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Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen [Paperback]

Steve Katz
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 31 1991 Michael Wiese Productions
A complete catalogue of motion picture techniques for filmmakers. It concentrates on the 'storytelling' school of filmmaking, utilizing the work of the great stylists who established the versatile vocabulary of technique that has dominated the movies
since 1915. This graphic approach includes comparisons of style by interpreting a 'model script', created for the book, in storyboard form.




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From Amazon

Film Directing Shot by Shot offers a good introduction to the rudiments of film production. Steven D. Katz walks his readers through the various stages of moviemaking, advising them at every turn to visualize the films they wish to produce. Katz believes that one of the chief tasks of filmmaking is to negotiate between our three-dimensional reality and the two-dimensionality of the screen. He covers the number of technical options filmmakers can use to create a satisfying flow of shots, a continuity that will make sense to viewers and aptly tell the film's story. Katz provides in-depth coverage of production design, storyboarding, spatial connections, editing, scene staging, depth of frame, camera angles, point of view, and the various types of stable compositions and moving camera shots.

Review

"Now that you've got a couple of shorts under your belt, why not get a little more analytic? Steven Katz's book gives a great breakdown of the fundamentals of film directing. It's not something you might want to start off by reading, but once you are ready to have your films take that next step this should be number one on your to do list. Katz breaks down film language for you so that you can learn how to speak it in your own way." - www.austinfilmfestival.com

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A boring, lifeless book. Aug. 18 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book was going to be required reading for a storyboarding class I'm teaching this fall. It was the book used by the teacher who last taught the class. After reading it, I've switched the required reading to "The Five C's of Cinematography."
This book lists shot type after shot type, page after page, but doesn't get into the reasoning of choosing one shot over another. As far as the how, where, when, and why goes, this book ignores the "why."
This book wastes many pages in the beginning telling the reader that storyboards are important. Of course they are! That's why I bought the freakin' book! This space could have been used to explain the difference between camera lenses and focal qualities, which are referred to constantly but never properly defined.
What I was expecting from this book was a good overview of the movie planning process. Instead, it is a mind-numbingly boring list of the different shots that could be used in film. Also, the quality of the author's storyboards that are used to illustrate the book do not fill me with optimism about the effectiveness of the book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The title says it all March 4 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
If you're expecting, that you will learn how to direct actors or get dramatic an unique performances with this book you're wrong, this book it's about visualizing, how to move the camera, why, continuity styles, storyboarding, etc,
It is an excellent tool for the film & videomaker, you can use it for quick reference, if you're shooting a conversation, it explains, how you can do it without breaking the axis..
If you're starting to study film, let Steven Katz, be your teacher, and make your first shorts knowing how to doing them right
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Good book Dec 4 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very good for basic film making theory. This is one of the few top seller among the film theory books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars visualization is the point June 16 2003
Format:Paperback
i disagree with the comment that katz missed the point. The title of this book denotes a focus on visualization. While a director must wear many hats, this book focuses on one specific area. Cinematic Motion, another. To say that the book does not focus on directing actors seems to miss the point entirely.
I found this book very useful. As a begining filmmaker, it is easy to fall into patterns early - the same sorts of shots for the same basic reasons. But this book made me reconsider a lof of this. Also, the sections on blocking were very good. Managing the 180 line in complex action can be confusing, especially for beginners, but this book broke down different solutions and made them easy to understand.
I would highly recommend this book for anyone interested in creating visuals for film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Buy for film makers May 12 2004
Format:Paperback
This reference is worth the money. I learned everything I needed to know about setting up shots for my first two films from this book. Diagrams, pictures, instructions. Wonderful!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Shot by Shot Oct. 6 2011
Format:Paperback
If you are new to film and don't know much about setting up shots and directing a film, you may be a little daunted by a lot of the technical details here. However, if you have even a little film knowledge and you are hungry for more, this book is right up your alley. Think of it as a blueprint for directing your first, or next movie. Yes, even if you have already got a film or two under your belt, there will be things here that you had forgotten about, or perhaps not even learned. A great must-read for every filmmaking enthusiast!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Worst Writing Ever Aug. 6 2011
By Student
Format:Paperback
This book as a requirement for one of my courses in university, and what can I say - I have never had more regrets buying a book. This is an agonizing piece of literature (if I can even call it that). The writing seems monotone and boring, and simple concepts are stretched out into dozens of pages, whereas they could be explained in 1. Pointless and confusing explanations for very simple rules and terms.

My mom is a professor and an author herself (Elena Ross, though she does not write about film), and I understand that writing is different for everyone, but she explains things extremely simply, whereas this book is unnecesarily scrambled and stretched out for maximum amount of pages for what could have been 50.

Very, very dissapointed. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Far from complete Nov. 29 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
A competent text in regards to the visualization of camera placement and movement required of directors. At the very least, it will aid you in communicating with the various people necessary to make films. However, this book falls far short of being a complete manual for a film director. It fails to address basic directing principles, such as the director's roles in shaping performances for the screen and breaking down the script emotionally. The latter being an essential step in "visualizing from concept to screen." Using this book as a resource as a director is fine, but make sure you supplement it with other texts, such as "Directing Actors" by Judith Weston. Do not buy this book assuming you are getting a comprehensive guide. If it's a more comprehensive guide you seek then I would recommend Michael Rabiger's "Directing: Film Techniques and Aesthetics."
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