When people sit through movie experiences they are unaware of the cinematic elements of film used in every shot. Every shot in every scene has gone through intense, detailed planning.
When I first started out as an independent filmmaker I was oblivious to the factors that contributed to composition to express tone, mood and theme.
The book we will be looking at today will open your eyes to vital cinematic details, taking your filmmaking to a whole new level…
Product: The Filmmaker’s Eye ( By Gustavo Mercado )
Subject: Cinematic Elements of Film
Publisher: Focal Press
The Filmmaker’s Eye – Product Overview
The Filmmaker’s Eye, written by independent filmmaker – Gustavo Mercado, is an advanced resource on the how and why of each shot you take.
The book begins by covering the principles of composition and technical concepts that will be used throughout the publication.
The second section of the book looks into the cinematic elements of film involved with camera compositions including:
- Close ups
- The use of medium shots
- The use of long shots
- Establishing shot
- Canted shot
- Tilt shot
Throughout this section I counted over 25 different shot types that are studied in great detail. The shot types were also displayed with examples from major motion pictures giving the reader a better grasp of how and where they are to be used.
The Good & The Bad
- Self-contained course in cinematic composition
- An easy-to-reference guide
- Technical advice on the equipment and techniques needed to achieve the shot
- A unique look at when to break the rules
- Contains a fantastic selection of images
- It’s a user friendly read that does not feel overly-academic
- Does not really cover the raw video formats available to filmmakers
- Directed more at filmmaker students – some filmmakers feel it is a great book but maybe a little basic for their level
Who is This Book For?
This book is the perfect choice for student filmmakers looking into the subject of cinematic elements of film.
If you are looking for well laid out information on every type of shot and style of composition then this is the book for you! It’s easy to read and informative without being to dense and overpowering.
It’s perfect for beginners and makes a excellent reference book for those more experienced in the subject. It will provide you with a technical vocabulary of cinematography and the confidence to go on and use the techniques learned in your own productions.
Our Final Opinion on The Filmmaker’s Eye
Although I have a decent background in indie filmmaking I still found various examples of the technical vocabulary new to me.
I was impressed by the way the author used images/film stills every few pages. These stills were cleverly labeled with points of interest indicating impressive focal points and what they meant to the overall shot.
The Filmmaker’s Eye would fit nicely on any college or film school library shelf. It provides the reader with cinematic techniques that will inject emotion and meaning into their shots.
It’s well written and more importantly it’s easy enough to comprehend – it won’t scare off many newcomers to the subject. I think Gustavo Mercado has made the book even more accessible to beginners by dissecting popular films and using them as examples ( Pulp Fiction, Shawshank Redemption, Raiders of The Lost Ark and The Matrix to name but a few ).
This simple to use reference guide will make you think twice about how to frame your shot. A great book whether you are a filmmaker or a film buff…
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