Best Books For Filmmakers

Here are a few books that live on my bookshelf, that I return to again and again. They are great for anyone making short films and low budget films and I would heartily recommend every single one of them. If you’re making films on your own or with a very small team, these are a great resource.

Writing Short Films

This is a really wonderful book for anyone wanting to make short films. I used it as a guide for my first short film and I still go back to it when I’m thinking about making a new short. It’s very comprehensive and has a great formula for writing a short film script.

The Filmmaker’s Eye

Full to the brim with beautiful, high quality images, this book takes you through different ways of composing images and how they can be used to tell stories. It’s the kind of book you will constantly refer to and easily dip in and out of.

Rebel Without A Crew

One of the most inspiring books I have ever read, Robert Rodriguez’s diary, written throughout the making of his first feature film is a revelation. If you want to know how to make low budget films, read this book. If you want to make very expensive films, read this book. His understanding of the restrictions and difficulties a crew brings and choosing to work without one is something to learn from. The book describes both the business and technical side of filmmaking, along with all the highs and terrible lows.

In The Blink Of An Eye

One of my favourite filmmaking books that I will recommend to any and every filmmaker, this book is written by a film editor but it can teach you a whole lot about filmmaking even if you don’t want to edit. Walter Murch, through his years of editing Hollywood movies has some really deep insight into how and why editing should work and a chapter that I find particularly good on audience’s ‘referred pain.’