One of my favorite phrases is “Cinematic Storytelling,” and imagine my delight when earlier this year Jennifer Van Sijll asked me if I’d read a new book she had just finished writing that would be published later this summer (now, actually) with the title “Cinematic Storytelling.” So what’s this new book about?
Van Sijll has put together in this nify volume 100 of the most used cinematic stortelling conventions with lots of references to moves and excerpts from scripts. She challenges the notion of writing as limited to the Aristotelian staples of character, structure, and plot. This book builds upon classic approaches to screenwriting adding the language of the image and the process of visualization that traditionaly has been excluded from most writing classes, but writing with an awareness of the visualizaton process is becoming an essential components of our evolving language of cinema, think of it as a new form of literacy, as important as reading and writing with words.
We often start with dialogue, but contemporary scripts are becoming more sophisticated, going beyond dialog and adding cinematic devices to develop characters, convey action, and move the plot along. This book provides the essential visualization companion to your favorite screenwriting book. You’ll find this to be a good reference of cinematic devices. The language of light, sound, and motion breath life into a screenplay and this book is a good start.
A Cinematic Storytelling Bibliography is available.