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Dear Amazon Readers,
Although there are other books out there that deal with the principles of visual composition, I always wanted to have a guide that specialized in the specific requirements that are inherent to the composition of shots intended for telling stories with moving images, also known as cinematic composition. The reason for the differentiation is simple: the composition of shots for movies has developed its own set of conventions, sometimes appropriating concepts from other art forms (like painting or still photography), but also creating its own aesthetic principles and visual language because of its unique characteristics (the fixed size of the frame, the movement of the subject and/or camera, the technology used to capture images, the way images are shown in conjunction with other images, etc.).
As you can probably guess, I never found such a guide, so I decided to write The Filmmaker’s Eye: Learning (and Breaking) the Rules of Cinematic Composition to fill the gap in this critical area of filmmaking. This book combines, for the first time, a specialized, focused guide to the most common and basic shots of the film vocabulary, from the extreme close up to the extreme long shot (also including chapters on the over the shoulder, macro, establishing, and moving camera shots). The Filmmaker’s Eye examines the main aspects that make these shots work: the rules of cinematic composition used in their creation, the techniques and equipment necessary to implement them, and their most common narrative function as shown in examples from mainstream, independent, and world cinema. This approach allows you to understand not only why a particular shot type is usually composed in a certain way, but also how it is used to convey meaning and how to shoot it whether you are working on film or HD video.
It is my sincerest wish that this book will help deepen your understanding of cinematic composition, whether you are on a film shoot setting up your next shot, or just enjoying one of your favorite movies. Have fun!
"Gustavo Mercado's beautiful book reveals the inner workings of the basic shots that create the cinematic experience. He reveals how visuals communicate to an audience. If you're a novice filmmaker or a seasoned professional, this book will broaden your visual horizons."--Bruce Block, film producer, author of The Visual Story, and visual consultant whose credits include The Holiday, Something's Gotta Give, Stuart Little, and Pretty in Pink
"Mercado's book is a great resource for aspiring cinematographers. Using a brilliant selection of images, both classic and contemporary, he eloquently analyzes the conception and execution of a shot. Most important, he manages to explain how to achieve an aesthetically beautiful image, while giving equal weight to the powerful role of cinematography in portraying the characters and telling the story."--Florian Ballhaus, cinematographer whose credits include The Devil Wears Prada, Marley and Me, Flightplan
"From understanding shot types and how and why they work to visual rules, technical considerations, and when to break the rules, this packs in practical considerations that will prove key to any filmmaking collection."--Bookwatch
"While Mercado's book is perhaps more for people who are serious about filmmaking, it has helped me understand the importance of knowing all the different angles from which one might possibly frame the exact same moment of the story, and how to decide on the one that most perfectly aids the story."--Christianity Today
I recommend this book to the students in my undergrad Cinematography course. It is not a text book but rather an expansion on the ideas and concepts central to cinematography. Read morePublished 23 days ago by crossfit Todd
Awesome book and very well written. I'm new to cinematography and half way thru the book have learned so much! Read morePublished 2 months ago by Carlos M.
Insightful...Eye-opening...Instructive...and Educational. What else can I say. A nice addition to any filmmaker's library.Published 6 months ago by DAVID TEMPLE