(Man’s best friend)
This page is the most sex”est”: at this website, expect it to get worse!

“VARIETY is the Spice of Life”, but Hold Back the”Sugar… and everything Nice”
On June 11th 1999 Daily Variety published a few articles about women in
the film industry. With titles like “Integrated but unequal” & “Numbers not pretty for women in the biz”, it’s surprising the number of women in Cinematography went from 0% to 1% from last to this year! That was then this is now: In 2003 The Hollywood Reporter reported that although women are moving ahead as producers and in management, typical female type administrative jobs, they are going nowhere in editing, cinematography and directing! Damn, this is typical.

Website, Copyright 1998, Pamela Jean Curry – Personal Training Website

Project by, A Rough Start Film Production.
A faux Studio based Independent Production Company
Isn’t for seasoned filmmaking professionals but it could be, that’s a cut!
Website, Copyright 1998, Pamela Jean Curry – Personal Training Website

It is important to note texts are reviewed for what they help you learn yourself:
8 Departments, 2 Tiny Divisions and one Independent Arm!
Camera, The Studio Dog
The Electric Chair, Reviews of Electronic Training Material Video/Computer Courses

Director’s Chair, A Lethal Injection for the 21st Century
A Business version of the BOOKLIST, the “biz”;
Entertainment Executive’s Business Bios reviewed at Enguard, Touché & Draw Blood ;
CINEMA, a guide to info about Visual Effects books, magazines, shooting speeds
WOLF WATCH, a guide to Special Effects books
Cheap Toyz Fur Training & Previsualization. Catch this… good doggy!
The EDITOR is ILL, Do it Yourself Editing!

This is CAMERA, it opened in September 1999. It is meant to be the last little division in Studio Faux’s Parody. It won’t stop expanding but I will be balancing out other departments. DOG isn’t a whole department, it works off the Studio. Dog and Studio Cat have to be restrained when they’re in the same room so please go separately to the FILMLYNX for links to more online articles & camera information.
Camera, my true love.

New Book Review In Progress, May 2003
Training Videos for Cinematography Books Reviewed on Camera
Kodak/Panavision’s PREVIEW System Electronic Filmmaking Course
Camera Links to more training material Books reviewed on Light, Grips, Action

This year in small print in an article on the Kodak website, I found information on a demo CD that is a promotional item for the new Preview System. This system is really expensive and really hot. It allows you to preview in advance what one particular frame of a motion picture will look like if the film stock, filters, processing or light is altered. The CD demo is extremely limited, but for people who have very limited access to motion picture film processing this is an excellent tool. Panavision could have done much better on this demo CD and still have sold the product. The Demo CD is available through the California offices of Panavision. They do have a 1-800 number. I suggest you start with a search for their website or a search at the Kodak website, motion picture film, for the Preview System. Communications at Panavision is not what it should be and neither is training. Apparently the women in film in Orlando, according to the Panavision rep, recently had a crock of shit presentation about different types of lenses. That’s rank. In the past Panavision claims to have teamed with Valencia College to offer basic camera courses for free, although that sounds somewhat better Panavision’s Training offers show a lack of communications skills compared to Kodak’s (the other trade monopoly in motion picture camera and film).

Training Tapes: Videos 8
(If you’ve ever sued because of a camera crew,
this might be the best way to learn!-Tongue in Cheek comment)
Master Classes, Workshops with Master Cinematographers, Directors of Photography (D.P.). These 8 workshops were taped at A.F.T.R.S., the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, with support from Kodak’s Worldwide Student Program. While the Worldwide Student Program is primarily aimed at students in schools, Kodak representatives will apparently come to schools in their areas allowing classes to view these tapes they can be viewed in local Kodak Offices, according to one West Coast office!
The individual tapes and their costs (about $90-is that Aussie bucks at the AFTRS site? have been cheaper elsewhere ) are described at this A.F.T.R.S. site at links: “Resources”, then “Video Training”, then Kodak Master Classes. The description of these tapes at that site is extremely short, considering their price. They are also distributed through First Light Video Publishing, whose catalog can be obtained by calling 1-800-777-1576. They have tapes of workshops and seminars numbering in excess of 200 and a free catalog. Panavision’s Panastore told me in August of 1999, although they were listed at their website, they no longer sold them. Panavision had many of these tapes at $34 each, but they dropped them because “they did not sell”. Although BigStar lists them, their website states they are no longer available from the publisher and shows no tapes under the Kodak Cinematography Master Class Series.
The information below is a critical review of what I consider an very important group of Training Tapes. Each could easily be viewed at least 4 times to take in all the details. At the American hotel chain the “Guest Quarters” they used to leave a box of Godiva Chocolate in your suite –
works for me! 5 of 5 Chocolate Bars, O.D. on chocolate here!

On the First day of Xmas my true love gave to me:

These tapes may contain outdated lighting equipment. The tapes are most important for studying the variety of approaches that can be undertaken when presented with different lighting situations. Each tape contains similar elements: Well edited workshop footage (redundant translations are edited out and it is captioned where Sacha Vierny speaks in French) is cut into narration that shows a blueprint of the lighting set-up. It is usually cut in at the point of the shoot and after the Cinematographer has described the motivation for the lighting and/or blocking on the set. The Narrator includes information such as the millimeter of the lens used, the T-Stop, the type of Kodak film used and often why and about filters, and in the longer workshops changes in the lighting from one scene to the next. Each tape includes the actual footage shot. If this was a comparative shoot with two cinematographers that footage is sometimes run simultaneously so a comparison can be made. This is more true in the 4 workshops shot simultaneously on the two (2) exact same studio sets (Studio Set: Deserted Australian Cafe at Xmas in the summer, with a cyclorama in the background).
and a Partridge in au pair tree.
On the second day of Xmas my true love gave to me:
A note about the A.F.T.R.S.: This is a hands on workshop for students. Students do the set ups and ask questions. There are moments when this adds something of interest to an understanding of methods used on a set. For instance, a master cinematographer tells one student to never use the video assist to determine whether an exposure or light set-up was correct on a set because it is deceptive, and another tells not to use the black and white split in the video assist to determine an exposure of black and white film because it is panchromatic. Although, it seems simpler to have students shoot black and white still film in order to develop an eye for tones as opposed to colors?
In one of the workshops a Master Cinematographer comments on how the student’s cross-training, taking turns on different jobs each day, was a good idea. The most significant thing to take from the series is an analysis of how different cinematographers personal vision and approaches to lighting will effect the final look of a film.
and a Partridge in au pair tree.
On the third day of Xmas my true love gave to me…

AFTRS Kodak Sponsored Cinematography Master Class Streaming of Amazon Now
1) Location Lighting with Geoff Burton, 29 minutes: Non-studio lighting with emphasis on making the best use of the equipment that your gaffer (electrician) has immediate access to in his truck, and problem solving on location (mixing light sources, holding back available light, using practicals). This was the best of the shorter workshops simply because it tackled issues that someone shooting in a low cost location lighting (studio rentals being expensive) could from draw from for future experience. It was easy to understand even for someone only with location lighting experience for still photography (houses & babes at the beach stuff).

2) Lighting Dead Poets Society with John Seale, 28 minutes. Lighting used in a couple of scenes in one dorm room. Studio lighting situation. Interesting for lighting, creating ambiance, and shooting in a small, sparsely furnished space, with an exterior view or if you really liked this particular movie!

3) Lighting Dances With Wolves with Dean Semler, 29 minutes
Lighting a few teepee scenes inside to out or outside to inside action with firelight. A few different scenes with 2 – 4 persons setting around or standing near the fire inside the teepee, like in the film. A simulation of what was done on the movie set.
and a Partridge in au pair tree.
On the 4th day of Xmas my true love gave to me.
Kodak Cinematography Master Class – Lighting Dances With Wolves with Dean Semler

Somehow all persons who use a camera to make a living find that their identity is revealed in their work, eventually each finding their own style that distinguishes them from the pack.
Each of the Following Workshops are about 55 minutes. In all four of these workshops filming takes place on 2 studio sets simultaneously, each the same set: a deserted Australian Cafe at Xmas in the summer. Two different masters were asked to run a workshop with the same theme. The script contains no dialogue and is flexible to the style of the cinematographer. The scenes were directed by the school’s Cinematography department head. The final footage did not have to cut together as a short film and some shots were static. In essence the entire package shows about 8 different ways to light & shoot a short on the same set.
Party of Four: The Critique, Beginner, Advanced, Intermediate?
As instructional videos these workshops have been produced so that they could be used in an educational arena, but at what level? First, although the overhead diagram showing each lighting setup with a narrative was very good, it would have helped greatly to have had at least one point in the instructions with a labeled diagram of the interior. I found some difficulty when attempting to quickly make notations about the interior lighting setups when the unlabeled overhead diagram was turned! The bigger problem may be that lighting jargon and shortened names of lights were used. That was not as large a problem for me, but I’ve read over 70 textbooks on filmmaking. An advanced or intermediate student with access to lights should have no problem. This group of four videos actually showed more of the actual lights, gels and camera equipment than the others.

4) Shooting for Realism with Allen Daviau, A.S.C. and Sacha Vierny
Both Cinematographers light the scene for early day and then for a scene 8 hours later, sunset. Their approaches to lighting and staging the scenes are completely different. Daviau, who you might be familiar with not only because of his work on E.T. (and other early Speilberg productions) but also as host of the series on Silent Films, uses a strong, hot sunlight and filters. Vierny demonstrates a “sequence”, one tracking shot covering a couple of scenes. Vierny’s experience as a Cinematographer is very different than Daviau’s Hollywood experience and this provides a twist. Vierny speaks mainly in French, the video has english sub-titles where the translator has been edited out of the workshop. Since I’ve been personally looking for a tape of French film terms with an English translation, I found some of Vierny’s workshops interesting for reasons that might bore someone else.

5) Shooting for Black & White with Allen Daviau, A.S.C. and Denis Lenoir. Lenoir was in three out of eight of the workshops, for him this is two workshops in one. He lights the set and shoots it in Black and White, and in Color. Parts of the color shoot are seen while he lectures. Cinematographers are not generally in front of the camera and one cannot expect this to be entertaining but Lenoir is amusing compared to Daviau. Daviau and Lenoir first encounter a problem in exposure after processing their first rolls. Daviau demonstrates a classic black and white shoot in the tradition of Hollywood Silent Films, with strong backlight and classic modeling. Daviau’s lighting in this workshop is similar but not the same as in his workshop “Lighting for Reality”. Daviau lectures on some of the history of lighting for silent films. Lenoir chooses the opposite lighting with “hard bush lighting”, remarking that the lighting of Black and white of Hollywood of th 40’s is cliché he places his sun behind the camera, making this video a very interesting comparison. Lenoir then does something interesting when the students have difficulty on the timing of the tracking shot he wants, he takes control of the camera and shows them how to handle the camera during the shot. This is the sole time in any of these workshops there is a demonstration of this type. The problems of shooting black and white vs. color are discussed in several parts of this tape. Both the outside and inside of the Cafe are shot.

6) Shooting for Drama with Robby Muller (Paris, Texas…) and Peter James (Driving Miss Daisy…). This workshop was slightly different than the other three shot on similar sets in different studios. This appeared to have more narrative and less lectures. Muller set up a track that ran left to right and James a tracking shot that ran right to left. Two scenes, one for early day and then
later day were shot. Muller’s later day scene was near sunset and James was at twilight. James’ day shot was on a hot and bright set where he added dust and wind and avoided shooting the cyclorama, while Muller shot the cyc. The narrator contrasts and compares the different sets ups. Muller does mostly independent films and low budget films and for personal reasons does not care for the commercial Hollywood system while James appears quite the opposite. James describes film as an “acceptable cheat”. He may have cheated in making the short film but this training tape is no cheat. I spent 5 to 7 hours on each 55 minute video to detail the lighting/filters, lens, T-stop and film used. The motivation for the use of light is carefully described in most of the workshops but particularly well in this tape. James lighting is slightly complex and it appears to me these tapes would be worth more training value if they were accompanied by a pop-up book of the sound studio with the Cafe and the light set up for each cinematographer. Ya, well, I guess I buy too many children’s books!

7) Shooting for Fantasy with Sacha Vierny and Denis Lenoir
Lenoir carries a pocket book of notes he has made for himself since he started to learn cinematography. He divides it into technical and critical sections. He tells students not to be embarrassed to write things down and to track their own progress. This is a somewhat amusing account of what he wrote down in his early years. Lenoir also speaks about what he thinks the job of the cinematographer is comparing it to that of music or of subtext of the film. Commenting briefly that the lighting with meaning is very important. The Fantasy part consists of snowfall falling in the Cafe and in the case of Vierny’s shoot a ray of light appearing magically after a blackout. Both Fantasy shoots are shot from Dusk on until evening light, no day scenes. The setting up of a special effect on the set is part of the workshop. Besides the lighting set up some time is spent on metering the scene and deciding what changes needed to be made.

and a Partridge in au pair tree! Crazy Bird!

8) Studio Lighting: A Comparative Workshop with Denis Lenoir & Donald McAlpine, A.S.C. one hour. This was the sole one hour workshop that shot two complete short films with some dialogue. I found this comparative shoot to be the most interesting of all the videos for the purpose of comparing two different approaches. It took place in two room, the actors passing through a hallway. Both Cinematographers took different approaches to working with practical lighting on the set and to staging the scenes. For instance, Denis Lenoir when having the actors pass through the hallway comments on how this shot is boring, so he adds a light on the hat rack in the hallway to make it slightly funny. Candlelight is used in a couple of different scenes when the actors play blind man’s bluff.


HOW TO MAKE YOUR MOVIE: an interactive film school on CD ROM
Don’t miss the trivia on the roll of hand towels in the bathroom!
At about $90 plus shipping a purchaser should carefully consider how useful this will be. Total beginners and beginners especially with desktop editing might benefit greatly from the extra film and sound footage. Anyone past the beginner stage would want to see it for pure amusement. 3 CD Rom’s in one cute little package, free 1-800 for tech assistance. As of this date the Studio Head has been awarded a “Special Diploma” by “How to Make Your Movie:an interactive film school”. I only cheated once or twice by not watching the entire student film in its unedited versions. This program was created by Ohio University and Electronic Vision using Macromedia, Quick Time and in league with the “Kodak Worldwide Student Program”. The program allows you to wander through 3 floors of an empty film school. Department by department you can read about each step of the filmmaking process, read papers by guest lecturers, do interactive exercises (very few) like match cutting a piece of film from the student movie or making your own sound mix (with limited results). This 3 CD computer program has a great deal of trivia and comic relief, as some reviewers have noted, but it misses many opportunities to build film vocabulary throughout the program but especially in sound. Also, the resource lists of books that are recommended reading fail to include at least one of the most important resources for beginning filmmakers, in this Studio Head’s opinion, Michael Rabiger’s textbooks on Directing. This was published in 1998, therefore it missed the 1999 publication of Bob Koster’s On Production Budget Book and Tomlinson Holman’s Sound book, ok that’s an excuse. Yet, this resource list still fails to list books about contracts by Mark Litwak, distribution by John Cones and licensing, period. The program skirts over issues like fund raising, sales and marketing and in that regard may be considered more of a preparation for film school itself than a taste of the “real” world. In our opinion, before you even read about making a motion picture you should read the books by Litwak and particularly by Cones that talk about the problems of making money in the industry. That is if you are at all interested in making money. If you simply want an outline on how to make your first year’s school project, this would do. The school “tour” as it is for example in post-production includes two lectures by Editor Walter Murch, one on his “5-layer” rule, a brilliant addition even without the sound clips he probably had at the lecture, as was the short films demonstrating three different types of editing set-ups. Probably the best aspect of this 3 CD-Rom package, as I finished the school section in several sittings, is the addition of sound and film footage on the third CD Rom. Yet, one apparently needs to have some type of desktop editing system to practice with this. Well, I’ve practiced enough editing so I skipped this entirely. Additionally, in opposition to this program, I find that a great deal can be learned by watching films and doing exercises from Rabiger’s books on Directing. This program suggests the only way you can learn by watching is to watch Hitchcock films. I find this a very wrong thing to instruct beginners. Some films are good to watch and “breakdown” in notes for entirely different reasons: sound, special effects, editing, dialogue. Not all parts of all films are worth taking this time but quite a bit more can be learned by learning from many small pieces of film than by just aimlessly shooting a mediocre film. This package is solely for beginners with no knowledge of the film process. Since this is the sole interactive film school project reviewed at this website, there isn’t really a way to compare it to other similar materials. Since it costs that same as two very expensive books you can personally assess whether the investment was is worth not getting those other two books!


Gaffers (lights), Cameramen, Technicians
A Holey Ghost Production: The Father and Son made it. It appears most of the better texts in this category are by second generation filmmaking SONS. Douglas Hart being the most frank about this, I found his text more straightforward and informative than most texts by other experts in this industry. Well ladies, those old sheets with holes should be good for something this Halloween! Traditions Canne and should be changed.

On Studio Faux’s Necessary Evil List: Manuals, like dictionaries, you really should have at least one of because it is impossible to memorize this stuff!

Cinematography, Image Making for Cinematographers, Directors, and Videographers by Blain Brown 2003. I made extensive notes after reading this textbook but lost them after cleaning this office to get the first film started.
This book is reviewed at the Focal Press website, click on the “film/tv/video production” link on the left side of the page, after entering the U.S. site. Their review comments on the pretty pictures! My review is slightly more critical. First, Blain Brown was very accessible to answer questions about this textbook, which is unusual. I can honestly say most of my criticism was quelched when he told me that the publisher limited the number of pages, because of the cost of illustrating the text entirely in color. Significantly, Brown’s delicate blending of aesthetic ideals and technique, used to obtain that film aesthetic, was the most outstanding feature of this textbook. Most cinematography texts are biased one way or the other: Entirely too technical, forgetting that technique is about creating the story, or in the other extreme just writing about shot sizes or dutch tilts to create pretty pictures. Brown Illustrates the front of this text with a shot from “The Third Man”. There’s a “Third Man” DVD available with commentary and if you’re a Graham Greene fan it will ad to your enjoyment of reading this textbook. It was enjoyable. I had a real problem with the fact that after reading the book I was unable to reference back to some of the pages quickly because the book’s “Indexing” has some major problems, which a next edition can fix. As soon as I find my notes, I will expand this review. A text blending the technical and aesthetic aspects of cinematography is far easier for someone studying on their own to understand, this should be read before other more technical texts. 4 out of a possible 5 jars of Nutella for a chocolately smooth presentation.

A.S.C. Video Manual, 2nd Edition. This is the most recent version the A.S.C. has for sale. Designed like a bible this manual is a few hundred pages. I read the first one hundred pages (while note taking) and articles from the Apfor you to comprehend. For example, it compares the grey scale to the video “chip chart” and a light meter in film to the video “waveform monitor”. Information about filters should also be easy to understand. Nevertheless, I do not now nor have I ever had a video camera so much of this is not familiar. This is meant to be a hands on technical reference and as such some parts of it are not comprehensible without that experience. A basic history of video formats and their predicted future is useful. Topics such as “luminance”, “color hue”, “saturation color” and “contrast range” should be familiar to the digital artist as well as the still film artist. This A.S.C. manual says that the difference between an amateur and a professional is in the Battery. For all those Nicad users out there, an affirmation that you are the Real thing! Across the board I rate this as a useful tool for self-learning during a transition and well worth the WHOA 39.95, if you can afford to pay that and still eat! But since you are near the end of this list you must notice by now, I’ll read just about anything!

“The Camera Assistant: A Complete Professional Handbook” by Douglas C. Hart. Mr. Hart’s style of writing, which is more as a teacher than technician, made learning enjoyable. The read is slow for anyone who has no experience in motion picture filmmaking, but much of the information is completely understandable for persons, like myself, with previous technical experience as a still photographer. Reminding my readers, I had my own photographic darkroom as a teen and studied film as an art long before my short stint in photojournalism. That is perhaps what makes Mr. Hart’s text appear easily understandable to me. Although Mr. Hart’s style would probably enable even someone with basic photographic experience to understand the job of the Camera Assistant. Mr. Hart is a second generation industry professional. He makes it clear in this book his heroes in the industry are other people who are the same. He teaches at the Maine Photographic Workshops (I’m never going to Maine so I never pay attention to this workshop). In his intro he tells us that there are two types of thinking about passing on knowledge. One is that it took me 20 years to learn this so why should I help anyone else, and the second is Doug Hart’s. I interpret his as this, the better educated people around you are, about the industry, the better you can do your own job as part of the team, and that you learn from your students. Unfortunately, I don’t always believe that second generation people, in any industry, are the best persons to work with somewhat because I have a greater respect for persons who took the risk to explore themselves and have a career that was not passed on to them.
“For example”, that is a phrase that is used repeatedly in this textbook. First, Hart defines what a topic is. Second, he tells you in other words what it means. After these 2 explanations, he frequently uses a “for example” to demonstrate or illustrate further. His “for examples” are done in layman’s terminology, are straightforward and simple. If he tells you some formula needs to be calculated, he gives you a simple example of that calculation. A sample follows:
Aspect Ratio [1.]…a rectangle that is the shape of the image when projected
[2.] ration of the image with to the image height
[3] 1.85:1 [is] for example, the image width is 1.85 times the image height.
A screen ten feet high would have to be eighteen and
one-half feet wide to properly show a 1.85:1 film.
Id. at page 27. Also, Mr. Hart does one other thing as a teacher that I liked a great deal! He does not just tell you how certain things are done. He tells you how he prefers to do something, then as many as one to two other ways other people do it. Then, he does not tell you to do it my way. He tell you to think logically and for yourself-which usually is doing things his way. That is the benefit of learning from someone who is second generation. Hearing the voice of reason, where many people do things just to impress other people in the industry. If you come on a set where someone does something different, from slating to film use, you will not be surprised.
The Chapters include: Intro; Responsibilities of the Camera Assistant; Film Formats & Aspect Ratios; The Camera Equipment Checkout; Shooting Tests During Checkout; Loading/Unloading; Lenses; Filters; Focus; SetUp & Maintenance; Shooting Procedures; Slates & Slating; Paperwork; Video Assist Systems; Tools & Supplies; Education & Work.
According to Hart, this textbook is meant as a manual to supplement the American Cinematographer’s Manual. You cannot expect to remember everything in this book on the first read. It is a good judge of what you may not know. I also think that to say that this is useful only to prospective Camera Assistants is wrong. The Chapter on the Camera Equipment Checkout has a great deal of information of interest to the Production Department and the Director. I
I left the Chapter on “The Camera Equipment Checkout” four times to start other chapters. This chapter was hard to read only because it was explained in detail. I have never seen most of this equipment but had to relate it to equipment I otherwise know about. Also, having done Densitometer tests I pretty much thought the Chapter on Tests, which details how to do the tests and which ones a Director of Photography might ask for and why, should just be skimmed through by a beginner. You need to see the tests.
Mr. Hart points out that some equipment, from the perspective of the Camera Assistant, can be a waste of time. For instance, although he states that the Video Assist has many good uses, including for special effects, he states the set-up time and time otherwise wasted with people not needing to look at it on the set, looking at it, makes it a Camera Assistant’s nightmare.
While in his Camera Assistant’s Manual Douglas Hart tells one story about the technical problems when using “video assist”, an entire chapter is devoted to video assists, Videonics has another story to tell. Check this link for supplemental reading about how the video assist can be used for creating special effects.
One or Two quarts of Paul Newmann’s own Chocolate Ice Cream, which is also Bovine Hormone Free. The profits from his products go to charity, very generous! A must have book for beginners.


Set Lighting Technician’s Handbook by Harry Box. 2nd edition. This is a difficult book to rate for self-training so I’ve devised a new rating method: Level 1, NO EXPERIENCE in motion picture film lighting! (some experience with making some type of film still or moving but no experience in lighting) Not a book for you-1 chocolate bar for the one or two chapters that might be helpful; Level 2, SOME EXPERIENCE (limited experience in lighting for still film or lighting for motion picture film- 3 chocolate bars; Level 3, EXPERIENCE ON A FILM SET OR ALTERNATIVELY WITH TRAINING VIDEOS (experience on a motion picture film set with lighting or some experience in using lights for still film combined with video training tapes or other reading on lighting for motion picture film)- of 5 chocolate bars. This book is advertised as and probably is an excellent training manual for people working in the industry, but that is not what this website is about! This text is also on the SYLLABUS for film schools where there is also ready access to some film lighting equipment.

This is a “Handbook” in the traditional sense of the word. It could be used to carry around with you in the working world, where you should already be familiar with the book but make reference to it when needed.

The Kodak Cinematography Master Class series reviewed above actually gave me the courage to tackle a technical manual about motion picture film lighting. I did not complete the entire book but read the chapters that most made sense related to my experience and previous training. For instance, Box has a great sections about HMI’s with a page of illustration about different types of HMI lights. Those were used in the Master Class series. I made note of what other experience I need to completely understand the technical aspects of the rest of this HANDBOOK.

The reason that this book was so complicated to rate for ALTERNATIVE Training is, although it has several chapters like a training manual depicting tools of the trade and equipments lists and vocabulary, the one chapter on how to manipulate lights on the set didn’t provide adequate specific information on how so many different lights and gels and accessories should or could be used. That is indeed hard to do in one book. There are many books on lighting for still photography that show only the specifics of how a shot was lit. In fact you need to come to this book with some knowledge of lighting or your comprehension level in reading this book will be low.

Mr. Box’s book has a good bibliography, a dictionary of terms, an excellent technical appendix and good sections on slang. For instance he has a page of drawings of hand signals in his Chapter on Set Electrician’s Protocals, it didn’t include the index finger hand signal we all know but I’m sure that is used on occasion as well! Slang terms and abbreviated slang are also available in this book. I found the section on Set Electronics unreadable, but then again I’ve blown an electronic appliance in just about every country where I’ve plugged one in and my poor brother-who has studied electronics-never tires of explaining which wire is the ground.

Lighting for Action: Professional Techniques for Shooting Video and Film. by J. Hart,144 pgs., 1992.It is designed for still film artists looking to move on to video. As a still film artist, I found this too simple, nevertheless I learned some new things. Looking for light for many film artists is a lifetime project and requires constant practice, a point understated in this book (Masters of Light by Schaefer & Salvato).
2 chocolate mounds bars.

Gaffers, Grips, & Best Boys, Eric Taub,1994. 2 chocolate bars. If you don’t know what each of these people do read this book. If you want find out what unions allows who to do what on the set this isn’t the book for you!
My mistake. As of 1997, Robert Koster’s On Production Budget Book can be read for both a job description and a good idea of where these people fit into the budget!

The Grip Book: How to become a motion picture film technician by Michael G. Uva, 1988. (This book is in a second edition as of 1997 in 336 pages!)This 185 page book at first looks like a product catalog from Chapman Studio Equipment and several other companies combined. I found it by perusing my local library shelves in the moviemaking section. Warning, as well as being a still photographer, I’ve assisted with location lighting for other photographers. Some of these products are similar to those used in that process, therefore easy for me to understand their purpose. It was somewhat better than a product catalog, which I also read, in that it told me specifically how to use some types of equipment, with “T.O.T.” (tricks of the trade) tips, scantily few. The book explains in detail how to screw a 3/8 inch X 16 pitch bolt, with a flat washer, on a rented camera when you are mounting it. That is so you will not wreck the rented camera’s thread. Page 152-153. The forward recommended this as a companion book to another text. I recommend you read it with books by Taub, above, & by Steven Katz. It gives pictorial views of car mounts with “Required material for a mount/rig kit”. Even if that material is dated, these 4 books combine materials you need to make a basic vehicle mount, with how to use them & a gaffer and how to plan & shoot your car sequence.
3 Kit Kat Bars! Ciao!


John Fauer’s website with excerpts from the books and videos he has made for Arriflex. These are instructional manuals!

The Cinematography Page,
this site has some good downloads and a thread of some of the discussions. Read the threads before joining the discussion group or it could be a waste of valuable time!

Good downloads for camera people
Manuals from camera companies, technical materials, little forms from people who don’t know how to communicate effectively in any other manner.

Kodak Website, go to the Professional Motion Picture Imaging Website.
The Magazine is called In Camera

American Cinematographer’s

Make your own Camera Boom, Step by Step Instructions!!

MINIATURE CINEMATOGRAPHY: Formula “needed to give
miniature objects in motion the proper apparent mass”

Steadicam Operators Association

ARRIFLEX, Cameras- Note: their Training Videos and Books can be bought separately from the cameras. This is important to know since if you can’t afford the $60,000 for a camera you can buy a manual and 3 videos for about $78, according to them!.

AATON 35mm & 16mm Motion Picture Cameras



Society of Television Lighting Directors


AIDEN MCGUINESS, Links to Lighting & Editing from Irish TV light technician