Between them, these two books cover 200 camera shots, providing descriptions, diagrams and screen captures from famous movies. Kenworthy’s efficient and unpretentious style makes these books uniquely informative. He explains the hows and whys behind camera techniques in plain language, revealing some very interesting cinematographic nuances that I would never have noticed or guessed on my own.
For example, in Master Shots Chapter 6.4 Kenworthy points out that “keeping the camera in place creates the sensation of the character walking into the new scene; if you dolly backward, the actor doesn’t feel like he’s moving into the scene so much as passing through.” Or, during a chase scene, he suggests using a long lens to make the goal appear nearer, whilst also more unattainable since the hero makes less apparent progress towards it during the shot (26). These are just two examples of the kind of fascinating insight provided by these excellent books. Reading them has made me a better movie-watcher and if I ever need to make a film, I will read them again in order to be a better movie-maker.