The Visual Story, Second Edition: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media
If you can't make it to one of Bruce Block's legendary visual storytelling seminars, then you need his book! Now in full color for the first time, this best-seller offers a clear view of the relationship between the story/script structure and the visual structure of a film, video, animated piece, or video game. You'll learn how to structure your visuals as carefully as a writer structures a story or a composer structures music. Understanding visual structure allows you to communicate moods and emotions, and most importantly, reveals the critical relationship between story structure and visual structure.
The Visual Story offers a clear view of the relationship between the story/script structure and the visual structure of a film, video, or multimedia work. An understanding of the visual components will serve as the guide to strengthening the overall story.
The Visual Story divides what is seen on screen into tangible sections: contrast and affinity, space, line and shape, tone, color, movement, and rhythm. The vocabulary as well as the insight is provided to purposefully control the given components to create the ultimate visual story. For example: know that a saturated yellow will always attract a viewer's eye first; decide to avoid abrupt editing by mastering continuum of movement; and benefit from the suggested list of films to study rhythmic control. The Visual Story shatters the wall between theory and practice, bringing these two aspects of the craft together in an essential connection for all those creating visual stories.
Bruce Block has the production credentials to write this definitive guide. His expertise is in demand, and he gives seminars at the American Film Institute, PIXAR Studios, Walt Disney Feature and Television Animation, Dreamworks Animation, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, Industrial Light & Magic and a variety of film schools in Europe.
The concepts in this book will benefit writers, directors, photographers, production designers, art directors, and editors who are always confronted by the same visual problems that have faced every picture maker in the past, present, and future.
A Unique, Must-Have Book for Filmmakers
By Nancy Hendrickson "Nancy Hendrickson" - February 5, 2008
I teach a class called "Story" at Los Angeles Film School and this book is on my Recommend Reading List for all students but I especially tout it to cinematography, production design and directing majors. There are many books that talk about the basics (shot size, 180 degree rule, etc.) but if you want to go beyond that to find out what kinds of choices the great filmmakers make and why, this is the book with the answers.
One thing young filmmakers and students often fail to understand about the auteurs and master directors is that they base their shots on what serves the story, not the fact that the shot "looks cool." I love the fact that author Bruce Block talks so much about the need for the visuals to follow and reflect the ups and downs of the underlying story structure. I also love the fact that that he takes film theory and shows the filmmaker how to apply it. Ordinarily, film theory and film practice are two separate worlds.
It has changed the way I handle preproduction for life!
By N. Schale "Hound" - April 1, 2009
The Visual Story by Bruce Block reviewed by The Monkey Butler Ninja [..] The subjects covered in this book are CRITICAL to all artist, Photographers, Painters, Game Designers, and Videographers. We must have a good grasp of fundamental principles concerning visual structure.
The Visual Story by Bruce Block reads a lot like a textbook. Since I prefer a book to come across as if hearing some guru on the subject teach me, this is a con. That being said, it is an excellent textbook. In the early chapters it sets stages for fundamentals like Contrast/Affinity and Space for example. Then, throughout the book it constantly refers to these pillars of visual design giving real world examples.
Which brings me to my next point, the examples this book gives are superb. Bruce Block will cover a subject, like TONE, for an entire chapter and at the end he will bring the lesson full circle by giving you `films to watch.' But wait! The films that Bruce recommends vary... read more
Terrific Tool - for the visual and language learner!
By Farrin Abbott "--CopyCatFilms" - January 28, 2008
I am a visual person. I'm currently taking a film class and had to purchase The Visual Story for class. Let me first say that I am an aspiring filmmaker. I have an incredible library of handpicked books catering to any and all aspects of the filmmaking experience and this is by FAR among the very top of my selections! It is really terrific at not only explaining concepts very concisely, but it also is full of real visual examples. Terrific book. Buy it! You'll be glad you did.
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