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Cinematic Storytelling

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  485 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
What the industry's most succcessful writers and directors have in common is that they have mastered the cinematic conventions specific to the medium.
Paperback, 257 pages
Published August 1st 2005 by Michael Wiese Productions (first published January 1st 2005)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,452)
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Feb 24, 2009 Rachel added it
Shelves: filmmaking
The book title sums up this book perfectly. As much as I thought it was a "good book", the examples given were not ones I enjoyed reading and seeing pictures of. Now I know (in detail) how parts of Pulp Fiction and Psycho were carefully crafted to help the audience feel intensity and terror. The book was written well; as I read and looked at the frames, I could easily play out every detailed scene in my mind. Educational? Yes. Helpful to me as a beginning cinematographer? Definitely. Do I recomm ...more
Carlos Anderson
Oct 08, 2012 Carlos Anderson rated it really liked it
The book is a good primer for novice film geeks wanting to better their ability to "read" film and is also a good practical, but very general intro into camera work for budding directors. It was well organized and the format of explanation on the left-hand page and extracted static shots on the right (with corresponding script excerpt) worked incredibly well and proved both intuitive and effective. This is fertile ground for launching into more heady discussions of film analysis and will surely ...more
Michael Scott
Jul 28, 2014 Michael Scott rated it really liked it
Shelves: teaching, art, design, startup
I found Cinematic Storytelling, a textbook on cinematics for movie scriptwriters and directors, an interesting overview of techniques I knew little about. In 17 main chapters and 100 techniques, Jennifer Van Sijll structures an answer the main question of How to render a story for the maximum effect on its viewer?

OVERALL, useful material from which I learned much, but with very limited presentation of choices and analysis of the main subject.

Answering the main question turns out to be a set of
Sep 29, 2007 Sean rated it liked it
Recommends it for: new filmmakers
If you want to learn about making movies without going to film school, get this book. But, for those of us who have already learned these strategies over and over again.... you can skip this one.
Apr 08, 2010 Sam rated it really liked it
useful for the chick (or guy if that's your gig) just starting out ... a neat reference for "the rules" (so now i can break 'em)
Oct 23, 2015 Rannazora rated it it was ok
This book was quite neatly organized, but not very thorough, in my opinion. It enumerated the basic elements of the film language,showed some examples but did not go into too much detail.
I would have appreciated the chapters longer instead of just listing in the end films which could be also examples of a particular element without any further analysis. Also since it is a book on film language the images could have been really of better quality and size or in colour.
Cinematic Storytelling would
Glenn Mitchell
More for directors and film editors than screenwriters

There are some interesting lessons for screenwriters, but not enough to give this book a strong recommendation.

There is a lot of discussion about shots, angles, and transitions. Those are generally viewed now as outside the role of the screenwriter. I did appreciate how the examples occasionally demonstrated how clever screenwriters can express these through context without direct reference.

It was equally disappointing to see how many exampl
Mark Dubovec
Feb 18, 2016 Mark Dubovec rated it really liked it
A great introduction to the different techniques movies use to tell a story visually along with their dramatic values, the book is a quick read and good for reference. The examples range from "Citizen Kane" and "2001: A Space Odyssey" to "Fargo" and "Kill Bill." I would have preferred if the screenshots from the colored movies weren't in black and white, especially in the section that discusses the importance of color.
Jo Verhenne
Oct 27, 2015 Jo Verhenne rated it liked it
Well illustrated and clearly written. Nice to get some new ideas, though I think it's a bit too obvious and too extensive from time to time.
Cristen Boorman
Sep 29, 2014 Cristen Boorman rated it really liked it
Excellent for anyone wanting to know the basics of cinematic storytelling.
Aug 25, 2015 Mahmoud rated it really liked it
Inspiring great secrets, essential to acknowledge! It really helps in creating quality films!
Oct 26, 2007 Todd rated it it was amazing
For an aspiring filmmaker (who didn't go to film school), this book is priceless -- it describes not only what several different styles of shots are, it also tells you the psychological reasons many of them are used (and how they reinforce the storytelling).

If you're really well versed in film, then I'm a major film junkie -- and overall, I found it to be a massively informative read.
Andreas Climent
Mar 31, 2009 Andreas Climent rated it liked it
Really enjoying this book. Great overview of different cinematic compositions and storytelling techniques with a lot of examples from well known movies.

So far I've learned how different screen directions affect the viewer psychologically, how to use different cutting speeds to achieve different feelings and a bunch of other things.
Carl Hansen
Jan 11, 2014 Carl Hansen rated it it was amazing
We are visual, so with pictures techniques are explain. Fantastic must have!
Kashyap Kashyap
Mar 25, 2015 Kashyap Kashyap rated it really liked it
its an amaging book for filmmakers who want to make beuty of the shots
Bianca Beyrouti
Apr 13, 2010 Bianca Beyrouti rated it really liked it
I recently revisited this book three years after having it assigned to me in an introductory screenwriting class. While the writing is a little dry and elementary for my taste, the breadth of film elements and examples used makes this a great refresher for aspiring screenwriters and filmmakers.
Nix Hamilton
Dec 29, 2013 Nix Hamilton rated it liked it
This was a real eye-opener! I really had no concept as to how hard movie-making must be until I read this. I think it made me want to watch a lot more old movies and also watch more Tarantino. Who doesn't love Tarantino?
The Doctor
Dec 02, 2009 The Doctor rated it really liked it
one of the 3 treasures I found on the British Film Museum (I love getting lost in London). The deconstruction of the power of moving images, thru method and stepping on the shoulders of masters. If you look closely enough you may learn a thing or two about cinematography as well.
I'm always wary when teachers assign their own books in class, but this one is a good book to read. Occasionally the writing was not great, but the format and outline of the book is incredibly useful as a primer or for reference. Overall, pretty great.
Adam Murakami
Sep 07, 2013 Adam Murakami rated it it was ok
An ok book that feels limited in its perspective and execution of its potential. Wide range of citations used, but often recycles content over and over again.
Jul 08, 2007 Ira rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Filmgoers
Shelves: creative-writing
I guess its the most comprehensive guiding book for filmgoers, in terms of consice information and perfectly chosen visuals .
Nov 16, 2010 Marcia rated it really liked it
I was looking for something like this. How to tell a story with pictures and sounds rather than words. 100 ways!
Feb 15, 2013 Barry rated it it was amazing
Great explanation and analysis of tips and strategies for beginning and veteran filmmakers or viewers.
Oct 12, 2014 Natalie rated it really liked it
A great breakdown of the different aspects of filmmaking. Uses lots of fantastic examples.
Jan 24, 2016 Storyheart rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing, filmmaking
Excellent tool for screenwriters who want to move beyond plot, character and dialogue.
Feb 15, 2009 Rozinor rated it it was amazing
good book to learn to make a great cinematics opening.
Clare Redden
Clare Redden marked it as to-read
Jun 23, 2016
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Jun 22, 2016
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