Categories
Editing

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

Cover

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

Categories
Production Design

Book Review: What an Art Director Does

610453HWMVLPublisher: Silman-James Press

Release Date: July 1, 1994

This text by Ward Preston is an instructive and digestible introduction to a misunderstood filmmaking discipline. While the text is merely an introductory overview of the responsibilities that an art director takes on during a films production, it is an overview that should provide a solid foundation for students to build additional knowledge upon. Preston’s writing stile is never scholarly. Instead, he simply imparts wisdom in the simplest of terms so that the reader can digest the information quickly and effectively. He also occasionally gives the reader short anecdotes that make the reading experience a pleasant one. “What an Art Director Does: An Introduction to Motion Picture Production Design” is recommended reading for anyone who wants to broaden their understanding of the filmmaking process.

Review by: Devon Powell

Categories
Directing

Book Review: The Innocence of the Eye: A Filmmaker’s Guide

The Innocence of the Eye

Publisher: Silman-James Press

Release Date: October 1, 2002

Ed Spiegel’s The Innocence of the Eye: A Filmmaker’s Guide is a rather lucid study of film language, and an affectionate memorial of Slavo Vorkapich (who was once the head of the film department at USC). Vorkapich had coined the phrase, “the innocence of the eye” to describe film’s unique qualities. He had influenced a number of visual artists, including Saul Bass (who is unfortunately referred to as “Sol Bass” in the book).

Spiegel’s main objective is to relay a basic understanding of film’s visual language (and how one should exploit this language). The book is not unlike other books on film language. While the principals discussed in the text are important, other books seem to relay the same information (and often in more memorable ways).

Review by: Devon Powell