on October 31, 2003
Eye-opening is an understatement, Bruce Block turns film editing from mysterious gibberish into a language. I was fortunate enough to hear him speak at Warner bros., it was the single most useful lecture on anything I've ever been to. My notes are falling apart from constant use, finally he has a book out!
This book explains with crystal-clarity how to use shapes, colour, and motion on screen to control pacing and feeling. No film student should be without it; screenwriters, comic artists, web designers, anyone who deals with visual storytelling will wonder where Bruce Block has been all their life. Five stars, I'd give it more if I could!
on March 16, 2002
Finally, someone who relays that REAL cinematic storytelling involves many dialects of the same language. Like any art form, cinema displays a plethora of possibilities, yet all filmmakers seem so willing to conform to the latest visual trend. Hey, if it works, it works. But let's not forget that so many people in the world clamor for "original" ideas, including within the visual realm. This book saves time by compressing all the principles established by Pudovkin and Eisenstein. However, Bruce Block doesn't tell you HOW to come up w/ the ideas, or where to go with them; rather, he does something better. He gives you a map of the visual "terrain," complete w/ a key of useful terms. Remember, the map and compass can't tell you where to go; its purpose: to show you what's out there. In which direction you plan to go---that's up to you...
on October 22, 2001
But if you are using pictures to tells stories, do you know what your pictures are saying? Today, with the means of production accessible to everyone with about $10K, we are about to see the equivalent of desktop publishing a decade later with video.
Do you want your production to look like the video equivalent of the ransom notes produced by people who made every letter a different font just because they could?
The Visual Story makes the fundamental elements of visual language understandable. It provides tools to articulate ideas and concepts of storytelling in the visual medium. Converse with your team in terms that make sense. Plan your production so the audience gets the intended message. Make every element on screen support your theme.
Get it (like understand)and you become one of the better producers.
Skip it and help lower the bar.
on October 4, 2003
This book is almost perfect. It explains the visual elements of line, shape, color, space, etc., and, more importantly, ties them to the story. The only complaint I have is it should use more color plates in the "Color" chapter, instead of trying to describe color with words. Must read for anyone trying to tell stories with pictures.