were written by people who wanted a very different kind book... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Henry Rogers
5.0 out of 5 stars Filmmaking - Figgis
Absolutely of my era - taking us thro from analogue to digital
Lots of useful advice and useful hints of how to progress in this media
Published on 26 Feb. 2013 by veronicA
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget Film School
Forget Film School. Mike Figgis' wonderful book contains all you ever need to know about Low Budget Filmmaking. Buy it now.
Published on 7 Feb. 2013 by Christopher Hanvey
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