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In this groundbreaking book Norman Hollyn outlines his 'Lean Forward Moment Method' of storytelling that applies to all aspects of the film-making process and media production. Whether you are an editor, producer, director, cinematographer or visual effects pro, this book will provide the essential techniques you need to create engaging content that emotionally connects with your audience. The core storytelling techniques in this book, apply equally to all levels and types of film and media projects: feature ...
In this groundbreaking book Norman Hollyn outlines his 'Lean Forward Moment Method' of storytelling that applies to all aspects of the film-making process and media production. Whether you are an editor, producer, director, cinematographer or visual effects pro, this book will provide the essential techniques you need to create engaging content that emotionally connects with your audience. The core storytelling techniques in this book, apply equally to all levels and types of film and media projects: feature films, television documentaries, fiction, web-based video games, commercials, event films and much more. As an Associate Professor at the School of Cinematic Arts at USC and having worked on movie projects with such Hollywood greats at Alan J Pakula, Sidney Lumet and Francis Ford Coppola, Norman Hollyn is uniquely qualified to provide you with the conceptual and practical tools to tell your story effectively. After the initial formative chapters, Norman examines the filmmaking process in its three main areas - preproduction, production and postproduction. Within each area he describes how the Lean Forward method can help with every step of the creative process (setup, scene description, the script, production design, direction, cinematography, editing, opticals and special effects, music and sound). He then brings together the concepts he discusses by providing real world examples from a drama, an action film, a documentary and a commercial.
"Norman Hollyn uses the ancient magic of alchemy to reveal the art of making a great film. Writing an outstanding primer on filmmaking, he provides an historical perspective from several iconic movies, revealing the innermost secrets of successful filmmakers. If you want to construct a film, you need this book!" - MARTIN COHEN, President of Post Production, Paramount Pictures.
"Norman Hollyn's The Lean Forward Moment speaks volumes about the art and craft of filmmaking. His elegant explanations of editorial choices and creative decisions tell the full story. It is a serious work and it will be a resource for every emerging filmmaker" - IAN CALDERON, Director of Digital Initiatives, Sundance Institute.
"Only a film editor, with a career of experience in the cockpit of the cutting room, could so clearly and completely explain how some storytelling efforts succeed and others fail. Fortunately, Norman Hollyn is such an editor, and he has given us the gift of explanation in the richly illustrated The Lean Forward Moment." - BILL KINDER, Editorial and Post Production Director.
Posted May 12, 2011
Ever since Norman Hollyn's latest book "The Lean Forward Moment" came out I'd been waiting anxiously to read it. I finally got my hands on it and it was a page-turner.
The first thing that struck me about the book was the subtitle.... "Create Compelling Stories.." The essential skills of what makes a good story probably haven't changed much since the time when Shamans told stories around the fire. But it's not an easy thing to do. The best filmmakers/storytellers seem to know how to make use of essential storytelling techniques in their process. The most important one seems to be effective ways to bring about key points of change. They may not call it The Lean Forward Moment but it's the same thing and Mr. Hollyn has very concisely made these concepts understandable and accessible to anyone interested in telling good stories. This could very well be the focus of a semester long class in film school all for the price of a book.
Filmmaking is a collaborative art and Mr. Hollyn also pays a lot of attention to this important fact in this book through repeated examples of what he calls 'The Lean Forward Moment'. He describes this as a moment in the telling of a story in which change happens in a way that makes us 'lean forward' in our minds and in our gut and pay attention.
Mr. Hollyn describes in specific terms the importance of the Lean Forward Moment and how it is achieved in thorough preparation and the use of what he calls loglines and scene analysis. Another important concept we're introduced to is the Rule of Threes. That the impact of a shot, scene or sequence is directly affected by the ones before and after it.
He uses concrete examples from various films to illustrate the ways in which the lean forward moment takes place and because this is a book that covers all of filmmaking, he has included one chapter on each of the key crafts of the filmmaking process. In addition, the book provides time references for the scenes on DVD for easy access to viewing the scene. This is essentially a workshop for the process.
By the end of the book these concepts are made clear through repeated visits to the loglines and scene analysis of each film to better illustrate how those moments of change are achieved in each of the film crafts.
There are also little tidbits of information about the various aspects of filmmaking as they pertain to achieving the Lean Forward Moment that veteran filmmakers and beginners alike can use to great affect.
I like that there is no sign of any software, hardware or brand names in sight. And this general theme carries throughout the book. Mr. Hollyn doesn't delve into the 'how to' aspect of many books in the genre. He provides a thoughtful and knowledgeable insight into the art of storytelling through film. I won't just read this book once. It will be a reference and practice manual for the development of my craft as a storyteller. If you are a serious filmmaker, or aspire to be, you should have this one on your shelf.