Studying Cinematography to Study Editing

Well, I’ve been quiet.  Things have been hectic, as I’m getting ready to switch jobs and transfer to full-time work in NYC.  Not as an editor yet, but I’m hoping the move will give me a chance to get more into the game.  I’m also starting to amass quite a nice library of books on all aspects of production and post thanks to my classes, recommendations from my Twitter contacts, and others.  The one thing I’m finding very helpful in increasing my vocabulary of what makes good edits and good films is to study cinematography.  Because I can manipulate a shot to a degree, by tweaking the color, punching in a bit, or applying a filter, I’m spending a decent amount of time learning what makes a good shot when it’s captured on the camera so I can try to recreate them in post if a scene calls for it.

I’m getting 2 books that I’m hoping will help me learn a bit more about cinematography, both recommended to me by The Independent.

1.) Master Shots: 100 Advanced Camera Techniques to Get an Expensive Look on Your Low-Budget Movie

2.) The Five C’s of Cinematography: Motion Picture Filming Techniques

When I’m working with Scott Napolitano on Issues, I’m usually on set, and in the past, I haven’t felt like I could accurately describe what I thought would make a good shot.  This is an attempt to solve that problem, and broaden my idea of what makes a good shot, and what sets up a good cut.  If you’re in a similar boat, try reading up on Cinematography.  It may improve your communication with both the director and the DP, if you have a chance to interact with them before production is wrapped.  Once I have the books, I’ll post an idea of how they’ve helped me.  I’m also reading The Invisible Cut, which was assigned to me by one of my professors this semester.  It’s a wonderful book that breaks down scenes from famous movies to teach you some of the basics of editing and how to do it well – that is, how to make it invisible to the audience.  Feel free to check them all out!

    • Chris Cavs
    • October 7th, 2009

    I’ll recommend Cinematography by Kris Malkiewicz and M. David Mullen (I write for the same magazine as David Mullen, Student Filmmakers). A pretty technical book, but very well written and a great resource.

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