Categories
Cinematography Directing Low Budget Filmmaking

Book Review: Film Directing, Shot For Shot & Cinematic Motion

Cover

Publisher: Michael Wiese Productions

Release Date: August 14, 1991

There aren’t very many books about film directing that can be described as “absolutely essential.” Steven D. Katz has written two such books, and Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen is one of them. You would be hard pressed to find a film student or even a film director who isn’t familiar with the text. It’s the book that future filmmakers must read as a foundation to build upon.

Katz blends textual knowledge about shot composition, staging sequences, pre-visualization, depth of frame, and camera techniques with visual illustrations to make the concepts that he teaches clear and easy to understand. The result is a book that one might wish to read before each and every production in order to clear the cobwebs. One might even wish to use it a quick reference while visualizing your film and planning its shots during pre-production.

Over 750 storyboards and illustrations can be found throughout the book—including never before published storyboards from Steven Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun, Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane, and Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds (although some or all of these have been published in other books since this book originally hit the shelves). This book would be a very good place for burgeoning filmmaker’s to begin their education, but it belongs on every filmmaker’s shelf no matter how deep their well of knowledge.

Front Cover

Publisher: Michael Wiese Productions

Release Date: May 15, 2004

This follow-up to Shot for Shot concentrates on various methods that directors use to create sequence shots and how to compose and choreograph scenes for the moving camera. Katz uses numerous diagrams and storyboard illustrations to communicate the various concepts that the book discusses. It’s a more focused book than Shot for Shot (which is more of an overview of the visualization process), and future filmmakers hoping to further develop their craft will certainly want to add this to their libraries.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s