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This Is How You Make a Movie

Tim Grierson


Learn film-making techniques through the movies you know and love with This Is How You Make a Movie!

Using key scenes from some of the best-loved movies of all time, Tim Grierson explores everything from cinematography to the secrets of talking to camera. Deep focus is explored through Citizen Kane, forced perspective through Elf, and slow motion through Reservoir Dogs. Examples from blockbusters (Wonder Woman) to Oscar-winners (Rocky), silent-era gems (Intolerance) to recent art-house treasures (American Honey), give readers a glimpse of cinema’s breadth and potential.

A fascinating read for film buffs who want to understand what goes on behind the camera, and above all an essential read for students and beginners in the industry.

With sections on acting, directing, lighting and camera, writing and editing, this book includes all the technical help you need to get your film career off the ground.

Including these directors, and more:

Steven Spielberg

Martin Scorsese

Mike Leigh

Sofia Coppola

Spike Lee

Barry Jenkins

Francis Ford Coppola

Steve McQueen

Tim Miller

Stanley Kubrick

Alfred Hitchcock

Barry Jenkins

Charlie Chaplin

Roman Polanski

Andrea Arnold

Tim Burton

Kenneth Branagh

Including these films, and more:


If Beale Street Could Talk

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off


The Godfather

We Need to Talk About Kevin

Star Wars

Reservoir Dogs

The Shining




Casino Royale


Free Solo

King Kong

Gone with the Wind

Reservoir Dogs


Apocalypse Now


Tim Grierson is the senior U.S. film critic for Screen International and a contributing editor at MEL. He frequently appears in Rolling Stone and Vulture and is the vice president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. He is the author of seven books, including FilmCraft: Screenwriting and Martin Scorsese in Ten Scenes.

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