Cinematography Book Review II – Film Craft : Cinematography

Posted By yonghow on January 12th, 2012

Film Craft : Cinematography Focal Press Book

Film Craft : Cinematography is a collection of insightful interviews conducted with some of the world’s top DOPs like Christopher Doyle ( In The Mood For Love, Hero ). Ed Lachman ( The Limey, Mildred Pierce ), Rodrigo Prieto ( Biutiful, Babel ), Chris Menges ( The Mission, The Reader ), just to name a few.

Listed below are the 16 cinematographers interviewed in the book :

– Vilmos Zsigmond
– Christopher Doyle
– Michael Ballhaus
– Ed Lachman
– Rodrigo Prieto
– Caleb Deschanel
– Vittorio Stotaro
– Chris Menges
– Dion Beebe
– Owen Roizman
– Barry Ackroyd
– Ellen Kuras
– Peter Suschitzky
– Seamus McGarvey
– Javier Aguirresarobe
– Matthew Libatique

Film Craft : Cinematography Focal Press Book
Film Craft : Cinematography Focal Press Book
Film Craft : Cinematography Focal Press Book

Content and coverage on each cinematographer include the DP’s explanation of their working experience and background, particular shooting styles and philosophy, as well as case studies from 2 or 3 of the films they have photographed. ( the format is similar to another book I reviewed – New Cinematographers. ) The layout of the book is simple and uncluttered, with plenty of photographs to complement the text, keeping the reader engaged.

Film Craft : Cinematography Focal Press Book
Film Craft : Cinematography Focal Press Book

(above and below) DP Rodrigo Prieto talks about his work, including Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Biutiful, one of my favourites this year.

Film Craft : Cinematography Focal Press Book
Film Craft : Cinematography Focal Press Book
Film Craft : Cinematography Focal Press Book
Film Craft : Cinematography Focal Press Book

(above) DP Ed Lachman. One of his most recent work was Todd Hayne’s HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce, which I very much enjoyed. A small section on the work he did for this film is covered in the book.

Film Craft : Cinematography Focal Press Book
Film Craft : Cinematography Focal Press Book
Film Craft : Cinematography Focal Press Book

Detailed technical explanations on shooting and film stock ( as compared to say, an article in the American Cinematographer ) are kept to a bare mininum, rather focusing more the the cinematographer’s creative thought process, observation as well as methods of framing and composition.

Film Craft : Cinematography Focal Press Book
Film Craft : Cinematography Focal Press Book
Film Craft : Cinematography Focal Press Book
Film Craft : Cinematography Focal Press Book

(above) DP Seamus McGarvey talks about the breathtaking 5 minute long tracking shot in Joe Wright’s Atonement.

Film Craft : Cinematography Focal Press Book
Film Craft : Cinematography Focal Press Book
Film Craft : Cinematography Focal Press Book

I found the book both inspiring and educational at the same time; having a better understanding of the way the films were composed and shot gives them more depth and an added level of meaning, and I’m tempted to re-watch many of them. Highly recommended.

“Film Craft : Cinematography″ details :

– Author : Mike Goodridge / Tim Grierson
– Dimensions – 10 x 9.2 x 0.7 inches
– Soft cover, 192 pages
– Full color

Film Craft : Cinematography Focal Press Book Amazon Buy Link

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3 Responses to “Cinematography Book Review II – Film Craft : Cinematography”

evangelion newbie

Thanks for the coverage! Definitely worth a pick up!

Davy

Do want!

King Raoh

Wow at the Wong Kar Wai shots. Those and the Collateral shot stand out to me.