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4.8 out of 5 stars17
4.8 out of 5 stars
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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:

Aspect ratios
Frame axis
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.
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on 2 January 2014
This is a 5 star book, no doubts, but this review is for the Kindle edition which just isn't any good. Illustrations, which make the paper copy so good, are either missing, or turn up long after the text. Moving back and forth between sections doesn't work very well either.

The book is fantastic - one of the better filmmaking references out there - but buy the paperback version.
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on 2 March 2012
I have a mistrust of film books. I'm not sure why but I just do. Simple and informative, this book could be written by anyone! However.....i'm not sure just anyone could have got the everyman to understand it like Gustavo. Everything is written in an interesting and interested way. Almost as though you are enjoying the scenes with him for the first time. everything is in colour (unless the shot was originally in B&W). Which matters. The writing is succinct and lively without flannel or flowery toss. All of the types of shots are broken down into their own individual little chapter. This makes it easy to pop straight to the ones you want in your production and leave the others until you've got a bit of time to digest them at your leisure. A smashing read. Thoroughly informative. From a great writer who is clearly in love with the art of cinema.
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on 16 November 2012
This is an exellent book. It breaks down a load of different shots, and gives very clear explanations as,to why the scene works. Even if you are a fairly seasoned, shooter like me, you will see stuff that makes you go hmmmm, in a good way.

The actual quality of the book is superb, with the photos printed with a lavish saturation.
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on 3 February 2012
This book is awesome.

It illustrates techniques and other cinematic concepts by using examples of amazing movies, and shows what turns these movies so good.
Very easy to ready and very well made!

It's one of the top 5 books I've ever read about movies.
Encourage everyone to read this book who wants to get more into this concepts and rules. May be to low level for people who already know all this stuff.

But nevertheless, awesome book! ;)
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on 14 January 2011
Having started playing with digital video this past year, I've realised cinematographers deal with the same issues of composition that still-photographers handle, but at many frames per second.

This book is a good introduction to several such rules with each rule following a consistent example, discussion and `technical considerations' page.

I fully expect it'll have some ramifications in my stills-photography too, soon enough.
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on 14 August 2013
This book will give you a great foundation. I use it for storyboarding and it is the best I have read on the subject. Many of these books on Cinematography becomes very dry and technical, but this book also deals with emotional intentions of a shot and how to break the rules. Highly recommended reading for everyone interested in visual storytelling!
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on 16 December 2015
I love pictures, detailed break up of given examples and comprehensive knowledge that gives. I love the purchase of this book.
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on 26 November 2014
This book goes through, almost all of the things, that a writer needs to know, about how stories are interpreted on screen.
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on 10 May 2012
Nice book with excellent images of example shots. Great for people starting out in film making. I would Highly recommend.
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