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Film School in a Box

Brant W. Jones
 
Aristotle's Poetics (Dramabook,)
Aristotle's Poetics (Dramabook,)
"Aristotle laid out the basic structure of dramatic writing 2400 years ago, and we continue to employ those same principles today."
Film Art: An Introduction
Film Art: An Introduction
"Everyone who takes Prof. Casper's CNTV 190 has to buy this book.  It might be just an introduction, but it's a comprehensive introduction."
Film History: An Introduction
Film History: An Introduction
"This textbook surveys more than a century of international cinema.  Again, the authors are very comprehensive in their approach."
Spike, Mike, Slackers, & Dykes: A Guided Tour Across a Decade of American Independent Cinema
Spike, Mike, Slackers, & Dykes: A Guided Tour Across a Decade of American Independent Cinema
"While not required reading at USC, Pearson's book is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in independent film."
The Bare Bones Camera Course for Film and Video
The Bare Bones Camera Course for Film and Video
"This is hands down the best book you can buy to get started in moviemaking.  Simple and direct, you'll have a firm grasp of fundamental camera techniques after about ten minutes of reading."
Film Production Technique: Creating the Accomplished Image
Film Production Technique: Creating the Accomplished Image
"After you've learned the Bare Bones, check out this book for a more in-depth understanding of cinematography."
Film Lighting: Talks with Hollywood's Cinematographers and Gaffers
Film Lighting: Talks with Hollywood's Cinematographers and Gaffers
"Lighting for film is a lot like the game Othello: a minute to learn, a lifetime to master. Malkiewicz explores the finer points of the key, fill and kicker with clarity and aplomb."
Sound for Film and Television
Sound for Film and Television
"Holman is kind of an egomaniac, but if you're interested in recording and mixing sound, this book has everything you'd ever want to know"
The Movie Business Book, Third Edition
The Movie Business Book, Third Edition
"Believe it or not, most people in Hollywood aren't evil blood-sucking corporate monsters.  They're smart people who are trying to run a business and make money, just like everyone else in America."
Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting
Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting
"There are a TON of books about screenwriting out there, but this is the granddaddy of them all."
Sense of Direction: Some Observations on the Art of Directing
Sense of Direction: Some Observations on the Art of Directing
"Nothing short of genius.  Written from the perspective of the Theatre, Bill Ball reveals simple princples and helpful guidelines for any director who wishes to get the most from his actors."
On Directing Film
On Directing Film
"Love him or hate him, Mamet knows his stuff.  In this quasi-manifesto, he declares that cinema's greatest impact derives from editing, and that a director's efforts should be geared toward that end."
In the Blink of an Eye: A Perspective on Film Editing, 2nd Edition
In the Blink of an Eye: A Perspective on Film Editing, 2nd Edition
"A great book about film editing by one of Hollywood's masters of the craft.  It'll almost make you want to run out and buy a Steenbeck."
Battleship Potemkin
Battleship Potemkin
"This work of Soviet progaganda is the one movie that every film school teacher references when giving a lecture on editing and the juxtaposition of images over time."
The Art of Buster Keaton (The General / Sherlock, Jr. / Our Hospitality / The Navigator / Steamboat Bill Jr. / College / Three Ages / Battling Butler / Go West / The Saphead / Seven Chances / 21 Short Films)
The Art of Buster Keaton (The General / Sherlock, Jr. / Our Hospitality / The Navigator / Steamboat Bill Jr. / College / Three Ages / Battling Butler / Go West / The Saphead / Seven Chances / 21 Short Films)
"Keaton and Chaplin pretty much invented everything we now take for granted about filmmaking.  Much more than just silent slapstick, see firsthand how a technological curiosity evolved into an artform."
Sunset Boulevard (Special Collector's Edition)
Sunset Boulevard (Special Collector's Edition)
"This classic example of film noir touches on the rocky transition experienced by many in Hollywood as the industry shifted from silent films into sync sound. Watch everything Wilder has ever done."
Rashomon (The Criterion Collection)
Rashomon (The Criterion Collection)
"This non-linear narrative is told from multiple viewpoints, like a Japanese Citizen Kane.  See as much Kurosawa as you can."
A Place in the Sun
A Place in the Sun
"Classic Hollywood cinema from two of the most beautiful stars to ever grace the screen.  Just because it's classic Hollywood doesn't mean it has a happy ending."
Pather Panchali
Pather Panchali
"India today has the most prolific film industry in the world.  Before there was Bollywood, there was Satyajit Ray."
Breathless
Breathless
"Jean-Luc Godard turned cinema on its ear with this, one of the earliest and most important films of the French New Wave."
8 1/2 (The Criterion Collection)
8 1/2 (The Criterion Collection)
"Everyone agrees this movie is a magically surreal head-trip.  Everyone also agrees Fellini is a visionary genius."
Rosemary's Baby
Rosemary's Baby
"Quite possibly the greatest horror film ever made.  Roman Polanski is a gifted filmmaker.  Chinatown should also be on this list, but I ran out of room."
Cabaret
Cabaret
"Yes, a musical.  Not a colorful Busby Berkeley show-stopper, but a rather dark and cynical tour through Nazi-era Germany. Joel Grey and Liza Minelli are fab."
Raging Bull (Special Edition)
Raging Bull (Special Edition)
"Since you have to see every Scorcese film ever made, you might as well start with this one.  DeNiro gives the performance of a lifetime."
Blood Simple
Blood Simple
"One of the Coen brothers' earliest films, and a perfect example of post-modern film noir."