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10 Books on The Art of Filmmaking

Learn about all of what it takes to make a film.

The art known as filmmaking is a ridiculously comprehensive set of skills that teaches you precisely how to adequately frame a shot and how to properly capture it through the lens of your camera. An immense set of skills in and out of themselves, but that is not even half of it.

Filmmaking also requires understanding the process of scriptwriting, screenwriting, all the stages of production, and a barrage of ever-evolving technologies employed in. There’s no shortage of information to learn about it, and these books contain just all of what you need to know about the filmmaking process, check them out.

#1 Hitchcock by by Francois Truffaut

Hitchcock by by Francois TruffautGet this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

Hitchcock was the master of forms. The traditional film forms. The master of film language. So this book that was created in a time when the american critics didn’t like his work is crucial to understand the mind that created such classics as Psycho.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#2 Sculpting in Time by Andrey Tarkovsky

Sculpting in Time by Andrey TarkovskyGet this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

Tarkovsky was the master of film as poetry. No other filmmaker has come so close to create such films as Stalker. A must read for everyone who loves film and especially if you are looking to become a filmmaker.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#3 On the Track 2nd Edition by Fred Karlin

On the Track 2nd Edition by Fred KarlinGet this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

This is the go-to resource on film scoring, covering all aspects including:

  • Meeting filmmakers
  • Spotting and conceptualising for the film
  • Setting budgets
  • Actually composing (motifs, rhythm, tempo)
  • Recording and the scoring stage
  • Delivering and syncing the music
  • Everything in-between!

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#4 My First Movie by Stephen Lowenstein

My First Movie by Stephen LowensteinGet this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

My First Movie is a collection of interviews from a diverse cast of directors describing their process on getting their first movie made. When I first read this book, 10 years ago, it taught me the fundamentals of filmmaking from the masters, introduced me to filmmakers I never knew I’d love, and, gave me insight into the possibilities in getting my own first feature made. It’s informative, inspiring and insightful.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#5 How Not to Make a Short Film by Roberta Marie Munroe

How Not to Make a Short Film by Roberta Marie MunroeGet this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

The author of this book was a former Sundance programmer and describes the fatigue she felt when watching a short film. This is an amazing guide in helping young filmmakers recognize their trappings when creating their short films and can help them be more innovative and interesting to festival programmers.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#6 The Permission Seeker’s Guide Through the Legal Jungleby Joy R. Butler

The Permission Seeker's Guide Through the Legal Jungleby Joy R. Butler Get this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

Rights clearance, licensing, and permissions issues relevant to filmmakers. The book provides practical, understandable guidelines that can transform the often frustrating, byzantine process of rights clearance into a process that is less intimidating and more easily achievable. Material requiring clearance might be a quote, film clip, real-life event, photograph, celebrity name, music, tattoo art, recipes, even graffiti..or any element protected by copyright or similar laws.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#7 Save the Cat by Blake Snyder

Save the Cat by Blake SnyderGet this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

Breaks down the necessary format and the beats studios look for when reviewing scripts.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#8 Circumstances Beyond My Control by Ben Bryant

Circumstances Beyond My Control by Ben BryantGet this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

If you are interested in the workings of TV and film production and the adventures behind the creation of what we see on the screen, I highly recommend this book! Told in an entertaining personal style, with links to occasional video clips, this autobiography was fascinating to read. I was inspired by Bryant’s dedication to teamwork and meeting challenges with creativity and a “get ‘er done” attitude.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#9 Below The Line: Anatomy of a Successful Film by Meredith Jordan

Below The Line: Anatomy of a Successful Film by Meredith Jordan Get this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

Journalist Meredith Jordan got herself embedded on a movie set for a major film studio, a rare feat she accomplished around the film Last Vegas. Her new book Below The Line: Anatomy of a Successful Film leverages narrative nonfiction to introduce the army of behind-the-camera professionals who create film. A rare look inside Hollywood productions.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#10 How To Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck By Steven Stockman

How To Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck By Steven StockmanGet this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

With all the fancy editing tricks and hacks, none of them will do as much for your filmmaking as the advice in this wonderfully readable book. The most easily applied and powerful advice he gives are in these 2 basic ideas:

  1. Shoot short clips.
  2. When filming people, stay close enough to your subjects to see the whites of their eyes.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

Contributors to this article
Abe Navas from Emily’s Maids

Jonny Armandary from soundtrack.academy

Joshua Amar from JoshuaAmar

Joy Butler from Law Office of Joy R. Butler

Mark Viniello from OverActive Imaginations, Inc.

Ben Bryant from Entertainment Books by Ben

Nicholas Wolaver from Below The Line: Anatomy of a Successful Movie

Michael Motylinski from Wanderlust Bay

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Written by Zak Parker

Journalist, writer, musician, professional procrastinator. I'll add more here later.

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