Looking For Film Books


As a student filmmaker, don’t spend money on books until you’ve read them first. If you like what you read, then ask someone to give it to you as a gift. Check them out your school library, public library, or through interlibrary loan systems.

There is a lot of great stuff online, but there is still something about sitting back and reading words printed on paper that you can run your finger along.

Listening to podcasts and reading websites (including this one) should be supplemental to your film education. Watching award-winning films should compliment your reading.

Books should be your primary source for information. Why? The writers had to go through a long process to get their book published. It’s been edited and often times include really useful illustrations.

Blogs like mine are just resources. Sometimes filmmaking blogs include anecdotes. Stories of shoots gone wrong can be great to learn from, but experiencing it firsthand is so different from reading about it. If you are serious about filmmaking, you’re going to need to hit the books.

Be intentional about your film learning.

Apply what you've learned by making a short film.


modifoo said...

Totally agree about preferring books over other written information; except of course for trade magazines, and if you are working in the technical field.

For DPs there is "American Cinematographer", which goes behind the scenes af major (and also independent, no-budget and TV) sets.

In my film school they said that you should eat film (i.e. watch a lot, preferably on the big screen), read film (mostly books, as you pointed out; if you are into scriptwriting, it can also be a good exercise to read the scripts from films you liked. And: of films you didn't like - analyze what went wrong, and what could have been done better) and of course make films (write scripts, work on sets, get hands-on-experience.)

And patience & humbleness.

Marcus Sonsteby said...

Thank you for your informative comment.

My professors say the same things.