For those who want to take their enjoyment of fight choreography in movies to the next level, I thoroughly recommend this book to you.
When one considers all the elements that go into making a film, fight choreography is really only a relatively small piece of the jigsaw. However, there appears to be a disproportionately large level of demand and enthusiasm for quality fight scenes in films. This is because fight scenes are often central to a film and our enjoyment of the film depends largely on the quality of the fight scenes. When done well, a fight scene is not only an exciting and emotional experience for the audience, but it also develops the story and characters and promotes certain core values. When done badly, a fight scene removes the audiences' willing suspension of disbelief and makes it difficult to care about the characters or story. It makes sense, therefore, that by learning more about fight choreography, you will develop a greater appreciation towards fight scenes in particular and movies in general. That, essentially, is the reason why you should read this book.
The author John Kreng has accumulated many years of experience of choreographing and performing in movie fight scenes. He also seems to care deeply about the subject and is intent on sharing his considerable knowledge with his readers. The book is arranged much like a university textbook. Although this may be off-putting to some, I was glad to see that every conceivable element of fight choreography has been included, such as a cinematic history of fight cinema, explanations of the different types of martial arts, and comparisons between fighting in sport, in films and on the street. It is all written in such a way as to cater equally for both those who want to create their own fight scenes and those who simply wish to enhance their enjoyment of watching films.
My only criticism of this book is that it might be off-putting to casual fans of the genre due to the large amount of technical sections which are more relevant to film students and professionals. I recommend that the casual readers still buy the book and persevere with or skip over the technical sections as there are plenty of sections that would be of interest to them. However, in order to appeal to a wider audience, I would like to see the publisher release an abridged version omitting the technical sections.
In summary, fight choreography is an important and rewarding part of the movie-going experience and anyone who commits to reading this book will be rewarded with a greater understanding and enjoyment of this genre.
A lot of text and some seemed not needed but still very good resource and some interesting information at points which was very enlightening (especially the statement that action choreographer doesnt have involvement in the western film industry when it comes to the editing was fascinating to learn when compared to the eastern approach. If I ever become a film director and get to the editing I am going to make sure that the action choreographers are present! Definitely worth the purchase to be honest.