FilmCraft: Editing & Cinematography – Book Reviews

Film is a collaborative art form. Unlike a novel, a poem, or a painting, it takes hundreds of people and thousands of man-hours to make a film come to life. Whether it’s Jack & Jill or The Tree of Life, it takes the same skills, talents, and passions to make a movie go from the early stages of idea to opening weekend.

The three main aspects that people always talk about are the actors, directors, and writers that help make a film what it is. Without screenwriters we’d have no stories to film. Without directors there would be no singular artistic vision presented on the screen. And without actors movies would be pretty unwatchable.

Two other aspects of filmmaking are extremely important to the overall look, pacing, and feel of a film: the Cinematographer and the Editor. Without the skill and artistry of these people, films would definitely suffer.

FilmCraft has published two books that celebrate each of these crafts and the men and women who have brought their talents to some of the best films ever made. Each book, Editing and Cinematography, is a must read for anyone passionate about film. How better to learn about the craft than through stories from the artists who have worked side-by-side with some of the best directors of the 20th and 21st century?

Each book includes interviews with the industry’s best editors and cinematographers; how they started out, their first break, and their techniques are explored. There are dozens of examples from current movies like The Dark Knight and The Hurt Locker, to classics like The Godfather and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

I also liked these books because they weren’t just a look at American editors and cinematographers, but a worldwide view of the processes and how these artists have been influenced by the culture and country they work in. These are fascinating and worthwhile books that really explore in-depth the masterful work of these artists.

They are also in no way textbooky in their presentation. Both are great coffee table books and an ideal catalyst for a discussion about movies whether your guests enjoy art films or commercial movies.

I highly recommend Editing and Cinematography from FilmCraft. They are wonderful editions to any film lover’s library!

Editing by Justin Chang and Cinematography by Mike Goodridge & Tim Grierson are available now!

What aspect of filmmaking most fascinates you? Leave a comment and let us know!

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