The Visual Story: Seeing the Structure of Film, TV, and New Media

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Focal Press, 2001 - Performing Arts - 262 pages
3 Reviews
The Visual Story offers students and professionals in cinematography, production design, directing and screenwriting a clear view of the relationship between the story/script structure and the visual structure of a film or video. An understanding of the visual components will serve as the guide in the selection of locations, set dressing, props, wardrobe, lenses, camera positions, lighting, actor staging, and editorial choices.

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.

*Encourages the filmmaker to develop a "visual vocabulary"

*Shows the filmmaker how to structure visuals, communicating moods and emotions with style and variety

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Review: The Visual Story: Seeing the Structure of Film, TV and New Media

User Review  - Gerald - Goodreads

Many professionals in the visual arts seem to know this stuff intuitively, but this is one of the few books on the subject of how the composition of an image affects the viewers' perceptions of the characters and their actions. Read full review

Review: The Visual Story: Seeing the Structure of Film, TV and New Media

User Review  - Sunil - Goodreads

Talks a lot about composition.Very informative Read full review

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About the author (2001)

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

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