Filmmaking Books are an important part of any filmmakers arsenal. Below is a list of the most popular and best Filmmaking Books purchased by our readers on Amazon. Many of these are “must read” industry standard books. These are all great reads for almost any level of filmmaker, so consider checking them out.
Top Filmmaking Books
Grip & Lighting
I’ve said it at least ten times and i’ll say it again. This book is “the Bible” for Lighting Technicians! No joke. The information contained in here invaluable and has helped me for years. I have had a copy of this book in my tool bag on 99% of all films I have worked on and I suggest technicians of all levels purchase, read and reread this book. This is one of the most important filmmaking books a lighting technician can own.
Although it may not be as popular as Harry C. Box’s Set Lighting Technicians Handbook, Michael Uva’s the Grip Book is another fantastic read for grips of all levels. Be sure to keep it in your tool bag and read it between takes!
The American Cinematographer Manual is the go to book for DOPs working with 35mm. With a new edition out every few years, i’m sure the newest versions will begin to expand into Digital Cinematography. No matter if you’re shooting 35mm or Digital, this is a must own book for DOPs of all levels. Keep in mind that this book comes in 2 volumes.
John Alton’s Painting With Light is a great read for Film Noir Cinematography buffs. Avoid the Kindle version though! Rumour has it that it leaves quite a bit out of the book compared the the hardback version
Although this book hasn’t been updated in recent years, it is still one of the best cinematography books out there. It is easily one of the most widely respected books and a must read for cinematographers who are passionate about their craft.
Blain Brown’s book is another one of those highly respected, must read books. It includes a DVD that shows you the difference between many type of soft and hard lights, light placement and more. What other book comes with an in depth visual guide?!? Just for the content contained in the book itself I’d recommend it to any film student or young, aspiring DOP, but the DVD itself is what puts it over the edge in terms of value for your money.
Gustavco Mercado’s book is all about the inner workings of the basic shots that create the cinematic experience and how visuals communicate to the audience. A perfect read for filmmakers of all levels, this book is a great aid in helping you to understand shot types, why they work and the visual “rules” of filmmaking.
This a a wonderful read that shows so that there is so much more to being a Cinematographer than taking light meter readings! Not only do you learn about the equipment and technology used, but also the concepts that will enable you to work like a professional level Director of Photography.
If the Set lighting Technicians Handbook is consider the Lighting Technician’s “Bible”, this would be the Assistant Director “Bible”. Another great read for Assistant Directors, perfect for learning as much as you can about the job before getting on your first job. This is easily one of the most impportant filmmaking books an Assistant Director can own.
Film Production Management 101-2nd edition: Management & Coordination in a Digital Age
Deborah Patz’ Film Production Management 101 and her previous book Surviving Production were adopted as “the essential road map to the business and logistics of on-the-job film and television production. These books where originally developed from practical tools that Patz created for film and television career. The book includes everything from budgeting, managing the production office, script revisions, cost reporting, publicity and more. This is a must own for filmmakers of all levels!
Get in contact with us if you would like to suggest filmmaking books for this list.