- Paperback: 832 pages
- Publisher: Plume; 4 Rev Upd edition (2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0452297281
- ISBN-13: 978-0452297289
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (184 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Filmmaker's Handbook, 2013 Edition Paperback – November 27, 2012
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– New York Times
"Gold-standard technical reference book for filmmakers."
“The bible – updated.”
- The Independent
"This is an essential book."
"You need this book. Billed as the authoritative guide to filmmaking from fundraising to distribution, the book achieves this in clear, accessible language using current up-to-date information. It's easy to see why this has become a standard text in many film schools. A gilt-edged investment for aspiring and beginning filmmakers and it would not be out of place in the libraries of experienced professionals either."
-James MacGregor, Netribution.co.uk
"This edition of the book is awesome. I don't know how you managed it. Such a mass of information so expertly organized and so clearly presented! Amazing."
-Alfred Guzzetti, Professor, Harvard University
“Anyone who is serious about learning the language and techniques of this art, whether amateur or professional, must have this comprehensive reference.”
“Speaking as a member of the 'figure it out yourself' camp, I consider most 'technical' reference books to be nothing more than leisure reading. This one is worth its salt. Every page is relevant and fascinating. When I find a chapter that refers to something we've done, I realize that every mistake we made was covered, if only we'd thought to read up beforehand.”
"I was thrilled to find your book, which is a gem. No matter what corner of the subject I poked into, looking for cogent explanations, the Handbook passed with flying colors. So please accept my admiration, appreciation and thanks."
-Pat Jackson, Associate Professor, San Francisco State University; Emmy-winning Supervising Sound Editor
About the Author
Steven Ascher is an Oscar-nominated filmmaker who has taught film at Harvard and MIT. His documentary Raising Renee was nominated for an Emmy in 2013.
Edward Pincus taught film courses at both Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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Top customer reviews
The book is broken up into a preface, 17 chapters and four appendices, and a few other smaller sections. Chapter's 1-8 go over pre-production material, chapters 9-12 go over production, and chapters 13-17 goes over post production. I've reprinted the chapter and appendix titles below, they pretty much explain what each chapter details.
Chapter 1. Introduction to Digital and Film Systems
Chapter 2. Before You Begin Production
Chapter 3. The Video Camcorder
Chapter 4. The Lens
Chapter 5. The Video Image
Chapter 6. The Film Camera
Chapter 7. The Film Image
Chapter 8. Color and Filters
Chapter 9. Shooting the Movie
Chapter 10. Sound Recording Systems
Chapter 11. Sound Recording Techniques
Chapter 12. Lighting
Chapter 13. Picture and Dialogue Editing
Chapter 14. Editing Digital Video
Chapter 15. Sound Editing and Mixing
Chapter 16. Working with Film in Postproduction
Chapter 17. Producing and Distributing the Movie
Appendix A. Adjusting a Video Monitor
Appendix B. Data Rates and Storage Needs for Various Digital Formats
Appendix C. Depth of Field Tables
Appendix D. Hyperfocal Distance Table
Appendix E. Angle of View in Different Formats
As others have noted, the information for each section topic can be found through a Google search; however, the book covers what you need to know in a concise, easy to follow format that articles online do not have in one location. The extra technical jargon and details the book does not cover can be found through Google searches - this book is best utilized as a primer and reference to KNOW what to research and learn when you specialize in other filmaking material. No one chapter is covers the entire in-depth scope of that the heading suggests, but essentially details the basics of what you need to know. If you want to learn more about the specifics of cinematography, or how to be a camera operator, you should purchase books or resources dedicated to that specific topic. As a general reference and primer to filmmaking, this is an excellent resource!
There's a ton of material in here that will probably not apply to you. Not working with film? You could probably skip "The Film Camera" and "The Film Image." Or if you're handing your footage off to another editor, skip the sections on editing. But I would suggest another direction: Read it all, from cover to cover. The text is all interesting, well-written, and absolutely packed with great information. Even if you never touch a roll of 16 or 35mm film in your life, understanding where we came from and why we've adopted certain standards is knowledge well worth having.
I had been making short films and videos for years before picking up this book, and I was amazed at how much I learned. I realized how many things I had been doing wrong - I was unaware of so many best practices and techniques that my next few films were notably more polished and better executed.
In short, the book won't make you a professional, but it will make you MORE professional.
While rich and full of information waiting to be gleaned, “The Filmmakers Handbook” runs a bit on the thick side. It’s a bit daunting for anybody hoping to pick up a few quick pointers on shooting. The Handbook has more than 750 pages, complete with diagrams, dense explanations and in depth details. For someone who wants to be in the thick of it, and study film for an indefinite period, this book is a bible. Without a doubt, this is no full write-up, but just a cursory glance by a prospective filmmaker would tell them that a lot of love on the part of Ascher and Pincus went into getting this book on the shelves.