Filmmakers Reading List

The Guerilla Film Makers Handbook

Authors: Chris Jones & Genevieve Jolliffe

Why read: “Brand new edition of this bestseller – the only book an amateur film maker needs! An entirely new, updated, and expanded third edition of the UK’s best-selling filmmaker’s bible, last updated in 2000”.


Moviemakers’ Master Class: Private Lessons from the World’s Foremost Directors

Author: Laurent Tirard

Why read: “From Scorsese and Lynch to Wenders and Godard: interviews with twenty of the world’s greatest directors on how they make films – and why.”


Rebel Without A Crew

Author: Robert Rodriguez

Why read: “A cult classic amongst film students, Robert Rodriguez recounts how he sold his body to medical science (sort of) to make El Mariachi – the lowest budget movie to gross $1,000,000.”


Notes On The Cinematograph

Author: Robert Bresson

“Robert Bresson’s Notes on the Cinematographer are working memos which the great French director made for his own use. In all of them, Bresson reflects with a craftsman’s insight on techniques and their philosophical and aesthetic implications. Bresson makes some quite radical distinctions between what he terms “cinematography” and something quite different: “cinema” – which is for him nothing but an attempt to photograph theatre and use it for the screen.”


When The Shooting Stops, The Cutting Begins

Author: Ralph Rosenblum, Robert Karen

“The history and profession of the science and art of film editing in what is considered to be the definitive guide on the art of piecing a movie together after the cameras have been put away.”


Painting With Light

Author: John Alton

“Painting With Light” remains one of the few truly canonical statements on the art of motion picture photography, an unrivalled historical document on the workings of post-war American cinema. In simple, non-technical language, Alton explains the job of the cinematographer and explores how lighting, camera techniques, and choice of locations determine the visual mood of film. Best known for his highly stylized film noir classics ‘T-Men’, ‘He Walked by Night’, and ‘The Big Combo’, Alton earned a reputation during the 1940s and 1950s as one of Hollywood’s consummate craftsmen through his visual signature of crisp shadows and sculpted beams of light. He earned an Academy Award in 1951 for his work on the musical ‘An American in Paris’. “

Jaws in Space : Powerful Pitching for Film & TV Screenwriters

Author: Charles Harris

“This book takes you through the essentials of what makes a good pitch to advanced skills that will help you in all kinds of pitching situations. Charles Harris gives a clear-sighted view of how pitching works in the industry and provides a series of practical techniques for developing a gripping and convincing pitch. Drawing on his experience, he examines the problems that can arise with both mainstream and unconventional projects – from a range of different cultures – and explains how to solve them. He also analyses the process of taking a pitch meeting and shows you how to ensure you perform at your best. Harris has written and directed for BBC and Channel 4, creating internationally award-winning documentaries and TV drama.”

Buy: Jaws in Space : Powerful Pitching for Film & TV Screenwriters Creative Essentials: Charles Harris: Books

My Last Breath

Author: Luis Bunuel

“A master filmmaker, inimitable, and unrelenting in his assault on bourgeois values. Bunuel’s method is free from all artifice, and his honesty and humour are to extreme to accept any compromise in exposing our deceit and our decadence. Like Pasolini, his work offers a remarkably sophisticated political analysis, but remains based in the essentially peasant values of storytelling, and the purposefully unsystematic supervisions of laughter.”


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