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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The title says it all
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...
Published on March 4 2004

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A boring, lifeless book.
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...
Published on Aug. 18 2003


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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
This review is from: Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen (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
This review is from: Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen (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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars visualization is the point, June 16 2003
This review is from: Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen (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
By 
D. F. Curran "dfcurran" (Missoula, MT United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen (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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3.0 out of 5 stars misses the point, March 24 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen (Paperback)
What Steven Katz seems to forget is that it is also the director's job to work with actors. The director can have a varied level of control over the framing and composition of the shots, but the most critical part of the director's job is ensuring that the performances accomplish the goals of the film. A director must work with actors, but if you rely solely on Katz's book, it is a director's most important job to supervise the physical production and visualization. Visualization is critical, especially in a medium like film, but Katz ignores the bigger issue. After all, the visualization of a piece is ultimately a collaboration between the director, the cinematographer, and the designers, but the actors rely on the director exclusively to hone their performances. This is a useful (though extraordinarily boring) book, but unless you need a long lecture on the importance of visual planning (for Katz, this means storyboarding,) don't expect this to help you understand direction, and directing actors, any better.
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5.0 out of 5 stars For someone trying to break in, this is the book for them., June 30 1999
This review is from: Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen (Paperback)
When I entered college to recieve a bachelor's degree, I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do. I ended up choosing a degree in acting, but have since wondered if that was the wrong choice. In the last year of college, I became interested in film direction, but felt it was to late to pursue that career. Mr. Katz's book has changed my mind. In less than one week, I learned more about the technique of film direction than I ever learned in numerous film, and television classes. This book was easy to read, yet not easy in subject matter. It challenges the reader to visualize the subject matter, and to work out common problems in his/her head. It uses an extensive study of soryboarding from both classic and fictional films to easily illustrate his technique. Although Mr Katz uses a pretty set theory of film mechanics, he does challenge the reader to experiment and to create new and exciting art. This book is a must for beginners in the film industry, and I have a hunch that advanced artists could learn a lot from it too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Steven D. Katz positions the Filmmaker as Graphic Designer., Aug. 28 1997
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This review is from: Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen (Paperback)
Film Directing Shot by Shot is a step back from the filmmaker's lens. This book is a praise of preplanning shots and putting them together in the filmmaker's head. Steven D. Katz has presented a great resource not laden with hard technical terminology limited to the professional.
Katz explores the graphic design of a shot, presenting alternate examples of shot layout side by side. The author encourages seeing shots on the storyboard and how they play together, seeing the movie as static pictures before any film is spent. As he explains: "look at each sequence as a complete statement. Developing an intuitive sense of the overall perceptual effect of a sequence is one of the skills necessary for visualization." (pp 160) He offers traditional process but encourages experimental methods where appropriate.
I was pointed toward the book as an art professional interested in filmmaking. Having read other film preproduction books this has been the best so far.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Far from complete, Nov. 28 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen (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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5.0 out of 5 stars ...fantastic, Aug. 27 2002
By 
Jamie Innes (Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen (Paperback)
I wish I had this book when I was in 6th form. If I had, the last 5 years of my life could have been very different. Unfortunately, I only got hold of this book 6 months ago, and quickly read it cover to cover.
I'm not going towrite an in depth review, but I will tell you the 2 most important things that this book deals with...
1) Shot composition/storyboards
2) Blocking
It tells you everything they don't have time for when you take media studies in your senior high school years. It quickly gets past the basic information about shot types etc, and then takes you WAY BEYOND into a far more in depth and professional level, the kind of stuff you pay tens of thousands for in a film school.
The book is that...good.
If you only ever buy 1 book on filmmaking/directing, this is the one to get. I'm not kidding.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Review, May 20 2001
By 
Thor Vader "Herr Director" (Beverly Hills, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen (Paperback)
The main problem with this book is that it suffers from either being too in depth and far beyond a beginners book or at other times is far too rudimentary. That said, its strength is that it is one of the only books on directing that actually takes you through shot composition, different lenses, and the cinematic achievement that can be created by various devices ranging from cranes to simple editing techniques. Overall, I feel that I learned some new things from this book, but at the same time - after having read it cover to cover - it just doesn't strike me as a great reference book... as I had hoped it would be.
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