Jump to content


Photo

Books and Movies for Newbies


  • Please log in to reply
41 replies to this topic

#1 Tim Tyler

Tim Tyler

    Administrator

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1291 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Olympia, WA (US)

Posted 21 January 2005 - 11:53 AM

New users on this forum often ask for book recommendations.

Cinematography.com has compiled a list of books here.
  • 0

#2 Alex Wuijts

Alex Wuijts
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 181 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 28 April 2006 - 07:29 AM

I've read Blain Browns book to shreds, i love that one. The negative aspects of the book are the terrible quality of the filmstills and strange typos and mistakes in calculations. You have to watch out for those.
  • 0

#3 Ken Maskrey

Ken Maskrey
  • Guests

Posted 19 July 2006 - 05:58 PM

The one video that is a MUST SEE for all new filmmakers is Into Oblivion with Steve Buscemi..not a tutorial by any means, but you'll see more of how a real low budget set works in that movie than anywhere else.

Edited by Ken Maskrey, 19 July 2006 - 05:58 PM.

  • 0

#4 Brad Grimmett

Brad Grimmett
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2660 posts
  • Steadicam Operator
  • Los Angeles

Posted 20 July 2006 - 03:30 AM

The one video that is a MUST SEE for all new filmmakers is Into Oblivion with Steve Buscemi..not a tutorial by any means, but you'll see more of how a real low budget set works in that movie than anywhere else.

It's actually called Living In Oblivion.
  • 1

#5 David Calson

David Calson
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 269 posts
  • Other
  • Georgia

Posted 10 September 2006 - 03:09 PM

Has anyone read Matters of Light and Depth? I hear its fantastic.
  • 0

#6 Douglas Sunlin

Douglas Sunlin
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 70 posts
  • Student

Posted 23 October 2007 - 06:40 PM

New users on this forum often ask for book recommendations, and suggestions of movies to watch specifically for camera technique.

Cinematography.com has compile a list of books at http://cinematography.com/shop/books.asp

There are 45 books in that list. Maybe someone could volunteer to pare that down to a few (less than 10) of the best books?
  • 0

#7 Morgan Peline

Morgan Peline
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 417 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 23 October 2007 - 07:52 PM

For me for beginners I would suggest - in the following order from simple to more complicated:

Reflections: Twenty-One Cinematographers At Work (Paperback)
by Benjamin Bergery

http://www.amazon.co...O...1353&sr=1-1

Lighting for Film and Digital Cinematography (with InfoTrac ) (Paperback)
by Dave Viera

http://www.amazon.co...a...1562&sr=1-1


Film Lighting by Kris Malkiewicz

http://www.amazon.co...M...1262&sr=8-1

Cinematography (Screencraft) (Paperback)
by Peter Ettegui

http://www.amazon.co...a...1562&sr=1-1

New Cinematographers by Alex Ballinger

http://www.amazon.co.....lex Ballinger
  • 1

#8 Drew Hoffman

Drew Hoffman
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 57 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Chicago, IL

Posted 26 February 2008 - 08:34 AM

I'd have to recommend:
"Set Lighting Technician's Handbook" by Harry C. Box
"American Cinematographer Manual" by Stephen H. Burum
"Film Lighting" by Blain Brown
There are three books by Paul Wheeler that are also very good. There's one for film, digital, and HD... they're very good.
"Reflections" by Benjamin Bergery and "Film Lighting" by Kris Malkiewicz are very good at covering a variety of things.
In my opinion, one of my favorites is "If It's Purple, Someone's Gonna Die" by Patti Bellantoni... I think it highlights the collaboration between the Director, Cinematographer and Production Designer in a way that isn't covered very often. More than that, it covers how colors in visual storytelling enhance and effect the story.
  • 0

#9 Jim Carlile

Jim Carlile
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 464 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 01 May 2008 - 04:13 AM

Here's three fantastic books, all British, all out-of-print, all expensive, but worth the search:

Photographic Theory for the Motion Picture Cameraman
Practical Motion Picture Photography

both by Russell Campbell, and

Principles of Cinematography, by Leslie Wheeler.

The first Campbell book is basically an expanded version of the Wheeler, almost chapter by chapter.
  • 0

#10 Glen Alexander

Glen Alexander
  • Guests

Posted 01 May 2008 - 07:08 AM

What about anything by Roger Corman? Robert Lippert? Bert I. Gordon? Sandy Frank? ha ha ha

yes I still watch old episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000...

I"d like to read more about the practical and personal antecdotes rather than some stale old book

the the 'one-shot' directors,

the one who went ballistic with lilly tomlin

the director whose main style was slow zooming, ha ha

these are classic, think david mullen posted about these.

example
what is Lucas really like on a set?
Coppla "?
insert name here " ?

Edited by Glen Alexander, 01 May 2008 - 07:12 AM.

  • 0

#11 Brian Dzyak

Brian Dzyak
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1517 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Encino, California USA

Posted 11 October 2008 - 12:32 PM

lol, sooooo many books to choose from! :blink: I am a complete beginner, so could someone please give me one or two books to choose from. That would be greatly appreciated.

JJ



What do you want to know? :)


Of course, I'll recommend to anyone who is just getting a start in this business to begin by reading What I Really Want to Do: On Set in Hollywood. I've lost count of the number of established professionals who tell me that they wish this book had been available before they got into the business. Really, if you want to be in the industry, there is SO much more to know than the technical nuts & bolts (T-stops, lenses, etc.)

What I Really Want to Do puts the job you want into context so that when you do read everything else (the nuts & bolts books), then it makes a whole lot more sense. For a list of some of the excellent nuts & bolts books as well as other resources available (websites, movies), please visit www.whatireallywanttodo.com and click on the Additional Resources link at that top.
  • 0

#12 DJ Kast

DJ Kast
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 38 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Green Bay, WI

Posted 09 December 2008 - 07:38 PM

lol, sooooo many books to choose from! :blink: I am a complete beginner, so could someone please give me one or two books to choose from. That would be greatly appreciated.

JJ

For a complete beginner, "The Five C's of Cinematography by Joseph V. Mascelli. And also Blain Brown's "Cinematography: Theory and Practice : Imagemaking for Cinematographers, Directors & Videographers"
  • 0

#13 Rut Briones

Rut Briones

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • Director

Posted 10 December 2008 - 06:22 AM

...mmm... Hi,

I'm looking for a quite complete book that doesn't leave me with the... 'this is quite basic' feeling. Not that I'm an expert or anything, but I've found most of the books are quite basic...

Would you say the ASC Manual (both volumes) is worthy? I've seen it named a couple of times and sounds like a good one. And could someone (if you've read it) summarize a bit what's in each volume?

Thanks a lot,
Rut
  • 0

#14 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19769 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 10 December 2008 - 11:15 AM

There is a difference between a technical manual / reference guide and a textbook -- the second is meant to be read as a book, the first is meant to use for reference, though the ASC Manual does mix in articles with the charts and whatnot.

Certainly if you are a shooter, a reference guide like the ASC Manual is worth owning. When I was a film student, I picked up a used version from 1980 that was quite fun to flip through.

I find that "intermediate" level textbooks on cinematography tend to go beyond technical issues (at that point, better covered in technical manuals) and concentrate on real-world experiences of professionals. They tend to be interview books. Truth is that once you get beyond the basics of photography, most of the challenges of cinematography tend to be artistic and logistical more than technical.
  • 1

#15 James Mansell

James Mansell
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 12 posts
  • Other

Posted 02 January 2009 - 02:28 PM

I've seen Visions Of Light, what is Cinematography Style like? It's also really difficult to buy here in the UK, i heard the negatives are that it is just interviews and has no actual footage, worth watching?
  • 0

#16 Tim Tyler

Tim Tyler

    Administrator

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1291 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Olympia, WA (US)

Posted 03 January 2009 - 07:38 AM

Cinematographer Stylehttp://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=cinematographyco&l=as2&o=1&a=B00197POY0 is a collection of sound bites from interviews with cinematographers.

I wish it were 20 hours long but it's just 86 minutes.
  • 0

#17 James Martin

James Martin
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 227 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 05 January 2009 - 11:58 AM

Principles of Cinematography (Leslie J. Wheeler) is an interesting read, though a bit punishing for total beginners and very, very technical.

His son, Paul Wheeler BSC, has written three books on Cinematography which IMHO are a bit more user-friendly - Practical Cinematography (great starting point and mainly about 16mm or 35mm film), Digital Cinematography (mostly Digibeta) and High Definition Cinematography (take a guess).

That said, to paraphrase someone famous - if you're looking for rules in art, there's the laws of physics and that's about it. Really, get a camera and some lights and see what works.

However, reading definitely helps to give you an idea of what to aim for and I'll also vote for Blain Brown's "Cinematography" as an encyclopedia of sorts.

Something I don't think anyone has mentioned in this thread is the American Cinematographer magazine - published monthly and available from the ASC site, it details the work of cinematographers past and present. A lot of it is big films, but it is a very interesting read nonetheless.
  • 0

#18 James Martin

James Martin
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 227 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 14 January 2009 - 05:16 PM

As an addition to the above, I have just read and thoroughly enjoyed Film and Digital LIGHTING, by Dave and Maria Varia.

You can pick it up on Amazon. Great book, with a good balance of artistic and technical information. Highly recommended.
  • 0

#19 Henry Weidemann

Henry Weidemann
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 37 posts
  • Student
  • Germany

Posted 27 January 2009 - 08:50 PM

I've just ordered the "Cinematographer Style" DVD and found it very entertaining. Of course it includes only interviews and no footage that explains what they are talking about. But I think it's a helpful source for a cinematography - beginner who needs a good starting point to get into it.

I've also started reading through "Masters of Light" that includes 15 interviews with some of the greatest cinematographers of all times (including Hall, Storraro, Willis, Williams, Zsigmond etc.).

Both sources are in my opinion not useful to carry around on a filmset while shooting a movie, they are no instruction manuals or "how to shoot a movie?" - guidances but you get a very close look into the world of cinematography and its theoretical and technical aspects
  • 0

#20 Tom Dunne

Tom Dunne

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 16 February 2009 - 12:07 PM

...mmm... Hi,

I'm looking for a quite complete book that doesn't leave me with the... 'this is quite basic' feeling. Not that I'm an expert or anything, but I've found most of the books are quite basic...

Would you say the ASC Manual (both volumes) is worthy? I've seen it named a couple of times and sounds like a good one. And could someone (if you've read it) summarize a bit what's in each volume?

Thanks a lot,
Rut


Hi

What about "Hands-on Manual for Cinematographers" by David Samuelson? How does it compare to the ASC Manual? Ultimately, im looking for a book that'll help me learn how to light and film a sequence correctly. For example, how to use a light metre to light a scene or how to wokr out correct focal lengths to use etc.

Tom
  • 0


Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Visual Products

Metropolis Post

CineTape

Glidecam

Technodolly

FJS International, LLC

Aerial Filmworks

Ritter Battery

Willys Widgets

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

Paralinx LLC

Wooden Camera

Broadcast Solutions Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Tai Audio

Opal

The Slider

Abel Cine

CineLab

FJS International, LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Glidecam

Aerial Filmworks

Metropolis Post

rebotnix Technologies

Willys Widgets

Opal

Broadcast Solutions Inc

The Slider

Visual Products

Paralinx LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Abel Cine

Tai Audio

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Ritter Battery

Technodolly

CineLab

Wooden Camera

CineTape