- Paperback: 326 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; 4 edition (13 July 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781138632226
- ISBN-13: 978-1138632226
- ASIN: 1138632228
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.9 x 22.9 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 476 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 84,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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About the Author
Christopher J. Bowen has worked within the motion media industries for over 18 years as a cinematographer, editor, director, and educator. Currently, he is an Associate Professor of Film Production and Visual Media Writing at Framingham State University. He is also an Avid Certified Instructor, Creative Director of his own media production company, Fellsway Creatives, and author of the companion text, Grammar of the Edit.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The book is basic, starting with an introduction to composition including a description of types of shots a cinematographer might make, like extreme long shot or medium close up, and the effects of lens selection on images. Bowen also describes basic lighting principles and how to shoot for later editing. He then lays out some principles for shooting subject in motion and with cameras in motion. The working practices and concluding chapters reinforce the early advice or introduce some ideas that don't fit in neatly with the proceeding chapters. Each chapter also includes quiz questions and exercises. There are appendices of resources and crew description as well as a glossary. The book is well illustrated with drawings by the author and photographs of what I presume are his students. Although the quality of the paper on which the photographs are printed is low, they are more than adequate to illustrate the teaching points.
This book will be most useful to people who have never shot video before, or even more useful, never even done photography. For people whose skills are more developed, the material may seem repetitious. At the same time, I felt there was not enough detail about a few subjects, particularly lighting, exposure and usage of different focal length lenses. The book will also prove less useful to folks who have already read the companion book, "Grammar of the Edit".
There is a companion web site. At the time of this writing it appeared that it had not been updated since the third edition. The videos that are there merely repeat material that is already in the printed book.
I've reviewed several basic film making books in the past year and this is by far one of the best. The reader should understand that developing skill as a motion media shooter will require a lot more study than just this book. Still the book provides a good foundation.
Note: The publisher provided me with a review copy of this book at no charge.