15 books to improve your filmmaking

Filmmaking, like any other craft, is best learned by doing rather than reading. The reason? You need to fail–a lot. Along the way, you learn the tricks to overcome the many obstacles thrown at you throughout the filmmaking process. As someone once told me, at its heart, filmmaking is “an exercise in creative problem solving.” However, this hasn’t stopped me from devouring anything and everything on the subject that I can. I’m always looking to add skills to my filmmaking toolbox (and hopefully avert disaster before it happens.).

What  I discovered is there’s a lot of half-baked junk written about filmmaking. Many directors turned authors (who shall remain nameless) turn filmmaking into some kind of abstract, academic exercise and give short shrift to the technical and logistical realities that play an equally important role. Among the flotsam and jetsam are a few books that rise above. The fifteen books that I’ve listed below range from the inspirational to the technical but each one will kick your filmmaking into the next dimension.

(Note: If you are just getting started with science filmmaking, in particular, I have a couple of additional resource recommendations just for you. First, check out the ‘Shut Up and Shoot Documentary Guide‘. This has pretty much everything you need to get started making non-fiction films. I’d also recommend that you check out the excellent tutorial videos from my former documentary instructor Drew Keller at StoryGuide.net)


General Filmmaking



What books do you recommend?  Let us know in the comments.

UPDATE:  Here are a few more excellent books for the aspiring filmmaker. I will update this post as I find more.



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