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FilmCraft: Cinematography 1st Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0240818627
ISBN-10: 0240818628
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Editorial Reviews


"Film Craft: Cinematography, does a spectacular job at giving an inside look at some of the professionals, wonderful insights, and bits of biographical information on some film greats. The reader does not have to have a passion for film to appreciate this book, if they are involved in film in any aspect; this book is just some icing on a great cake."--Impulsegamer

"FilmCraft is a new series from Focal Press that deconstructs the art of cinema by studying it from the inside. Each volume in the collection focuses on a different aspect of film production by gathering interviews with master craftsmen, who are able to relay a lifetime of experience in a series of intimate and informal conversations. The first two installments, Editing (Justin Chang) and Cinematography (Mike Goodridge and Tim Grierson), set a high bar for future volumes and are easily recommended sources of information and understanding. Editing and Cinematography are both highly recommended reading for anyone who enjoys movies and has an interest in learning more about the process. There is nothing here that feels like a textbook, but the insight provided within can be held up against any film school lecture and benefits from offering the views of more than a dozen teachers. Take my advice and pick up these books immediately."--HorrorTalk.com

"This book isn't really here to be a how to guide but rather a look into the world of the people behind the camera and what all goes into the choices they make on a daily basis. There is plenty to learn from what they say but if you're looking for someone to tell you what to do you are reading the wrong book. The best thing that this book teaches is that each and every film you may work on is going to be different and you will have to adjust to fit the needs of the story being told. If you aren't a filmmaker then you will be taught to be more attentive to what the film is showing you and why. It's not just about pointing the camera at actors and calling it a day. This volume shows us once again that the FilmCraft series is a great buy for those making films as well as those who just want to know more about how their favorite movies are made."--Digital Hippos

"I'm pretty much in love with this series, and am now hotly anticipating the next two books: Costume Design and Directing. If you're someone who loves films, then I'm betting you'll also fall for these gorgeous titles. If bookstores still exist by the time you read this, get down to one and browse these books and tell me you don't covet them."--MakingTheMovie.info

"I'm a firm believer in the philosophy that says the more you know about something, the more fun it is. And, since I'm (obviously) a die-hard film fan, I'm always trying to add to my knowledge of movies - and yours too, if I can help it. In that vein, I'd like to recommend an excellent new pair of books that examine the process of crafting films - in fact, the book series is called "Filmcraft," and the first two volumes are 'Cinematography' by Mike Goodridge and Tim Grierson, and 'Editing' by Justin Chang. (Focal Press, $29.95 each). Those are two apt choices, because though the concepts are simple - essentially, cinematography is how you shoot a film and editing is how you puts those shots together - the actual processes are quite complicated. Thankfully, the Filmcraft books explain them in an entertaining way, using interviews with masters of each discipline and lots of concrete examples from films you've probably seen to illustrate their points. You can read them straight through or just pick a page with a movie you like and learn how it was made. If you're like me, you'll wind up reading the whole book this way and probably - add a few movies to your 'to watch' list in the process. Big and colorful, each book is laid out like a magazine, with plenty of art, sidebars and bits of extra information. For example, I learned that Michael Kahn, who edited 'Schindler's List,' got his first job working on 'Hogan's Heroes.' See? I told you knowledge can be fun!"--Rockford Register and the Record Herald

"I also liked these books because they weren't just a look at American editors and cinematographers, but a worldwide view of the processes and how these artists have been influenced by the culture and country they work in. These are fascinating and worthwhile books that really explore in-depth the masterful work of these artists. They are also in no way textbooky in their presentation. Both are great coffee table books and an ideal catalyst for a discussion about movies whether your guests enjoy art films or commercial movies. I highly recommend Editing and Cinematography from FilmCraft. They are wonderful editions to any film lover's library!"--Stuff We Like.com

"The book includes in-depth coverage of the fascinating profession as well as compelling interviews. For me personally, the book provided a window into an aspect of film that I was largely unfamiliar with. Recently, I co-wrote and produced my first short film entitled 'Brother'. It explores the troubled family dynamic of a bitter waitress and her stunningly successful older brother. For this reason, 'Cinematography' was quite useful to me. I'm eager to use the techniques described in the book when I shoot my next project at the end of February. The compilation of on-set stories and expert critiques is sure to be useful for any aspiring film professional as well those who have already established themselves."--SocialVixen.com

"Cinematography, written by Mike Goodridge and Tim Grierson, devotes 192 pages to the comments of the world's most respected Directors of Photography: Caleb Deschanel, Matthew Libatique, Vilmos Zsigmond, Christopher Doyle, Michael Ballhaus, and Ellen Kuras, among others. Each of them describes his/her overall philosophy of being a cinematographer. Most see themselves as visual storytellers; they try to match the film's look to its themes and content. There is in-depth talk of the use of color, camera movement vs. still placement, and the differences between shooting on film as opposed to shooting on digital. Reading their words, it becomes clear that cinematographers do more than simply shoot the film and make it look good. They have a direct influence on the overall tone of the movie. A shot can be enhanced by the use of a particular lens, or a specific lighting scheme. It's their job to know what's best. Several of the interview subjects also discuss the challenges/merits of shooting with new 3D cameras."--The Aisle Seat

"This book covers the complex craft of cinematography (motion picture photography) through interviews with well-known cinematographers. The book also features extraordinary photos and in-depth exploration of contemporary projects, such as Memoirs of a Geisha, Chicago, and Nine. 'Cinematography' gives readers exclusive access to lauded professionals, providing them with the perspective to think like professionals and create a compelling visual story."--Gone With the Twins

"The fact is that unless you spend a lot of money on Blu-ray or DVD's which you can hope has an audio commentary track or interview with a cinematographer, it really is awesome when you come across a book written by writers who are passionate about cinema and really went out to gather considerable names for their book. And when it comes to interview books with cinematographers, let's just say that it ranks in my top two! And I can only hope that Goodridge & Grierson continues this book with a vol. 2 in the near future. Overall, 'FilmCraft: Cinematography' by Mike Goodridge & Tim Grierson is one of the best books out there when it comes to featuring famous cinematographers worldwide within the last century. The interviews are absolutely priceless, the book is well-written and the potential of a continuing series of this book featuring more cinematographers worldwide would be wonderful. If you are a film student, an observer of cinematography or just a cineaste who are passionate about the films and the people responsible."--J-EntOnline

"The latest book in the Film Craft series by Focal Press gives cinematographers their rightful place in film history. Authors Mike Goodridge and Tim Grierson detail the careers of twenty-one outstanding cinematographers from around the world. Lavishly illustrated with full color photographs throughout its 192 large format pages, the book includes personal interviews conducted by the authors."--Peteduel Wordpress

"FilmCraft: Cinematography shows us what many of us take for granted...the actual photography of a film. The cinematographer is the one who paints the picture on film and in your mind for each scene and this book is filled with interviews with some of the best! This is another in a series of books dealing with filmmaking that the filmmaker in your family will love! Be sure to check this one out! A must for every independent filmmaker."--OnScreenAndBeyond

"I can safely say that these Focal Press titles are some of the most handsomely crafted, insightful, and downright 'user friendly' books of their kind. The books are presented in an easy-to-read conversational style, with the author's holding 'discussions' with various legends in their particular field. Mike Goodridge and Tim Grierson's Cinematography offers up a who's-who of celebrated lensmen, including Vilmos Zsigmond (The Deer Hunter/Close Encounters of the Third Kind), Vittorio Storaro (La Luna/Last Tango in Paris), Jack Cardiff (Black Narcissus/The Red Shoes), and many more. The conversational style of the book makes it feel as though the reader is sitting in on some sort of round table discussion between a group of master filmmakers, with each offering a tremendous amount of insight into their craft, as well as reminiscences of their most celebrated works."--HorrorView.com

About the Author

Tim Grierson is a film and music critic whose writing has appeared in Screen International, L.A. Weekly, Blender, Revolver, Vulture, Wired, and The Village Voice. He is the Rock Music guide at About.com and the author of the forthcoming book "Blinking Lights and Other Revelations: The Story of Eels." Tim has spoken at the Palm Springs International Film Society and the EMP Pop Conference in Seattle. He is currently vice president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
Mike Goodridge is a well-known writer in film and film industry. Currently based in LA, as US Editor of Screen International, he has written on film for The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Times, The Independent, Arena, Heat, The Advocate and others. He began his career at The Business of Film, where he was eventually editor before moving to Screen in 1994. He is a familiar face on the international film festival circuit, a prolific reviewer, and a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

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Product Details

  • Series: Filmcraft
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 1 edition (November 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240818628
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240818627
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 9.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,570,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Love Thy Enemy VINE VOICE on December 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
For a textbook on cinematography you can do little better than to visit Cinematography: Theory and Practice, Second Edition: Image Making for Cinematographers and Directors, which will incidentally mention several pioneering cinematographers examined closely here, while presenting the methodology rather than the personalities.

This book presents the people who run the cameras, judge the exposure, check the lighting, and may leave much to their team, the focus pullers and all.

This book shows how the cinematographer determines so much about the actual look we experience in movies, from color to composition to focus and depth of field to everything.

This book focuses on those who hide behind the camera lens and profiles them perfectly, engagingly, including the greats like Howe from the earliest days of silent films onwards to our day.

But first, a word about that cover.

Okay, don't raise your hands. We do not want to embarrass anybody, but how many were thinking, you know, Breakfast at Tiffany's (50th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray]? Come on now, tell the truth? Huh? Nobody?

Am I right? Audrey Hepburn, right, a half century ago? No way, Jose, as we learn on page 63 gloriously here, this is Pedro Almodovar's
...Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
As a cinema fan and also a filmmaker, although I graduated from college, I did not major in film or attend a film school.

But despite not having majored in film, I do have a passion for cinema.

In fact, if one was to visit my personal library, you would see a plethora of film books. Books on theory, books on execution and books that focuses on various filmmakers. And also along with those books is a dedicated cinema shrine of DVD's and Blu-ray's featuring the work of the world's talented filmmakers since the late 1890's to present-time.

And having reviewed many films on Blu-ray and DVD and also cinema-related books, I tend to gravitate towards liking books from writers who acknowledge other filmmakers. From books such as Francois Truffaut's "Hitchcock", "The Parade's Gone By" by Kevin Brownlow, Sergei Eisenstein's "Film Form: Essays in Film Theory", Andre Bazin's "What is Cinema?", Peter Bogdanvoich's "Who the Devil Made It: Conversations with Legendary Film Directors", to name a few.

And there are many books that focus on the work of these famous directors with in-depth interviews but what about cinematographers? I can think of three wonderful books and now, you can add a fourth.

"FilmCraft: Cinematography" by Mike Goodridge & Tim Grierson is a book which focuses on 18 cinematographers from all over the world.

Featuring priceless interviews and article spotlights on the following cinematographers:

Vilmos Zsigmond (Hungary/US) - Known for his work on "The Deer Hunter", "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", "Deliverance", "Maverick" and more.
Christopher Doyle (Australia/Hong Kong) - Known for his work on "Chungking Express", "In the Mood for Love", "Hero", "2046' and more.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What I like about this book is that it's not just the same old lighting, film stock educational book. It's full of beautiful images and interviews with top notch cinematographers. And acting buddy of mine said, this is the kind of book on camera work that even an actor can enjoy. The best part is that some of the innovative new generation of cinematographers is included (eg. Seamus McArvey, Ellen Kuras). And for the money, a real good buy.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Light is the theme that connects these interviews. Light sets the mood, enhances emotion, defines character, and tells the story. Almost without exception the cinematographers talked about images, how to tell the story, and how to help the actors give their best performance. When they discussed cameras, lenses, light meters and other tools of their craft, they did it in the contest of creating an effect. But most of them said the use of the tools should be second nature so that the cinematographer can rely on his eye and intuition.

I loved this book. I'm not a film buff, but I am highly interested in creativity. This book gave me an intensive look at cinematographers, and how they use the tools of their craft to bring original work to the screen. I was particularly fascinated by the almost reverent way they talk about light. Several of them discussed lighting, where you place the lights to get a particular effect. Others discussed light in a more abstract way, how you use the textures of light and color to create effects that tell the story.

I highly recommend this book not only for students of cinematography, but for anyone interested in the creative process. The great cinematographers, almost without exception, talked about studying painting, literature, and sculpture to enhance their understanding of the visual image and story. People in any of these disciplines should listen to the cinematographers. The feedback from the art of film can enhance the understanding of other art forms.

My one reservation about the book is that the size makes it difficult to hold and read. It's a marvelous format for the pictures, but clumsy to hold. It's not just a picture book. The text is fascinating and should be read. It's worth the extra effort.
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