MoralPremise00Summer break is right around the corner and for many of us it's the time to catch up on all the tasks we might have been too busy to accomplish during the school year. Reading is one pleasure that most of us cherish as a way to entertain ourselves and stimulate our ideas for next year's teaching.


School Video News, in cooperation with Michael Wiese Productions is pleased to provide the following recommendations (not assignments!) for your summer leisure time. So take a moment to review the list, pick a title or two, fill up the lemonade pitcher, take a break from the yard chores and enjoy!

Please note: There will NOT be a quiz on returning to school.

The Writers Journey - 3rd edition (more info)

by Christopher VoglerWrtersJrney3Ed_website_medium

See why this book has become an international best seller and a true classic. The Writer's Journey explores the powerful relationship between mythology and storytelling in a clear, concise style that's made it required reading for movie executives, screenwriters, playwrights, scholars, and fans of pop culture all over the world.

Both fiction and nonfiction writers will discover a set of useful myth-inspired storytelling paradigms (i.e., "The Hero's Journey") and step-by-step guidelines to plot and character development.

Based on the work of Joseph Campbell, The Writer's Journey is a must for all writers interested in further developing their craft.

The updated and revised third edition provides new insights and observations from Vogler's ongoing work on mythology's influence on stories, movies, and man himself.

Master Shots: 100 Advanced Camera Techniques to Get an Expensive Look on Your Low-Budget Movie (more info)

by Christopher Kenworthy

MastershotsT_largeMaster Shots gives you everything you need to execute complex, original shots on any movie budget. It will teach you a way of seeing, so you'll be able to create knock-out shots, even when you're on the set and under pressure.

Most low-budget movies look low-budget, because the director is forced to compromise. By using powerful master shots and well-executed moves, you can develop a strong style and stand out from the crowd. Use the secrets of the master directors to give your film the look and feel of a multi-million-dollar movie. The set-ups, moves and methods of the greats are there for the taking.

Setting Up Your Scenes (more info)

by Richard D. PeppermanSettngUpYourScene_website_large

Every great filmmaker has role models and films which inspired him or her to greater and greater heights. Here, for the first time, is an awe-inspiring guide that takes you into the inner workings of classic scenes, revealing the aspects that make them great and the reasons they have served as inspirations.

An invaluable resource for the screenwriter, cinematographer, actor, director and editor, Pepperman's book uses examples from six decades of international films to illustrate what happens when story, character, dialogue, text, subtext and set-ups come together to create cinematic magic.

Use this book to emulate the masters and watch your films rise to new heights.

Making It Big In Shorts (more info)

by Kim Adelman

MakingItBigGrab a camera, make a short film. Show it at Sundance; show it on YouTube. There's no limit to what you can achieve by starting small and dreaming big.

In easy-to-follow steps, short-film guru, Kim Adelman, shows you how to achieve your dreams by making that killer short film. Bringing together the artistic and business sides of filmmaking, this book gives filmmakers the skills to develop unique shorts that are creatively satisfying and can launch careers.

This Second Edition of the best-selling The Ultimate Filmmaker's Guide to Short Films addresses new avenues for short filmmakers, including 48-hour filmmaking challenges, and new media opportunities such as YouTube, iTunes, and the iPhone.

The Sound Effects Bible: How to Create and Record Hollywood Style Sound Effects
(more info)

by Ric ViersSound_Effects_BibleT_large

According to George Lucas, "Sound is half the experience." The Sound Effects Bible is the complete guide to recording, editing, and designing your own sound effects. If it snaps, crackles, pops, crashes, booms or bangs, it can be found somewhere in this first ever book on the black art of Foley and sound effects. Imagine how your movies will come to life by using tried-and-true sound techniques that give films like Lords of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean and There Will Be Blood deeper dimensions in storytelling.

This definitive book covers microphone selection, field recorders, the ABCs of digital audio, understanding digital audio workstations, building your own Foley stage, designing your own editing studio, sound design, and much more.

The Moral Premise (more info)

by Stan D. Williams, Ph. D.

MoralPremise_website_largeThis book explains how the Moral Premise, a statement of truth about the protagonist's psychological predicament, is a fundamental part of every successful movie's structure. It is also a book about how you, the filmmaker, can appropriate the Moral Premise to create great motion pictures that resonate with large audiences.

You will learn:

  • The history and theory of the Moral Premise
  • Its components and structure
  • Its use in creating remarkable character arcs, act breaks, turning points and dramatic beats
  • A step-by-step method for embedding a true Moral Premise into a three-act screenplay
  • Understand and embrace one of the most fundamental structural aspects of storytelling, the basis for the most popular movies of all time. Use what has proven to be successful - in the process - entertain, delight, challenge and uplift this generation and the ones to come.

The author, Stan Williams, is an internationally award-winning filmmaker, writer, and instructor. During the past 30 years, he has produced, written, directed, shot, or edited over 400 projects.

MWLogoMWP (Michael Wiese Productions) is the world's leading publisher of books on screenwriting and filmmaking. To see more titles from Michael Wiese Productions, please visit their website at