Categories
Production Design

Book Review: Film Craft: Production Design

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Publisher: Focal Press

Release Date: October 1, 2012

The FilmCraft book series focuses on specific disciplines within the filmmaking profession using interviews from noteworthy professionals in the field. This volume by Fionnuala Halligan features interviews with sixteen production designers, and profiles of five other production designers.

The production designers interviewed in this volume are:

Ken Adam

Jim Bissell

Rick Carter

William Chang Suk-ping

Stuart Craig

Nathan Crowley

Dante Ferretti

Jack Fisk

Antxón Gómez

Sarah Greenwood

Grant Major

Alex McDowell

John Myhre

Eve Stewart

Yohei Taneda

Dean Tavoularis

The production designers profiled are:

John Box

Cedric Gibbons

William Cameron Menzies

Ferdinando Scarfiotti

Richard Sylbert

There may be a number of people that question the choice of production designers interviewed in this volume, but it would be nearly impossible to include every relevant artist currently working in this field. The individuals chosen for this volume come from very diverse backgrounds. This makes each of the interviews unique and valuable. Any reservations that one initially has are likely to fade once they start reading the book.

There is a wealth of conflicting information related to the readers. The idea that holds the volume together is that each of the artists has a unique approach to their job that set them apart from others working in the field. The book is especially valuable due to the fact that many people do not understand what a production designer actually does.

The text is illustrated with wonderful photos and concept sketches from recognizable films. This makes the book a visual treat. FilmCraft: Production Design will be a treasured addition to the libraries of anyone who loves the cinema, and a wonderful resource of inspiration to future filmmakers.

Review by: Devon Powell

Categories
Screenwriting

Book Review: FilmCraft: Screenwriting

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Publisher: Focal Press

Release Date: April 11, 2013

The FilmCraft book series focuses on specific disciplines within the filmmaking profession using interviews from noteworthy professionals in the field. This volume by Tim Grierson features interviews with 15 screenwriters, and profiles of 5 other important screenwriters.

The screenwriters interviewed in this volume are:

Hossein Amini
Guillermo Arriaga
John August
Mark Bomback
Jean-Claude Carrière
Lee Chang-dong
Stephen Gaghan
Christopher Hampton
David Hare
Anders Thomas Jensen
Billy Ray
Whit Stillman
Robin Swicord
Caroline Thompson
David Webb Peoples

The screenwriters profiled are:

Woody Allen
Ingmar Bergman
Paddy Chayefsky
Ben Hecht
Billy Wilder & I.A.L. Diamond

There will certainly be those that question Tim Grierson’s choice of screenwriters, but it would be nearly impossible to include every relevant writer in a single volume. The writers were chosen come from very diverse backgrounds, and this makes the individual interviews unique and valuable. Any reservations that one has about these particular choices are likely to fade once they start reading the book.

Those looking for a manual about script structure or a manual on “how to write a screenplay” will likely be disappointed with the text. The book is meant to be a resource of inspiration. There is a wealth of conflicting information (and advice) related to the readers. The idea that holds the volume together is that there are as many approaches to writing a screenplay as there are screenwriters. The writers interviewed talk passionately about their craft, and engage the reader immediately. The text is illustrated with wonderful photos, set drawings, and storyboards that make the book a visual treat. FilmCraft: Screenwriting is another addictive volume in the FilmCraft series. It will be a treasured addition to the libraries of anyone who loves the cinema, and a wonderful resource to future screenwriters.

Review by: Devon Powell

Categories
Directing

Book Review: Film Craft: Directing

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Publisher: Focal Press

Release Date: June 8, 2012

The FilmCraft book series focuses on specific disciplines within the film-making profession using interviews from noteworthy professionals in the field. This volume by Mike Goodridge features interviews with 16 directors, and profiles of 5 other directors.

The directors interviewed in this volume are:

Pedro Almodóvar
Olivier Assayas
Susanne Bier
Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne
Guillermo del Torro
Clint Eastwood
Stephen Frears
Terry Gilliam
Amos Gitai
Paul Greengrass
Michael Heneke
Park Chan-wook
István Szabó
Peter Weir
Zhang Yimou

The directors profiled are:

Ingmar Bergman
John Ford
Jean-Luc Godard
Alfred Hitchcock
Akira Kurosawa

There will certainly be those that question Mike Goodridge’s choice of directors, but it would be nearly impossible to include every relevant director in a single volume. The directors chosen come from very diverse backgrounds, making the individual interviews unique and valuable. Any reservations that one has are likely to fade once they start reading the book.

There is a wealth of conflicting information (and advice) related to the readers. The idea that holds the volume together is that there are as many approaches to directing a film as there are film directors. The one constant piece of advice is the importance of trusting and being faithful to one’s individual vision.

The featured directors talk passionately about their craft, and engage the reader immediately. The text is illustrated with wonderful photos, set drawings, and storyboards that make the book a visual treat. FilmCraft: Directing is truly addictive! It will be a treasured addition to the libraries of anyone who loves the cinema, and a wonderful inspiration for future filmmakers.

Review by: Devon Powell