The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media

The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media

Paperback Focal Press

By (author) Bruce A. Block

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  • Publisher: Focal Press
  • Format: Paperback | 312 pages
  • Dimensions: 184mm x 258mm x 20mm | 816g
  • Publication date: 1 November 2007
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0240807790
  • ISBN 13: 9780240807799
  • Edition: 2, Revised
  • Edition statement: 2nd Revised edition
  • Illustrations note: Approx. 570 illustrations (200 in full color)
  • Sales rank: 42,833

Product description

If you can't make it to one of Bruce Block's legendary visual storytelling seminars, then you need his book! Now in full color for the first time, this best-seller offers a clear view of the relationship between the story/script structure and the visual structure of a film, video, animated piece, or video game. You'll learn how to structure your visuals as carefully as a writer structures a story or a composer structures music. Understanding visual structure allows you to communicate moods and emotions, and most importantly, reveals the critical relationship between story structure and visual structure. The Visual Story offers a clear view of the relationship between the story/script structure and the visual structure of a film, video, or multimedia work. An understanding of the visual components will serve as the guide to strengthening the overall story. The Visual Story divides what is seen on screen into tangible sections: contrast and affinity, space, line and shape, tone, color, movement, and rhythm. The vocabulary as well as the insight is provided to purposefully control the given components to create the ultimate visual story. For example: know that a saturated yellow will always attract a viewer's eye first; decide to avoid abrupt editing by mastering continuum of movement; and benefit from the suggested list of films to study rhythmic control. The Visual Story shatters the wall between theory and practice, bringing these two aspects of the craft together in an essential connection for all those creating visual stories. Bruce Block has the production credentials to write this definitive guide. His expertise is in demand, and he gives seminars at the American Film Institute, PIXAR Studios, Walt Disney Feature and Television Animation, Dreamworks Animation, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, Industrial Light & Magic and a variety of film schools in Europe. The concepts in this book will benefit writers, directors, photographers, production designers, art directors, and editors who are always confronted by the same visual problems that have faced every picture maker in the past, present, and future.

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Author information

Bruce Block has worked in a creative capacity on dozens of feature films, television shows commercials and animated films. His feature film producing credits include Something's Gotta Give, What Women Want, America's Sweethearts, The Parent Trap, and Father of the Bride I & II. He served as creative consultant on Spanglish, As Good As It Gets, Stuart Little and many other feature films and television productions. He is an adjunct Professor at the USC School of Cinema & Television and teaches classes in visual structure at the American Film Institute, PIXAR Studios, Walt Disney Feature and Television Animation, Dreamworks Animation, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, Industrial Light & Magic and a variety of film schools in Europe. Mr. Block also consults with video game designers and software companies creating new interactive media. He can be reached at www.bruceblock.com.

Review quote

"Bruce Block has a unique knowledge and understanding of the visual structure of film. The Visual Story is the only book of its kind. it will teach you to become a better storyteller through the use of visuals." - Nancy Meyers, Director of "Something's Gotta Give" and "The Holiday" "Bruce Block masterfully deconstructs visual storytelling. Exposure to this material is essential for all students of cinema. This book will make you a better filmmaker." --American Film Institute "Bruce Block's work gives the visual storyteller a framework for making story-driven decisions, not just visual choices. It gives the filmmaker tools to create harmony and counterpoint between the story structure and its visual realization on the screen." --Randy Nelson, Dean of Pixar University, Pixar Animation Studios "No matter what kind of visual storyteller you are, whether a filmmaker, photographer, or graphic designer, Bruce Block explains how visual narrative works in a way that is clear and accessible." --David Pagani, Creative Director-On Air, DIRECTV "Bruce Block is legendary in the field of broadcast design. His profound insight into the art of visual storytelling will forever change the way you work." --Dan Pappalardo, Executive Creative Director/Partner, Troika Design Group "I spend much of my time in pre-production quoting Bruce Block to my cinematographers, production designers, costume designers, and editors. In all my years in the business I've never found a clearer more useful articulation of film grammar." --Jay Roach, director of Austin Powers, Meet the Parents, and Meet the Fockers "You hold in your hand a key to understanding the complex and ever changing world of modern cinema." --Charles Shyver, director of Alfie, Father of the Bride I & II, and Baby Boom "Bruce Block's in-depth understanding of Visual Structure is inspirational to those working in animation. This reference source is invaluable and essential for any artist." --Walt Disney Television Animation "I think every cinematographer-in-training should read this book. It will teach them how important collaboration with others in the crew is by having an overall concept of all that goes into the creation of the Visual Story." - Rexford Metz, ASC "His book is a sort of Elements of Style for filmmakers, and any screenwriter, director or cinematographer with a point of view will find a great deal of creative inspiration in The Visual Story's guide to the fundamentals of the craft...The Visual Story makes the very convincing argument that all of these media require precise, motivated visual designs in order to be effective - and that having a point to make or a story to tell is only half the battle." - American Cinematographer "In a great story - and in a great speech - there is ebb and flow, there is silence and there may be thunder... In a wonderful book about the power of the visual in storytelling by Bruce Block (The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV, and Digital Media), the author uses these three basics of story - Exposition, Climax, Resolution - to show the link between visual structure and story structure." -Garr Reynolds, Presentation Zen (http://www.presentationzen.com/)

Table of contents

The Visual Components; Contrast & Affinity; Space Part One; Space Part Two; Line & Shape; Tone; Color; Movement; Rhythm; Story & Visual Structure; Practice, Not Theory; Appendix; Bibliography;