Master Shots

Master Shots (2nd edition) and Master Shots Vol 2 by Christopher Kenworthy, 5/5master shots

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.master shots vol 2

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.

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2 comments

  1. Knlfuji

    Read a similar book years ago which covered the topic of song writing, using examples of many hit songs that I knew. Of course I never wrote down the title and have been looking for it ever since- even buying a few books hoping to find the same inspiration. Good for you for reading and making a record by way of review.

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