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Best Filmmaking Books

Recommendations from 21 articles, Maria Sharapova, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tim Ferriss and 11 others.
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Rebel without a Crew
Or How a 23-Year-Old Filmmaker With $7,000 Became a Hollywood Player
Robert Rodriguez - Sep 01, 1996 (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 ...
In the Blink of an Eye
A Perspective on Film Editing, 2nd Edition
Walter Murch - Jul 31, 2001 (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...
Making Movies
Sidney Lumet - Mar 19, 1996 (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...
On Directing Film
David Mamet - Jan 01, 1992 (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...
Easy Riders, Raging Bulls
How the Sex-Drugs-and-Rock 'N' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood
Peter Biskind - Apr 04, 1999 (first published in 1998)
Goodreads Rating
This down-and-dirty romp through Hollywood in the 1970s introduces the young filmmakers--Coppola, Scorsese, Lucas, Spielberg, Altman, and Beatty--and recreates an era that transformed American culture forever....
Recommended by
B.J. Novak
Hitchcock
Francois Truffaut - Oct 02, 1985 (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...
Directing Actors
Creating Memorable Performances for Film & Television
Judith Weston - Jul 01, 1999 (first published in 1996)
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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....
This ultimate insider's guide reveals the secrets that none dare admit, told by a show biz veteran who's proven that you can sell your script if you can save the cat!...
Adventures in the Screen Trade
A Personal View of Hollywood and Screenwriting
William Goldman - Mar 10, 1989 (first published in 1983)
Goodreads Rating
No one knows the writer's Hollywood more intimately than William Goldman. Two-time Academy Award-winning screenwriter and the bestselling author of Marathon Man, Tinsel, Boys and Girls Together, and other novels, Goldman now takes you into Hollywood's inner sanctums...on and behind the scenes for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All the Presiden...
Cinematography
Theory and Practice
Blain Brown - Sep 15, 2016 (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 Complete Film Production Handbook, Fourth Edition
Eve Light Honthaner - Mar 26, 2010 (first published in 1993)
Goodreads Rating
This book is for working film/TV professionals and students alike. If you're a line producer, production manager, production supervisor, assistant director or production coordinator--the book has everything you'll need (including all the forms, contracts, releases and checklists) to set up and run a production--from finding a production office to t...
Directing by Michael Rabiger
Shooting to Kill by Christine Vachon
The Filmmaker's Handbook, 2013 Edition by Steven Ascher
Down and Dirty Pictures by Peter Biskind
Story by Robert McKee
Something Like An Autobiography by Akira Kurosawa
The Five C's of Cinematography by Joseph V Mascelli
Film Directing Shot by Shot by Steven D. Katz
The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
The Writers Journey by Christopher Vogler
The Conversations by Michael Ondaatje
On Film-making by Alexander Mackendrick
Notes on Directing by Frank Hauser
Master Shots Vol 1, 2nd edition by Christopher Kenworthy
The Filmmaker's Eye by Gustavo Mercado
Film Lighting by Kris Malkiewicz
The Pocket Lawyer for Filmmakers by Thomas A. Crowell Esq.
Film Directing by Steve D. Katz
The Technique of Film and Video Editing by Ken Dancyger
Harry Potter Page to Screen by Bob McCabe
Sculpting in Time by Andrey Tarkovsky
The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst
The Wes Anderson Collection by Matt Zoller Seitz
When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead by Jerry Weintraub
Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities by Guillermo del Toro
Architecture by Francis D. K. Ching
Movies by Shea Serrano
My Autobiography by Charlie Chaplin
Logo Design Love by David Airey
The Wes Anderson Collection by Matt Zoller Seitz
How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck by Steve Stockman
Absolute Pandemonium by Brian Blessed
Scenes From A Revolution by Mark Harris
A Visual Dictionary of Architecture by Francis D. K. Ching
Building Construction Illustrated by Francis D. K. Ching
The Park Bench by Christophe Chaboute
The Hollywood Standard by Christopher Riley
The Art of Drew Struzan by Drew Struzan
Saul Bass by Jennifer Bass
Backstage handbook by Paul Carter
The Study of Orchestration by Samuel Adler
The Visual Story, Second Edition by Bruce Block
Interior Design and Space Planning by Martin Julius; Zelnik Joseph; Panero DeChiara
The Movie Art of Syd Mead by Syd Mead
This Is Orson Welles by Orson Welles
Human Dimension & Interior Space by Julius Panero
The Making of Alien by J. W. Rinzler
The Furniture Bible by Christophe Pourny
Type, Volume 1 by
Meggs' History of Graphic Design by Philip B. Meggs
The New Biographical Dictionary of Film by David Thomson
What Is Cinema? Vol. 1 by Andre Bazin
Who the Devil Made It by Peter Bogdanovich
The Queens of Animation by Nathalia Holt
The Power of Limits by Gyorgy Doczi
Sergio Leone by Christopher Frayling
Fake Love Letters, Forged Telegrams, and Prison Escape Maps by Annie Atkins
Color Correction Handbook by Alexis Van Hurkman
Architectural Graphic Standards by American Institute of Architects
Set Lighting Technician's Handbook by Harry Box
Frank Capra by Frank Capra
Paul Rand by Paul Rand
The Art of Star Wars by Phil Szostak
Speaking Of Films by Satyajit Ray
I Am Spartacus! by Kirk Douglas
Ray Harryhausen by Ray Harryhausen
Running the Show by Liz Gill
On the Track by Fred Karlin
The Architecture Reference & Specification Book by Julia McMorrough
The Interior Design Reference & Specification Book updated & revised by Chris Grimley
Design Drawing by Francis D. K. Ching
Moviemakers' Master Class by Laurent Tirard
The 3D Printing Handbook by Ben Redwood
Cosmic Motors by Daniel Simon
Typeset in the Future by Dave Addey
Joe Alves by Dennis Prince
The Film Director's Intuition by Judith Weston
Kazan by James Oliver Curwood
Agee on Film by James Agee
The VES Handbook of Visual Effects by Jeffrey A. Okun VES
Kazan on Directing by Elia Kazan
Vision by Hans P. Bacher
The Elements of Style by Stephen Calloway
The Art of the Hollywood Backdrop by Richard M. Isackes
The 2001 File by Christopher Frayling
Type. A Visual History of Typefaces & Graphic Styles, 1901-1938 by Alston W Purvis
The Invisible Art by Mark Cotta Vaz
Ballpark by Paul Goldberger
All You Need to Know About the Music Business by Donald S. Passman