If you’re like me, movies are your bread and butter. You make movies, you love movies, and you study movies. But films aren’t the only source of inspiration for us filmmakers and many books change the way you think or feel about subjects, including film.
So today I want to share with you five books that can change your approach to filmmaking, whether as an art form or as a career
In the Blink of an Eye by Walter Murch
Walter Murch is the editor responsible for Apocalypse Now, The Godfather trilogy, and The Conversation — some of the greatest movies of all time.
The book doesn’t have much to do with L-Cuts or Eyeline Matches, but instead Murch’s musings on why we are drawn to films and how editing brings us deeper into the rabbit hole. The wisdom, though abstract, is fascinating and you will never look at editing the same way once you read it.
Hitchcock/Truffaut by Francois Truffaut
Legendary filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock sits down with French new wave filmmaker Francois Truffaut to record a series of conversations in which they talk about movies and film production.
A wonderful mix of film history, criticism, theory and application of principles from two masters of the art form.
The Futurist: The Life & Films of James Cameron by Rebecca Keegan
Say what you want about James Cameron and his films, but his determination and sheer guts to shoot movies made me admire the man even more. He also has made a few of the highest grossing movies of all time so the pedigree is there too.
The journey Cameron took to survive — and later thrive — in the film industry will immediately inspire you to push yourself harder.
Wall and Piece by Banksy
Graffiti artist Banksy has provided some of the most provocative pieces of art in the past few years on brick walls, phone booths and street signs. His pieces challenge conventional societal values and force you to rethink your place in the world. And, as of this past year, he is also an Academy Award nominated documentarian.
Spike Jonze has always been a favorite filmmaker of mine. Whether or not you found Where the Wild Things Are to be an enjoyable movie, reading and seeing the incredible process it took them to make the film makes you realize how hard everybody in this industry works. As Jonze said, “when you make movies, you totally lose touch with reality.”
Each of these books offers a unique and interesting viewpoint on filmmaking that inspires you to work harder, better, and achieve your ultimate goal of success — however you may define it.
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