Directing Screenwriting

Book Review: Cinematic Storytelling


Cinematic Storytelling.jpg

Publisher: Michael Wiese Productions

Release Date: August 01, 2005

Cinematic Storytelling: The 100 Most Powerful Film Conventions Every Filmmaker Must Know isn’t exactly one-stop shopping when it comes to screenwriting, but it makes a nice supplement as it discusses conventions that are largely ignored by the structure-centric tomes that saturate the market. Jennifer Van Sijll instead focuses on various specific elements that are an important part of the language of cinema and in doing so leans into the director’s territory. However, in including script excerpts, the reader sees how such conventions are suggested by the screenwriter as photos illustrate her points.

Many of these will be familiar to most of those who are interested in filmmaking, but the book may still give these people a new way of seeing these conventions or at least serve as a refresher course (which can also be helpful). There are probably other books that go into these issues in more depth, but brevity might actually be a positive attribute for those who are simply looking to revitalize their memories or prod their imaginations. In any case, it is recommended for beginners.

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