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Cinematic Storytelling

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  403 ratings  ·  22 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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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
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
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 3 of 5 stars
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.
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)
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
Cristen Boorman
Excellent for anyone wanting to know the basics of cinematic storytelling.
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.
Inspiring great secrets, essential to acknowledge! It really helps in creating quality films!
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
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
We are visual, so with pictures techniques are explain. Fantastic must have!
Kashyap Kashyap
its an amaging book for filmmakers who want to make beuty of the shots
Bianca Beyrouti
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
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
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.
Adam Murakami
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 5 of 5 stars
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 .
I was looking for something like this. How to tell a story with pictures and sounds rather than words. 100 ways!
Great explanation and analysis of tips and strategies for beginning and veteran filmmakers or viewers.
A great breakdown of the different aspects of filmmaking. Uses lots of fantastic examples.
good book to learn to make a great cinematics opening.
Eva marked it as to-read
Aug 31, 2015
David Bartle
David Bartle marked it as to-read
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Vince Di Meglio marked it as to-read
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Setting Up your Story Cinematically: The 100 Most Powerful Film Conventions Every Filmmaker Must Know

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