- Paperback: 227 pages
- Publisher: Michael Wiese Productions; 2nd Revised edition edition (January 1, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1932907513
- ISBN-13: 978-1932907513
- Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.6 x 7.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #780,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Master Shots: 100 Advanced Camera Techniques to Get an Expensive Look on Your Low-Budget Movie Paperback – January 1, 2009
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THIS BOOK SHOULD BE BANNED! These are the really cool tricks and techniques of shooting that professional directors keep secret just for themselves to use. Why should they be given away for a few dollars? --John Badham, Director Saturday Night Fever, WarGames, Author, I'll be in My Trailer
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Top Customer Reviews
The author provides details about how the shot is set up, the feeling the shot is intended to convey and pertinent information. Kenworthy deliberately stays away from things like lenses, equipment, lighting and so on.
His point is that the shots can be accomplished with any kind of camera. It is the point of view that matters and the action that establishes the meaning of the shot and advances the story.
Master Shots is definitely an aid to the beginning filmmaker or those who shoot only occasionally and could you a bit of assistance in visualizing how to tell their story.
For a very reasonable cost, you have a hundred classic master shots diagrammed and explained for you. Good deal.
The examples are great. Each takes a scene from a well known movie (the Shining, Enemy at the Gate, Children of Men,) then breaks it down into a generic graphics showing camera angles and actions. This helps clarify how and why the director staged the shot in this way. Also each example has a paragraph that explains why this works for the viewer and how camera work adds to the scene.
The book seems well balanced, it covers everything from fights and chases to love scenes. Personally I am not looking to do any action films, so fighting and such was not that important, but the sections on shooting dialog and car shots were invaluable. I read through this book while storyboarding my project and whole scenes fell together. And most importantly, I didn't feel like I was painting by numbers. More like, the template shots planted seeds which grew to be very personalized and perfect for my story.
A great book for anyone new to or a student of film.
Master Shots addresses the basics. The language is simple and jargon-free ... very accessible to young people. Moreover, the descriptions are succinct. No needless words. This text will appeal to both new film-makers and those who want to understand the film-making process (to better appreciate the art). (I use Van Sijll's text in my film courses for a quick student-refresher and plan to use this work for a similar purpose).
Unlike many similar texts, Kenworthy uses easily recognizable films as examples: Cuarón's Children of Men Kubrick's The Shining, Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Lynch's Blue Velvet,etc... So, no need to worry about a Fellini fiasco.
A minor critique: while the film examples are excellent, the computer renderings are bizarre and strangely distracting. I wonder if using a small panel of actors to acquire these tableaux-like moments wouldn't be a better choice. Likewise, some of the captured film-frames are a little too dark or (in some cases) too small. But these are minor complaints about an overall well-constructed, thoughtful text.
If you have never studied film and need a quick crash course, this (very cheap!) text is a nice place to start your journey!