To say that this is the most
comprehensive manual I have ever read on the subject of Directing is
the understatement of the century. Someone going into directing for
the first time or even garnering thoughts of directing even a low
budget or no budget film may not even know the magnitude of what
goes on into being a director. This massive volume of information is
the absolute go to book, and if it’s not being used in film schools
as a text book for classes, it should be.
The authors of Directing: Film
Techniques and Aesthetics, Michael Rabiger and Mick Hurbis- Cherrier
bring both of their substantial backgrounds to bear all to the
enormous benefit of the reader.
Michael Rabiger has directed or edited
over 35 films, was Chair of the Film/Video Department at Columbia
College Chicago, and has given workshops in many countries. He is
the author of Developing Story Ideas (Focal Press), and the
enormously successful Directing the Documentary (Focal Press), now
in its fifth edition.
Mick Hurbis-Cherrier teaches filmmaking
at Hunter College in New York City. Professionally, he has worked as
a screenwriter, director, cinematographer, and editor and his films
have garnered prizes at numerous festivals. He is the author of
Voice & Vision: A Creative Approach to Narrative Film and DV
Production, in its second edition (Focal Press).
The book covers all of the nuances of
the production process; the authors bring together the wealth of
information into a massively comprehensive volume. What I like most
about the book is that it pulls back the curtain to many aspects of
the process. Everything is here from the interpersonal and
organizational skills of being a Director; it covers working with
actors, and the film crew working with the script, script and
character break downs, location shooting….the list is vast.
The amount of knowledge and skills a
director needs is highly under rated. This book clears up the
mystery and walks the reader through the vital skills and knowledge
that goes into being a film Director.
If you have an earlier edition then
adding the fifth edition to your library is a must. The book is
bolstered with a wealth of new information and updates that make
Directing: Film Techniques and Aesthetics (Fifth Edition) the go to
book on this subject.
The book handles all of the subject
matter in a clear concise manner, the new subjects to the already
excellent book in its Fifth edition are:
Virtually every chapter has been
revised, updated, and re-organized for a streamlined and
Expanded sections on the basics of
drama, including thorough analyses of recent films
Discussions of the director’s
approach to script analysis and development
New discussion exploring the
elements of naturalistic and stylistic aesthetic approaches.
New discussion on the narrative
power of lighting and the lens - including many recent film
examples for shot size, perspective, focus and exposure
Greater emphasis on the
implications of composition, mise-en-scène, continuity shooting
and editing, long take shooting, point-of-view sequences, and
Expanded discussion of
collaboration between the director and principle creative crew
Updated coverage of workflow and
comparative advantages to digital or film acquisition
New section on film production
safety, set protocol and etiquette
The book is especially helpful and
insightful about helping your actors work out any problems they may
have with a character they are playing. Going over possible
scenarios and in turn explaining some steps to help you, help your
actors out of the generalized acting funk.
Directing: Film Techniques and
Aesthetics (Fifth Edition) is the quintessential book on the subject
of Directing. I must have for any one serious about directing, or
for the actor who wants to know more about the directors side of
Have fun, read a book, and expand your
mind and your skills.
Edwin Millheim Impulse Gamer