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Making Movies Paperback – March 19, 1996
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It's well known that a vast number of people work on any given movie in roles as varied as writing scripts, choosing locations, dressing sets, costuming the players, lighting scenes, manipulating the camera, directing actors, editing film, working on sound, advertising the finished product, and screening it to an audience. Have you ever thought about how these components are collated? Or why the director is most often considered the author of a film? Wonder no more, because Sidney Lumet's Making Movies is a terrific journey through each stage of filmmaking that is overseen by the director. Lumet, the veteran director of Twelve Angry Men, The Pawnbroker, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Network, The Verdict, and many other fine movies, knows the ins and outs of American filmmaking as well as anyone. In this excellent, personable account, Lumet tells what he's learned about making movies in the course of the last 40 years. He shows why fine directors need to have strong imaginations, extraordinary adaptability, and skill in many different fields. His enthusiasm for his life's work, particularly his love of actors, is evident on every page of this book. As Herculean as the labors of film directing are, Lumet takes great pleasure in his work, almost guiltily admitting that the film director's job is "the best in the world."
From Publishers Weekly
Lumet, the acclaimed director of such films as Dog Day Afternoon and Network, presents an anecdotal insider's account of the key elements in filmmaking.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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I knocked off 1 star only because some of the technical processes of filmmaking described in the book are no longer used, and it made the book feel very dated. The writing is still great and it's nice to hear about how films used to be made. The techniques of working with actors still hold up, as well as the detailed descriptions of the director's role within the larger company of talent and executives.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to advance their cinema education and gain deep appreciation for the art form.
While many films these days are shot in digital instead of film -- and Making Movies is all about film -- its principles still hold. A good, quick read well worth the time with residual value as a re-read reference guide, too.
Anyone into filmmaking must read this book.