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on 8 April 2011
If you have a basic appreciation that directors create their shots to help 'tell the story' but aren't quite sure about how they actually do it, then this book should make lot of sense. It contains examples of how to use directing techniques with cameras, lenses, props, sound and even wardrobe and more to tell the story cinematically.

Each technique includes real world examples and even screenplay extracts to help you understand the need for using the technique as well as how to apply it. But it doesn't waffle unnecessarily. Each example is concise and to the point.

I have found this to be like a 'Directors toolbox' of ideas and techniques and after just 10 minutes of reading I am already thinking of my own shots in a very different way. The concepts are simple, but very effective and easy to understand.

Some of the ideas are really quite interesting such as one example of an over dinner conversion between two parties who are about to start an affair. A tracking shot was used to shift from one side of the man's face to the other, essentially showing us his 'good side' then his 'bad side' as he shifts from happily married man to contemplating the affair. It's ideas like these that make this more than just a reference book - it's a fun, informative and inspiring read to anyone seeking to better understand the techniques used by professionals to tell stories cinematically.

This book covers a lot of essential ground such as composition, editing, pacing, sound effects, transitions, wardrobe, camera motion, lighting, colour, lens choices and so on.

Definitely recommended.
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on 5 June 2013
I'm a film maker so though I know a lot of the things mentioned in the book. I think this book is quite useful, its nice to have film terms and the reason and names for certain structures in films, laid out in an organised way. As others have said the photos are not very good but OK. I don't regret my purchase but wish the book had been designed better with with clearer photographs and a better shape. Its a bad shape for a paper back as its wide but floppy so looks awkward on my book shelf. I would say this book is good for budding film makers or anyone with an interest in how and why certain decisions are made when creating a story in film.
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on 1 November 2017
It's a pretty basic entry level cinematographer manual, but I think it can be a good handbook to check from time to time. I was expecting the stills inside to be colored but everything's black n white and the paper is not of the best quality, but I guess it's ok for the price it's sold for.
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on 15 February 2014
This book is really good at showing you the different devices used in film - clear and precise with good examples. It explains the different conventions (POV, wide angle, music, etc) and how they can be used to convey dramatic effect. Along with small bw pictures you also get the corresponding section from the screenplay - quite interesting to see how the word became the image. Only gripe is that it's a floppy paperback book and difficult to read unless you rest it on something. I guess they were going for a format size that mimicked the film screen, however none of the images make use of this space so it's a pretty redundant idea. Apart from that I'd recommend it.
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on 26 November 2014
I have mixed feelings about this book. I study animation and hoped it would give me a clear idea of film conventions and how to adapt them for my use. However I found this book a little difficult to navigate and while the shots are all there, there isn't much of an explanation as to when you'd use them etc.
It might help more if you're shooting live action, but for animation I'd recommend a good storyboarding book instead, you'll probably find that more helpful.
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on 30 May 2018
Great primer, good reminder of cinematic techniques . Makes for a wonderful little flip book at work or on a coffee table for clients. I keep a few books on my work desk. I like this one because it's partitioned in a way that you don't have to read it end to end. Just go to the parts that interest you. Refresh and come back to it later.
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on 23 July 2015
This is really good quality and great value for the price. There is nothing else like this that I have seen and anyone who is in the movie or television bussiness will like this as well as fans of film in general.
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on 15 April 2012
I purchased this book to help me with my university dissertation about camera techniques. There are 100 different techniques in the book, each of which has examples from popular films with screen shots. Yes, as stated in other reviews, the screenshots are in black and white, but I honestly don't feel that it matters. Besides, if you really want to see them in colour then watch the films!! Each section then discusses the dramatic value of each of the 100 techniques, this is the part that I found most useful, and caused me to purchase the book in the first place.

I am so pleased with this book and it has helped me out a lot with my dissertation. Great book and great value for money!
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on 1 May 2018
good book love it
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on 3 March 2013
If your a student studying film or media BUY THIS, loads of great ideas for different ways to film your shots


explains a lot of different shots and ways to tell a story. really really detailed so you proper understand

explains shots and stuff you know, but in a fun and informative way that will make you fully understand them and why to use them.

Great for a little read in your spare time.


if your not a filmaker then dont bother, it wont really interest you.
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