- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (January 2, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321585453
- ISBN-13: 978-0321585455
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 42 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #453,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Lean Forward Moment: Create Compelling Stories for Film, TV, and the Web 1st Edition
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I never gave a second thought to filming, or storylines, and I never even heard of a "logline" before reading this book. I just figured you write, film, edit, and now you have a movie. Who would have thought you needed to take control of every single detail on the filming set? While I understand the power of a "lean forward moment", I never thought about how the surroundings could make the shot so much different. How color could change and set the mood and tone. How an actor, Al Pacino as Michael in The Godfather, could say so much in the dinner scene with Sollozzo, right before he killed Sollozzo and the Chief of Police, without saying much at all. Michael makes a critical turn in that scene, and you can see the inner struggle in his face without him having to say anything. I will never watch a movie the same way again. Thanks to this book.
This book covers loglines, writing, production design, directing, cinematography, editing, opticals, special effects, music, sound, and more. While you probably cannot read this book and make phenomenal movies, it is a great starting point to really get a thorough understanding of movie creation.
I may never shoot my own movie, but after reading this book I will bet my home movies will look a whole lot better.
Full Review: This book, by its very title, immediately ignited my imagination. Reading through, the author has done a great job of inviting a deeper reflection about generating stories for media publication from its infancy through publication, mainly as a full-blown movie.
I have to admit being a little disappointed with the book in that, upon further reading, this is not a work that revolves solely around creating stories, ie. it doesn't dwell on what I originally thought it would: screenwriting.
That said, there is a fine chapter on writing (among others) that gives some really good information. For example, the author covers something a lot of writers don't fully understand when creating stories for movies: the logline. In fact, this is such an important aspect of creating stories for publication that Hollyn, a film editor by trade, continues referring back to the film's logline every so often as a method of clarifying and interpreting any issues that normally appear as the story makes its way from creation to production.
A good logline provides that kind of a guidance to everyone involved in the movie-making process, from the screenwriter on to the director. It is a sort of "constitution" for a good story, he infers and I agree.
Many concepts are discussed so expertly that the reader understand the author's confidence. Little tips and tricks abound. Again in the writing chapter, Hollyn refers to something he calls the shape of the words on the (script) page. This serves the screenwriter in trying to create yet another interesting concept Hollyn refers to throughout the work and is, of course, the title of the book: Lean Forward Moments.
Using both the logline and the concept of the Lean Forward Moment, Hollyn covers a very wide array that sometimes, but not often, seems like the book is spreading itself too thinly. Chapter 1 discusses the way humans tell stories, then on to the all-important Loglines in chapter 2. Writing is next then comes several chapters on the technical aspects of filmmaking: Production Design, Directing, Cinematography, Edition, Opticals and Visual Effects, Music, Sound, and Producing: Putting It All Together.
It's a wonder this thing is not much heavier. Each of these topics is enough to cover a book several times its size.
Still, a nice little book for a budding filmmaker that touches on all of the aspects of storytelling for moviemaking. I like the production value of the book itself, which is something I have come to expect from New Riders. The book reads very easily, almost like a good novel. It does become a bit bogged down going through the editing and production-specific chapters, as expected.