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Top Ten Cinematography Books


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Hey guys, I own a few Jon Fauer Books, have collected a few manuals and printed some off the internet, mostly Arri and Aaton. I also own an ancient book called Motion Picture Camera Techniques, and the 16mm Camera Book by Mr. Underhaul. I'd like to get a solid cinematography library going, so what are the top ten, or at least a handful of books, you guys would recomend?

 

-Dave Bourbois

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although it's slightly dated, and not a tech manual, "Masters of Light" is packed with great interviews and valuable info that's still very relevant. I learned a ton just from the interview with Gordon Willis.

 

other favorites on my shelf are "Film Lighting" by Malkiewicz and John Alton's "Painting with Light"

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"Cinematography Screencraft" a collection of interviews with cinematographers about their work. Staarts with Jack Cardiff and ends with Darius Khondji.

also: Nykvist, Kaminski, Seale, Couterd, Willis,... all the big names...

lovely book

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Although its a bit pricey I thought "Reflections:Twenty One Cinemtogrophers at Work" was comprehensive.

 

From the ASC website:

 

"It is divided into seven sections: cinematography basics, the key light, portraits, day interiors, night interiors, lab techniques, and the designing sequences." It lists for $89.oo but you can usually get it cheaper at events like Cine-gear or UCLA Festival of books.

 

Bill

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Hey Dave,

Seems to me some books are better at one thing than another, they all have overlapping subject matter but here's my fav's as I view their impact on me. Y'know it's all subjective.

 

Theory

5 C?s of Cinematography???????...Mascelli

Cinematography, Theory and Practice??..Blain Brown

The Negative????????????.Ansel Adams

Film Form: Essays in Film Theory????Sergei Eisenstein

 

Practice/Field

The ASC Manual???????????....ASC (The daddy-o)

The Camera Assistant?????????.Douglas Hart

The Camera Assistant Manual??????David Elkins

Cinematographer's Pocket Reference....Blain Brown

Cinematographer's field guide...............Kodak

 

Lighting

Painting with Light??????????John Alton

Matters of Light and Depth??????...Ross Lowell

Film Lighting????????????.Kris Malkiewicz

Motion Picture & Video Lighting???? Blain Brown

Interior Color by Design????????Jonathan Poore

 

Movement & Blocking

Cinematic Motion??????????.Steven Katz

Grammar of the Film Language?????Daniel Arijon

Shot by Shot????????????..Steven Katz

 

Gee-whiz-ology(inspiration)

Cinemtography.......................... Peter Ettedgui

 

Don't take your books on the set, they grow legs. (And nothing is silly in the growth process).

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Although its a bit pricey I thought "Reflections:Twenty One Cinemtogrophers at Work" was comprehensive.

 

From the ASC website:

 

"It is divided into seven sections: cinematography basics, the key light, portraits, day interiors, night interiors, lab techniques, and the designing sequences." It lists for $89.oo but you can usually get it cheaper at events like Cine-gear or UCLA Festival of books.

 

Bill

I just noticed, as an 85th Anniversary deal, the ASC Store is selling "Reflections" and "Painting With Light" in a special 2-pack for $75. I couldn't resist that and had to take advantage of it myself.

 

-Mark

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  • 2 months later...

I would also add to this list a section on Biographies:

 

A Man With A Camera ?????????.. Nestor Almendros

 

I think this is a great book for starting film makers because Nestor?s approach was always to try and take advantage of natural lighting and location. He talks about lighting 35mm features with natural light through a window and a bounce card. He was a great DP.

 

That said when you work on larger budget films with more responsibility you can get yourself into trouble thinking you?ll light the whole scene with sun through a window if you don?t have a bunch of electrics standing at the ready with a 12K.

 

Also Nestor complains that Americans sets seem to be obsessed with MORE. More this, more that, which really just meant ?More coffee and more doughnuts? in Nestor?s eyes. However when Nestor got on bigger films he always had plenty of stuff to cover his ass.

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Hey,

 

I just rode "Film Lighting" from Malkiewicz and it's a very good book !

 

I mean, i rode many books about cinematography and lighting in French(there is not so much of them) and everytime i was disapointed because too much theorical.

 

This one, "Film Lighting" is more about the craft and tricks of some of the best DP's and gaffer in Hollywood. Old but still ok.

 

Soon i'm gonna start "Painting with light".

 

Enjoy your reading

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