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Best comprehensive book for ACing


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#1 Patrick Kaplin

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 05:33 PM

So what would be the best comprehensive manual that you guys would suggest for an aspiring AC? I've seen many listed on amazon, but what's your personal suggestion?

Christmas is coming :-)
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#2 David Regan

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 05:43 PM

Doug Hart's book should cover you pretty well. And the ASC manual is something anyone should probably have.
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#3 Chris Keth

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 06:53 PM

There's also David Elkins' book. Either of those two would work fine. Definitely get the ASC manual. It's expensive but very useful.
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#4 Rory Hanrahan

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 08:32 PM

The ASC manual is a given. You have no excuse for not buying it, especially since its price has dropped down to ~$55 in its paperback form. There's a wealth of knowledge inside. Read a chapter before bed every night, then go into work and spew out your new knowledge of matte paintings, shooting plates and rear projection. You're AC nerd merit badge should arrive in 4-6 weeks.

I suggest both Hart's and Elkin's books. They compliment each other, reinforce each other and even (occasionally) contradict each other. Spend the "low-budget, we know we're paying you nothing but the food will be good" day-rate and order all 3 books ASAf'nP.
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#5 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 10:28 PM

I'll recommend mine!

The first five chapters explain the entire business so that you have perspective on the arena you're getting into. Then the Camera Department section details the particulars of what life is really like for someone as he/she works through each job and up the ladder and the relationship the department has with everyone else on set. The "how-to" books are very important and What I Really Want to Do: On Set in Hollywood puts it all in context that you can't learn in any way besides being there. While it is necessary to know how to do your own job, the more you know about what everyone else is doing, the better you'll be.

Go to www.whatireallywanttodo.com for more information about that PLUS a lot more information about the entire industry (Resources), the most comprehensive list of schools worldwide (over 700!) available anywhere, Film festivals, and Union information.


I'd also recommend these (in no particular order):

Camera Assistant, The: A Complete Professional Handbook (Hardcover)
by Douglas Hart (Author)
Product Details
Hardcover: 421 pages
Publisher: Focal Press (December 27, 1995)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0240800427
ISBN-13: 978-0240800424

The Camera Assistant's Manual, Fourth Edition (Paperback)
by David E. Elkins s.o.c. (Author)
Product Details
Paperback: 512 pages
Publisher: Focal Press; 4 edition ( January 28, 2005 )
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0240805585
ISBN-13: 978-0240805580

Masters of Light: Conversations with Contemporary Cinematographers (Paperback)
by Dennis Schaefer
Product Details
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: University of California Press (January 22, 1986)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0520053362
ISBN-13: 978-0520053366
 
Women Behind the Camera: Conversations with Camerawomen (Paperback)
by Alexis Krasilovsky (Author)
Product Details
Paperback: 248 pages
Publisher: Praeger Paperback (April 30, 1997)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0275957454
ISBN-13: 978-0275957452
 
Film Lighting (Paperback)
by Kris Malkiewicz (Author)
Product Details
Paperback: 198 pages
Publisher: Fireside (August 11, 1986)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0671766341
ISBN-13: 978-0671766344

Painting With Light (Paperback)
by John Alton
Product Details
Paperback: 191 pages
Publisher: University of California Press (May 18, 1995)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0520089499
ISBN-13: 978-0520089495
 
Cinematography: Image Making for Cinematographers, Directors, and Videographers (Paperback)
by Blain Brown (Author)
Product Details
Paperback: 303 pages
Publisher: Focal Press; 1 edition (October 2002)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0240805003
ISBN-13: 978-0240805009
 
Motion Picture and Video Lighting, Second Edition (Paperback)
by Blain Brown
Product Details
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Focal Press; 2 edition ( September 14, 2007 )
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0240807634
ISBN-13: 978-0240807638
 
The Five C's of Cinematography: Motion Picture Filming Techniques (Paperback)
by Joseph V. Mascelli
Product Details
Paperback: 251 pages
Publisher: Silman-James Press; 1st Silman-James Press Ed edition (June 1998)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 187950541X
ISBN-13: 978-1879505414
 
Cinematography: Third Edition (Paperback)
by Kris Malkiewicz (Author), M. David Mullen (Author)
Product Details
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Fireside; 3 edition ( June 21, 2005 )
Language: English
ISBN-10: 074326438X
ISBN-13: 978-0743264389
 
Matters of Light & Depth (Paperback)
by Ross Lowell
Product Details
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Lower Light Management (April 1, 1999)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0966250400
ISBN-13: 978-0966250404
 
Lighting for Film and Digital Cinematography (with InfoTrac ) (Paperback)
by Dave Viera (Author), Maria Viera (Author)
Product Details
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing; 2 edition ( July 2, 2004 )
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0534264980
ISBN-13: 978-0534264987
 
Lighting for Digital Video & Television, Second Edition (Paperback)
by John Jackman (Author)
Product Details
Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: CMP Books; 2 edition ( January 9, 2004 )
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1578202515
ISBN-13: 978-1578202515
 
Cinematography (Paperback)
by Kris Malkiewicz (Author)
Product Details
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Fireside; 2 edition (February 24, 1989)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0671762206
ISBN-13: 978-0671762209
 
The Grip Book, Third Edition (Paperback)
by Michael Uva (Author)
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Focal Press; 3 edition (April 26, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0240852338
ISBN-13: 978-0240852331
 
Set Lighting Technician's Handbook, Third Edition: Film Lighting Equipment, Practice, and Electrical Distribution (Paperback)
by Harry Box (Author)
Product Details
Paperback: 556 pages
Publisher: Focal Press; 3 edition ( March 17, 2003 )
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0240804953
ISBN-13: 978-0240804958
 
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Opal