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The Art of Technique: An Aesthetic Approach to Film and Video Production Paperback – December 30, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-0205142484 ISBN-10: 0205142486 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; 1 edition (December 30, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0205142486
  • ISBN-13: 978-0205142484
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.8 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #293,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

This book provides readers with a teaching tool not currently available. It fills a gap in the literature by going beyond simple discussions of hardware usage, basic technical knowledge, and descriptions of technique to in-depth discussions of how this knowledge can be applied in a coherent approach to production.

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Customer Reviews

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This is the best book on film making I have ever read.
Foremost Film Fan
Technical proficiency is the body of skills that provide the foundation for effective film and video production.
John Douglass (jdougla@american.edu)
I teach filmmaking, and needed a book that covers all the basics in a few meaty and meaningful pages.
Dick Oliver

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By John Douglass (jdougla@american.edu) on December 29, 1998
Format: Paperback
In film, video and television production, we recognize the difference between technical proficiency and technique. Technical proficiency is the body of skills that provide the foundation for effective film and video production. We achieve technical competence in the same way a painter discovers how to handle the brush and palette knife, or learns the basics of color, composition, and perspective.
Technique is the application of these technical skills and methodologies for coherent, expressive purposes. Although technical proficiency with film video and television equipment cannot be underestimated, when we apply technical methods without plan or purpose, our productions become cliched contrivances and we lose their potential as means of expression.
The Art of Technique is a text that encourages students to go beyond technical proficiency toward the thoughtful application of technique as they articulate and interpret content. This approach deals with formulating and interpreting subject and theme, and realizing the intentions of the script through the production process. It takes up such concerns as finding and developing ideas for the screen, creating portraiture, building narrative structure, and using symbols. My students have benefited from this approach and have learned how to coordinate these decisions to produce the kinds of works that engage us, arouse our feelings, and transport us into the worlds portrayed on the screen.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Dick Oliver on February 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
I teach filmmaking, and needed a book that covers all the basics in a few meaty and meaningful pages. This is it. Most books on filmmaking technique either wax philosophical on the author's pet theories or get lost in gee-wiz-you-can-do-this-neat-trick-with-the-camera mania. There's little of either here; instead, you'll find a focused, highly readable series of lessons on what really matters most--how to communicate a meaningful message on film or video. Unlike some VERY annoying books that give examples of lighting and other techniques via badly drawn line-art, this book shows every technique with actual stills from video shoots so you can see how lighting, framing, lens use, etc. actually change the appearance and impact of a scene.
There are also numerous references to excellent classic and modern films with quite specific suggestions for examining the techniques that make those films work so well. Perhaps most important of all, the authors never lose sight of the fact that filmmaking is about interpreting and creating a reality that evokes a meaningful and powerful experience for the audience.
So if you want a book listing all the oh-so-tacky transitions and effects that your new NLE will do, or a thousand-page treatise on the history of film, THIS AIN'T IT. But if you want a book that will help you quickly learn to put cameras, lighting, and editing in the service of your creativity--buy this one first.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Sebastian on April 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
this book works very well as an introduction to the creative use of techniques for filmmaking. it is quite clear and concise and is not bogged down by too much technical details or dicussions on film theory. a good starting point.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jason M. Silverman on January 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book explores many aspects of filmmaking in a logical, easy-to-follow manner. A great find, albeit a bit pricy. I used it as my text for teaching a video class as it offers some aesthetic considerations for why techniques may or may not be used in a given situation. This approach helps to minimize the technique-euphoria beginners tend to have with techniques which are new to them (ala George Lucas in the new Star Wars...)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
"The Art of Technique: An Aesthetic Approach to Film and Video Production," is more of a primer than it is a critique of cinema. Yes, there is a big difference between this volume by John S. Douglass and Gleen P. Harnden and "Film Art: An Introduction" by David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson. The latter utilizes literally hundreds of frames from both classic and relatively unknown films to demonstrate cinematic techniques. "The Art of Technique" does the same thing with student models. Whether this has to do with the cost of using copyrighted images and/or transforming them into individual frames for use in a book, this is a major difference between the two textbooks. When Douglass and Harnden discuss something, like Ingmar Bergman's use of Extreme Close-ups (ECU) in "Scenes from a Marriage," they can only talk about the extraordinary intimacy it gave the production, without offering visual evidence to support their claim. However, the authors do use their "homemade" examples to good use at time; for example, when exploring the concept of framing they provide examples of "bad" shots (filled with distracting clutter) before showing better choices for the cinematographer.
"The Art of Technique" is divided into two main sections. After an introductory chapter on "Interpretation and Treatment," there are six chapters focusing on the various ways a film can tell a story, essentially pre-production considerations. There is a nice little section detailing the basic types of stories Hollywood tells over and over again ("Jack the Giant Killer," "Fish Out of Water," etc.).
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