Basics Film-Making: The Language of Film

| September 30, 2010 | Comments (0)

Basics Film-Making:The Language of Film

AUTHORS: Robert Edgar-Hunt, John Marland and Steven Rawle

REVIEWER: Steven Galvin

Film is a language of its own. It is a language we all understand and one we take for granted. As with every language, it has its own grammar and employs a system of signs and symbols in order to carry information and communicate. Basics Film-Making: The Language of Film sets out to explore exactly how film communicates to its audience. It does this by clearly laying out chapter by chapter the structures that allow film to be understood.

Chapter 1 focuses on semiotics and explores the system of signs employed by film in order to communicate meaning. Chapter 2 tackles narrative and considers how an audience is able to comprehend meaning from a film through its precise structure. Chapter 3 explores intertextuality and explains how films relate to each other and gain meaning through their relationship with other films. Chapter 4 turns its attention to ideology and investigates the question of what films mean and how they can be interpreted. Chapter 5 examines frames and images and has a look at the vocabulary of the moving image and how the camera shapes meaning. Chapter 6 explores the techniques employed beyond the image that construct meaning and analyses such crafts as editing and the use of sound.

Illustrative examples are used throughout the book and fulfil the dual function of visualising ideas while also providing some beautiful images. A useful case study is introduced at the end of each chapter, which contextualises the specific ideas presented beforehand within a selected film or a particular scene.

Aimed primarily at students, Basics Film-Making: The Language of Film is a more than useful introduction to the fundamentals of film grammar and its use in constructing meaning. Its appealing visual style, accurate descriptions and impressive lay-out will ensure that this becomes a well-thumbed textbook, and the writers are to be commended in the book’s employment of methods to encourage its reader to become an active interpreter of the material presented. And in doing so, the book achieves its goal of presenting complex ideas in a clear and concise fashion that engage the reader in both theory and practice.

ISBN: 978-2-940411-27-6
Binding: Paperback
Publishing Date: May 2010
Publisher: Ava Publishing
Number of Pages: 192


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Category: Book Reviews, Reviews

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