Master Shots Vol. 3 by Christopher Kenworthy (book review)

One of the books I was interested in having a look at from Michael Wiese Productions was this one, ‘Master Shots Vol. 3’. I did wonder when it arrived whether I should have seen the earlier two volumes first, but each book is very much a standalone, dealing with how to get the best use of a scene in the film camera. This volume points out how to get the most out of a scene. Christopher Kenworthy obviously targets the film director but the techniques shown can also be useful for the comicbook artist and even has a knock-on effect for the prose writer because it helps visualise the scene you want to describe.


The biggest surprise was seeing so many SF sourced films being used, including ‘Blade Runner’, ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ and ‘Star Wars’, although there are others like ‘War Horse’ and ‘Leon: The Professional’ as well. All of these are used to highlight the 100 examples that Kenworthy uses to make various points varying from actor or camera movement within a scene and to make the action interesting.

I found it very much an eye-opener and have already begun to wonder how it will affect my film watching for this kind of detail, especially as the pros themselves have these books for reference in their own collections.

It would have been interesting to see examples of where it doesn’t work as well as a contrast but then I’ve frequently said that of such books because you become mindful of what mistakes not to make.

In some respects, I found this book a fast read, however it isn’t really designed to bog you down with words because what you really want from this book is how to set up your scenes and even get the best performance from the cast involved. I suspect if you found this book useful, you’ll also pick up the earlier two volumes as well.

GF Willmetts

October 2013

(pub: Michael Wiese Productions. 222 page illustrated horizontal softcover. Price: $20.50 (US), £16.64 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-61593-154-5)

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