Cinematography Book Review III – The Filmmaker's Eye

Posted By yonghow on February 27th, 2012

The Filmmaker's Eye - Cinematography Book Focal Press

After these two book reviews – Filmcraft – Cinematography and New Cinematographers, which focuses more on the thought processes and shooting concepts of DPs, I thought it would be useful to write about one with practical, effective techniques that can be applied in a shoot.

The Filmmaker's Eye - Cinematography Book Focal Press
The Filmmaker's Eye - Cinematography Book Focal Press

The first section of the book steps you through some much needed technical concepts and principles, fundamentals that any budding cinematographer/photographer should have a firm grasp on including aspect ratios, shooting formats, depth cues, Rule of Thirds, and more.

The Filmmaker's Eye - Cinematography Book Focal Press
The Filmmaker's Eye - Cinematography Book Focal Press
The Filmmaker's Eye - Cinematography Book Focal Press

After that it’s a no nonsense, comprehensive study of the various camera compositions actively used in productions, like close ups, medium shots, long shots, establishing shot, canted shot, tilt shot and more. A total of 25 different shot types are discussed, deconstructed and studied in detail.

The Filmmaker's Eye - Cinematography Book Focal Press

The examples used to illustrate the shot types are all major motion pictures – this not only lent an immediate sense of relevance to the techniques cited because they are actively been used by filmmakers to create successful and highly engaging visuals, but also serve as a platform for readers to expand their cinematic vocabulary by checking out the works of these great filmmakers.

The Filmmaker's Eye - Cinematography Book Focal Press
The Filmmaker's Eye - Cinematography Book Focal Press

(above and below) I also love these “breaking the rules” articles – citing examples from filmmakers who, having mastered the very techniques discussed, bent the rules to create unique composition that enhances the visual resonance of the film. There’s more than a lesson or two that can be learned here.

The Filmmaker's Eye - Cinematography Book Focal Press
The Filmmaker's Eye - Cinematography Book Focal Press
The Filmmaker's Eye - Cinematography Book Focal Press
The Filmmaker's Eye - Cinematography Book Focal Press

I found the book educational and inspiring at the same time, a handy reference for budding filmmakers or those who wish to acquire a deeper understanding of cinematic vocabulary. Highly recommended.

“The Filmaker’s Eye″ details :

– Author : Gustavo Mercado
– Dimensions – 8.9 x 8.9 x 0.4 inches
– Soft cover, 208 pages
– Full color

The Filmmaker's Eye - Cinematography Book Focal Press Amazon Buy Link

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4 Responses to “Cinematography Book Review III – The Filmmaker's Eye”

Zack

this looks great too for anyone interested in comics or graphic storytelling. i love cinematic looking panels that are well composed.

Jason

Yeah, I was thinking that too, it looks like a useful book for more than just film stuff.

Hina

This is all very nice, but Mr. Yonghow! Rango won the Academy Award! Congratulations! You must be very proud, I bet (and rightfully so). 😀

yonghow

Hina – Thank you ! Yes we’re all really happy, all the hard work paid off well ! :]