The Filmmaker’s Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for the Digital Age Reviews

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  1. Ken Randall "Ken" says
    19 of 19 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    If you could only buy one book – consider this one first, June 14, 2008
    By 
    Ken Randall “Ken” (North Carolina, USA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: The Filmmaker’s Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for the Digital Age (Paperback)

    I have an entire library of filmmaking books – this one book (esp. the 2008 update) is fantastic – covering every aspect of filmmaking – and not just the technical stuff – even working with actors, directing and some basics of film theory. Of course it is best at the technical side – including HD production and post production editing. Very few of my collection come close to this one for breadth and depth.

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  2. Daniel Benson says
    20 of 22 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    UNBEATABLE. Perfect in all regards, December 2, 2007
    By 
    Daniel Benson (Klamath Falls, Oregon) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: The Filmmaker’s Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for the Digital Age (Paperback)

    I’ve read a lot of books on cinematography, and this is by far the finest I’ve seen.
    This is an extremely well written, comprehensive book on ALL aspects of film making.
    The authors have obviously worked very hard on this book, and it shows. For example, there are EXTENSIVE cross references throughout the book like: “before you read this you should read pages 22-25”. This kind of cross referencing takes a lot of time to do accurately.
    The cost is a real STEAL for the amount of information in it. In my opinion it is the only book you need on cinematography. If you don’t think so, at least read this first. I think all your questions will be answered.
    I can’t recommend it highly enough.
    Daniel O. Benson

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  3. The Blood of Roses says
    9 of 9 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Deeper Than The Usual Fare of Still Photography Books, June 4, 2009
    By 
    The Blood of Roses (Florida) –

    This review is from: The Filmmaker’s Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for the Digital Age (Paperback)

    I would encourage anyone from amateur (photographers committed by passion) to professional (photographers committed by career choice) to include within their ongoing study curriculum source material covering cinematography. And, this book should be first on their reading list! It is a perfect compendium of technique, theory, equipment and practice.

    What impresses me is how much more deeply the authors explain basic concepts, beyond what you find in most of the regular digital photography books currently on the market; and, the explanations are so succinct. Take, for instance, when discussing depth of field and distance compression and expansion in perspective, the choice between changing the camera to subject distance or changing focal lenght to control the size of the subject in the frame, pages 142 to 146, makes an enormous difference in the way the image will look. It is explained that,

    ” … as the camera is moved closer, the relative size of foreground and background objects increase at different rates. […] Perspective may be thought of as the rate at which objects become smaller the farther they are from the camera.”

    This isn’t your ususal dslr concept of camera to subject distance and its effect on the still image, but it goes a great deal further to better conceptualize, visualize and help dslr photographers understand how to consciously and intelligently compose scenes to communicate subject character and thematic content. The authors then go on to explicitly demonstrate this concept through comparing and contrasting different photographs, and diagrams.

    Another instance of this succint and analytical style of writing is near by, between pgs. 151-153, concerning applying focusing to the image and determining depth of field:

    “In the ideal (theoretical) lens, there is only one subject plane in focus-everything in front of or behind this plane is out of focus. In the case of the portrait, if the man’s eyes were exactly 10 feet from the camera, his nose and ears would be out of focus. Fortunately, with real lenses the area that looks in focus is more generous. A zone (called the depth of field) extends from in front of the subject to behind the subject, delineatiing the area of acceptable sharpness (see Fig. 4-8). In other words, the depth of field is the zone, measured in terms of near distance and far distance from the camera, where the image appears acceptably sharp.”

    Illustration follows to assist the visualization. These are just a couple of examples of the analytical and clear vision with which the book in its entirety has been written. These are the kinds of explanations for which I have been searching; and, no doubt, which you would welcome in lieu of sitting in a classroom listening to a professor lecture.

    I bought this book after browsing at Borders for something to help me understand how to use cinematography techniques to produce still photos that look more cinematic. I got lucky that night! But you will find even more luck getting it from Amazon, since the price may be about half of what I paid at Borders. It’s a great deal to get so much expert guidance for Amazon prices!

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