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The bibliography is laid out in approximate order of the production phases. Asterisked works are ones I’ve found particularly useful. You can get kindly used books of all kinds at very reasonable prices via AbeBooks (www.abebooks.com).


Atchity, Kenneth, and Chi-Li Wong. Writing Treatments That Sell: How to Create and Market Your Story Ideas to the Motion Picture and TV Industry, 2nd ed. Owl Books, 2003.

*Bergman, Ingmar. Four Stories by Ingmar Bergman. Doubleday, 1977.

Biro, Yvette, and Marie-Geneviève Ripeau. To Dress a Nude: Exercises in Imagination. Kendall/Hunt, 1998.

Blum, Richard A. Television and Screen Writing from Concept to Contract, 4th ed. Focal Press, 2000.

*Cooper, Pat, and Ken Dancyger. Writing the Short Film, 2nd ed. Focal Press, 1999.

*Dancyger, Ken. Global Scriptwriting. Focal Press, 2001.

*Dancyger, Ken, and Jeff Rush. Alternative Scriptwriting: Writing Beyond the Rules, 4th ed. Focal Press, 2006.

*Dannenbaum, Jed, Carroll Hodge, and Doe Meyer. Creative Filmmaking from the Inside Out: Five Keys to Making Inspired Movies and Television. Fireside, 2003.

Field, Syd. Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting. Delta, 2005.

———. The Screenwriter’s Workbook. Dell, 1988.

Horton, Andrew. Writing the Character-Centered Screenplay. University of California Press, 1994.

Howard, David. The Tools of Screenwriting. St. Martin’s Press, 1995.

Johnson, Claudia Hunter. Crafting Short Screenplays that Connect. Focal Press, 2009.

Rabiger, Michael. Developing Story Ideas 2ed. Focal Press, 2006.

Rosenthal, Alan. Writing Docudrama: Dramatizing Reality for Film and Television. Focal Press, 1994.

Seger, Linda. Creating Unforgettable Characters. Owl Books, 1990.

———. Making a Good Script Great. Samuel French, 1994.

*Vale, Eugene. Vale’s Technique of Screen and TV Writing. Focal Press, 1998.

*Vogler, Christopher. The Writer’s Journey. Pan, 1999.


*Bluestone, George. Novels into Film. University of California Press, 1957.

Boyum, Joy Gould. Double Exposure: Fiction into Film. Signet, 1989.

Brady, Ben. Principles of Adaptation for Film and Television. University of Texas Press, 1994.

Halperin, Michael. Writing for the Second Act: Building Conflict and Tension. Michael Wiese Productions, 2003.

———. Writing the Killer Treatment: Selling Your Story Without a Script. Michael Wiese Productions, 2003.

Horton, Andrew. Writing the Character-Centered Screenplay, 2nd ed. University of California Press, 2000.

*McDougal, Stuart Y. Made into Movies: From Literature to Film. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1997.

Portnoy, Kenneth. Screen Adaptation: A Scriptwriting Handbook, 2nd ed. Focal Press, 1998.

*Richardson, Robert. Literature and Film. Garland, 1985.

*Seger, Linda. The Art of Adaptation: Turning Fact and Fiction into Film. Owl Books, 1992.



Barr, Tony. Acting for the Camera, rev. ed. Harper Paperbacks, 1997.

Benedetti, Robert. The Actor at Work, 8th ed. Allyn & Bacon, 2001.

*———. The Actor in You: Sixteen Simple Steps to Understanding the Art of Acting, 2nd ed. Allyn & Bacon, 2003.

Caine, Michael. Acting in Film: An Actor’s Take on Moviemaking. Applause Theatre Book Publishers, 2000.

*Hagen, Uta, and Haskel Frankel. Respect for Acting. Wiley, 1973.

Hodgson, John, and Ernest Richards. Improvisation. Grove Press, 1979.

*Marowitz, Charles. The Art of Being: Towards a Theory of Acting. Taplinger, 1978.

*Moore, Sonia. The Stanislavski System. Viking Press, 1965.

———. Stanislavski Revealed. Applause Books, 2000.

*Morris, Eric, Joan Hotchkis, and Jack Nicholson. No Acting Please. Ermor Enterprises, 1995.

*Spolin, Viola. Improvisation for the Theatre, 3rd ed. Northwestern University Press, 1999.


*Ball, William. A Sense of Directing: Some Observations on the Art of Directing. Drama Publishers, 1984. (Theatrical directing, but much good advice that applies to film.)

*Bresson, Robert. Notes on the Cinematographer. Green Integer Books, 1997.

*Clurman, Harold. On Directing. Fireside, 1997. (Theatrical directing, but much good advice that applies to film.)

Crisp, Mike. The Practical Director, 2nd ed. Focal Press, 1996.

———. Directing Single Camera Drama, 2nd ed. Focal Press, 2004.

*DeKoven, Lenore. Changing Direction: A Practical Approach to Directing Actors in Film and Theatre. Focal Press, 2006.

Kagan, Jeremy. Directors Close Up. Scarecrow Press, 2006.

*Katz, Steven D. Film Directing Shot by Shot. Focal Press in association with Michael Wiese Productions, 1991.

*Lumet, Sidney. Making Movies. Knopf/Random House, 1996.

*Mamet, David. On Directing Film. Penguin, 1991.

Proferes, Nicholas. Film Directing Fundamentals: See Your Film Before Shooting, 2nd ed. Focal Press, 2004.

Rabiger, Michael. Directing the Documentary, 4th ed. Focal Press, 2004.

Rea, Peter, and David Irving. Producing and Directing the Short Film and Video, 3rd ed. Focal Press, 2006.

Sherman, Eric. Directing the Film: Film Directors on Their Art. Acrobat Books, 1988.

*Weston, Judith. Directing Actors: Creating Memorable Performances for Film and Television. Michael Wiese Productions, 1996.

———. The Film Director’s Intuition: Script Analysis and Rehearsal Techniques. Michael Wiese Productions, 2003.

Production Management

Cleve, Bastian. Film Production Management, 3rd ed. Focal Press, 2005.

Gates, Richard. Production Management for Film and Video, 3rd ed. Elsevier, 1999.

Hofhaner, Eve. The Complete Film Production Handbook, 3rd ed. Focal Press, 2001. (Book and CD-ROM.)

Maier, Robert G. Location Scouting and Management Handbook. Focal Press, 1994.

Patz, Deborah S. Film Production Management: The Ultimate Guide for Film and Television Production Management and Coordination. Michael Wiese Productions, 2002.

Art Direction

Affron, Charles, and Mirella Affron. Sets in Motion. Rutgers University Press, 1995.

Ettedgui, Peter. Production Design and Art Direction. Focal Press, 2000.

Lobrutto, Vincent. The Filmmaker’s Guide to Production Design. Allworth Press, 2002.

Olson, Robert. Art Direction for Film and Video, 2nd ed. Focal Press, 1998.

Preston, Ward. What an Art Director Does. Silman-James, 1994.

Rizzo, Michael. The Art Direction Handbook for Film. Focal Press, 2005.

Sennett, Richard S. Setting the Scene: The Great Hollywood Art Directors. Harry N. Abrams, 1994.

Costuming and Makeup

Delamar, Penny. The Complete Makeup Artist: Working in Film, Television, and Theatre. Northwestern University Press, 2002.

Ingham, Rosemary, and Liz Covey. The Costume Designer’s Handbook: A Complete Guide for Amateur and Professional Costume Designers, 3rd ed. Heinemann, 2003.

Timpone, Anthony. Men, Makeup, and Monsters: Hollywood’s Masters of Illusion and FX. St. Martin’s Press, 1996.


Box, Harry. The Set Lighting Technician’s Handbook: Film Lighting Equipment, Practice, and Electrical Distribution, 3rd ed. Focal Press, 2003.

*Carlson, Verne, and Sylvia Carlson. Professional Lighting Handbook, 4th ed. Focal Press, 1993.

Ferncase, Richard K. Basic Lighting Worktext for Film and Video. Focal Press, 1992.

———. Film and Video Lighting Terms and Concepts. Focal Press, 1995.

Fitt, Brian, and Joe Thornley. A–Z of Lighting Technology, 2nd ed. Focal Press, 2001.

Gloman, Chuck, and Tom LeTourneau. Placing Shadows: Lighting Techniques of Video Production, 3rd ed. Focal Press, 2005.

Malkiewicz, J. Kris. Film Lighting: Talks with Hollywood’s Cinematographers and Gaffers. Fireside, 1986.

Millerson, Gerald. Lighting for TV and Film, 3rd ed. Focal Press, 1999.

Uva, Michael G. The Grip Book, 3rd ed. Focal Press, 2006.

Viera, Dave, and Maria Viera. Lighting for Film and Electronic Cinematography, 2nd ed. Wadsworth, 2004.

Cinematography and Motion Picture Techniques

Arijon, Daniel. Grammar of the Film Language. Silman-James, 1991.

Ascher, Steven, and Edward Pincus. The Filmmaker’s Handbook, Completely Revised and Updated. Plume, 2007.

Ballinger, Alex. New Cinematographers. Collins Design, 2004.

Brown, Blain. Cinematography: Theory and Practice. Focal Press, 2002.

*Detmers, Fred, ed. American Cinematographer Handbook. American Society of Cinematographers, 2004.

Ettedgui, Peter. Cinematography. Focal Press, 1999.

*Frost, Jacqueline. Cinematography for Directors: A Guide for Creative Collaboration. Michael Wiese Productions, 2009.

Groticelli, Michael, ed. American Cinematographer Video Manual. American Cinematographer, 2004.

Hines, William E. Operating Cinematography for Film and Video: A Professional and Practical Guide. Ed-Venture Films/Books, 1997.

*Hurbis-Cherrier, Mick. Voice & Vision: A Creative Approach to Narrative Film and DV Production 2nd ed. Focal Press, 2011.

Laszlo, Andrew, and Andrew Quicke. Every Frame a Rembrandt: Art and Practice of Cinematography. Focal Press, 2000.

Lobrutto, Vincent. Principal Photography: Interviews with Feature Film Cinematographers. Greenwood, 1999.

*Malkiewicz, J. Kris, and M. David Mullen. Cinematography. Fireside, 2005.

Mascelli, Joseph. The Five C’s of Cinematography: Motion Picture Filming Technique. Silman-James, 1998.

*Mercado, Gustavo. The Filmmaker's Eye. Focal Press, 2010.

Schaefer, Dennis and Salvato, Larry. Masters of Light: Conversations with Contemporary Cinematographers. University of California Press, 1986.

Microphones, Recording, and Sound

Bartlett, Bruce, and Jenny Bartlett. On Location Recording Techniques. Focal Press, 1999.

———. Practical Recording Techniques, 4th ed. Focal Press, 2005.

*Chion, Michael. Audio-Vision. Columbia University Press, 1994.

Holman, Tomlinson. Sound for Film and Television. Focal Press, 2010.

Huber, David Miles, and Robert E. Runstein. Modern Recording Techniques, 6th ed. Focal Press, 2005.

Nisbett, Alec. The Sound Studio, 7th ed. Focal Press, 2003.

Rumsey, Francis. Desktop Audio Technology. Focal Press, 2003.

Rumsey, Francis, and Tim McCormick. Sound and Sound Recording: An Introduction, 5th ed. Focal Press, 2005.

Watkinson, John. The Art of Digital Recording, 3rd ed. Focal Press, 2000.

———. An Introduction to Digital Audio, 2nd ed. Focal Press, 2002.

White, Glenn D. The Audio Dictionary, 3rd ed. University of Washington Press, 2005.

Yewdall, David. Practical Art of Motion Picture Sound. Focal Press, 2011.


*Miller, Pat P. Script Supervising and Film Continuity, 3rd ed. Focal Press, 1999.

Rowlands, Avril. The Continuity Supervisor, 4th ed. Focal Press, 2000.


Bayes, Steve. The Avid Handbook: Techniques for the Avid Media Composer and Avid Express, 4th ed. Focal Press, 2003.

Browne, Steven E. High Definition Postproduction. Focal Press, 2006.

Collins, Mike. Pro Tools for Music Production. Focal Press, 2004.

*Dancyger, Ken. The Technique of Film and Video Editing: Theory and Practice, 4th ed. Focal Press, 2006.

*Murch, Walter, and Francis Ford Coppola. In the Blink of an Eye: A Perspective on Film Editing. Silman-James, 1995.

Oldham, Gabriella. First Cut: Conversations with Film Editors. University of California Press, 1995.

*Rosenblum, Ralph, and Robert Karen. When the Shooting Stops, the Cutting Begins. Da Capo, 1986.


Russell, Mark, and James Young. Film Music. Focal Press, 2000.

Finance, Production, and Distribution

Cones, John W. Film Finance and Distribution: A Dictionary of Terms. Silman-James, 1992.

*Donaldson, Michael C. Clearance and Copyright: Everything the Independent Filmmaker Needs to Know, 2nd rev. ed. Silman-James, 2003.

Erickson, Gunnar, Harris Tulchin, and Mark Halloran. The Independent Producer’s Survival Guide: A Business and Legal Sourcebook, 2nd ed. Schirmer Trade Books, 2005.

Farber, Donald C. Producing, Financing, and Distributing Film: A Comprehensive Legal and Business Guide. Limelight Editions, 2004.

Goodell, Gregory. Independent Feature Film Production. St. Martin’s Griffin, 1998.

Houghton, Buck. What a Producer Does: The Art of Moviemaking (Not the Business). Silman-James, 1992.

Koster, Robert J. The Budget Book for Film and Television, 2nd ed. Focal Press, 2004.

Lazarus, Paul N. III. The Film Producer. St. Martin’s Press, 1992.

Lee, John J. The Producer’s Business Handbook, 2nd ed. Focal Press, 2005.

Levison, Louise. Filmmakers and Financing: Business Plans for Independents, 5th ed. Focal Press, 2006.

Litwak, Mark. Dealmaking in the Film and Television Industry from Negotiations to Final Contracts, 2nd ed. Silman-James, 2002.

———. Risky Business: Financing and Distributing Independent Films. Silman-James, 2004.

Ohanian, Thomas A., and Michael E. Phillips. Digital Filmmaking: The Changing Art and Craft of Making Motion Pictures, 2nd ed. Focal Press, 2000.

Singleton, Ralph. Film Budgeting. Lone Eagle, 2006.

Vachon, Christine with Bunn, Austin. A Killer Life. Limelight Editions, 2007.

Wiese, Michael. The Independent Filmmakers’ Guide, 2nd ed. Michael Wiese Productions, 1998.

Wiese, Michael, and Deke Simon. Film and Video Budgets, 4th ed. Michael Wiese Productions, 2006.

Wurmfeld Eden H. and Laloggia, Nicole. IFP/Los Angeles Independent Filmmaker's Manual. Focal Press, 2004.

Education and Career Possibilities

Bayer, William. Breaking Through, Selling Out, Dropping Dead. Limelight Editions, 2004.

Bone, Jan, and Ana Fernandez. Opportunities in Film Careers. McGraw-Hill, 2004.

Edgar, Tom, and Karen Kelly. Film School Confidential: The Insider’s Guide to Film Schools. Perigee, 2007. (Graduate level only.)

O’Donnell, Gail, and Michele Travolta, eds. Making It in Hollywood. Sourcebooks, 1994.

Peterson’s Guides to Graduate Programs in the Humanities/Arts/Social Sciences, Book 2. Peterson’s, 2007.

Yager, Fred, and Jan Yager. Career Opportunities in the Film Industry. Facts on File, 2003.

Filmmakers on Filmaking

Bogdanovich, Peter. Who the Devil Made It: Conversations with Legendary Film Directors. Ballantine Books.

*Bresson, Robert. Notes on the Cinematographer. Green Integer.

Figgis, Mike. Digital Filmmaking, Faber & Faber.

Lumet, Sidney. Making Movies. Vintage.

Lynch, David. Catching the Big Fish. Tarcher/Penguin, 2007.

Mamet, David. On Directing Film. Penguin.

*Scott, Helen and Truffaut, François. Hitchcock. Simon & Schuster.

*Tirard, Laurent. Moviemakers' Master Class: Private Lessons from the World's Foremost Directors. Faber and Faber.