Below I’ll give you my selections for the best Filmmaking books by a few categories. I will cover these and other great books more in depth later.
- The Filmmaker’s Handbook, 2013 Edition (2012)
- Filmmaking: Direct Your Movie from Script to Screen Using Proven Hollywood Techniques (2010)
- Save The Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need (2005)
- How to Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck: Advice to Make Any Amateur Look Like a Pro (2011)
- The Digital Filmmaking Handbook, 6th edition (2017)
- On Film-making: An Introduction to the Craft of the Director (2005)
- The Director’s Six Senses: An Innovative Approach to Developing Your Filmmaking Skills (2016)
- Shot By Shot:Practical Guide.. (2011)
- Teach Yourself Film Making (Teach Yourself: General Reference) (2007)
- Rebel without a Crew: Or How a 23-Year-Old Filmmaker With $7,000 Became a Hollywood Player (1996)
The Filmmaker’s Handbook, 2013 Edition (2012)
Widely acknowledged as the “bible” of video and film production, and used in courses around the world, The Filmmaker’s Handbook is now updated with the latest advances in HD and new digital formats.
Filmmaking: Direct Your Movie from Script to Screen Using Proven Hollywood Techniques (2010)
Filmmaking, the definitive resource for filmmakers, blows the doors off the secretive film industry and shows you how to adapt the Hollywood system for your production. Full of thousands of tips, tricks, and techniques from Emmy-winning director Jason Tomaric, Filmmaking systematically takes you through every step of how to produce a successful movie – from developing a marketable idea through selling your completed movie.
Save The Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need (2005)
Here’s what started the phenomenon: the best seller, for over 15 years, that’s been used by screenwriters around the world! Blake Snyder tells all in this fast, funny and candid look inside the movie business.
How to Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck: Advice to Make Any Amateur Look Like a Pro (2011)
Newly updated and revised, How to Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck is a quick and easy guide that will make your video better instantly—whether you read it cover to cover or just skim a few chapters. It’s about the language of video and how to think like a director, regardless of equipment (amateurs think about the camera, pros think about communication).
The Digital Filmmaking Handbook, 6th edition (2017)
Filmmaking involves much more than just buying a camera and a computer and The Digital Filmmaking Handbook covers everything you need to know, whether you’re making a feature-length movie, a series of webisodes, a VR project, or even your first short film.
On Film-making: An Introduction to the Craft of the Director (2005)
After more than twenty years in the film industry as a screenwriter, storyboard editor, and director of memorable films such as The Ladykillers, Alexander Mackendrick turned his back on Hollywood and began a new career as the Dean of one of the country’s most demanding and influential film schools.
The Director’s Six Senses: An Innovative Approach to Developing Your Filmmaking Skills (2016)
The Director’s Six Senses is an innovative, unique, and engaging approach to the development of the skills that every visual storyteller must have. It’s based on the premise that a director is a storyteller 24/7 and must be aware of the “truth” that he or she experiences in life in order to be able to reproduce it on the big screen.
Shot By Shot:Practical Guide.. (2011)
Book by John Cantine
Teach Yourself Film Making (Teach Yourself: General Reference) (2007)
If you have ever dreamed of being the next Scorsese or Spielberg, Teach Yourself Film Making is the most comprehensive, user-friendly guide to mastering every aspect of making movies. The book takes you from scriptwriting to financing, casting, and cameras, all the way to postproduction.
Rebel without a Crew: Or How a 23-Year-Old Filmmaker With $7,000 Became a Hollywood Player (1996)
This is both one man’s remarkable story and an essential guide for anyone who has a celluloid story to tell and the dreams and determination to see it through. Part production diary, part how-to manual, Rodriguez unveils how he was able to make his influential first film on only a $7,000 budget. Also included is the appendix, “The Ten Minute Film Course,” a tell-all on how to save thousands of dollars…
Best Filmmaking Books that Should be on Your Bookshelf
We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Library Genesis and download some filmmaking books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.
Developing Mission: Photography, Filmmaking, and American Missionaries in Modern China
Author(s): Joseph W. Ho
ID: 3191470, Publisher: Cornell University Press, Year: 2022, Size: 5 Mb, Format: epub
The National Imaginarium: A History of Egyptian Filmmaking
Author(s): Magdy Mounir El-Shammaa
ID: 3039129, Publisher: The American University in Cairo Press, Year: 2021, Size: 12 Mb, Format: epub
Lucasfilm: Filmmaking, Philosophy, and the Star Wars Universe
Author(s): Cyrus R.K. Patell
ID: 3123140, Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic, Year: 2021, Size: 5 Mb, Format: pdf
Please note that this booklist is not final. Some books are absolutely hot items according to Chicago Tribune, others are written by unknown authors. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant books you could recommend? Drop a comment if you have any feedback on the list.