Master Shots Vol 1, 2nd edition: 100 Advanced Camera Techniques to Get an Expensive Look on Your Low-Budget Movie

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Master Shots gives filmmakers the techniques they need to execute complex, original shots on any budget. By using powerful master shots and well-executed moves, directors can develop a strong style and stand out from the crowd. Most low-budget movies look low-budget, because the director is forced to compromise at the last minute. Master Shots gives you so many powerful techniques that you’ll be able to respond, even under pressure, and create knock-out shots. Even when the clock is ticking and the light is fading, the techniques in this book can rescue your film, and make every shot look like it cost a fortune.
Each technique is illustrated with samples from great feature films and computer-generated diagrams for absolute clarity.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 241 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Wiese Productions; Second Edition, Revised edition (April 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1615930876
  • ISBN-13: 978-1615930876
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 0.6 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds

Customer Reviews

Great concept

15 people found this helpful.
 on May 10, 2012
By Jay Windland
I haven’t sat down and read this book straight through yet, but that isn’t necessarily the intent either. This is a reference book and actually a quite ingenious tool. It’s like training wheels for a new director or DP – when breaking down a script for a story board or shot list, you can simply skim through the book for the type of scene you are doing and find the various shot setups with full descriptions of how they are used and what they do to convey the different emotions you would be going for in the scene. There are pictures everywhere that clearly illustrate the setups, so it is easy to navigate the book and quickly understand the technique. The author recommends buying several copies for crew members and actually using it on set for reference to the look you are building. I don’t know if that would work on a lot of sets, but indie projects and student films with inexperienced crews could greatly benefit from that kind of reference point. I’m definitely going to use it liberally in storyboarding an upcoming short film.

Good book for beginners

9 people found this helpful.
 on April 30, 2013
By Knife G
I read the reviews if this book and found it to be very useful. For an amatuer film maker, this helps explain how to execute your ideas on to film. The book goes through different scenes from actual movies and explains the mechanics of taking the scene. The pictures are poorly done and the computer generated image doesnt really help. Color and brightness could have been better.

Absolutely Amazing at helping to set up a shot.

5 people found this helpful.
 on October 8, 2015
By Brian Spain
This book is amazing. I mostly shoot videos for YouTube, which means I have a budget of $0 on most things. However, I wanted a higher quality look on the shots. An Assistant Director on a film that I was working on suggested this book to me, and it did not let me down. I’m so excited to shoot more scenes like those demo’d in the book. For someone with a degree in filming, this may be old news, but for someone like me that is starting out; I feel like it is an awesome crash course to getting the shots you want.

Simple, detailed and easy to follow

7 people found this helpful.
 on January 17, 2014
By LosBrands
I’ve been a professional photographer for many years and was interested in translating “still” shots into film/digital live motion. I understand the lighting fundamentals and scene set-ups as well as many DOF applications and post photo retouches. Although this book doesn’t go into the technical lighting and DOP / shutter speed details of shooting film/digital, it makes up for that by demonstrating camera set-up and movement and how these kinds of shots set certain moods or lead ins for establishing scenes.

Does the job

7 people found this helpful.
 on September 7, 2012
By TomS
No need for a 500 page manual on setting up some clever shots. This smaller book does the job and does it well. It has an easy to understand walk through for each shot and diagrams and examples to go with them. I will grab Volume 2 as well I think!

Great Read for Indie Filmmakers

7 people found this helpful.
 on January 28, 2013
By karen lipke
Highly recommended for directors and cinematographers who want to learn more about how to get great shots for their production! Very helpful in all stages of production, not just filming!

Nice Visual Reference

11 people found this helpful.
 on May 4, 2012
By J. Brown
Master Shots continues to be a nice reference to demonstrate to students ways to tell stories visually.

Master shots vol 1

5 people found this helpful.
 on February 10, 2013
By Frankmagree
Brilliant. So user friendly. Great tool to storyboard your shots. Use it to practic shots and try out new shots before final production.

Worth the money

6 people found this helpful.
 on September 15, 2012
By Mikeymikeproductions
Sometimes you buy something, and then wonder why you did. Not so with this title. As soon as it loaded, I was engrossed. Very usefull. Very helpfull. There should be more of these type of books, feeds my Anglo saxon need for explanation.

good info in a big & bulky book format

One person found this helpful.
 on April 4, 2015
By David J. Patterson
This is one of a series of books that suggest great compositions for video scenes. The information is generally very good, but sometimes the illustrations are poor. Regardless, I found the explanations for how the shot is motivated to be very helpful. My only complaints are (1) the wide format of the book and large size is very cumbersome, and (2) I wish all three books were combined into one. I suppose the 2nd and 3rd volumes were introduced after the publisher saw market interest in the first. However, the size and awkward format of these three books is unwieldy to carry around to video shoots. In spite of my nit picking, I would recommend these books to directors and camera operators, as there are many good examples of shots to consider.

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