I love books, I own a lot of them. On top of being educational and entertaining, they are a great decoration element in my loft and make me look smart when people visit my place. And yes, my books are grouped by colors. It took a while to get used to it, but it is all about the look…
From the comments I have received by email (thank you!), it seems a lot of people liked my last suggestion, The photographer eye, so this time I am going to give more details about another book I like, Master Shots which is also in the suggested reading sidebar.
This hand book is a gold mine of tips and tricks on how to position your camera/subjects to best convey a scene according to your story. Shots are grouped by themes (ex: Fight, Chase, Entrances and exits, suspense, etc..) which make it super easy to find the desired setup or get some new ideas. Seriously, just browsing the book gives me enough ideas to shoot a whole chapter!
As seen in the picture above, each setup is describe on two pages: the left page is a text description of the goals, lens to use, camera setup and advices for the shot while the right page has still frames from a (generally) popular movie using the setup, a 3D visualization of the placement of talents and camera and a rendering from the camera point of view.
It can not be simpler!
There is not much to dislike about this book. To be picky, I would say that I would have prefered to see nice (and simple) storyboard style drawings than the Poser renders. That is about it!
The concepts illustrated in the book are mostly useful for scripted stories but could also be used in documentories and other situations if you are aware of them. For example, the Entrances and Exit section gave me a few good idea on how to approach the introduction of husdand and spouse the next time I film a wedding video. Once you know the basic concepts, it is your responsability to see how to implement them to tell your story!
You can pick the book from Amazon US here.