Bibliography and References – Best Filmmaking Books

What follows below is a partial list of filmmaking books I have read throughout the years. Most of them were influential in helping me decide what kind of content I should include here on the Elements of Cinema. This list is by no means complete; more books will be added as I continue researching.

Important: although all of these books were part of my formation, please be advised they vary tremendously in terms of depth and detail. For instance, the book The Bare Bones Camera Course for Film and Video is an amazing read for someone who has never read a cinematography book and doesn’t know simple things like the aperture or shot sizes. In other words, this specific book is more on the basic side. Conversely, The Filmmaker’s Handbook has so much detail and information that reading the whole thing is almost impossible. It is a dense read. Before buying a book, please read the reviews carefully so you can get a grasp what kind of book it is, as well as its target audience.

The books listed here link to Amazon pages. If you make a purchase through Amazon, the Elements of Cinema may earn a small commission AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU. It is a great way to support the site and help us help you with more content and lessons. 🙂 Thank you!

Should you want to go more in-depth on a certain topic, you can send me an email or buy some of these exceptional titles for an amazing read:






Sound Design


* Books that appear in more than one category.


It is worth reminding you that I also went to film school, and some of the observations or insights you will find in this blog sprouted up from class lectures and discussions with classmates, not always from books.  Also, of course, a lot of the knowledge comes from the Elements of Cinema Podcast where I interview pros from the industry and pick their brains.

The list above is provided for your reference in case you want to dig deeper on a certain subject. I urge you not to study filmmaking in a vacuum, alone. Whether you want to be the writer who sits behind a desk churning pages day in and day out, or the director who coordinates several departments and personnel, it is paramount that you understand how the business and the art co-exist. Use the reading material as a spring board for your “adventures” in filmmaking, and always, whenever possible, refer to more than one source.

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