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KINOSHELF

A book is your best teacher and a book of scripts is not an exception...

A book has always been the most affordable source of knowledge. Filmmaking is not an exception. Fortunately, nowadays we have a great choice of books about filmmaking, but unfortunately, we have to choose among this great amount. Aspiring filmmakers tend to ask one and the same question: "What books should I read to become a filmmaker?"

To begin with, what kind of a filmmaker do you want to be? Please, don't say "a good one", since there are no books on how to become a bad one. If you already decided to become a filmmaker, you would already have a list of your favourite film directors, films, genres and styles, and it's already a good place to start.
Another point of reference to consider is that film is a collaboration of arts such as narrative, photographic, performing and music. So it would be great if you had a good knowledge of at least literature, paintings and music, which roughly represent words, images and sounds.

As practice shows, to grasp the technical aspect of filmmaking then becomes easier. The challenge is what kind of story to tell and how. These questions a filmmaker will have to answer on his or her own. And it will depend on his or her life and educational background, the skills he or she has to observe and sense the world around or imagine the unreal one.

As you can see there cannot be one universal book or even a few; there will always be different books approaching this multi-layered profession from different angles. But its core will always be you and your personality. Although there is no book about it yet, you can always write one and tell about your unique path and how once upon a time you became a filmmaker.
A book is your best teacher and a book of scripts is not an exception...
A book has always been the most affordable source of knowledge. Filmmaking is not an exception. Fortunately, nowadays we have a great choice of books about filmmaking, but unfortunately, we have to choose among this great amount. Aspiring filmmakers tend to ask one and the same question: "What books should I read to become a filmmaker?"

To begin with, what kind of a filmmaker do you want to be? Please, don't say "a good one", since there are no books on how to become a bad one. If you already decided to become a filmmaker, you would already have a list of your favourite film directors, films, genres and styles, and it's already a good place to start.

Another point of reference to consider is that film is a collaboration of arts such as narrative, photographic, performing and music. So it would be great if you had a good knowledge of at least literature, paintings and music, which roughly represent words, images and sounds.

As practice shows, to grasp the technical aspect of filmmaking then becomes easier. The challenge is what kind of story to tell and how. These questions a filmmaker will have to answer on his or her own. And it will depend on his or her life and educational background, the skills he or she has to observe and sense the world around or imagine the unreal one.

As you can see there cannot be one universal book or even a few; there will always be different books approaching this multi-layered profession from different angles. But its core will always be you and your personality. Although there is no book about it yet, you can always write one and tell about your unique path and how once upon a time you became a filmmaker.


KINOSHELF

FILM HISTORY

As one famous science popularizer and communicator Carl Sagan once said "You have to know the past to understand the present". We cannot skip the history and why should we? It's always interesting to know how everything started…

Ironically, at this very moment it has to be mentioned that almost all books written on film history and proclaiming that the Lumière brothers invented moving pictures have very little to do with the true film history. There were other great names, the true inventors who in fact succeeded to imprint moving pictures long before 1895! How could it happen that they were erased from the history books? Who was the filmmaking pioneer then? Well, buckle-up, it's going to be a bumpy ride through film history, the one you've probably never heard of!
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Film History The One You've Probably Never Heard Of...

by Oksana Belousova

A quick digest in the form of Instagram stories of true film history, the one that started earlier than 1895, to be precise, 7 years before the Lumière brothers made their first screening and got the whole fame of "fathers of motion pictures". Well, there were number of other great film inventors who were unfairly erased from film history pages...
Film

by Ronald Bergan

This book has a rough overview of cinema in general and in particular. It cannot boast exclusive information about the true origins of film history since it starts right with the Lumiere brothers, but it gives quite good digest after 1895.

This is a 2006 edition, a much more modern one can be viewed here.
The Dream That Kicks: The Prehistory and Early Years of Cinema in Britain

by Michael Chanan

If you want to know the true origins of film history and not the established ones, it's a great book to read! You will discover great names which were erased from film history pages. The book is quite rare, but it's worth hunting for it!
The Missing Reel: The Untold Story of the Lost Inventor of Moving Pictures

by Christopher Rawlence

The only book ever published so far about the true inventor of moving pictures Louis Aime Augustin Le Prince who invented a single-lens camera in 1888 and shot the very first film "Roundhay Garden Scene" on October 14, 1888 in Roundhay, Leeds, north of England. Le Prince could have been the first person to demonstrate his invention and films to the public, if he hadn't mysteriously disappeared on September 16, 1890...
KINOCAMP Lesson 1: Film History

by Oksana Belousova

Watch Lesson 1 from KINOCAMP online filmmaking course and learn about the origins of the word "film", why film is called "the seventh art" and most important, the digest of the whole cinema history and its milestones covered in less than 2 hours!
TO BE CONTINUED...

KINOSHELF

FILMMAKING

As they say "To become wise in some sphere you need to read ten books, to find these ten books you need to read thousands". This part of the kinoshelf contains some books that could make your list of "ten". These books are on filmmaking in general and on its particular aspects (scriptwriting, film direction, production design). Some books are quite popular among filmmakers, whereas, others are barely known but they became true hidden gems for some filmmakers, hopefully, they will become such for you as well.
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Sculpting in Time

by Andrey Tarkovsky

One of the most important books ever written about filmmaking by one of the greatest film directors of all time Andrey Tarkovsky. This book is a core text book at most international film schools. Ironically, this very book has never been officially published in Russia though it, of course, was written in Russian. There were electronic pirate copies distributed which again ironically gave at least some access for Russian readers, but it's one of the biggest film absurds to have this book available in many countries, but Russia, though, Andrey Tarkovsky is Russian film director.
Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen

by Steve Katz

Great book that literally illustrates how an idea becomes a shot in a film. There are a lot of examples of different styles and approaches to storyboard which is in fact a fundamental tool at pre-production stage that can save you a lot of time and money but what's most important you have an opportunity to actually see your future film and already correct the shot list.
The Film Director's Intuition: Script Analysis and Rehearsal Techniques

by Judith Weston

Acclaimed director Judith Weston offers a deeply creative exploration on how to access and stimulate the filmmaker's most precious assets: instincts, imagination, and intuition.
Poetics

by Aristotle

This is the very first book to read if you want to embrace the scriptwriting since other books on scriptwriting books just added the word "film" since it's the only thing that was introduced after Aristotle.
The Hero with A Thousand Faces

by Joseph Campbell

The book lies on the boarders of psychology and mythology which are both essential for any scriptwriter to develop a story and characters. It is more detailed and applied to modern scriptwriter needs than Aristotle's "Poetics" but the basics are the same.
Psychology for Screenwriters

by William Indick

This book will help to understand psychological models and human behaviour not only if you're a screenwriter, but a producer, director or film critic. You can learn character motivation, identity development, and archetypes from Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Alfred Adler, Erik Erikson, Joseph Campbell, and more. The theories of personality and psychoanalysis are clearly described, with simple guidelines, thought-provoking exercises, vivid film images and hundreds of examples from classic movies.
The Internet Movie Script Database
IMSDb is one of the most popular and comprehensive resources for movie scripts. Here you can find not only great classics but contemporary movie scripts as well. You can view scripts online or download them as text files.
Designs on Film: A Century of Hollywood Art Direction

by Cathy Whitlock

Not only a beautiful but very informative and quite heavy book on iconic Hollywood art direction with hundreds of photographs and set sketches. An exciting journey behind the scenes of greatest films.
Time Within Time: The Diaries, 1970-1986

by Andrey Tarkovsky

The collection of diaries that Tarkovsky was writing until his death is a very intimate story behind the greatest film director and his masterpieces. Tarkovsky shares his struggles and pain that he went through to make his films. The English translation of the title totally kills the mood and makes it more artistic and poetic whereas in Russian it gives the accurate feeling of the author without any explanation needed - "Martyrology".
Room to Dream

by David Lynch, Kristine McKenna

This book is described as a part-biography and part-memory that invites you to the extraordinary world of David Lynch and presents not only Lynch's point of view of his life but also his family and friends which sometimes can differ a lot since we all percept the world differently.
Movie Speak: How to Talk Like You Belong on a Film Set

by Tony Bill

This book is a true gem if you want to speak the film language! It has not only professional words but slang as well.
TO BE CONTINUED...

KINOSHELF

FILMOSOPHY

This part of the kinoshelf is pretty hardcore, but if you crack it, you'll get to another level of understanding the film phenomenon. Moreover, knowing the basics of philosophy will tremendously contribute to your scriptwriting and storytelling skills. Philosophy will teach you to raise questions and build arguments which in fact any good film does. Films made by Jean Renoir, Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, Ingmar Bergman, Andrei Tarkovsky, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Béla Tarr, Terrence Malick, Wes Anderson, the Coen brothers, etc., were made not only by great film directors but also by great philosophers who either indeed studied philosophy in academic institutions or were otherwise very well-red into it.
WARNING!
Once you dive into this philosophical pool, majority of films will become very dull for you, but those few which won't, will stay with you forever and you will understand why.

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Cinema I: The Movement-Image

by Gilles Deleuze

The fundamental work by one of the most prominant philosophers of 20th century who explored philosophy of art and questioned cinema to be an art form. In the first volume Deleuze researches the meaning of "movement-image" as one of the core characteristics of cinema.
Cinema II: The Time-Image

by Gilles Deleuze

In the second volume Deleuze analyses correlation between time and image as a continuation of correlation of movement and image.
Reading Philosophy: Selected Texts with a method for Beginners

by Samuel Guttenplan, Jennifer Hornsby, Christopher Janaway

If you just start your path in philosophy, this is an excellent book to choose. It will teach you the key philosophical skill to raise questions and build arguments. Warning! After this book you will not tolerate majority of the contemporary films, especially dialogues and characters dilemmas but you will still enjoy the old classics.
Film-Philosophy Journal
Film-Philosophy is dedicated to the engagement between film studies and philosophy, exploring the ways in which films develop and contribute to philosophical discussion. The journal also provides a forum for the thoughtful re-evaluation of key aspects of both film studies and philosophy as academic disciplines.
Multisensory Film Experience: A Cognitive Model of Experimental Film Aesthetics

by Luis Rocha Antunes

The Multisensory Film Experience analyzes temperature, pain, and balance in order to argue that it is the experience of film that's inherently multisensory, not the medium. Luis Rocha Antunes here explores the work of well-loved filmmakers Erik Jensen, Gus Van Sant, and Ki-Duk Kim to offer new insights into how viewers experience films and understand their stories. This is an original contribution to an emerging field of research and will become essential reading for film scholars.
The Avant-Garde Feature Film: A Critical History

by William E.B. Verrone


Here is a critical and historical overview of unconventional and aesthetically challenging films, all of feature length. The author focuses on the particular forms of contemporary avant-garde films, which often rely on characteristics associated with historical films of the same genre. Included are works by such visionary filmmakers as Dziga Vertov, Luis Bunuel, Jean Cocteau, Jean-Luc Godard, Stan Brakhage and Derek Jarman.
TO BE CONTINUED...

KINOSHELF

ART BOOKS

Books of this part of the kinoshelf are dedicated to the artistic component of a film and mainly to cinematography. Since cinematography is based on pictorial and photographic arts, a good knowledge of both will be a great benefit to you. The best way to learn about composition, light and color is through understanding painting artworks which have always been the main source of references for cinematographers. As soon as you find your way around the pictorial art, you will easily spot true artists among film directors and cinematographers.
Filmmaker's tip: learn one painting artwork a day, and you will always have something to talk about with your cinematographer!
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Symbols and Allegories in Art

by Mathilde Battistini

From antiquity, when the gods and goddesses were commonly featured in works of art, through to the twentieth century, when Surrealists drew on archetypes from the unconscious, artists have embedded symbols in their works. The goal of this book is to provide contemporary readers and museum visitors with the tools to read the hidden meanings in works of art.
Taschen series: Magritte

by Marcel Paquet

Taschen books are informative and illustrated enough. Moreover, the books are translated into several languages which is quite helpful. Also, it can be built in a beautiful collection on your shelf and your family and friends will always have an idea for a great present for you!
Gallerix Online Art Gallery
Gallerix is one of the largest online art galleries featuring fine art paintings, reproductions of paintings by famous artists, as well as collections of the world's major museums. The weekly updated gallery now contains about 25 000 high resolution images with more than 150 000 paintings in the site's archive.
The Vatican: All the Paintings

by Anja Grebe, Ross King
The Vatican is a unique place and museum that has its special atmosphere and the book is a comprehensive reflection of its treasures including Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel and his Pieta; the Raphael frescoes; the works of Giotto, Fra Angelico, Titian, and Caravaggio; and some of the world's finest statues, manuscripts, architecture, and gardens, as well as the world's most precious Christian relics.
The Louvre: All the Paintings

by Henry Loyrette
A historic publishing event! Endorsed by the Louvre and for the very first time ever, every painting from the world's most popular and renowned museum is available in one stunning book. All 2,954 paintings on display in the permanent painting collection of the Louvre are presented in full colour in this striking slip-cased book.
Uffizi gallery. Art, history, collections

by Gloria Fossi

The guide to one of the most prominant museums in the world and the most influential periods in art history - the Reneissance. The gallery houses the masterpieces by Giotto, Piero della Francesca, Botticelli, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, the true artists who cannot but inspire you and develop your artistic vision.
The Hermitage: 250 Masterpieces

by Mikhail Piotrovsky

The book consists of lavish reproductions of the Hermitage main masterpieces and short descriptive texts by the museum's curators. It's another habit of mine, any museums I visit I try to buy a book that best represents its collection and has quality illustrations especially the ones of paintings since then I use them as inspiration and references in search of the needed cinematographic style.
Instant Light Tarkovsky Polaroids

by Andrei A.Tarkovsky

The selection of polaroids that Tarkovsky made in 1979 - 1986 mostly to capture the inevitably elusive physical feeling of home that he had to abandon and immigrate to Italy. Tarkovsky will use these polaroids to create the special atmosphere in "Nostalgia" and "The Sacrifice".
The Decisive Moment: Photography of Henri Cartier-Bresson

by Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson is one of the greatest photographers of all time. He pioneered the genre of street photography, and viewed photography as capturing a decisive moment which described as a split second that reveals the larger truth of a situation.
TO BE CONTINUED...

KINOSHELF

HIDDEN GEMS


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