07/10/2022
Books on Filmmaking

12 Best Filmmaking Books to Boost Your Filmmaking Journey

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Whenever we start something or work on something, it states that experience is a very valuable characteristic. More the experience or knowledge is, the better the work will be. Or, at least, it can finish with satisfaction. The same follows with filmmaking. This article is about some of the best filmmaking books, irrespective of experienced or fresher.

Though it is not inevitable to take graduation courses on filmmaking to be a better filmmaker, what’s important is how much you know and can execute that properly.

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This is where books come to help. You can polish your craft more perfectly after reading these books. Every filmmaker be it novice or experienced should read these books.

It would be better to be equipped with other filmmakers’ journeys so that you can apply the knowledge you have gained through books. This in-depth article boosts your filmmaking career to a level higher.

Over the years, these best books for filmmakers have been inspirational for many newcomers. If you are a budding filmmaker and want to put a dent in the filmmaking universe, it is wise to know the depth of the water before plunging into the river.

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12 best BOOKS ON FILMMAKING

1. OUR FILMS, THEIR FILMS

 OUR FILMS, THEIR FILMS
OUR FILMS, THEIR FILMS

This book has been an essential holding for any budding filmmaker. It appeals to many people as there is an aesthetic purpose of this filmmaking book. As the name suggests, it doesn’t only describe the filmmaking techniques but the different cultures of filmmaking between India and abroad.

Written by Satyajit Ray, he has been an inspiration to many foreign filmmakers like Martin Scorsese. This book offers glimpses of such personalities as Akira Kurosawa, Charles Chaplin, Jean Renoir, etc.

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From the silent era to the color, everything is described so minutely that you will be immersed in this book within a minute. If you are in film school and looking for books about filmmaking, then this is one of the must-read books for filmmakers to know the difference between world films.

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2. ON FILM EDITING

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 ON FILM EDITING
ON FILM EDITING

As you see the whole book is written for the film editor, a filmmaker has to know the nuances of editing. This is a critical part of filmmaking. Written by Edward Dmytryk who explains the principles of editing with anecdotes and examples.

He was a director sharing his experience of film editing more in a philosophical manner. This is a great book for beginner filmmakers as well as experienced ones. whether you are thinking about buying, you can do so from here.

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3. IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE

 IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE
IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE

It comes from one of the greatest film editors of all time in film history. Written by Walter Murch who is considered one of the forefathers of editing. Starting from the importance of cutting a film to its aesthetic appeal, everything is explained minutely so that every novice filmmaker can also get accustomed easily to the technical terms.

He has worked with many eminent filmmakers such as Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, etc. His views on film editing are very distinctive from other editors. Anyone looking for the best books about filmmaking can buy it from here.

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4. NOTES ON THE CINEMATOGRAPHER

 NOTES ON THE CINEMATOGRAPHER
NOTES ON THE CINEMATOGRAPHER

Robert Bresson has been an inspiration to many filmmakers around the world. His films are still remarkable and admirable to date. Working with non-professional actors, he created his own personality of working as a filmmaker.

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We know him as a filmmaker of some worldwide movies such as Pickpocket, A Man Escaped, Diary of a Country Priest, etc. So, if you are looking for filmmaking books, Notes on the Cinematographer should be on your shelf.

Written by him, this book is all about cinematography. If you have seen any of his films then you know his aesthetic approach to films. Some of the compelling visuals from his films are still inspirational to newcomers. He explains his theory and practice as a filmmaker.

Starting from the fundamental differences between theatre and films, the grammar of silence, music, and noise as well as the mysterious power of an image, everything is described pleasantly. You can buy the book from here.

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5. SCULPTING IN TIME

SCULPTING IN TIME

SCULPTING IN TIME

Another filmmaker’s handbook is Sculpting in Time written by Andrei Tarkovsky. Though it’s a kind of different book, it appeals to filmmakers with a descriptive journey of filmmaking. This book is a reflection of his life and career. The Russian genius has captivated every audience all over the world through his films.

If you watch any of his films, you will surely be blown by the imagery used in the films. Every scene is poetically filled with haunting images. Some of the great films made by him are Solaris, Nostalgia, Stalker, Andrei Rublev, etc.

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If you are obsessed with foreign language films, then this book will pleasantly appease your thirst for knowledge about filmmaking. Discovering a different type of work is the main subject of this book. You can buy the book from here.

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6. SAVE THE CAT

 SAVE THE CAT
SAVE THE CAT

This is more of a screenwriting manual. Every part of filmmaking is as important as the whole movie. A filmmaker should be accustomed to the nuances of screenwriting also. We have seen many of the established filmmakers have either worked as screenwriters, editors, or cinematographers.

So, making a film should be an overwhelming matter for every novice filmmaker. This book is helpful for giving reality to your imagination on paper. Some rules of screenwriting are here explained broadly in the book.

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An amateur who hasn’t made anything in the showbiz can do so by just following some rules. Save the Cat is just for every filmmaker who is just starting out. You can buy the book from here.

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7. 101 FILMMAKING TIPS AND TRICKS

101 FILMMAKING TIPS AND TRICKS
101 FILMMAKING TIPS AND TRICKS

This book is another interesting digital filmmaking book. You get all the necessary information that you require to make a film even if you are making documentaries. After reading this book, you will get more ideas after reading this book. You can download it from the internet and it’s totally free. After reading this, you will be able to work on your new ideas properly.

It doesn’t only give you the techniques of making a film but also the networking techniques. Though it is not available on Amazon, you can download it through their provided official website. Today’s filmmakers are way ahead with the digital camera. So, it is wise to be habituated with modern equipment.

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This book works like magic with lots of information inside it. Follow the link, you can find this book online free of cost.

8. REBEL WITHOUT A CREW

REBEL WITHOUT A CREW
REBEL WITHOUT A CREW

This is an essential book for filmmakers starting out as independent directors. Written by Rober Rodriguez, he explains all the unique strategies and techniques he made to make his film on a shoestring budget.

If you are possessing a dream of working in Hollywood, then this is a masterpiece to read. How-to manual guides you on how you can make a film on a shoestring budget. This is no doubt easy to ponder over the budget while making movies but taking knowledge from an experienced person will explore many options for you.

It also explains how you can save a lot of money on film school and teach yourself everything starting from directing, screenwriting, editing, etc. You can buy the book from here.

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9. THE BASICS OF FILMMAKING

 THE BASICS OF FILMMAKING
THE BASICS OF FILMMAKING

This is an awesome book for today’s filmmakers without any doubt. The elaborate explanation of every nuance that starts from screenwriting to post-production gives you a broad knowledge about filmmaking.

Written by Blain Brown, this book is tailored for everyone, be it, beginner or intermediate. This book guides you in every aspect so beautifully that it makes your production easier than before. As filmmaking is very hard to achieve, the fundamentals of this book will definitely lead you to success with appropriate satisfaction.

Blain Brown, being a professional writer, cinematographer, director, and many under one hat, this book is a must-have resource for every filmmaker. Check it out below if you want to buy the book.

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10. MAKING MOVIES

 MAKING MOVIES
MAKING MOVIES

There is no introduction for Sidney Lumet. Making some remarkable movies, he has acquired a higher place in film history. So, his experience is obviously significant to share with other filmmakers. If you are looking for books on filmmaking, then Making Movies can be one of the best filmmaking books to read.

It is certain that every beginner filmmaker starts with so many questions in mind. This is where Making Movies come into play to answer all of your questions. The book delivers a clarified approach to solving problems related to filmmaking.

One of the most acclaimed directors of all time gives us a professional approach and guide to filmmaking art. The year of experience is a definitive guide for every novice filmmaker. This is one of the essential books on filmmaking for beginners. He gives us his personal memoirs on what it takes to make 2 hours of film.

He has worked with Al Pacino, Paul Newman, Marlon Brando, Katherine Hepburn, and many more. You can check the book to get a glimpse of the cover here.

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11. CINEMATOGRAPHY: THEORY AND PRACTICE

CINEMATOGRAPHY: THEORY AND PRACTICE
CINEMATOGRAPHY: THEORY AND PRACTICE

Blain Brown has been a great name in the industry by writing some awesome insights about filmmaking. With the painful transition from film to digital, the writer takes on every aspect of creating a compelling scene that is worthy to watch.

If you are a filmmaking student and just looking out to break into the business, or even an experienced filmmaker wanting to upgrade your knowledge, this book, no doubt carries a lot of in-depth information that you won’t get anywhere. As it is all about Cinematography, you will get to know about lighting, camera, visual storytelling, camera movement digital images, etc.

The world of cinematography has changed since the color form of celluloid was introduced. But what it takes to make ac compelling scene. This elaborate book is no doubt a must-have one on your shelf. So, take the mystery out of this book by checking here.

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12. THE DIGITAL FILMMAKING HANDBOOK

THE DIGITAL FILMMAKING HANDBOOK
THE DIGITAL FILMMAKING HANDBOOK

We have to conclude this article about the best books about filmmaking with this last name. Written by Ben Long, this book is a comprehensive guide to all the filmmakers out there. This book guides you through modern digital filmmaking to a properly finished project.

Starting from writing, planning, and scheduling to post-production, you will get to know every aspect of making a film. Not only that but it gives a sneak peek into the special effects, lighting, camera description, sound recording, etc. Ben Long describes so expertly that no beginner feels stuck in the middle.

But the writer lastly finishes the book with a very prominent subject in mind which is storytelling. This is the most important when you are making a film. Otherwise, How much you put effort into will go in vain. Keep in mind the main important thing that sparks your personality throughout the film. So, start your journey with this book.

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Conclusion

Hope this article about the 12 best books on filmmaking helped you by appeasing your thirst for knowledge. As filmmaking is a journey, you will learn more throughout the process. Most of us don’t think about the experiences that have already been in circulation. When starting something, it is essential to gain those experiences and work on your ideas.

So, to get a boost in your filmmaking career, these 12 best books about filmmaking are inevitable to start with. As you gain knowledge, you can proceed with another. And who doesn’t love to watch films? But the BTS doesn’t give you much insight except if you read books. Failures are necessary to achieve success but being stagnant is death.

Filmmaking is a lifelong journey that teaches us everything in our lives. It is not only knowing the technical part of filmmaking but also how to portray a real-life character on the screen that is much more important. This is where we feel so connected when watching films.

There is no hard and fast rule for making a film, these filmmaking books can only help you to boost up your thoughts on filmmaking. What’s more important is the practical experience in the field. So, explore your filmmaking journey and submit some of your films to film festivals. Who says you might be the next Satyajit Ray, Scorsese, or Coppola.


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Rabi Chatterjee

My love for films grew from the initial period of theatre life. Since then, I have become a big film-addicted person. After finishing almost over 4k movies in various languages, I see films as a remedy for the psychological well-being of a person. Watching movies, especially good movies is like experiencing life through someone else. Founder at Filmo Maniac

View all posts by Rabi Chatterjee →

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