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Recent Books and DVDs on Filmmaking and Screenwriting



Visions of Light - DVD

Experience the dazzling story of cinematography as seen through the lenses of the world's greatest filmmakers and captured in classic scenes from over 125 immortal movies. Discover Gordon Willis's secrets of lighting Marlon Brando in The Godfather and Greg Toland's contributions to Citizen Kane. Hear William Fraker on filming Rosemary's Baby, Vittorio Storaro on his use of color and light in Apocalypse Now and much, much more. From black and white to Technicolor, silent to "talkie," glittering Hollywood musical to film noir and art film to blockbuster, this critically acclaimed masterpiece presents movies in a new and unforgettable light!

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Light Keeps Me Company - DVD

Twice an Oscar winner and considered one of the foremost cinematographers in the history of film, Sven Nykvist is best known for his work with Ingmar Bergman. Together they created some of the most important films of modern cinema. Despite a tumultuous personal life that included the tragic suicide of his oldest son and a sweeping love affair with Mia Farrow, Nykvist's passion for his craft did not fade as he directed films and collaborated on projects with filmmakers such as Woody Allen, Louis Malle, Andrei Tarkovsky, Roman Polanski and many others. Light Keeps Me Company offers an intimate and moving look at the life of legendary Swedish cinematographer. Film clips, rare home movies, family photographs, and behind-the-scenes footage are interwoven with interviews featuring an array of film legends who've worked with him over the years.

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Cinematography -- Screencraft

Peter Ettedgui, 1998, ISBN 0-240-80382-5

Cinematography is the first title in the SCREENCRAFT series, a unique venture which aims to unravel for the first time the multi-layered language of film-making, by exploring the fusion of crafts which combine to create the most important art form of the 20th century. The 17 cinematographers featured in this title encompass three generations of film-making and represent a diversity of film cultures. What they have in common is the contribution they have made to a universal cinema heritage and the fact that their work has helped to expand - if not revolutionize - the language of film.

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Digital Filmmaking


Digital Moviemaking

Scott Billups, 2000, ISBN 0-941-18830-2

The future of cinema lies in the power of the pixel. The injection of fresh ideas and methodologies will serve to mix up the metaphorical gene pool and empower a new generation of filmmakers. Digital Moviemaking is destined to become the industry bible for those who arlready embraced the digital technology as a new and more affordable way of storytelling and an eye-opener for those who are still intimidated by the process.

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Producing Great Sound for Digital Video

Jay Rose, 2000, ISBN 0-879-30597-5

Producing Great Sound for Digital Video educates beginning and experienced filmmakers on the intricacies of creating an outstanding soundtrack. Critical issues such as preproduction planning, the art of production and recording (including environmental factors and microphone setups), and post-production editing and effects are discussed. Inexpensive computers capable of capturing and playing back high-quality digital video, and full-featured editing software offer all kinds of ways to create visual eye candy, but embryonic filmmakers don't always realize that the picture is only half the story. Producing Great Sound for Digital Video explains how the other half works, what to watch out for, and how to achieve professional results.

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Placing Shadows --
Lighting Techniques for Video Production

Chuck B. Gloman & Tom Letourneau, 2000, ISBN 0-240-80409-0

Placing Shadows: Lighting Techniques for Video Production covers the physical properties of light and the selection of proper instruments and their placement for the best possible effect. For the advanced amateur and those pros looking to enhance the look of their productions, this book covers the fundamentals, as well as providing a solid reference for tips on better performance and how prepare for and avoid costly and time-consuming problems. This new edition includes an expanded section on location lighting, including the latest equipment and techniques to make location work easier, less expensive and use considerably less power. A section on studio lighting completes the work, discussing Hollywood-style lighting fixtures and techniques that will give interior work a balanced, professional appearance. The book includes all the latest lighting units available today.

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The Search for "Reality" --
The Art of Documentary Film Making

Edited by Michael Tobias, 1998, ISBN 0-941188-62-0

This book from internationally known author, producer and director Michael Tobias brings together the voices of nearly forty renowned documentary filmmakers from around the world as they explore the complexities of nonfiction filmmaking from the trenches of their profession. This book is for every filmmaker who wants to create, participate, inspire, motivate, or touch audiences through the powerful medium of documentary film.

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Making Documentary Films and Reality Videos

Barry Hampe, 1997, ISBN 0-8050-4451-5

Making Documentary Films and Reality Videos is the first book to tell why making a documentary looks easy but isn't. Author Hampe traces two main approaches to documentary - recording behavior and re-creating past events - and shows how to be successful at each. Covering all the steps in making a documentray from conceptualization to completion, with chapters on visual evidence; documentary ethics; why reality is not enough; budgeting; and cast, crew and equipment selection, this book can help you successfully bring to life the documentary you want to make.

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Directing the Documentary

Michael Rabiger, 1998, ISBN 0-240-80270-5

The Third Edition of this classic, Directing the Documentary, like the previous two, guides the reader through the process of making a work for the screen. This includes the real problems of researching and focusing a documentary film or video idea, of developing a crew, of directing the crew and participants, and of maintaining control during shooting. It guides the reader through the complex evolutionary process of post-production, when the film's true characteristics can really begin to emerge and assert themselves. Up-to-date with examples of significant new films and new projects, it is written in conversational, non-technical language, treating the reader as a colleague in search of clearly explained knowledge. The author, a veteran filmmaker and teacher shares anecdotes from his own professional experience where they usefully illustrate ideas, principles, or pitfalls.

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What They Didn't Teach You In Film School --
161 Strategies for Making Your Own Movie No Matter What

Camille Landau and Tiare White, 2000, ISBN 0-7868-8477-0

These two graduates of the American Film Institute and the USC Film School have written a great book that's motivating from start to finish. No holds are bared in their descriptions of what it takes to be a filmmaker and the illusions that going to film school is the only way to get there.

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How Much Joy Can You Stand --
How to Push Past Your Fears and Create Your Dreams

Suzanne Falter-Barns, 1999, ISBN 0-58270-003-6

If you are a writer who's not writing, a filmmaker who's not making films or anyone who can't get on with the work of their dreams, this book is for you. How Much Joy Can You Stand? gives you the inspirational kick in the pants it takes to move you into action.

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The Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide

Chris Gore, 1999, ISBN 1-58065-009-0

This comprehensive and eye-opening guide is jam packed with information for filmmakers and film lovers alike. The Ultimate Film Festival reveals how to get a film accepted and what to do after the acceptance, from putting together a press kit to putting on a great party to actually close the deal. The Ultimate Film Festival include a comprehensive listing of over 500 Film Festivals to enter with travel tips and contact information.

Buy it today!

Music for Film


Getting the Best Score for Your Film

David Bell, 1994, ISBN 1-879505-20-7

This is a must read for every filmmaker who intends to use music in a film. Bell gives great advice on choosing a composer, communicating with the composer, doing recording sessions and much more. He details the functions of a music supervisor and music editor, stressing the importance of these in creating a successful, marketable film and soundtrack. A quick read at only 108 pages, but a book you'll want to read several times.

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The Reel World: Scoring for Pictures

Jeff Rona, 2000, ISBN 0-87930-591-6

Written by one of Hollywood's top up-and-coming composers, this how-to guide takes you inside the world of creating music for film. Rona focuses on the composer's key concerns: ensuring musical aesthetics, using the most effective technology and techniques, and understanding the business side of film scoring. Packed with detailed case studies, insider's tips, and lots of philosophy, this book lets you learn by example.

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Film Music -- Screencraft

Mark Russell and James Young, 2000, ISBN 0-240-80441-4

Film Music is the third title in the SCREENCRAFT series, a unique venture which aims to unravel the multi-layered language of film-making by exploring each of the crafts which combine to make a film through the eyes of its leading parctitioners. The work by the 13 film composers featured in this title spans six decades and charts the development of film composition in the 20th century. In their own words, they convey their approach to this precise and complex art, and describe their musical sensibilities. The interviews are accompanied by film stills and some of their own scores, as well as a CD containing one major theme for each composer featured.

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Pre & Post-Production


Setting Up Your Shots --
Great Camera Moves Every Filmmaker Should Know.

Jeremy Vineyard, 1999, ISBN 0-941188-73-6

A one-stop encyclopedia of visual story telling techniques for directors, storyboard artists, film students home video enthusiasts or anyone who wants to learn about how movies are made. Using examples from new and classic films, Setting Up Your Shots identifies, explains and then shows how to create the basic camera setups and stylistic methods that make up the language of cinema.

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From Word to Image --
Storyboarding and the Filmmaking Process

Marcie Begleiter, 2001, ISBN 1-879505-23-1

Whether you're a director, screenwriter, producer, editor, or storyboard artist, the ability to tell stories with images is essential to your craft. This remarkable book is engineered to help both word and image-oriented artists learn how to develop and sharpen their visual storytelling skills via storyboarding.

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In the Blink of an Eye --
A perspective on Film Editing.

Walter Murch, 1995, ISBN 1-879505-23-1

This book is Walter Murch's essay on film editing. Starting with what might be the most basic editing question - Why do cuts work? - Murch treats the reader to a marvelous "ride" through the esthetics and practical concerns of cutting film. He offers insights on the subjects of continuity and discontinuity in editing, dreaming and waking reality; the criteria of a good cut; the blink of an eye as both an analog to and an emotional cue for the cut; the pros and cons of non-linear digital editing; and much more.

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Screenplays and Screenwriting


How NOT to Write A Screenplay --
101 Common Mistakes Most Screenwriters Make

Denny Martin Flinn, 1999, ISBN 1-58065-015-5

Having read tons of screenplays as an executive, Denny Martin Flinn has come to understand that while all good screenplays are unique, all bad screenplays are the same. Flinnís book teachs you how to avoid the pitfalls of bad screenwriting. Every example used was gleaned from a legimate screenplay. Flinnís advice is a no-nonsense analysis of the latest techniques for crafting first-rate screenplays that work and sell.

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Good Scripts Bad Scripts --
Learning the Craft of Screenwriting Through 25 of the
BEST and WORST Films in History

Thomas Pope, 1998, ISBN 0-609-80119-8

The book encompasses the best and worst films throughout the years, including Citizen Kane, Chinatown, Singin' in the Rain, Pulp Fiction The Bonefire of the Vampires, Fargo, Cutthroat Island, and many more. Each chapter discusses a different film and deals with a different component of the art of screenwriting - from character development to nurturing of subplots to the fundamentals of good dialog - and illustrates the virtues or mistakes of the film being discussed.

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Which Lie Did I Tell? --
More Adventures in the Screen Trade

William Goldman, 2001, ISBN 0-375-70319-5

This facinating insider's look is full of personal anectotes and assessments of notable screenplays, covers all of Goldman's brilliant career. He takes us inside the first rehearsal for The Princess Bride where we witness Mandy Patinkin slapping Andre the Giant. He explains why James Cann came to be cast for MIsery, while William Hurt, Harrison Ford, and Michael Douglas did not. He goes on to analyze classic movie scenes such as the crop-duster scene from North by Northwest and the zipper scene from There's Something About Mary. And to top it all off, he provides an original screenplay of his own and the unforgiving critiques it recieved from six fellow screenwriters. From defining the art of "spitballing" to five reasons why he loves Bergman, Which Lie Did I Tell? is essential reading not only for the aspiring screenwriter but also for anyone who loves film.

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