- 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: 41 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #587,444 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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Now, I am not a film-maker. I am a film lover and a student of film. I have worked on short features, and I have several friends who do video production full-time. So the lessons in this book are probably going to take several more readings to fully sink in. But do not be misled by skeptics regarding the value of the information here: there are many useful lessons to be learned from this book for the novice and the experienced film-maker alike.
The author chooses a very effective method of conveying his storytelling concepts. He selects critical elements from various films to use as examples. The most often cited film is The Godfather, but more than a dozen others are referenced as well. The Matrix,300,Finding Nemo and many other recent films are cited. I found this to be very useful, since several of the films used as examples were ones I knew well. In fact, I think most people would know them well. There were a few others that are somewhat obscure, and so not everybody will be pleased with those examples. Still, all the films cited were purposefully referenced. And several of the films that others have called "obscure" are indeed classics of independent film and well known to most serious film lovers.
This book has been one of several that I have been rotating through my "to be read" pile for more than a month. The primary reason is that the concepts in this book are only going to be useful if you are actively applying them and taking time to reflect upon them.
While the book uses film for most of it's examples, it promotes the idea that these concepts can apply to all video platforms. In that one area it seems to leave a small gap. New media enabled by web delivery does not have a sufficient treatment here to be a starting point for somebody looking to explore that avenue. It is covered but not as much as I would have expected given the top billing it is given in the title. Still, it's hard to fault the author considering how much ground he covers here.
This is a dense book that is not an *easy read*. This is really more like a work-book to be read as you re-watch the scenes that are cited. If you are serious about learning more about what makes truly compelling film stories, the time you invest will be well worth it.
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.