Directing: Film Techniques and Aesthetics (Screencraft Series)

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Directing: Film Techniques and Aesthetics is a comprehensive manual that teaches the essentials of filmmaking from the perspective of the director. Ideal for film production and directing classes, as well as for aspiring and current directors, Directing covers all phases of preproduction and production, from idea development to final cut. Thoroughly covering the basics, Directing guides the reader to professional standards of expression and control, and goes to the heart of what makes a director. The book outlines a great deal of practical work to meet this goal, with projects, exercises.

The third edition emphasizes the connection between knowing and doing, with every principle realizable through projects and exercises. Much has been enhanced and expanded, notably: aspects of dramaturgy; beats and dramatic units; pitching stories and selling one's work; the role of the entrepreneurial producer; and the dangers of embedded moral values. Checklists are loaded with practical recommendations for action, and outcomes assessment tables help the reader honestly gauge his or her progress. Entirely new chapters present: preproduction procedures; production design; script breakdown; procedures and etiquette on the set; shooting location sound; continuity; and working with a composer. The entire book is revised to capitalize on the advantages offered by the revolutionary shift to digital filmmaking.

Product Details

  • Series: Screencraft Series
  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 3 edition (March 27, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240805178
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240805177
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds

Customer Reviews

The focus it gives on how to think about telling a story and analyzing film is extremely useful and the exercises that go along

 on April 18, 2017
By Julia
We are using this book as part of my 9th grade son’s home school videography elective. The focus it gives on how to think about telling a story and analyzing film is extremely useful and the exercises that go along with it help to solidify the information.

This thing’s a beast

One person found this helpful.
 on June 29, 2006
By J. Fettke
This is 600 pages packed with deep analysis. It will take a while to read, but you will probably know more than many Hollywood directors by the time you finish it.

Working alone in a transition to motion picture film? This is your book, any edition is worth the $ for beginners.

 on April 17, 2015
By PamelaJC
Transitioning from Still Photography to Motion Picture Film, put down your Camera and do Rabiger’s Exercises for the Brain. I’ve finally been throwing out my notebooks I started after reading this book. His book helped me make that transition away from thinking like a still photographer, who also was a storyteller.

Just what I wanted

 on March 18, 2006
By Ch G. Sountoulidou
This book helped me to understand the inner philosophy of cinema and its techniques. I’m a Director in film and tv industry. I tried to find resources about the art of my specialty. This book is what I wanted it’s writing about Low budget film making but in a totally profecional way. I was so bored of these books writing about the “HOLLYWOOD” filmmaking standards. I appreciate that this book brings the art of Cinema in the hands of ordinary people, with no money to make the “extraordinary production” films but in people which trying to find the real essence of Cinema.

This book should be more famous

8 people found this helpful.
 on March 20, 2004
This book doesn’t seem to be particularly famous, but it’s one of the best books out there on the spirit of the artist as well as the nuts and bolts part of directing. I’ve bought about three or four feet of books and this is a keeper. You’ll refer to it many times and read different chapters at different moments. It’s a mature book that doesn’t pander to just the dreamers. The cute books are for the dreamers. This one’s for the terrified but willing. His other book, “Developing Story Ideas” is good as well.

Praising the unexpected

2 people found this helpful.
 on January 27, 2004
By Panagiotis Grigoreas
All the previous reviews are extensive and revealing about this very good book. Although i like to praise two thinks about it that impressed me.

Good book with a slight pessimist POV

One person found this helpful.
 on June 26, 2007
By Sachin Walia
I like the overall value offered in this book and the coverage of topics is pretty nice. However I find the author is slightly pessimist or maybe pragmatic (who knows) and that is the biggest turnoff of this book. I hope if the author had written with a slight optimist POV it’d have been much better. Every one knows that the Film industry is pretty competitive but you don’t have to be pessimist to convey the message.

One of the most complete guides to filmmaking

18 people found this helpful.
 on November 28, 2000
By Chris Scott
This book is designed as a textbook for an aspiring film student. It covers all the basic skills that are necessary in making a movie. It is very complete.


8 people found this helpful.
 on May 24, 2001
I first came across this book in film school. I did not intend to be a director back then, I intended to be a writer. And I still refuse to touch a splicer.

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