See Your Film Before Shooting
By Nicholas T. Proferes
Film Directing Fundamentals gives the novice director an organic methodology for realizing on-screen the full dramatic possibility of a screenplay. Unique among directing books, Nicholas Proferes provides clear-cut ways to translate a script to the screen. Using the script as a blueprint, the reader is led through specific techniques to analyze and translate its components into a visual story. A sample screenplay is included that explicates the techniques discussed. Written for both students and entry-level professionals, the book assumes no knowledge and introduces basic concepts and terminology. Appropriate for screenwriters, aspiring directors and filmmakers, Film Directing Fundamentals helps filmmakers bring their story to life on screen.
This fourth edition is updated with a new foreword by Student Academy Award-winner Jimmy Keyrouz, who studied with author Nicholas Proferes, as well as an enhanced companion website by Laura J. Medina, which features new supplemental material for both instructors and students, including two new analyses of contemporary films—Wendy and Lucy (2008) and Moonlight (2016)—study questions, suggested assignments and exercises, as well as the instructor’s manual written by Proferes in 2008.
"Just bring your talent, add a touch of luck, and the rest you will find in this book."
—Milos Forman, Film Director, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), Amadeus (1984), The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996)
"Nick Proferes doesn't tell you how to direct, which would be as silly as telling you what to direct. Instead, he does something much more valuable: He explains how directors actually think their way though the job."
—James Schamus, Associate Professor of Film at Columbia University, Producer and Screenwriter, The Ice Storm (1997), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
"Film Directing Fundamentals was a particularly useful textbook when I was a student learning filmmaking techniques for the first time, and I have continued to use the book as a professor of film and video studies. This important text will influence the next generations of student filmmakers and film professors."
—Thomas Britt, Associate Professor, Film and Video Studies, George Mason University
"I taught with Nic at Columbia University for nearly 28 years before I moved to American University, and I've always admired his excellent teaching and mentorship of students. When he first published the book I immediately adopted it and have used each edition ever since. The pedagogy and insight that he brings to the critical skill of directing helps not only students but all filmmakers. I’ve worked on more than 250 projects over 40 years of teaching and filmmaking, and I apply his techniques professionally as well as in the classroom."
—Larry Engel, Filmmaker, Associate Professor, School of Communication, American University, Washington DC
Table of Contents:
Part One: INTRODUCTION
Chapter 1: Introduction to Film Language and Grammar
Chapter 2: Introduction to the Dramatic Elements Embedded in the Screenplay
Chapter 3: Organizing Action in a Dramatic Scene
Chapter 4: Staging
Chapter 5: Camera
Chapter 6: Camera in NOTORIOUS Patio Scene
Part Two: MAKING YOUR FILM
Chapter 7: Detective Work On Scripts
Chapter 8: Staging and Camera For The Piece Of Apple Pie
Chapter 9: Marking Shooting Script With Camera Setups
Chapter 10: Work With Actors
Chapter 11: Managerial Responsibilities of the Director
Chapter 12: Postproduction
Nicholas T. Proferes was the director/cameraman and editor of Free at Last, a 90-minute documentary on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which was awarded Best Documentary at the Venice Film Festival in 1969; director of photography and editor of Wanda, a feature film directed by Barbara Loden, awarded Best Picture at the Venice Film Festival in 1971; and co-producer, director of photography, and editor of The Visitors, a feature film directed by Elia Kazan. In 2008, his screenplay Romeros, Julieta, & the General won best screenplay at the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival; and in 2009, his screenplay Handsome Harry, directed by Bette Gordon, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. He is Professor Emeritus at Columbia University.
Laura J. Medina is an educator and filmmaker. She has professional production credits on a wide variety of productions including studio and independent feature films, documentaries and TV series. Laura directed three short narrative films, screened at film festivals all over the U.S. Since 2011 she has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Film and Theatre at the University of New Orleans, where she teaches producing, directing and advanced production. Laura has a BA in Political Science from Antioch College, an MFA in Filmmaking from New York University, and is a member of the Directors Guild of America.
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