Top positive review
23 people found this helpful
Excellent book, extremely detailed, great read...
on August 20, 2009
The first thing I did when I decided to make my feature film was to bring in a DP. Mike was a guy I worked with backstage on some musicals and a guy I knew who was a hard worker, easy to get a long with, didn't put up with crap and someone that I could trust. I also had a chance to work with a guy who had professional lights, professional equipment and was willing to "help out." Though this other guy was available, I went with Mike because I had relationship with him. And I'll be honest with you: He taught me more than I realize.
Ms. Frost book is about those relationships. Those "getting on the same page" moments that define the film-making process. When you think about it - you need to have EVERYONE on the same page - from the sound guy, to the actor, to the home owner whose home you're abusing in the process of making your film.
What Ms. Frost does in her extremely detailed book - is give the director all the tools he or she needs to find that common ground with the Cinematographer. To get on the same page. To recognize what it is that the Director of Photography (or the guy who showed up with the really nice camera) brings to the ENTIRE process. She takes you through everything from lens choices and film stock to cameras and aspect ratios so that you have some understanding of what is going on in your DP's head to create an environment of trust and understanding. To create the magic that is film-making.
What magic? When I made my film we were filming at night a poignant scene at the loudest cemetery in Washington State (in which we had no official permission to film). We were using a consumer Canon HV20 camera. My daughter, who was on pain meds and kind of drowsy, held up a box light we purchased from Ikea - power fed by a generator 20 feet away. We got the actors in place and Mike looked through the camera. Like a kid on Christmas morning he motioned me over: "Look at this!" The shot was beautiful. It was magical. It conveyed everything I could have ever wanted in the scene. Could I have got that shot myself? I highly doubt it.
Still...what makes Jacqueline Frost's book stand out is not only the great information that she provides, but the hundreds of quotes from cinematographers about all the aspects of cinematography. This is THE book that takes you into the mind of the cinematographer and helps you, the director, become better at your craft. Excellent.