This new edition covers all the spectacular technical advances in filmmaking of the past ten years, particularly those involving special effects and the electronic revolution. Many of the new and revised entries on such topics as computer animation, virtual reality, Industrial Light and Magic, nonlinear editing, and HDTV are based on the author's on-site inspections of the latest technological tools of the trade and questioning of experts in the field. Another recent development in film is, as Konigsberg remarks, "how much the world of business and the marketplace influence virtually everything in the industry." With style, facts, and figures, he has added up-to-date information on all the corporate players of the movie world and produced small essays on such key concepts as distribution, exhibition, home video, cable television, test booking, and box office. Specific films are cited to illustrate points made throughout the text. This is a dictionary for film students, film buffs, and anyone in the industry, particularly those who actually make the movies. The entries on the practical aspects of filmmaking (camera angles, lighting, film stock, sound, etc.) are myriad - the most plentiful in the book - and presented in clear, highly readable prose. Entries on the art of film as well as the profiles of American and European studios are mini-essays on the history of moviemaking. No other dictionary of film is as inclusive and comprehensive as this. Its encyclopedic scope and down-to-earth accuracy mark it as a true classic.
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Ira Konigsberg is professor of film and English at the University of Michigan. He lives in Ann Arbor.From Booklist:
Since the publication of the first edition in 1987, The Complete Film Dictionary has been an indispensable guide to the art, technology, and industry of filmmaking. Ira Konigsberg, a professor of film at the University of Michigan, has now presented us with a newly revised and updated second edition, taking into account the advances in movie technology in the intervening years.
The author notes that the reader will find this work to be a resource of practical terminology, historical developments, film theory, and criticism. Perhaps because of the proliferation of developments from 1987 to 1997, Konigsberg has added 500 new entries to the original 3,500 of the first edition. Among the new entries are computer animation, Industrial Light and Magic, and HDTV. The majority of the remaining entries have been updated.
Arranged alphabetically, the entries vary in length from short paragraphs to full essays. The book is fully cross-referenced and illustrated, though the habit of giving multiple headings (low-angle shot, low shot) to an entry can be confusing. The entries are highly informative, drawing on examples from the movies themselves. A detailed essay on special effects, for example, tracks their development from the model work of The Lost World (1925) through the computer-animated dinosaurs of Jurassic Park (1993).
This is an essential reference resource for most libraries, and those that currently have the first edition will definitely need this update. It is also wonderful reading for the film buff interested in discovering the real role of a best boy grip (assistant to the grip, or stagehand) or a gaffer (head electrician).
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