- Paperback: 160 pages
- Publisher: Michael Wiese Productions; 2nd Revised edition edition (8 July 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1932907424
- ISBN-13: 978-1932907421
- Product Dimensions: 27.8 x 1.1 x 19.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,45,987 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Setting Up Your Shots: Great Camera Moves Every Filmmaker Should Know Paperback – 8 Jul 2008
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Each page of the book has a different type of "shot" that is used in filmmaking. This includes common shots like Pan, Tilt, Zoom, Pull Focus, etc. But it also includes shots that are rarely used, yet could be useful for a certain dramatic or stylistic effect. Some moves require cranes or other equipment, but most can be done either handheld or with a tripod. All types of camera techniques are discussed, as well as some common editing techniques thrown in for good measure.
Each technique only gets one page, and the text does not get too in-depth. Fortunately, most pages include a sketch/illustration which gives you a visual example of the shot being described.
The two best ways to learn about filmmaking are to:
(1) watch great films, and
(2) just go out and start shooting!
This book embraces both of the ideas above. Included with each shot/camera technique is an example of 2-3 films that used that technique. The author does a good job selecting films/scenes that effectively used each type of shot - he recommends classics like The Third Man, Citizen Kane, Rear Window, etc... but he also cites many contemporary films such as The Matrix, Pirates of the Caribbean, and The Departed.
Finally, the author suggests "Exercises" that you can do to increase your knowledge of cinematography... these range from simple observation exercises to actually picking up a camera and practicing these shots. The best way to learn these shots is to try them out yourself.
I would say that if you want to work in Film/TV as a director or cinematographer, this book is a great entry into visual storytelling. This book is too simple for enthusiasts or professionals, but if you are a beginner then it will be an adequate resource for you without being too overwhelming.
it's basically a big list of moves, one page at a time. no noteworthy discussions about each one other than maybe a paragraph or two. no talk of blocking, or the logistics of actually setting up your shots on the set.
just a list of ideas... tired ideas.
it's also a very irregular shape, so it sticks out of my library like a sore thumb.
'cinematic motion' by stephen katz is a much better place to start (as is his other book on directing--- 'shot by shot')
don't waste your time with this.
My first reaction was to return this book for a refund. However, I've felt that my shooting style was falling into a rut lately, and I found a couple of examples in the book that I had been neglecting. So, I grudgingly admit I got something out of it, despite the fact the author has little, if any, experience actually producing movies.
I think this book would have been more useful if it had been assembled as a pocket-sized, spiral-bound reference guide that could be used in the field. But, to be really useful, the author would need to learn more of the professional terminology and include good diagrams.
My biggest gripe about this, and a few other "how-to" books, is that it lacks any evidence that the author has ever tried to do what he is telling us how to do. I don't think people who haven't tried out their own advice should be charging for it.