Book Review: The Green Screen Handbook (2nd Edition)

Book CoverPublisher: Focal Press

Release Date: November 15, 2014

Jeff Foster’s textbook on green screen production methods is intended to be a comprehensive educational resource for beginners. While it covers every aspect of the green screen process (the screen itself, lighting, compositing, etc.), it is quite vague and not terribly in-depth despite the wealth of photographs that provide visual examples to clarify the text. It makes for a reasonably solid introduction for filmmakers, but anyone looking for detailed instruction will have to find it elsewhere.

Review by: Devon Powell

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Book Review: In the Blink of an Eye – 2nd Edition

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Publisher: Silman-James Press

Release Date: August 1, 2001

“Many of the thoughts that follow… are therefore more truly cautionary notes to myself; working methods I have developed for coping with my particular volcanoes and glaciers. As such, they are insights into one person’s search for balance, and are perhaps to others more for the glimpses of the search itself than for specific methods that search has produced.” –Walter Murch (Preface)

In the Blink of an Eye – 2nd Edition can be separated into two distinct halves. The first covers a very broad range of territory, and is essentially a transcript of a lecture given by Walter Murch at Spectrum Films in Sidney, Australia in October of 1988. The second half focuses on Digital editing (as it stood in 2001).

Both sections are less about the nuts and bolts of editing, and more of a lucid discussion about editing in theory. Why do cuts work? How does one go about editing a film properly? Walter Murch is an established authority on this topic, and one wished that some of the editors currently working would read the book. Their work might exponentially improve. It is obvious that Murch has given film editing a great deal of thought, and his experience and wisdom would benefit anyone wishing to edit features.

Review by: Devon Powell

Book Review: Alfred Hitchcock’s Moviemaking Master Class

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Publisher: Michael Wiese Productions

Release Date: May 1, 2013

There have been countless books devoted to Alfred Hitchcock. Most are film theory, many are biographies, and others are detailed accounts of the making of a specific Hitchcock film. Nearly every theoretic angle has been covered in meticulous detail. However, Tony Lee Moral had something very different in mind for “Alfred Hitchcock’s Moviemaking Master Class.” This book is not intended for scholars. It does not delve into theory, biography, or detail any film’s creation. Moral prefers to offer future filmmakers a text for using the films of Alfred Hitchcock as a tool for learning the filmmaking process. It is really a superb idea. Could there be a better tool for teaching young filmmakers the craft of filmmaking? It is certainly difficult to think of one. The book covers the entire filmmaking process (writing, planning, shooting, editing, and marketing) using easy to…

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