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The Filmmaker's Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for the Digital Age

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  686 ratings  ·  33 reviews
For first time since its publication in 1984, "The Filmmaker's Handbook" -- the classic volume highlighting the techniques and technologies needed for the creation and production of movies -- has been completely revised and updated. Written by filmmakers for filmmakers, this essential text now includes the latest information on digital age filmmaking, where the shifting bo ...more
Paperback, 624 pages
Published March 1st 1999 by Plume (first published 1984)
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3.84  · 
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 ·  686 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Most of us love watching Hollywood movies and we greatly enjoy doing it. So far there several genres of movies. From my childhood, I was interested in various kinds of films and questioned myself how entire movies are made. This big handbook was a great illustration of how movies are produced.

Huge and wide content of this book touches almost all necessary parts of movies: camera, sound, editing and filming as well as distribution and many other relative areas. Authors show each part and explain
May 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well it took most of the summer to read, but was well worth it. If you ever thought filmmaking was fairly straightforward, take a crack at this book. From pre to post-production, scheduling a shoot and which equipment to choose and why, lenses and filters and sound systems and editing platforms/techniques, blocking a concept all the way to marketing and distribution, this book has it all, in almost ridiculous detail. Highly technical but unpretentious and readable. As assigned readings go, this ...more
Jul 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
This would be a great reference, if it weren't so dated. It needs to be gutted and reborn for the digital era, basically.

The information in this book is 1-2 decades out of sync with reality. All of the information about film stocks and analog editing is unnecessary, for example.

If you know absolutely NOTHING about the film making process, and get it used for next to nothing, there may be some beneficial stuff in there. I'd say that if someone didn't know anything about film making, just the int
Mar 12, 2013 rated it liked it
As most people have noted in their reviews, this is a reference book that feels a bit dated. However, it remains a useful introduction to the topic and had good tips for orienting a project. The technical information is perhaps the least relevant section of the book because this changes so quickly (as the authors surely knew) and so much of what's written no longer applies. Best read checked out from a library, borrowed from a friend, or bought at a used bookstore at a good price.
Benjamin Stahl
My God was this boring. But I guess I can't hold my own stupidity and small attention span against the writers. Overall it was a very informative book. Just a shame I can't remember that much of it. Anyway, the proper review is on its way. I have to get up early tomorrow morning for work. I'm going to bed now.
Markus Amalthea Magnuson
Be aware that this book is extremely dry. In fact, it's mostly a technical manual, although there are a few chapters at the end about other aspects of filmmaking. Framed like this, however, it really is a very good book if you want to make movies since every single aspect of the production process is detailed: cameras, lights, sound, editing, and many other areas, including logistics, legal, etc. I read it beginning to end, which may not be the best way, using it as a reference book makes more s ...more
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
There are many forms of film production, and what I was looking for was a book that focused more on the business side of film production. This book is far more technical. It would make a good reference for camera operators, editors, and sound technicians. It would also be useful for the filmmaker that actually has a film budget in which to purchase/rent equipment.
Chandra Ryder
This book is called "the bible" for a reason and it does not disappoint. Chock full of great tips, history, and in-depth information on all parts of media production, this book is a must for any content creator.
Vishwesh Devadas
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Bible for digital filmmaking.
Kelsey O'Brien
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was very helpful and detailed for any digital age filmmaking.
Jul 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
Didn't get through it.. big and wordy.
Aug 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a wealth of information. You won't could come away from it feeling completely proficient in any one of its many topics, but you'll certainly know a little bit about all of them.

I learned the most in the topics I'd not previously researched: processing and editing actual film stock. The subject of optical soundtracks was particularly interesting to me.

I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the subject. The text is all highly relevant and current.
A lot of information in one volume. Couldn't find an earlier copy I had, and glad I bought the latest version.

Lots of new data about HDTV, and updates of older still very important reference information.

You can also read my comments from Barnes and Noble at:

Filmmaker's Handbook
Laura Ann Tull
Not finished. I acquired this book for a film making class. I'm driven to do. the book is best for reference due to its length. I am finding also that the instructors at SMC are using different books now. I want to direct, edit, and not shoot per se. I think simplification for me is best. so I place this book unread completely on my read shelf where it stands as reference.
Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
Another rather technical book, but one I found palatable enough at a time when the possibilities of filmmaking really seized me by the proverbial lapels and shook me to my young foundations. I miss that kid who used to really, really care about creating artistic things.
May 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: film
Something to return to as a reference not to read straight through. Some good information, although as with many film books, everyone has their own way of doing things. Take note some information may be out of date, as with any reference book.
Belal Khan
Jul 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
A must have resource for anyone interested in film. Outlines all necessary technical information from equipment of jargon.
Nolan Croce
Sep 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't get to read it all but it was helpful and informative.
Nov 17, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If I wanted to read an instruction manual... I'd read this.
Justin Hall
May 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Very great supplement to an education. Thorough and easy to follow. Covers everything generally.
"the 'bible' of film and video production"... great stuff. I didn't read the book cover to cover, but it is a great reference and overview of video production from start to finish.
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Easily the best book a filmmaker can read. There's a reason why it's called the filmmakers bible!
Oct 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: writing-books
Not quite as up-to-date as I would have liked (the edition I had was the 2004) but quite an interesting reference book. The section on Marketing was both fascinating and applicable.
Arijit Saha
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is an Institution by itself, Every filmmaker should read it.
Sep 27, 2014 added it
Finally sinking my teeth in with the 2013 edition. Self-teaching, for the win.
Feb 26, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: film-making
It will be useful to improve the knowledge in film making.
Mar 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a text book for me and it's freaking awesome!
Andrew Tunstall
Aug 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent manual, covers all aspects
I'm going to tentatively mark this as "read," since what I'm mostly going to be using this as a reference book and not something I read cover to cover.
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