Shoot Like Scorsese by Christopher Kenworthy (book review).

‘Shoot Like Scorsese’ is another in the Michael Wiese Productions books looking at how film directors convey certain scenes in their films. Writer Christopher Kenworthy does this over 10 chapters for 7 Martin Scorsese films and urges you to watch them as well as read here. As time is short for review, I’ve only seen three of them myself but am good with visuals. Don’t just treat this as a film book for learning directors. Any of you into art and especially comicstrip drawing can also benefit from looking at such books to get a grasp of film directing technique.

Objectively, looking at Scorsese’s technique here, it quickly becomes apparent that he likes using the widescreen to achieve what he needs to pull you into the scene. He’s also not afraid to then go into close-ups, often using the same techniques as a TV director might use. I have to admit that I did find that odd. Whether a director works for TV or cinema, you’re bound to use similar techniques to achieve the picture you want to show.

Something Kenworthy points out is the importance of having depth with any scene you are filming so it is more three-dimensional. That way, you’re literally passing through tiers as you get to the action point. The fact that it works with a room full of extras or just the main cast doesn’t make any difference. Kenworthy doesn’t gush but points out that although this is a limited way of filming, Scorsese makes it work for him. It does make me wonder if its good for all directors or just to recognise its limitations might not necessarily be for you.

GF Willmetts

July 2018

(pub: Michael Wiese Productions, 2016. 132 page small enlarged paperback. Price: $15.95 (US), £10.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-61593-232-1)

check out website: www.mwp.com

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