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Black and White Photography Field Guide

The essential guide to the art of creating black & white images

By Michael Freeman

Focal Press – 2013 – 192 pages

Photographers everywhere have come to trust Ilex’s Field Guides as the

ultimate in portable photo expertise. Packed with practical knowledge

and all written by specialist professional photographers, these handy

titles have sold hundreds of thousands of copies worldwide. In this

volume, renowned photographer Michael Freeman addresses one of

photography’s most popular- and challenging- areas: black and white.

With advice on lighting, shooting, conversion and post-production, this

is know-how that no photographer can afford to be without.

Focus on Close-Up and Macro Photography


Want to get the best out of your digital

camera? Not quite sure how to capture up-close shots? Want easy to

follow, expert advice on the best ways to creatively capture macro shots

you can be proud of?

This is your ticket to go beyond a snapshot

to create a fine art print that you’ll be so proud of. Macro and

close-up photography involves a unique skill set in terms of exposure,

lighting, and of course, composition in particular. You can take a quick

photo of a sunflower in your back yard that will look mundane and

typical OR you could learn how to take a picture of just a part of it-up

close-and create a work of art. Let this book be your guide!



Book of Sides

Original, One-Page Scenes for Actors and Directors

By Dave Kost

© 2015 – Focal Press

224 pages

About the Book

Looking for fresh, original scenes for your fast-paced acting or directing class? Tired of the same old material everyone recognizes? Want the flexibility to play any character in any scene?

Book of Sides: Original, Short Scenes for Actors and Directors offers scenes that are considerably shorter than those in similar books but still feature the structure of typical scenes with arcs, clear playable objectives, and stakes for both actors. Here you will find scenes that are:

  • One-page in length and specially designed for new, high-intensity exercises that help students develop quickly
  • Printed in an easily readable, film-script format that provides plenty of room for annotations
  • Completely original, allowing you to produce and distribute reinterpretations without worrying about copyright restrictions
  • Universally castable, with roles that can be assigned to actors regardless of gender, appearance, skill level, or race
  • Simple and conducive to performing in the classroom without props, costumes, or sets
  • Perfect for audition workshops and crowded directing or acting classes where everyone wants an opportunity to perform
  • Written in accessible, contemporary language that keeps student actors engaged

Don’t miss out! In Book of Sides, Dave Kost brings two decades of teaching experience to the table to deliver the ideal set of scenes for busy classroom settings, auditions, and general training.

Screenwriting Tips, You Hack 150 Practical Pointers for Becoming a Better Screenwriter


Screenwriting Tips, You Hack

150 Practical Pointers for Becoming a Better Screenwriter

By Xander Bennett

Published September 28th 2011 by Focal Press – 224 pages

Screenwriting Tip #99

Voice-over usually feels like scaffolding. You know-something you left in there when you were constructing the first draft, but really should have torn out after it served its purpose.

Screenwriting Tip #120

Always remember that funny trumps everything. Your script could be written in crayon with your name spelled wrong on the cover, but if it’s genuinely funny, none of that matters.

Screenwriting Tip #156

The easiest way to write kick-ass protagonists is to make them incredibly good at what they do.

Confused at the outline stage? Stuck in the swamp of Act Two? Don’t know who your protagonist is or where she’s going?

You might feel like a hack. But don’t worry-you’re not alone. Even the most experienced writers feel like this at times. Sometimes we just need a few short pointers and reminders to set us on the path again.

Xander Bennett worked as a script reader in the trenches of Hollywood, reading and covering hundreds of mediocre screenplays. After months of reading about heroic Sea World trainers, transgendered circus detectives and crime-fighting chupacabras, he couldn’t take it any more. Xander started a blog called ‘Screenwriting Tips, You Hack’, a place designed to provide short, witty tips on screenwriting for amateur writers all the way up to journeymen scribes.

This book is the evolution of that blog. Dozens of the best scripts (along with many brand-new ones) have been expanded into bite-sized chapters full of funny, insightful, highly usable advice. Let Xander’s pain be your gain as you learn about the differences between film and television structure, how to force yourself to write when you really don’t want to, and why you probably shouldn’t base your first spec script around an alien invasion.

The Rules of Photography and When to Break Them


The Rules of Photography and When to Break Them

By Haje Jan Kamps

© 2013 – Focal Press

176 pages


One of the most popular cameras on the market is called the “Digital Rebel,” yet many photographers use it and its brethren following tired old rules from tired old photographers. This book aims to show new and intermediate photographers that they can move beyond the dogma and shoot more creatively. If you’re just starting out with a camera, or are starting to think about switching away from “auto,” this is the perfect book for you. Not only will you find within all the classical “rules”-useful basic knowledge that can sharpen anyone’s eye for great photography-but you’ll simultaneously be shown how you can push the boundaries that many teachers erroneously set, filling your memory card with exciting, different pictures every time. This book brings the aspirational photography seen by so many in books or on Flickr within reach of everyone.



Changing Direction: A Practical Approach to Directing Actors in Film and Theatre

Foreword by Ang Lee

By Lenore DeKoven

Foreword by Ang Lee

© 2006 – Focal Press

216 pages

The approach presented in this book, honed after years of on-set experience and from teaching at UCLA, NYU, and Columbia, and endorsed by many in the industry, including director Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and producer/actor Edward Asner, aims to provide a helpful reference and resource for directors and actors alike. It combines underlying theory with dozens of exercises designed to reveal the actor’s craft. There is material on constructing the throughline, analyzing the script, character needs; the casting and rehearsal processes, film vs. theater procedures as well as the actor and the camera. 

Distilling difficult concepts and a complex task to their simplest form, the author explains how to accurately capture and portray human behavior. The author’s discussion of creative problems she has encountered or anticipated after years of experience, and her suggested solutions and exercises, are immediately useful. Additionally, hear what the actors have to say in excerpts from interviews with acclaimed actors such as Meryl Streep, Denzel Washington, Glenn Close, Robert Redford, Christopher Walken, Julianne Moore, and Michael Douglas (to name a few) who discuss their work with directors, what inspires them, and what they really want from the director.

Film Directing – Shot by Shot


Film Directing Shot by Shot

Visualizing from Concept to Screen

By Steve Katz

Focal Press – 1991 – 366 pages