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Understanding How To Shoot A Scene! THE FILMMAKER'S EYE: A Critical Review.
on 9 November 2010
This book, by Gustavo Mercado is typical of the better-published titles in Focal Press' library. THE FILMMAKER'S EYE is a thoroughly instructional book on the principles of shooting a scene, or "Mise-En-Scene."
The book can be seen as a two-part discussion. The first being a brief introduction to the fundamentals of photography and explaining the basic concepts of:
Focal point & Field-Of-View
Normal, wide and telephone lenses
Shallow vs. Deep Depth-of-Field
Shooting Formats: SD & HD
The second, the remaining 90% of the book, is a look at almost 100 different movie scenes where Gustavo examines, for example, an "over-the-shoulder" point of view in the film, PULP FICTION between the two characters played by Ving Rhames and Bruce Willis as well as Anne Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman in Mike Nichols' unforgettable THE GRADUATE.
Gustavo breaks down angles such as a "Medium Close-Up" of Jean-Pierre Jeunet's titular character in the film, AMELIE; "Medium Long Shot" of Natalie Portman and Jean Reno in Luc Besson's, THE PROFESSIONAL; "The Subjective Shot" of Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster in Jonathan Demme's, SILENCE OF THE LAMBS; and, "The Macro Shot" (to name a few) of Emile Hirsch in Sean Penn's film, INTO THE WILD.
There are also scenes from other films examined such as Pedro Almodovar's, BROKEN EMBRACES and Steven Spielberg's, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK.
Gustavo Mercado has hit a home run with the book and it is one that anyone interested in film studies and especially those interested in cinematography, editing or directing a feature should strongly consider.