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Old September 16th, 2002, 05:47 PM   #1
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Cinematographer's manual?

Hi all, there is this manual that I've heard about called (I think) the "American Cinematographers Handbook". I was wondering how useful it is for DV stuff? I'd like to learn all the ins and outs and use the charts for focus and depth of field that I heard are in it, but if it's not applicable to DV then I won't bother. One day I'll move to film, but only after I've actually secured funding for a project and know what I'm doing a bit more ;)

Aaron Koolen is offline  
Old September 16th, 2002, 09:34 PM   #2
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I can't give you an answer but there is 1 book that's considered a cinematographer's bible. Go to:


for the name of the book and a little about it.
Frank Granovski is offline  
Old September 16th, 2002, 09:45 PM   #3
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The newer editions of the AC manual do have expanded digital sections, but it is still primarily film oriented. That said, it has plenty of information about shooting and lighting that may be of use. Worth checking out first before buying, perhaps!
Charles Papert
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Old September 17th, 2002, 10:06 AM   #4
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If you're looking for technique, one of the best is "The Five C's of Cinematography" by joseph V. Mascelli. Although the copy right is 1965 the basics never really change. I bought my copy used, but in perfect condition.
It covers:

camera angles

These are the nuts 'n bolts of the great one's.

I have found that, in addition, experimentation, breaking some rules, and obsevation will teach you a lot.

Since every situation is different, you have to develope a 6th sense as to what looks right, gives you the desired result, and will be interesting to your audience.

Depth of field , lighting, and audio are very important... PRACTICE

B. Moore is offline  
Old September 17th, 2002, 02:58 PM   #5
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Hi Bruce. I actually have that book on order from amazon at the moment, and I'm desparately hanging out for it. I looked at it in the bookstore here, but didn't get it and when I went back it was gone so ordered from overseas (Actually turned out cheaper anyway). Practice is something I know I have to do. Although I'll only be working with DV (for the first long while at least) I know there is a lot to learn about the art that doesn't rely on media type.

I gotta keep writing those short scripts! :)

Aaron Koolen is offline  
Old September 17th, 2002, 07:40 PM   #6
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Hello Aaron:

Long time no talk. Getting AC's Handbook may be a good idea anyways. Learning about light is essential. Plus, understanding the components of how film works has helped me greatly in learning about making video look better. Seriously consider getting the manual.


Kyle "Doc" Mitchell
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