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Best Filmmaking Books

Recommendations from 38 articles, Maria Sharapova, Joe Rogan, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and 46 others.
Best Filmmaking Books
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Rebel without a Crew book cover
Rebel without a Crew
Or How a 23-Year-Old Filmmaker With $7,000 Became a Hollywood Player
Robert Rodriguez - 1996-09-01 (first published in 1995)
Goodreads Rating
In Rebel Without a Crew, famed independent screenwriter and director Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, Sin City 2, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Spy Kids) discloses all the unique strategies and original techniques he used to make his remarkable debut film, El Mariachi, on a shoestring budget. This is both one man's remarkable story and an essential guide ...
Recommended by
Edgar Wright
In the Blink of an Eye book cover
In the Blink of an Eye
A Perspective on Film Editing, 2nd Edition
Walter Murch - 2001-07-31 (first published in 1991)
Goodreads Rating
In the Blink of an Eye is celebrated film editor Walter Murch's vivid, multifaceted, thought-provoking essay on film editing. Starting with what might be the most basic editing question - Why do cuts work? - Murch treats the reader to a wonderful ride through the aesthetics and practical concerns of cutting film. Along the way, he offers his unique...
On Directing Film book cover
On Directing Film
David Mamet - 1992-01-01 (first published in 1991)
Goodreads Rating
According to David Mamet, a film director must, above all things, think visually. Most of this instructive and funny book is written in dialogue form and based on film classes Mamet taught at Columbia University. He encourages his students to tell their stories not with words, but through the juxtaposition of uninflected images. The best films, Mam...
Recommended by
Ted Hope
Making Movies book cover
Making Movies
Sidney Lumet - 1996-03-19 (first published in 1995)
Goodreads Rating
From one of America's most acclaimed directors comes a book that is both a professional memoir and a definitive guide to the art, craft, and business of the motion picture. Drawing on 40 years of experience on movies ranging from Long Day's Journey Into Night to The Verdict, Lumet explains the painstaking labor that results in two hours of screen m...
Hitchcock book cover
Francois Truffaut - 1985-10-02 (first published in 1966)
Goodreads Rating
Any book-length interview with Alfred Hitchcock is valuable, but considering that this volume's interlocutor is François Truffaut, the conversation is remarkable indeed. Here is a rare opportunity to eavesdrop on two cinematic masters from very different backgrounds as they cover each of Hitch's films in succession. Though this book was initially p...
Cinematography book cover
Theory and Practice
Blain Brown - 2016-09-15 (first published in 2002)
Goodreads Rating
The world of cinematography has changed more in the last few years than it has since it has in 1929, when sound recording was introduced. New technology, new tools and new methods have revolutionized the art and craft of telling stories visually. While some aspects of visual language, lighting and color are eternal, shooting methods, workflow and c...
The Filmmaker's Handbook book cover
The Filmmaker's Handbook
Steven Ascher - 2013-01-01 (first published in 1984)
Goodreads Rating
The authoritative guide to producing, directing, shooting, editing, and distributing your video or film Widely acknowledged as the “bible” of video and film production, and used in courses around the world, The Filmmaker’s Handbook is now updated with the latest advances in HD and new digital formats. For students and teachers, professionals and no...
Directing Actors book cover
Directing Actors
Creating Memorable Performances for Film & Television
Judith Weston - 1999-07-01 (first published in 1996)
Goodreads Rating
Internationally-renowned directing coach Weston demonstrates what constitutes a good performance, what actors want from a director, what directors do wrong, script analysis and preparation, how actors work, and shares insights into the director/actor relationship....
Recommended by
Ava DuVernay
Something Like An Autobiography book cover
Something Like An Autobiography
Akira Kurosawa - 1983-05-12 (first published in 1982)
Goodreads Rating
"A first rate book and a joy to read...It's doubtful that a complete understanding of the director's artistry can be obtained without reading this book...Also indispensable for budding directors are the addenda, in which Kurosawa lays out his beliefs on the primacy of a good script, on scriptwriting as an essential tool for directors, on directing ...
Master Shots book cover
Master Shots
100 Advanced Camera Techniques to Get An Expensive Look on your Low Budget Movie
Christopher Kenworthy - 2012-03-31
Goodreads Rating
Master Shots gives filmmakers the techniques they need to execute complex, original shots on any budget. By using powerful master shots and well-executed moves, directors can develop a strong style and stand out from the crowd. Most low-budget movies look low-budget because the director is forced to compromise at the last minute. Master Shots gives...
Shooting to Kill by Christine Vachon
Easy Riders, Raging Bulls by Peter Biskind
Directing by Michael Rabiger
Film Directing Shot by Shot by Steven D. Katz
Story by Robert McKee
The Complete Film Production Handbook by Eve Light Honthaner
Adventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman
The Five C's of Cinematography by Joseph V Mascelli
The Filmmaker's Eye by Gustavo Mercado
The Technique of Film and Video Editing by Ken Dancyger
How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck by Steve Stockman
Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities by Guillermo del Toro
The Writers Journey by Christopher Vogler
Color Correction Handbook by Alexis van Hurkman
Film Lighting by Kris Malkiewicz
The Pocket Lawyer for Filmmakers by Thomas A. Crowell Esq.
On Film-making by Alexander MacKendrick
Master Shots Volume 2 by Christopher Kenworthy
Painting With Light by John Alton
Down and Dirty Pictures by Peter Biskind
If It's Purple, Someone's Gonna Die by Patti Bellantoni
Hello, He Lied & Other Tales from the Hollywood Trenches by Lynda Obst
The Hollywood Standard by Christopher Riley
Moviemakers' Master Class by Laurent Tirard
The Reel Truth by Reed Martin
The Big Picture by Tom Reilly
Writing for the Cut by Greg Loftin
The Guide to Managing Postproduction for Film, TV, and Digital Distribution by Barbara Clark
The Conversations by Michael Ondaatje
Screenplay by Syd Field
Cutting Rhythms by Karen Pearlman
The DSLR Filmmaker's Handbook by Barry Andersson
Master Shots Vol 3 by Christopher Kenworthy
Film & Video Budgets by Deke Simon
The Shut Up and Shoot Documentary Guide by Anthony Q. Artis
Filmmaking For Dummies 2E by Bryan Michael Stoller
The Philosophy of the Coen Brothers by Mark T. Conard
Shaking the Money Tree by Morrie Warshawski
On Writing by Stephen King
Sculpting in Time by Andrey Tarkovsky
The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
Who the Devil Made It by Peter Bogdanovich
Set Lighting Technician's Handbook by Harry Box
Notes on Directing by Frank Hauser
Kazan on Directing by Elia Kazan
From Reel to Deal by Dov S-S Simens
The Grip Book by Michael G. Uva
Spike Lee's Gotta Have It by Spike Lee
The Movie Business by Kelly Crabb
The Independent Film Producer’s Survival Guide by Gunnargunnar Ericksonerickson
The Magic Lantern by Ingmar Bergman
The Oxford History of World Cinema by Geoffrey Nowell-Smith
Producer to Producer by Maureen Ryan
Produce Your Own Damn Movie! by Lloyd Kaufman
Producing with Passion by Dorothy Fadiman, Levelle Tony
MasterShots Vol 1 by Christopher Kenworthy
The Art of Immersion by Frank Rose
Poetics by Aristotle
In Her Voice by Melissa Silverstein
How to Shoot a Feature Film for Under $10,000 by Bret Stern
The Declaration of Independent Filmmaking by Mark Polish
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Run Towards the Danger by Sarah Polley
When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead by Jerry Weintraub
Movies by Shea Serrano
Absolute Pandemonium by Brian Blessed
The Park Bench by Christophe Chaboute
Pictures at a Revolution by Mark Harris
The Sense of Style by Steven Pinker
Sellout by Dan Ozzi
The Total Film-Maker by Jerry Lewis
Herzog on Herzog by Paul Cronin
Photographers Eye by Michael Freeman
Brotherhood by Mike Chen
The Hero's Journey by Joseph Campbell
Thinking with Type by Ellen Lupton
Ballpark by Paul Goldberger
Audition by Michael Shurtleff
Think Outside the Box Office by Jon Reiss
City on Fire by Don Winslow
A Killer Life by Christine Vachon
All You Need to Know About the Music Business by Donald S. Passman
The Man Who Fell to Earth by Walter Tevis
Parasite by Bong Joon Ho
The Screenwriter's Bible by David Trottier