Makes the movie a good field

10 good film books for aspiring filmmakers and video producers

As a video producer, you can't know everything. But it doesn't hurt either! This joke has its justification in the film business. Video productions and filming are projects. That means: every shoot is a prototype. Film productions are a home every time new and different needs to be built. Good movie books help avoid mistakes. That's why you will find valuable book tips here.

Books impart valuable knowledge about films and filmmaking. They tell us about experiences. In this article, FILMPULS presents the 10 most important books for budding film and video makers and producers.

10 good movie books for the island

There are innumerable film books. FILMPULS therefore only presents books that our editorial members have read themselves. And always like to read.

  • To be successful in the film business, you need a triangle of skills: experience, talent and knowledge.
  • Filmmakers and video producers without practical experience are no good. In order to gain experience, one only needs one skill: will and perseverance.
  • You have the second element, talent. Or you don't have it.
  • Talent and experience are two hurdles that you only have to overcome individually and on your own.
  • The situation is different with the third important point that you have to have as a filmmaker: knowledge. You can acquire specialist knowledge. Good film books are an important help here!

For our book tips we have deliberately put together a selection for good film books that encompasses a wide field. Standard works on theory and understanding films. Experience reports, study books, diaries and memoirs. Books that show what the essence of film is like. How the world of film works in Europe and Hollywood.

Here are 10 books on movies for the island that will delight, illuminate, and definitely make their readers wiser:

1Book tip: The art of storytelling

The collection of short stories by Raymond Carver comes first for a variety of reasons. "Short Cut" stands for the word "abbreviation" in the English language. Abbreviations are almost always the wrong strategy in film. This applies to the creation, the shooting and the film editing (the montage). Conversely, in film, as in real life, there is nothing that does not exist.

Old master and director Robert Altman has woven the short stories by Raymond Carver into an ingenious feature film. With creativity, with his knowledge from a long career in film and with even more talent, he has created a feature film that is second to none from many acronyms. In “Short Cut” the content of good film books is reflected in a dozen. It's about phone sex, but also about a corpse in water, about longings and frustrations. The book is, like the film, from 18. So for adults. It is worth it ..

Title: Short Cuts - Selected Stories | Author: Raymond Carver | Publisher: Penguin Random House

2 Understand film from A-Z

James Monaco, understand film

Monaco has written a standard work with “Understanding Film”. Communication with moving images has an economic component and has a lot to do with communication and culture. Film and video do not always have the same clarity, but always have the potential to become a work of art. James Monaco therefore illuminates artistic aspects, technology and film language. Theory and the history of the film are also discussed here in a way that is easy to understand.

Monaco itself has produced films. You can tell in the book. Anyone who would arrange good film books in a library not after the name of the author or the work, but in a circle: “Understanding film” would definitely have his place in the center.

The book explains even difficult mechanisms of perception and complex film theory in a simple and understandable way. Anyone who wants to get into film as a maker or want to make videos and only want to spend money on a single book: “Understanding film” is this book.

Title: Understanding Film | Author: James Monaco | Publisher: Rowohlt Taschenbuch

3 Mount films

Films and videos are a patchwork of individual parts. Literally. Anyone who has ever been to an editing room or edit knows what we're talking about. Small pieces of life fit together in the moving image as camera settings to create arcs of the story and to a larger whole. Hans Beller As the editor of his book, he has gathered a number of insights and experiences from various people on film editing.

Whoever holds the book in his hand for the first time is a little shocked. Good movie books should be fun. University, aspects of film montage or the chapter “Montage pictures from Sergej Eisenstein” sound like school and a lot of thought work. This is wrong. The first impression does the book wrong. Film and theory both have a home here. In the digital age, there is still a lot to be gained from the job description of a cutter / master cutter.

The “Handbook of Film Montage” shows experience and proximity to practice. Not only, but especially in essays like “Practical basics of film editing - chaos no chance!” Or in the distinction between “compulsory and freestyle in documentary editing”.

Not forgotten in this book, along with detailed ones Analyzes from film classics to all aspects of montage that are otherwise often forgotten. The handling of the music in editing is addressed here as well as perceptual psychological experiments and the notorious but important eye direction. So: buy a book and off to the island (or into the editing suite)!

Title: Handbook of Filmmontage | Editor: Hans Beller | Publisher: University of Television and Film (HFF), Munich

410 Good Film Books: The Grammar of Film Language

Daniel Arijon's book on the language of film comprises a full 615 pages. A classic for professionals and for everyone who wants to become professionals. Because the author wrote the book from practice for practice, this important book on camera settings and assembly contains rows of easy-to-understand pictures for illustration. They take the reader by the hand and introduce them bit by bit to the art of visual and sequential storytelling. That is one of the reasons why the book should be included in our list of good film books.

Arijon builds up his book in a strictly logical way. First he defines and explains why film language is always also visual communication. The author then defines the most important tools of audiovisual language in order to go into detail from there on all, really all, important aspects of film language. You can feel Daniel Arijon's experience as a film writer, editor and director on every page. The only downer: the original book is only available in English and has only been translated into Japanese (!), French and Spanish.

Title: Grammar of the Film Language | Author: Daniel Arjon | Publisher: Silman James

5Behind the scenes in Hollywood

After eighteen years of suffering, director and child prodigy Terry Gilliam will soon be releasing his latest feature film “The Man Who Shot Don Quixote”. The member of the legendary English comedian troupe Monty Python is probably the most lovable of all the crazy great film talents of our time. This book by author Jack Mathews is the result of a series of articles that Mathews wrote for USA Today about the genesis of the film. It reads like a thriller.

The trigger for the book was a quote from Orson Welles. After this the right to the creation of the last film version (the final cut) of his feature film The Magnificent Ambersons the director laconically stated: "Nobody will ever know how good - or how bad - my film could have been!"

Terry Gilliam wanted his feature film Brazil prevent exactly this. He therefore fought a bitter battle for years to be able to finish his cult film in accordance with his vision. Nowhere is the importance of the Final Cut presented more profound, funnier, absurd and harder. Passion comes from the verb suffer. Anyone who has read this book will not forget either Gilliam or the importance of montage. And see Brazil and Robert de Niro with new eyes.

If you are looking for good film books, you must have read this book. Just because of the ingenious chapter headings. What other book can come up with titles like "Gnu Yak, Gnu Yak and other bestial places"? Or shine with “Explanada Fortunate is not my real name” as the title for a chapter?

As a bonus, there is an additional and exclusive storyboard of a film sequence that was planned, but never shot due to cost overruns, and the director’s script.

Title: The Battle of Brazil | Author: Jack Mathews | Published by Applause

6Dreams and Disasters

Final Cut by Steven Bach sheds light on the genesis of Heavens Gate, the second feature film by Michael Cimino, the whiz kid who rose to a talented star overnight as a directing rocket with "The Deer Hunter". The right to edit films also plays an important role in this book. More important and far more valuable, however, is the illustration of a natural law in the film industry. A law that, like so much in film, is usually not uttered or only uttered in clauses.

The law says: Anyone can make a first good film. Everyone. Only those who can prove with a second good film that the success of the first film was no coincidence can count on a third film and a real career in the American film industry. Or even hope for a career.

filmmakers Michael Cimino fails with his second film and his second film. Despite the star line-up and a budget worth millions. Never has a book told the personal dreams and catastrophes more impressively. Steven Bach illuminates the events from different perspectives. The reader has to watch helplessly the unbelievable failure, which nobody wants and for which all those involved share their part of the guilt. As exciting as in Thriller, the bestseller from the USA is an absolute must-read for budding filmmakers and film fans.

Title: Final Cut | Author: Steven Bach | Publisher: Quill

7Rethinking script writing

Only those who know the rules can break rules. This proverb makes "Alternative Scriptwriting" by Ken Dancyger and Jeff Rush a principle. The two authors clearly show how scripts can intelligently and freshly question existing rules. For this purpose, the most important formulas and principles of script writing are presented first. Good film books are just as useful for film analysis as they are for filmmaking. Dancyger and Rush prove it.

Whether for beginners or for seasoned professionals: Alternative scriptwriting is a concentrated load of knowledge. Well-known film examples are carefully examined and sometimes told the other way around for illustration. This in order to clarify the differences and the dramaturgical effect. Alternative scriptwriting belongs to the category of books, which you have to read into first (but can read in without prior knowledge) in order to be richly rewarded for your efforts.

Title: Alternative Scriptwriting - Successfully Breaking the Rules | Author: Ken Dancyger & Jeff Rush | Publisher: Focal Press

810 good film books: Working in the film

The Swiss association “Zurich for the film” has published this small and fine manual together with the Swiss association for career counseling. To this end, editor Thomas Geser worked with 100 filmmakers to develop a profile for around 150 film professions.

Surely a person can make a film or a video? It can't be that difficult. “Professions in Film” clears up this misunderstanding: This book from our list of good film books shows the different job descriptions and reveals to the reader how highly specialized professional filmmaking really is. Unfortunately the book is currently sold out and no longer available.

Title: Professions in Film | Editor: Thomas Geser | currently not available

9Film book tip: the work of the cameraman

In the tradition of François Truffaut, the one from his conversations with Alfred Hitchcock wrote a very illuminating book, the director discusses Tom Tykwer with the cameraman and director of cinematography Michael Ballhaus. Ballhaus, a master of camera movement, is not called Hollywood's eye for nothing. The German has shaped film aesthetics like few of his compatriots in Hollywood. With good reason, Ballhaus, his work and this book could be placed at the top of the list of the most important good film books.

Ballhaus has not only implemented the visual visions of Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola and Robert Redford in unforgettable cinema images. In a dialogue with Tykwer, Michael Ballhaus talks about his career and explains why he repeatedly uses the whole picture in his films for the cinema: "The viewer's eye can wander and will always find something."

Title: The flying eye - Michael Ballhaus in conversation with Tom Tykwer | Editing: Thomas Binotto | Published by Berlin Verlag

★ 10 Good Film Books: How Do I Finance My Film?

At the end of the day, film isn't just about art and audience. It's always about money. It all comes down to money. In his analysis, John W. Cones explains possible ways to finance films in book form. In Europe and Switzerland, film funding plays an important role in film financing. Unlike in Hollywood. Anyone who, as an independent producer or writer-director in the USA, cannot finance their films themselves, does not make films. Point. That is why this book is important.

Cones clearly shows all possible types of film financing in a clearly structured manner. He explains advantages and disadvantages. The author differentiates between four main groups of financing and then subdivides them into further subgroups. The result is the number 43, which, as the author himself says, is not to be understood as an absolute value - but as a book title does not harm the sale of a work via film financing. The book is definitely worth reading. Successful film financing is not a coincidence, but a business for professionals. This is one of the reasons why the book fits seamlessly into the list of good film books.

Title: 43 Ways to Finance your Feature Film | Author: John W. Cones | Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press


Anyone who learns what creation means, who knows as much information as possible about production and shooting, who delves into the subject of image and sound processing, not only makes better films. Rather, he has a much better chance of finding a fairly paid job in the film industry and surviving in the long term. That is why good film books are always required for any career.

Good film books help to pave your way through the difficult jungle of filmmaking. Even if every film is reinvented over and over again, a lot has already existed somewhere and at some point. The most experiences has someone done it before.

The majority of all problems have arisen at some point in a project and have been solved. Reading a good book about it is as exciting as a thriller. Sometimes funny. Often harrowing. Always interesting. We wish you a lot of fun with our book tips!