Best Production Design Books for Film and Television

You can’t lose when you’re armed with the best production design books for film and television. If you’re interested in production design, set design, graphic design, set decoration, props, or filmmaking in general, these books will help you understand production design and filmmaking a little better.

Click on the various tabs: Production DesignSet Design, Set Decoration, Film, Designer & Director, Art, Graphic Design, Prop, Film Production, and Related Crafts to maneuver through the multiple glossary lists.

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Production Design Books


The Art Direction Handbook For Film & Television (Second Edition)

By: Michael Rizzo
Paperback: 544 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0415842792

Whether you’d like to be an art director or already are one, this book contains valuable solutions that will help you get ahead. This comprehensive manual details the set-up of the art department and the day-to-day job duties: scouting for locations, research, executing the design concept, constructing scenery, and surviving production.

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Production Design For Screen: Visual Storytelling in Film and Television

By: Jane Barnwell
Paperback: 224 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1472580672

Jane Barnwell offers a new methodology for evaluating the designer’s work on screen through five categories of analysis: space, interiors and exteriors, light, colour and set decorating. All of which combine to create the visual concept evident in the final screen image and together provide a model for the analysis of production design. Seven case studies, developed from exclusive interviews with world-renowned designers, reveal the concepts behind some of the most engaging imagery on screen and establish a dialogue around the shared language of visual storytelling.

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The Filmmaker’s Guide To Production Design

By: Vincent LoBrutto
Paperback: 224 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1581152241

Step by step, aspiring filmmakers will discover sound instruction on the tools of the trade, and established filmmakers will enjoy a new outlook on production design. They will learn, for example, the craft behind movie magic–such as how to create a design metaphor, choose a color scheme, use space, and work within all genres of film, from well-funded studio projects to “guerilla filmmaking”.

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What An Art Director Does: An Introduction To Motion Picture Production Design

By: Ward Preston
Paperback: 190 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1879505186

What an Art Director Does is a comprehensive introduction to film and television art direction and production design. Starting with a brief history of the field, Mr. Preston’s lively, well-written text leads the reader through the ins and outs of all the responsibilities and duties that fall on the art director’s shoulders. A wealth of information on preparing script breakdowns, research, design and presentation, scouting and working on locations, set design and construction, working as part of a team, and much more is coupled with examples drawn from the author’s own experiences.

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Sets in Motion: Art Direction and Film Narrative

By Charles Affron and Mirella Jona Affron
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0813521619

This book by Charles Affron and Mirella Jona Affron is one of the few books providing thorough production design theory at an academic level. It is an analysis on the history of production design in cinema and helps the reader suss out the various ways in which sets function in storytelling to visually drive the film narrative.

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If It’s Purple, Someone’s Gonna Die: The Power of Color in Visual Storytelling

If It's Purple Someone's Gonna DieBy Patti Bellantoni
Paperback: 276 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0240806884

Guided by her twenty-five years of research on the effects of color on behavior, Bellantoni has grouped more than 60 films under the spheres of influence of six major colors, each of which triggers very specific emotional states. For example, the author explains that films with a dominant red influence have themes and characters that are powerful, lusty, defiant, anxious, angry, or romantic and discusses specific films as examples. She explores each film, describing how, why, and where a color influences emotions, both in the characters on screen and in the audience. Each color section begins with an illustrated Home Page that includes examples, anecdotes, and tips for using or avoiding that particular color.

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The Art of Illusion

By Terry Ackland-Snow and Wendy Laybourn
Paperback: 192 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1785003431

The fast-moving pace of technology makes it hard to keep abreast of current practices in production design. However, the ethos and skills behind filmmaking remain the same. Here, art director Terry Ackland-Snow shares his passion and knowledge of traditional film design from more than 50 years of industry experience, using real-life case studies from such iconic films as BatmanLabyrinth, the James Bond franchise, and The Deep. With more than 100 original sketches, as well as rare behind-the-scenes photographs, storyboards and artwork, this book demonstrates the skills and techniques of film design with stunning intricacy.

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The Architecture of Image: Existential Space in Cinema

By Juhani Pallasmaa
Paperback: 184 pages
ISBN-13: 978-9516826281

This book explores the shared experiential ground of cinema, art, and architecture. Pallasmaa carefully examines how the classic directors Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Michelangelo Antonioni, and Andrei Tarkovsky used architectural imagery to create emotional states in their movies. He also explores the startling similarities between the landscapes of painting and those of movies.

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Designing for Screen: Production Design and Art Direction Explained

By Georgina Shorter
Paperback: 176 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1847973849

Design is at the essence of storytelling, but how does a production find its style and identity? This book explains how to approach design, whether for film, television, video promo, or commercial making, and introduces the techniques needed to make ideas happen. Through theory and practical exercises, it looks at design in a different way and shows how the simplest decisions can become powerful ideas on screen.

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Designs on Film: A Century of Hollywood Art Direction

By Cathy Whitlock
Hardcover: 384 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0060881221

With hundreds of rare photographs, set sketches, and original renderings showcasing films of every era and genre—many shown here for the very first time—author Cathy Whitlock offers movie fans a backstage pass to 100 years of Hollywood’s most memorable film sets. In the vein of Deborah Landis’s Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design, Whitlock’s Designs on Film delivers a fascinating tour through Hollywood’s back lots, including the stories of how numerous movies came to their final on-screen looks—whether by collaboration, conflict, or divine chance.

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FilmCraft: Production Design

By Fionnuala Halligan
Paperback: 192 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1908150615

Production Design, the fifth title in the FilmCraft series, addresses one of the most important roles in cinema. Production designers do nothing short of creating whole new worlds, turning the bare bones of the script into a physical 3D environment that can be filmed.  This book introduces that art in the words of the people best-equip to explain it, as well as looking at the legacies of the great innovators of the past.

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The Art of the Hollywood Backdrop

By Richard M. Isackes and Karen L. Maness
Hardcover: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1941393086

In almost every feature film of Hollywood’s golden age, from The Wizard of Oz to North by Northwest to Cleopatra to The Sound of Music, painted backings have convinced moviegoers that what they are seeing—whether the fantastic roads of Oz, the presidents of Mount Rushmore, or ancient Egyptian kingdoms—is absolutely real. These backings are at once intended to transport the audience and yet remain unseen for what they really are. The Art of the Hollywood Backdrop reveals the hidden world and creators of these masterpieces.

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Pretty Pictures: Production Design and the History Film

By C. S. Tashiro
Paperback: 252 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0292781504

Tashiro looks at cinematic production design from a broadly interdisciplinary perspective, encompassing art and architecture theory, audience reception, narrative theory, and phenomenology, to arrive at a more encompassing definition of the process. He builds his argument around studies of several prominent history films, since design is central to historical representation, and explores the most pertinent issues raised by the topic, particularly commodity consumption. In his conclusion, he also offers possible solutions to some of the social problems raised by design.

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By Design: Interviews with Film Production Designers

By Vincent LoBrutto
Paperback: 296 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0275940317

In By Design, twenty prominent feature film production designers talk about their careers, their relationships with Hollywood directors, and how they formulated and executed the technical and aesthetic designs of their film projects. The interviews explore production design techniques and the total process of establishing the visual look of a feature film, including the design and creation of sets, finding locations, establishing the color scheme or palette of a film, and supervising the costumes, hairstyles, and makeup. The designers discuss in detail their work on many highly acclaimed and seminal works in the field, including North by NorthwestChinatownBarry LyndonRedsAmadeusBrazil, Blade Runner, and The Last Emperor.

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Production Design: Architects of the Screen

By Jane Barnwell
Paperback: 144 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1903364550

Production Design: Architects of the Screen explores the role of the production designer through a historical overview that maps out landmark film and television designs. From the familiar environs of the soap opera to the elaborate and disorientating Velvet Goldmine and the hyper-realism of Trainspotting, production design is integral to understanding moving-image text, with the emergence of themes, motifs and colors offering clues to unravel plot, character and underlying concepts. In considering the importance of physical space in the creation of a filmed environment, the book investigates questions of authenticity in detail, props, colors and materials.

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Production Design and Art Direction (Screencraft Series)

By Peter Ettedgui
Paperback: 224 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0240804002

In Production Design and Art Direction sixteen of the world’s greatest production designers discuss their craft, revealing the creative process which led to the look of the most memorable films of our time. Contributors include Dean Tavoularis (Godfather Trilogy), Dante Ferretti (whose work with Fellini, Pasolini and Scorsese covers the span of the best of Italian cinema) and Anna Asp (Fanny and Alexander). As aesthetically appealing as any art book, Production Design and Art Direction is densely illustrated with drawings, scripts, storyboards and models, as well as stills from the films.

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Art Direction & Production Design: A Modern History of Filmmaking

By Lucy Fischer
Paperback: 216 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1784530952

Art directors and production designers are the cinema’s ‘architects of illusion’. Their overall purpose is to produce the overall pictorial vision for a film. This book examines the crafts of art direction and production design. It traces their contribution from Thomas Edison’s primitive studio, the Black Maria, to the growth of the Hollywood ‘studio system’, to the effect of sound and colour, and onto the computer-generated imagery of contemporary Hollywood. It does so with reference to many major productions, including Gone with the Wind, McCabe and Mrs Miller and Batman, demonstrating the real significance of the contribution of the art director and production designer to filmmaking and its history.

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Sitcom Style: Inside America’s Favorite TV Homes

By Diana Friedman
Hardcover: 192 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1400051786

The sets of situation comedies aren’t just a collection of random props that surround the actors; they’re statements of style. They’re designed to convey a particular mood, to both reflect and enhance the personalities of the people who live in them—just like anyone’s home. So Sitcom Style is more than a glimpse into a make-believe world; it’s also a fascinating exploration of how to bring personal style into your own living room. Set designers share their secrets and strategies for creating some of the most thought-out homes in America, and you can learn how to recreate these styles in your own home, complete with shopping resources.

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Film, Architecture and Spatial Imagination (1st Edition)

By Renée Tobe
Paperback: 216 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1138588615

Films use architecture as visual shorthand to tell viewers everything they need to know about the characters in a short amount of time. Illustrated by a diverse range of films from different eras and cultures, this book investigates the reciprocity between film and architecture. Using a phenomenological approach, it describes how we, the viewers, can learn how to read architecture and design in film in order to see the many inherent messages. Architecture’s representational capacity contributes to the plausibility or ‘reality’ possible in film. The book provides an ontological understanding that clarifies and stabilizes the reciprocity of the actual world and a filmic world of illusion and human imagination, thereby shedding light on both film and architecture.

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The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media (Second Edition)

By Bruce Block
Paperback: 297 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0240807799

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.

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The Dramatic Imagination: Reflections and Speculations on the Art of Theatre

By Robert Edmond Jones
Paperback: 192 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0878305926

The Dramatic Imagination is one of the few enduring works written about set design. Robert Edmond Jones’s innovations in set design and lighting brought new ideas to the stage, but it is greater understanding of design – its role at the heart of theater – that has continued to inspire theater students. The volume includes “A New Kind of Drama,” “To a Young Stage Designer” and six other of Jones’s “reflections.”

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Film Architecture: From Metropolis to Blade Runner

By Prestel Art Press
Paperback: 208 pages
ISBN-13: 978-3791321639

Beginning with oddball stuff like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari whose tilting, dream-curved sets would appeal equally to Virginia Woolf (who praised its visual shorthand for the nervous metropolis) and the Viennese architect Adolf Loos (who saw the possibilities in its plastic city), the book devotes sections to big-look movies like Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, King Vidor’s The Fountainhead, and Jacques Tati’s Playtime. Each film, the authors argue, further explores the psychologically charged spaces that Dr. Caligari first created, and each eventually incorporates the look of actual cities within its urban visions. As much a collection of photographs of film sets as an examination of Expressionist influences on filmic cityscapes from the 1920s to the near-present, Film Architecture is full of information–for example, that the abiding strangeness of Tati’s work in Mon Oncle “elicited furious responses from members of the architectural profession.”

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Architecture and Film

By Mark Lamster
Paperback: 254 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1568982076

Architecture and Film looks at the ways architecture and architects are treated on screen and, conversely, how these depictions filter and shape the ways we understand the built environment. It also examines the significant effect that the film industry has had on the American public’s perception of urban, suburban, and rural spaces. Contributors to this collection of essays come from a wide range of disciplines.

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Spectacle of Property: The House in American Film

By John David Rhodes
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1517903701

Rhodes tells the story of the ambivalent but powerful pleasure we take in looking at private property onscreen, analyzing the security and ease the house promises along with the horrible anxieties it produces. He begins by laying out a theory of film spectatorship that proposes the concept of the “spectator-tenant,” with reference to films such as Gone with the Wind and The Magnificent Ambersons. The book continues with three chapters that are each occupied with a different architectural style and the films that make use of it: the bungalow, the modernist house, and the shingle style house. Rhodes considers a variety of canonical films rarely analyzed side by side, such as Psychoin relation to Grey Gardens and Meet Me in St. Louis. Among the other films discussed are Meshes of the AfternoonMildred PierceA Star Is BornKiller of Sheep, and A Single Man.

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Atlas of Emotion: Journeys in Art, Architecture, and Film

By Giuliana Bruno
Paperback: 512 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1786633224

Atlas of Emotion is a highly original endeavor to map the cultural terrain of spatio-visual arts. In an evocative blend of words and pictures, Giuliana Bruno emphasizes the connections between “sight” and “site” and “motion” and “emotion.” In so doing, she touches on the art of Gerhard Richter and Louise Bourgeois, the filmmaking of Peter Greenaway and Michelangelo Antonioni, media archaeology and the origins of the museum, and her own journeys to her native Naples. Visually luscious and daring in conception, Bruno’s book opens new vistas and understandings at every turn.

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Designing Dreams: Modern Architecture in the Movies

By Donald Albrecht
Paperback: 204 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0940512269

A thorough examination of the almost symbiotic relationship between modernist architecture and film design of the 1920s and 1930s. Albrecht traces the connections between film designers’ art and its roots in European design movements, such as Art Deco and the Bauhaus. The penthouses, nightclubs, and skyscrapers that showed moviegoers a new way of living demanded a new look, which these architectural movements provided. DESIGNING DREAMS concludes with an essential chapter on The Fountainhead, modernist architecture’s last fervid gasp in the movies. Illustrated with rare stills from classic films.

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Dream Worlds: Production Design For Animation

By Hans Bacher
Library Binding: 208 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0240520933

A truly unique visual delight offering insight into the development of animation classics like Bambi, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Lilo and Stitch as well as a tantalizing examination of unfinished Disney projects.

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Vision: Color and Composition For Film

By Santan Suryavanshi
Hardcover: 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1786272201

Featuring hundreds of carefully hand-crafted illustrations as well as significant tuition on how to best compose and use images to create the most powerful frames, this book is potentially Hans P. Bacher’s life’s work encapsulated in one volume. Here, the internationally renowned production designer shares his expertise in an easy-to-follow and imaginative way – giving tips, exercises, and a depth of knowledge garnered from a lifetime in the industry. Bacher’s production designs have established the look of many seminal animated films such as The Lion King, Balto, Mulan and Beauty and the Beast, so fans of his work will be delighted. While keeping the focus on storytelling, Bacher instructs readers in the art of animated cinematography with the ever-present aim of soliciting an emotional response from the audience.

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Set Design Books


Designer Drafting and Visualizing for the Entertainment World (Second Edition)

By Patricia Woodbridge and Hal Tine
Paperback: 416 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0240818917

Drawing on designs from real Hollywood and Broadway blockbusters, this book provides you with the basic tools and principles of scenic drafting and rendering, beginning with pencil drafting and culminating with the latest information on CAD drafting, digital 3D modelling, digital and hand/digital rendering, and digital graphics for sets. The principles of drafting are explained with simple drawings from the world of scenery as well as many examples of more complex draftings from some of the finest scenic designers working professionally.

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Drawing the Line: Technical Hand Drafting for Film & Television (First Edition)

By David McHenry
Paperback: 174 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1138290334

Drawing the Line: Technical Hand Drafting for Film and Television is the essential resource for students and aspiring professionals studying and working in film and television design. The book covers all aspects of scenic drafting by hand – a technique still used in film and television because of its unparalleled emotive and aesthetic qualities. Discover how to draw the iconic scroll of a classical column or learn the difference between Flemish bond and English bond brickwork, for example.

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Vectorworks for Entertainment Design

By Kevin Lee Allen
Paperback: 342 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0415726139

With a detailed look at the design process, from idea to development, to the documentation necessary for execution, Vectorworks for Entertainment Design will encourage you to create your own process and workflow through exercises that build on one another. The text stresses the process of developing an idea, visualizing it, and evolving it for presentation, documentation, or drafting. The author focuses on both the technical how-to and the art of design, giving you the tools you need to learn and then use the application professionally. Fully illustrated with step-by-step instructions, it contains inspirational work from Broadway, major regional companies, and non-theatrical, entertainment design.

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The Backstage Handbook: An Illustrated Almanac of Technical Information (3rd Edition)

By Paul Carter
Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0911747393

The third edition updates this popular reference book with new terminology and materials, and adds dozens of new illustrations of grip hardware, film lighting equipment and painting tools. Backstage Handbook includes chapters on Tools, Hardware, Materials, Electrics, Shop Math, Architecture and Theatre. There are hundreds of illustrations, tables and charts which cover everything from the stock sizes and specs of wood screws, to safe working loads for several kinds of rope, to illustrations of twenty-two types of standard lamp bases.

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Stock Scenery Construction Handbook (Third Edition)

By Bill Raoul
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0911747430

Stock Scenery Construction Handbook is one of the easiest to use, and most complete manuals on scenery construction. It has over 200 full-page drawings showing construction techniques for every conceivable kind of stock scenery piece, from flats (plain ones, door units, hardwall, etc.), to platforms and step units (including two kinds of parallel platforms and even folding-brace stairs), to all kinds of soft goods like curtains and drops.The second edition added a chapter on paint.

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Architectural Graphic Standards (Twelfth Edition)

By American Institute of Architects, Dennis J. Hall, and Nina M. Giglio
Hardcover: 1088 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1118909508

Architectural Graphic Standards is the written authority for architects, designers, and building contractors. It provides comprehensive guidance on the visual representation of materials, products, systems, and assemblies. It covers everything from door frames and roof designs to air ducts and outdoor sports facilities. This meticulous resource provides a compendium of planning standards, optimum dimensions, and normative construction details. The book is organized into three core sections covering: design and documentation, materials, and building elements.

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Interior Graphic Standards (Second Edition)

By Corky Binggeli and Patricia Greichen
Hardcover: 992 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0470471579

With this completely updated encore to its highly welcomed debut, Interior Graphic Standards, Second Edition secures its place as the comprehensive resource for interior architects and designers. Thousands of detail drawings and carefully researched text by experts in the field guide readers in the design of interior spaces that perform as well as delight. Including all-new material on computer technologies and design practices influencing contemporary interior design projects, Interior Graphic Standards, Second Edition makes it easy for designers to stay current with recent trends.

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Building Construction Illustrated (Fifth Edition)

By Francis D. K. Ching
Paperback: 480 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1118458341

For over three decades, Building Construction Illustrated has offered an outstanding introduction to the principles of building construction. This new edition of the revered classic remains as relevant as ever, providing the latest information in Francis D.K. Ching’s signature style. Its rich and comprehensive approach clearly presents all of the basic concepts underlying building construction.

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Human Dimension & Interior Space: A Source Book of Design Reference Standards

By Julius Panero and Martin Zelnik
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0823072712

Human Dimension and Interior Space is the first major anthropometrically based reference book of design standards for use by all those involved with the physical planning and detailing of interiors, including interior designers, architects, furniture designers, builders, industrial designers, and students of design. The use of anthropometric data, although no substitute for good design or sound professional judgment should be viewed as one of the many tools required in the design process.

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The Architecture Reference & Specification Book: Everything Architects Need to Know Everyday

By Julia McMorrough
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1631593796

Most architectural standards references contain thousands of pages of details—overwhelmingly more than architects need to know to know on any given day. The Architecture Reference & Specification Book contains vital information that’s essential to planning and executing architectural projects of all shapes and sizes, in a format that is small enough to carry anywhere. It distills the data provided in standard architectural volumes and is an easy-to-use reference for the most indispensable—and most requested—types of architectural information.

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The Elements of Style: An Encyclopedia of Domestic Architectural Detail

By Stephen Calloway, Alan Powers, and Elizabeth Cromley
Hardcover: 592 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1770850866

The Elements of Style is the most comprehensive visual survey, period by period, feature by feature, of the key styles in American and British domestic architecture from the Tudor period to present day. A valuable reference guide, the book is designed for owners of period houses, restorers, architects, interior designers and all those interested in our architectural heritage. This revised edition includes a fully updated chapter covering the Contemporary era (1975–2012) and a new list of suppliers and resources.

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A Visual Dictionary of Architecture

By Francis D. K. Ching
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0470648858

An essential one-volume reference of architectural topics using Francis D.K. Ching’s signature presentation. It is the only dictionary that provides concise, accurate definitions illustrated with finely detailed, hand-rendered drawings. From Arch to Wood, every concept, technology, material and detail important to architects and designers are presented in Ching’s unique style.

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Architecture: Form, Space, and Order (Fourth Edition)

By Francis D. K. Ching
Paperback: 464 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1118745083

Architecture: Form, Space, and Order, Fourth Edition is the classic introduction to the basic vocabulary of architectural design, updated with new information on emerging trends and recent developments. This bestselling visual reference helps both students and professionals understand the vocabulary of architectural design by examining how space and form are ordered in the environment. Taking a critical look at the evolution of spaces, Architecture distills complex concepts of design into a clear focus that inspires, bringing difficult abstractions to life. The book is illustrated throughout to demonstrate the concepts presented, and show the relationships between fundamental elements of architecture through the ages and across cultures.

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Surfaces: Visual Research for Artists, Architects, and Designers (Surfaces Series)

By Judy A. Juracek
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN-13: 978-0393730074

Looking for images of architectural materials? Surfaces offers over 1,200 outstanding, vibrantly colorful visual images of surface textures – wood, stone, marble, brick, plaster, stucco, aggregates, metal, tile, and glass – ready to be used in your designs, presentations, or comps, as backgrounds or for general visual information. Photographed by a designer for designers, these pictures show specific materials and how they change with time, weather, wear, and different lighting. Each section offers general views of the material, a gallery of commonly used or manufactured samples, and hundreds of specimens showing types and finishes in architectural settings. Captions provide information about the physical properties, dimensions, construction techniques, specific varieties of the material, and types and styles of treatments. Interviews with eight design professionals provide practical advice on how they approach visual research, and a comprehensive glossary of visual and technical terms offers a vocabulary for professional communication.

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Architectural Surfaces: Details for Artists, Architects, and Designers (Surfaces Series)

By Judy A. Juracek
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN-13: 978-0393730791

This new collection contains over 1,400 high-quality color photographs capturing a range of details and surfaces, organized by architectural elements: walls, facades, windows, doorways, ceilings, roofs, floors, pavements, columns, and arches. Architectural Surfaces provides a wealth of source material to meet the research needs of architects and interior designers, artists, scenic designers, and graphic designers.

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Natural Surfaces: Visual Research for Artists, Architects, and Designers (Surfaces Series)

By Judy A. Juracek
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN-13: 978-0393730814

The photographs catalog images of nature used in art and design, with detailed views of natural elements, plant portraits, and pictures of landscape installations, gardens, and scenic vistas. Horticultural pictures are captioned as to botanical and common names. Images are coded and cross-referenced in the index and on the CD-ROM, making the book a compact picture file for illustrators, landscape architects, designers, and graphic artists.

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Soft Surfaces: Visual Research for Artists, Architects, and Designers (Surfaces Series)

By Judy A. Juracek
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN-13: 978-0393730333

Modeled on the successful Surfaces (1996), this stunning collection of photographs catalogs how hundreds of varieties of textiles, grouped by structure and surface treatment, look up close and in interior and exterior applications such as window treatments, upholstery, awnings, tents, and floor coverings. The book is tailored to research needs in scope and focus, offering examples for architects, interior designers, textile professionals, theatrical and film designers, illustrators, and graphic designers. Interviews with professionals describe how they use visual research in their work.

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Essentials of Period Style: A Sourcebook for Stage and Production Designers

By Hal Tine
Paperback: 424 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0415710053

Essentials of Period Style: A Sourcebook for Stage and Production Designers covers the visual, social, and political dynamics of multiple epochs and cultures and discusses how these trends affect the design of the architecture, costumes, and furnishings of the time. It then relates these characteristics and cultural movements to the design needs you’ll encounter as you design a period production. Each chapter contains examples of period style in both theatre and film from a variety of notable productions and a glossary of specialized terms and words used in the chapter. Technological and aesthetic developments that affect design, lighting, and music are also included.

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Mechanika: Creating the Art of Space, Aliens, Robots and Sci-Fi (Revised & Updated)

By Doug Chiang
Paperback: 144 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1440342530

In a post-apocalyptic alien landscape, starfighters crash land in desert terrain, dino riders rear up, rusted crab walkers litter the horizon and men work with–or fight against–giant iron robots. You control it all and Academy Award-winning sci-fi film production designer Doug Chiang tells you how. In this revised and updated version of his best-selling book, Mechanika, Chiang uses his 25 years in the film industry working on such films as the Star Wars franchise, Terminator 2: Judgment Day and War of the Worlds to teach you the techniques, tools and tips to draw and think like a master sci-fi artist.

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Cosmic Motors: Spaceships, Cars and Pilots of Another Galaxy

By Daniel Simon and Syd Mead
Paperback: 176 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1933492278

Come explore the vehicle designs of a far away galaxy called Galaxion where futuristic concepts exist in everyday life. Nine different spaceships, pods, race cars, giant trains, warships and balloons from various planets of the Galaxion system are shown from concept to completion. Daniel Simon is an established senior car designer who has spent the last several years focusing his talents on futuristic concepts for such automakers as Bugatti and Lamborghini. In his first book, Cosmic Motors, each chapter shows the design process of a unique vehicle, from the first ideation sketches to the stunningly detailed 3-D models to the final photorealistic full spread renderings.

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3D Printing Basics for Entertainment Design (First Edition)

By Anne E. McMills
Paperback: 434 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1138211353

Affordable 3D printers are rapidly becoming everyday additions to the desktops and worktables of entertainment design practitioners – whether working in theatre, theme parks, television and film, museum design, window displays, animatronics, or… you name it! This quick start guide will help you navigate the alphabet soup that is 3D printing and begin to answer these questions for yourself. It outlines the basics of the technology, and its many uses in entertainment design. With straightforward and easy-to-follow information, you will learn ways to acquire printable 3D models, basic methods of creating your own, and tips along the way to produce successful prints.

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Digital Modelmaking: Laser Cutting, 3D Printing and Reverse Engineering

By Helen Lansdown
Paperback: 192 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1785005855

Digital manufacturing has become an intrinsic part of the modelmaking profession, so today’s practitioner must be skilled in both traditional hand-making techniques and digital technology. Relevant to a wide variety of creative industries, including film and television, theater, architecture, and product design, Digital Modelmaking offers a comprehensive insight into the manufacturing processes and technologies used within contemporary modelmaking. Each chapter contains an in-depth explanation of each topic, presents examples of how each process is used, and includes case studies from professional modelmakers and students. This invaluable book will be of great interest for students, young professionals, and everyone with a passion for design and making.

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The 3D Printing Handbook: Technologies, Design and Applications

By Ben Redwood, Filemon Schöffer, and Brian Garret
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-9082748505

The 3D Printing Handbook provides practical advice on selecting the right technology and how-to design for 3D printing, based upon first-hand experience from the industry’s leading experts. In this book you’ll learn: 1) The mechanisms behind all major 3D printing technologies, 2) The benefits and limitations of each technology, 3) Decision making tools for technology selection, 4) Actionable design advice and guidelines, and 5) Industry case studies from world-leading brands.

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3D Printing and CNC Fabrication with SketchUp

By Lydia Sloan Cline
Paperback: 224 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0071842419

Filled with illustrated, step-by-step examples, this hands-on TAB guide shows you how to use SketchUp to make a digital model and how to use a personal machine, service bureau, or community Maker Space to fabricate it. 3D Printing and CNC Fabrication with SketchUp gives you the practical knowledge needed to model and fabricate your own creations. You’ll learn how to use SketchUp to create models both for additive (3D printing) and subtractive (CNC) fabrication. This practical resource will help you to very quickly master the skills needed to create, troubleshoot, and produce professional products.

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The Handbook of Model-making for Set Designers

By Colin Winslow
Paperback: 176 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1847970190

From the most basic cutting and assembling methods to advanced painting, texturing, and finishing techniques, this invaluable guide covers every aspect of producing models for stage sets. Useful hints on producing a range of different models—including buildings and structures, organic elements such as trees and bushes, and furniture—are provided along with helpful illustrated step-by-step instructions. A number of modern computer-based design techniques are also included and accompanied by tips on using these techniques in combination with more traditional procedures to enhance finished products.

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Set Decoration Books


2019 Debbie’s Book (31st Edition)

By Debbie Hemela
Paperback: 239 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1938666148

For 41 years Debbie’s Book has been a sourcebook used by Art Departments in all walks of entertainment. It is a compilation of all officially verified rental and purchase sources for props, wardrobe, lighting, television, theatre, commercial photo shoots, special events and themed environments. Don’t forget to check out the free Android & iPhone Apps!

You can also find the Digital eBook, here.

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2019 Kays Art Department Desk Diary

By Bernard Kay and Jayne Hatfield

KAYS 2019 Art Department Year Book is the essential contact guide for art department within the UK film and TV industry.

The directory section contains thousands of extensively researched and updated listings, including suppliers of all types of props, costumes, construction, modelmaking, action vehicles, drapes, transport, special and visual FX as well as a full range of technicians.

In addition to this, the back features a useful desk diary, one week to view.

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The Interior Design Reference & Specification Book: Everything Interior Designers Need To Know Every Day

By Chris Grimley
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1631593802

In the world of interior design, thousands of bits of crucial information are scattered across a wide array of sources. The Interior Design Reference & Specification Book collects the information essential to planning and executing interior projects of all shapes and sizes, and distills it in a format that is as easy to use as it is to carry. You’ll also find interviews with top practitioners drawn across the field of interior design.

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Time-Saver Standards for Interior Design and Space Planning

By Joseph DeChiara, Julius Panero, and Martin Zelnik
Hardcover: 1728 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0071346160

Free up time for creativity with this all-in-one guide to interior design shortcuts, plus thousands of pieces of well-organized information to make your job easier. Time-Saver Standards for Interior Design and Space Planning makes decision-making simple–and implementation even easier. In this book’s jam-packed 1000 pages, you’ll get: guides to choosing colors, furnitures, and lighting; top-scale drawings from top designers; dozens of usable details; plantscaping and signage choices; data for both residential and commercial structures; layouts and clearance 1200 illustration; and much, much more.

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The Elements of Design: A Practical Encyclopedia of the Decorative Arts from the Renaissance to the Present

By Noel Riley and Patricia Bayer
Hardcover: 544 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0743222297

The Elements of Design is the definitive visual reference book on design trends in the decorative arts from 1500 to 2000. Thematic chapters dealing with the Baroque, Rococo, Aesthetic Movement, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and other eras examine the decorative arts tradition in the development of ceramic, glass, silver and metalwork, textile, and furniture design. With more than 3,000 images – including prints, photographs, and line drawings – The Elements of Design is an indispensable visual dictionary for collectors, design historians, interior decorators, and designers alike.

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The Encyclopedia of Furniture

By Joseph Aronson
Hardcover: 496 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0517037355

Covering every period and development to the present, the designers and makers, the woods and other materials, the architecture and decoration.

Comes with 2,000 photographs and a full glossary.

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The Furniture Bible: Everything You Need to Know to Identify, Restore & Care for Furniture

By Christophe Pourny
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1579655358

This book teaches readers everything they need to know about the provenance and history of furniture, as well as how to restore, update, and care for their furniture―from antiques to midcentury pieces, family heirlooms or funky flea-market finds. The heart of the book is an overview of Pourny’s favorite techniques―ceruse, vernis anglais,and water gilding, among many others―with full-color step-by-step photographs to ensure that readers can easily replicate each refinishing technique at home. Pourny brings these techniques to life with a chapter devoted to real-world refinishing projects, from a veneered table to an ebonized desk, a gilt frame to a painted northern European hutch. Rounding out this comprehensive guide is care and maintenance information, including how to properly clean leather, polish hardware, fix a broken leg, and replace felt pads, as well as recipes to make your own wax, shellac, varnish, stain, and more.

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Furniture: World Styles from Classical to Contemporary

By Judith Miller
Hardcover: 560 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1405358002

Judith Miller’s Furniture Encyclopedia is for anyone interested in furniture. Whether you want to identify, date or evaluate your own pieces this is the only comprehensive, full-color reference guide for you. The global overview that spans the last 3,000 years of design will turn any amateur into a furniture buff.

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Design Directory of Window Treatments

By Jackie Von Tobel
Hardcover: 584 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1423602163

Not your typical how-to book, this comprehensive guide to window treatments includes a CD-ROM with industry charts and line drawings to be printed out and personalized by the user. Professionally illustrated, it describes over 350 standard and one-of-a-kind window components, the most complete collection ever assembled.

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The Curtain Book

By Caroline Clifton-Mogg and Melanie Paine
Paperback: 180 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0821221945

How to choose curtains and shades that create the right atmosphere for your room, whether light and pretty or strongly dramatic. How to evaluate the special needs of each room in the house-living and dining rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, halls, staircases, children’s rooms, studies. The striking book includes inspiring treatments for every shape and style of window-from cottage casements to modern picture windows in addition to offering practical advice on all aspects of making and arranging curtains and shades including finishing touches.

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Chairs

Chairs by Judith Miller

By Judith Miller
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1840915235

Judith Miller celebrates and scrutinizes nearly 400 years of great seating in this sumptuous volume, an ode to the ingenuity of design, craftsmanship and sheer wow factor of the chair. Ranging from early antiques such as the 1680 Wainscot Chair and the 1740 Louis XV Chaise Lounge, to modern day collectibles such as Marc Newson’s 1988  Embryo and Tom Dixon’s 2007 Wingback, here are over 100 breathtaking chairs, all photographed on location. This lavish celebration of Chairs offers design aficionados and furniture lovers both authoritative text and 400 stunning photographs.

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Film, Designer & Director Books


The 2001 File: Harry Lange and the Design of the Landmark Science Fiction Film

By Christopher Frayling
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0957261020

The book is about the process, as well as the finished product. It examines how Harry Lange’s experience with NASA fed into the innovations of the film. It includes rejected designs, concepts and roughs, as well as the finished works. It also reveals how the design team was obsessed with things that actually might work, and reproduces several innovations that were science fiction in the 1960s but have since become science fact, including a ‘newspad’ designed by IBM that bears an uncanny resemblance to today’s iPad. The remarkable designs for 2001 created a credible vision of the future.

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Star Wars: The Blueprints

By J.W. Rinzler
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0760355442

Star Wars: The Blueprints gives an all-access pass into the Lucasfilm Archives to unveil the original technical drawings of the galaxy far, far away. With more than 250 blueprints, 500 photographs and  illustrations, and ten stunning gatefolds, Star Wars: The Blueprints is a deluxe volume that reveals the work of the engineers, designers, and artists who dreamed up the look and feel of the Star Wars universe. Meticulously researched and packed with gorgeous artwork and little-known details, Star Wars: The Blueprints tells the story of the brilliant minds and technical prowess that brought this extraordinary epic to life.

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Ken Adam: The Art of Production Design

By Christopher Frayling
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0571220571

Ken Adam, the mastermind behind seven of the first eleven Bond films, including Dr. No, Adam has been lauded as one of the world’s greatest production designers. First recognized during the filming of Around the World in Eighty Days, he has managed to cultivate a rapt following in one of the cinema’s most underappreciated professions, and with it a reputation for grandly expressionistic sets, such as the war room in Dr. Strangelove and Blofeld’s volcanic headquarters in You Only Live Twice. In this career-spanning series of interviews with Christopher Frayling, Adam shares the inspiration behind his work—from rebuilding eighteenth-century galleons to designing Bond’s moonbuggy—in the process revealing little-known anecdotes of a life begun in Weimar Berlin and nearly ended in World War II, only to piece itself back together and revolutionize the medium of film in its color-saturated golden age.

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Ken Adam Designs the Movies: James Bond and Beyond

By Ken Adam and Christopher Frayling
Hardcover: 224 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0500514146

Ken Adam is the most distinguished production designer in the world. His work spans seven decades and more than seventy-five movies, from his revolutionary designs for the first seven James Bond movies to work on Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon and Alan Bennett’s The Madness of King George, for both of which he won an Oscar. Ken Adam’s extensive personal archive of concept sketches, drawings, set stills, and photographs from every stage of his career forms the basis of this book. Using case studies from the 1950s to the present day, it shows the whole cycle of his production designs, from initial concept to what appears on the screen itself. The result encapsulates the evolving role of the Art Director and Production Designer from the golden age of the big studios to the digital fantasies of the early twenty-first century.

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Bond By Design: The Art of the James Bond Films

By Meg Simmonds
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1465437907

Featuring the work of legendary Bond film designers such as Ken Adam, Peter Lamont, and Syd Cain, Bond by Design brings the James Bond art department’s story right up to date with behind-the-scenes artwork from the latest film, SPECTRE. With two exclusive prints and authoritative text by EON’s own archivist, Meg Simmonds, Bond by Design provides unique, spectacular, and fascinating insights into this hugely successful film franchise.

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Ferretti: The Art of Production Design

By Gabriele Lucci
Hardcover: 384 pages
ISBN-13: 978-8837067441

Ferretti: The Art of Production Design discusses the work of renowned production designer Dante Ferretti and his work with the great Italian directors Pasolini, Fellini and Scorsese including Gangs of New York. Martin Scorsese wrote the preface.

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Ray Harryhausen: An Animated Life

By Ray Harryhausen, Tony Dalton, and Ray Bradbury
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Billboard Books
ISBN-13: 978-0823084029

Ray Harryhausen is arguably the greatest stop-motion animator in the history of motion pictures, blazing new trails in special effects from the 1950s to the 1980s creating realistic dinosaurs, fantastic aliens, and imaginative mythological creatures. In the animator’s own words, accompanied by hundreds of previously unpublished photographs, sketches, and storyboards from his personal archive, this book details Harryhausen’s entire film career, from 20 Million Miles to Earth and Earth vs. The Flying Saucers to Clash of the Titans and Jason and the Argonauts. In words and images, this book explains the basics of special effects and stop-motion animation, along the way telling entertaining tales of working with the film stars of the day, such as Laurence Olivier, Maggie Smith, and Lionel Jeffries. Film buffs will relish such revelations as how Raquel Welch was picked up by a flying dinosaur in One Million Years B.C., why the octopus in Mysterious Island was really only a sixtopus, and what Medusa’s blood was made from in Clash of the Titans.

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The Wes Anderson Collection

By Matt Zoller Seitz
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0810997417

This New York Times bestselling overview of Wes Anderson‘s filmography features previously unpublished behind-the-scenes photos, artwork, and ephemera, with an introduction by Michael Chabon. Writer/director Wes Anderson guides movie/television critic Matt Zoller Seitz through Anderson’s life and career in a hardcover book-length conversation, woven together with original illustrations and production images from Bottle RocketRushmoreThe Royal TenenbaumsThe Life Aquatic with Steve ZissouThe Darjeeling LimitedFantastic Mr. Fox, and Moonrise Kingdom.

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The Wes Anderson Collection: The Grand Budapest Hotel

By Matt Zoller Seitz
Hardcover: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1419715716

Learn all about the film’s conception, hear personal anecdotes from the set, and explore the wide variety of sources that inspired the screenplay and imagery—from author Stefan Zweig to filmmaker Ernst Lubitsch to photochrom landscapes of turn-of-the-century Middle Europe. Also inside are interviews with costume designer Milena Canonero, composer Alexandre Desplat, lead actor Ralph Fiennes, production designer Adam Stockhausen, and cinematographer Robert Yeoman; essays by film critics Ali Arikan and Steven Boone, film theorist and historian David Bordwell, music critic Olivia Collette, and style and costume consultant Christopher Laverty; and an introduction by playwright Anne Washburn. Previously unpublished production photos, artwork, and ephemera illustrate each essay and interview.

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The Movie Art of Syd Mead: Visual Futurist

By Craig Hodgetts and Denis Villeneuve
Hardcover: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1785651182

Syd Mead is one of the most accomplished and widely respected artists and industrial designers alive today. His career boasts an incredible array of projects from designing cars to drafting architectural renderings, but he is most famous for his work as a concept artist on some of the most visually arresting films in the history of cinema. The Movie Art of Syd Mead: Visual Futurist represents the most extensive collection of Mead’s visionary work ever printed, compiling hundreds of images, sketches and concept arts from a career spanning almost 40 years, many of which have never been seen in print before. Each entry provides a unique insight into the processes involved in Mead’s practice as well as illuminating the behind-the-scenes work involved in creating a fully realized, cinematic depiction of the future.

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Harry Potter: From Page to Screen

By Bob McCabe
Hardcover: 540 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0062878908

Harry Potter: Page to Screen opens the doors to Hogwarts castle and the wizarding world of Harry Potter to reveal the complete behind-the-scenes secrets, techniques, and over-the-top artistry that brought J.K. Rowling’s acclaimed novels to cinematic life. Developed in collaboration with the creative team behind the celebrated movie series, this deluxe, 500-plus page compendium features exclusive stories from the cast and crew, hundreds of never-before-seen photographs and concept illustrations sourced from the closed film sets, and rare memorabilia. As the definitive look at the magic that made cinematic history, Page to Screen is the ultimate collectible, perfect for Muggles everywhere.

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The Wrong House: The Architecture of Alfred Hitchcock

By Steven Jacobs
Paperback: 344 pages
ISBN-13: 978-9462080966

In this imaginative and scholarly book, Steven Jacobs explores the architectural elements of Alfred Hitchcock’s films and the vital role they played in providing atmosphere and facilitating plot development. Hitchcock famously left nothing to chance, and from the Greenwich Village apartment that provided the set for Rear Window or the now-iconic Bates house in Psycho, every architectural entity plays a significant role both in setting the scene and in advancing the suspenseful narratives of which Hitchcock was master. Having worked as a set designer in the early 1920s, the director remained intimately involved with his films’ sets throughout his entire career. With the help of reconstructed floor plans made specially for this book, the author explains how, for example, confined spaces reinforce vulnerable characters’ sense of being powerless, while readers also learn of the importance of stairs and windows at key moments in Hitchcock’s masterpieces.

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Saul Bass: Anatomy of Film Design

By Jan-Christopher Horak
Hardcover: 492 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0813147185

The first book to examine the life and work of this fascinating figure, Saul Bass: Anatomy of Film Design explores the designer’s revolutionary career and his lasting impact on the entertainment and advertising industries. Jan-Christopher Horak traces Bass from his humble beginnings as a self-taught artist to his professional peak, when auteur directors like Stanley Kubrick, Robert Aldrich, and Martin Scorsese sought him as a collaborator. He also discusses how Bass incorporated aesthetic concepts borrowed from modern art in his work, presenting them in a new way that made them easily recognizable to the public.

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Saul Bass: A Life in Film and Design

By Jennifer Bass and Pat Kirkham
Hardcover: 428 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1856697521

This is the first book to be published on one of the greatest American designers of the 20th Century, who was as famous for his work in film as for his corporate identity and graphic work. With more than 1,400 illustrations, many of them never published before and written by the leading design historian Pat Kirkham, this is the definitive study that design and film enthusiasts have been eagerly anticipating. Saul Bass (1920-1996) created some of the most compelling images of American post-war visual culture.

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Blade Runner Sketchbook

By David Scroggy
ISBN-13: 978-0943128023

Original production artwork from Blade Runner. Artwork by Syd Mead, Mentor Huebner, Charles Knode, Michael Kaplan, and Ridley Scott. All sepia ink, with environments, vehicles, costumes, weapons, graphics, and descriptions of world-building.

You can also find a free digital version, here.

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Art and Composition Books


Gardner’s Art Through the Ages: A Global History (16th Edition)

By Fred Kleiner
Hardcover: 1264 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1337630702

A grand tour of the world’s most celebrated works from the Stone Age to the modern era, this introductory text has been a classroom favorite for 85 years. Every chapter includes rich and compelling discussions of pivotal art works, periods and geographies in art history, as well as new artists and art forms. Of course, the bold illustrations on the pages look almost as good as the real thing, especially when you use the unique Scale feature to imagine a work’s stature from the artist’s point of view.

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Interaction of Color: 50th Anniversary Edition

By Josef Albers
Paperback: 208 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0300179354

Josef Albers’s Interaction of Color is a masterwork in art education. Conceived as a handbook and teaching aid for artists, instructors, and students, this influential book presents Albers’s singular explanation of complex color theory principles. Fifty years after Interaction’s initial publication, this new edition presents a significantly expanded selection of close to sixty color studies alongside Albers’s original text, demonstrating such principles as color relativity, intensity, and temperature; vibrating and vanishing boundaries; and the illusion of transparency and reversed grounds.

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Composing Pictures

By Donald W. Graham
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Silman-James Press
ISBN-13: 978-1935247005

A picture cannot be weighed, measured, and appraised like a sack of potatoes. Composing Pictures avoids the discussion by dissection method of picture analysis, stressing instead the graphic forces that remain valid and essential regardless of how art forms and fashions may change. In thirty-five short chapters, each devoted to a single important concept, the author covers the basics and complexities of graphic composition, including the illusion of depth, the enigma of surface, manifesting and symbolizing force and motion, utilizing borders, graphic accents, patterns, handling dark and light, directing the viewer’s eye, and creating storyboards. These concepts are illustrated by hundreds of diagrams and the work of great artists from myriad historical ages, cultures, and styles.The book not only contains a section on film graphics, but also consistently reminds the reader that the principles of composition relate to the moving picture as well as the still picture.

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Design Drawing (2nd Edition)

By Francis D. K. Ching
Paperback: 416 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0470533697

In his distinctive graphic style, world-renowned author and architecture educator Francis D.K. Ching takes us on another exciting journey through the process of creation. In Design Drawing, Second Edition, he unmasks the basic cognitive processes that drive visual perception and expression, incorporating observation, memory, and rendering into a creative whole. This edition unites imaginative vision with fundamental architectural principles to cover the traditional basics of drawing, including line, shape, tone, and space. Guiding the reader step-by-step through the entire drawing process, Design Drawing also examines different types of drawing techniques such as multiview, paraline, and perspective drawings — and how they can be applied to achieve stunning results.

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The Painter’s Secret Geometry: A Study in Composition in Art

By Charles Bouleau
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0486780405

This richly illustrated examination of visual arts in the European tradition shows how the great masters employed the “golden mean” and other geometrical patterns to compose their paintings. Author Charles Bouleau explores a tremendous variety of ancient and modern works: the Parthenon friezes, Italian mosaics, the Bayeux Tapestry, and Gothic stonemasons’ marks of France and Germany as well as paintings by Picasso, Kandinsky, Klee, and Pollock. His insightful expositions cast new light on such well-known works as Raphael’s “The School of Athens,” Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus,” Rubens’ “Descent from the Cross,” and Renoir’s “Le Moulin de la Galette.”

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The Art of Composition: A Simple Application of Dynamic Symmetry

By Michel Jacobs
Paperback: 168 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0282561055

Advertising agencies and printers will find that their layouts of type matter can be better arranged by the use of this system. It can also be used by interior decorators, jewellers, and ceramic workers.

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The Power of Limits: Proportional Harmonies in Nature, Art, and Architecture

By Gyorgy Doczi
Paperback: 160 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1590302590

One of the delights of life is the discovery and rediscovery of patterns of order and beauty in nature—designs revealed by slicing through a head of cabbage or an orange, the forms of shells and butterfly wings. These images are awesome not just for their beauty alone, but because they suggest an order underlying their growth, a harmony existing in nature. What does it mean that such an order exists; how far does it extend? The Power of Limits was inspired by those simple discoveries of harmony.

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Understanding Color: An Introduction for Designers (5th Edition)

By Linda Holtzschue
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1118920787

Understanding Color is an essential resource for those needing to become proficient in color for business applications. The peerless treatment of this critical subject is beautifully illustrated with real-world examples. Designers have turned to this guide for nearly a generation for its authoritative and accessible instruction. Full-color images showcase real design examples and a companion website features a digital workbook for reinforcing color concepts. From theory and practical implementation to the business and marketing aspects, Understanding Color helps you gain a deep and discriminating awareness of color.

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Graphic Design Books


Meggs’ History of Graphic Design (6th Edition)

By Philip B. Meggs and Alston W. Purvis
Hardcover: 696 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1118772058

Meggs’ History of Graphic Design is the industry’s unparalleled, award-winning reference. With over 1,400 high-quality images throughout, this visually stunning text guides you through a saga of artistic innovators, breakthrough technologies, and groundbreaking developments that define the graphic design field. The initial publication of this book was heralded as a publishing landmark, and author Philip B. Meggs is credited with significantly shaping the academic field of graphic design.

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Graphic Design: A Concise History (Second Edition)

By Richard Hollis
Paperback: 232 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0500203477

This authoritative documentary history begins with the poster and goes on to chart the development of word and image in brochures and magazines, advertising, corporate identity, television, and electronic media, and the impact of technical innovations such as photography and the computer. For the revised edition, a new final chapter covers all the recent international developments in graphic design, including the role of the computer and the Internet in design innovation and globalization. In the last years of the twentieth century, at a time when “designer products” and the use of logos grew in importance, the role of graphic designers became more complex, subversive, and sometimes more political—witness Oliviero Toscani’s notorious advertisements for Benetton. Digital technology cleared the way for an astonishing proliferation of new typefaces, and words began to take second place to typography in a whole range of magazines and books as designers asserted the primacy of their medium.

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The Elements of Graphic Design(Second Edition)

By Alex W. White
Paperback: 224 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1581157628

This pioneering work provides designers, art directors, and students―regardless of experience―with a unique approach to successful design. Veteran designer and educator Alex. W. White has assembled a wealth of information and examples in his exploration of what makes visual design stunning and easy to read. Readers will discover White’s four elements of graphic design, including how to: define and reveal dominant images, words, and concepts; use scale, color, and position to guide the viewer through levels of importance; employ white space as a significant component of design and not merely as background; and use display and text type for maximum comprehension and value to the reader. Offering a new way to think about and use the four design elements, this book is certain to inspire better design.

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The Print Handbook: Preparing Your Pixels for Print(3rd Edition)

By Andy Brown

The tools of a graphic designer are not just the type tool, selection tool or layers panel. The real tools of a designer are the printing press, the paper, the ink. Understand those and you understand the true limits of design on paper.

There is somewhat of a mystique about printing techniques that all designers must wade through. There’s always a learning curve and often times several games of trial and error. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a reference to minimize the quirks associated with printing? The Media Collective thinks so, and I agree.

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Typography Essentials Revised and Updated: 100 Design Principles for Working with Type

By Ina Saltz
Paperback: 208 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1631596476

A deep understanding of letterforms and knowledge of their effective use can only be obtained with constant observation and experimentation; it evolves over a lifetime of design practice and study. This comprehensive guide is intended to advance the progress of designers seeking to deepen their typographic expertise. Typography Essentials is a practical, hands-on resource to distill, organize, and compartmentalize—but not to oversimplify—the many complex issues surrounding the effective use of typography. It is for designers of every medium in which type plays a major role, and is organized and designed to make the process enjoyable and entertaining, as well as instructional.

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The Elements of Typographic Style

By Robert Bringhurst
Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0881792119

This lovely, well-written book is concerned foremost with creating beautiful typography and is essential for professionals who regularly work with typographic designs. Author Robert Bringhurst writes about designing with the correct typeface; striving for rhythm, proportion, and harmony; choosing and combining type; designing pages; using section heads, subheads, footnotes, and tables; applying kerning and other type adjustments to improve legibility; and adding special characters, including punctuation and diacritical marks. The Elements of Typographic Style teaches the history of and the artistic and practical perspectives on a variety of type families that are available in Europe and America today.

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Type: A Visual History of Typefaces and Graphic Styles, Volume 1 (1628-1900)

By Jan Tholenaar
Hardcover: 360 pages
ISBN-13: 978-3836511018

This exuberant selection of typographic fonts and styles traces the modern evolution of the printed letter, reproducing pages from exquisitely designed catalogs showing type specimens in roman, italic, bold, semi-bold, narrow, and broad fonts. Also included are borders, ornaments, initial letters and decorations, and many spectacular examples of their use. Victorian fonts, spectacular in their complexity, are accorded a prominent place. In addition, examples from lithography and letters by inscription carvers and calligraphers are also included and described.

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Type: A Visual History of Typefaces and Graphic Styles, Volume 2 (1901-1938)

By Alston W Purvis
Hardcover: 360 pages
ISBN-13: 978-3836515146

This book offers a connoisseur’s overview of typeface design, exploring the most elegant fonts from the history of publishing. Taken from a distinguished Dutch collection, this exuberant two-volume edition traces the evolution of the printed letter via exquisitely designed catalogs, showing type specimens in roman, italic, bold, semi-bold, narrow, and broad fonts. Borders, ornaments, initial letters and decorations are also included, along with lithographic examples, letters by signwriters, inscription carvers, and calligraphers. The second volume covers the period from 1900 to the mid-20th century, and contains a historical outline by Alston W. Purvis.

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Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop (Second Edition)

By Timothy Samara
Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1631592843

Effective layout is essential to communication and enables the end user to not only be drawn in with an innovative design, but to digest information easily. Making and Breaking the Grid is a comprehensive layout design workshop that assumes that in order to effectively break the rules of grid-based design, one must first understand those rules and see them applied to real-world projects. Basics include composing typographic space, format determination, and sequencing and systemization. Various types of grids manuscript, column, modular, hierarchical are also covered.

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Grid Systems in Graphic Design: A Visual Communication Guide for Graphic Designers, Typographers, and Three Dimensional Designers

By Josef Müller-Brockmann
Hardcover: 176 pages
ISBN-13: 978-3721201451

From a professional for professionals, here is the definitive word on using grid systems in graphic design. Though Muller-Brockman first presented hi interpretation of grid in 1961, this text is still useful today for anyone working in the latest computer-assisted design. With examples on how to work correctly at a conceptual level and exact instructions for using all of the systems (8 to 32 fields), this guidebook provides a crystal-clear framework for problem-solving.

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Designing for Print: The Art and Science, Graphic Design and Print Production Strategies for Succession on Press

By Marina Poropat Joyce
Paperback: 208 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0996214988

An indispensable guide to designing for print written in an easy to understand format while not skimping on knowledge. From an educator: “There’s no better book on graphic design print production out there.” About the Book: This book is a 208 page celebration of print! The pages are printed on eight different papers! The cover is laminated for durability. The book is printed in eight different ink colors to showcase many different printing techniques, including state-of-the-art digital foil and digital UV printing! 84 photographs 116 illustrations and charts.

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Design for Motion: Fundamentals and Techniques of Motion Design

By Austin Shaw
Paperback: 356 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1138812093

Plumb the depths of core motion design fundamentals and harness the essential techniques of this diverse and innovative medium. Combine basic art and design principles with creative storytelling to create compelling style frames, design boards, and motion design projects. Here, in one volume, Austin Shaw covers all the principles any serious motion designer needs to know in order to make their artistic visions a reality and confidently produce compositions for clients, including: Illustration techniques, Typography, Compositing, Cinematography, Incorporating 3D elements, Matte painting, Concept development, and much more. Lessons are augmented by illustrious full color imagery and practical exercises, allowing you to put the techniques covered into immediate practical context.

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Graphic Design for Art, Fashion, Film, Architecture, Photography, Product Design and Everything in Between

By Andy Cooke
Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-3791383507

This guide explores ways in which graphic designers can successfully collaborate with other creative professionals and sectors, whether it be a more sophisticated logo for a product, a better-designed lookbook for a fashion brand, or a more intuitive wayfinding system for a museum. The book features exceptionally conceived design solutions across a variety of industries–from architecture and product design to art, fashion, and film. Each example illustrates the significance of the graphic designer’s role in making a campaign marketable and successful. Insights from clients and the designers themselves reveal the inner workings of the design process.

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Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities (Second Edition)

By David Airey
Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0321985200

Completely updated and expanded, the second edition of David Airey’s Logo Design Love contains more of just about everything that made the first edition so great: more case studies, more sketches, more logos, more tips for working with clients, more insider stories, and more practical information for getting the job and getting it done right. In Logo Design Love, David shows you how to develop an iconic brand identity from start to finish, using client case studies from renowned designers. In the process, he reveals how designers create effective briefs, generate ideas, charge for their work, and collaborate with clients. David not only shares his personal experiences working on identity projects – including sketches and final results of his own successful designs – he also uses the work of many well-known designers.

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Prop Books


The Theater Props Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Theater Properties, Materials and Construction

By Thurston James
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0887349348

The Theater Props Handbook is a step-by-step guide to the design and construction of theater properties. This practical, profusely illustrated handbook explains the use of materials essential to the props builder and demonstrates the techniques involved in the construction of more than one hundred specific property items. Emphasis is placed on safety of construction and use of props, particularly those which use electricity or simulated fire. An updated, detailed appendix lists sources for all the materials referenced in this book.

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The Prop Building Guidebook for Theatre, Film, and TV (Second Edition)

By Eric Hart
Hardcover: 428 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1138183674

Experienced prop maker Eric Hart walks readers through techniques used in historical and contemporary prop making and demonstrates how to apply them to a variety of materials. Hundreds of full-color photographs illustrate the tools and techniques used by professional prop makers throughout the entertainment industry.

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The Prop Effects Guidebook: Lights, Motion, Sound & Magic

By Eric Hart
Hardcover: 198 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1138641136

In The Prop Building Guidebook, author Eric Hart demonstrated how to cut, glue, sculpt, and bend raw materials to build props. Now in The Prop Effects Guidebook, he shows us how to connect and assemble components and parts to make those props light up, explode, make noise, and bleed. It delves into the world of electricity, pneumatics, liquids, and mechanical effects to teach you how to make your props perform magic in front of a live audience. The book is complemented by a companion website featuring videos of how to create individual prop special effects: www.propeffectsguidebook.com.

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The Properties Director’s Handbook: Managing a Prop Shop for Theatre

By Sandra Strawn
Paperback: 160 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0415663274

You may be familiar with how to hang lights, build scenery, or run a high school/college/community theatre, but few are familiar with the nitty-gritty details of being a properties director or prop master. There has been an utter lack of information on this topic in the market, until now. Sandy Strawn brings together her incredible 30 years of prop making and managing in this concise guide to managing a prop shop and show built. She skillfully explains planning, pre-production, production, and post-production procedures, budgeting, collaborations with other stagehands, and planning a prop shop from the layout of the spaces to the health and safety protocols for shop planning and workplace management. With this how-to book, you’ll be able to keep your prop shop in tip-top shape.

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Readings in Theatre Practice: Props

By Eleanor Margolies
Paperback: 224 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1137413352

Props are moving objects of attention: they can be part of theatre scenery, equal partners in performance, or autonomous things. This wide-ranging book brings together theoretical and practical viewpoints on objects in performance, covering actor training, scenography, materials, construction techniques and object theatre. Eleanor Margolies also explores the viewpoints of actors, directors, designers, prop makers and spectators to demonstrate the varied experiences practitioners have of using props.

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The Prop Master: A Guidebook for Successful Theatrical Prop Management

By Amy Mussman
Paperback: 184 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1566081542

Whether you are a professional, volunteer or student prop master for a theatrical production, this book reviews what a demanding theatre tech position this is. There’s a lot more to propping a show than many theatre people realize. The twelve chapters of this book provide clear definitions of the job in action. They tell how to build a props department, how to create props and how to work with the technical crew, designers, supervisors and performers. Until now there has been no comprehensive manual or guidebook like this to lead a prop master through the entire process.

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The Fake Food Cookbook: Props You Can’t Eat for Theatre, Film and TV

By Tamara Honesty and Karestin Harrison
Paperback: 242 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1138212275

The Fake Food Cookbook: Props You Can’t Eat for Theatre, Film, and TV contains step by step instructions on how to create the most realistic prop food for a theatrical production. From appetizers such as oysters on a half shell and chicken wings, entrees such as lobster and honey-glazed ham, to desserts, breakfasts, and even beverages, every meal is covered in this how-to guide. Full color images of each step and finished products illustrate each recipe, along with suggestions for keeping the budget for each project low. Safety Data Sheets and links to informative videos are hosted on a companion website.

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The Prop Builder’s Molding & Casting Handbook

By Thurston James
Paperback: 238 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1558701281

This is the first book to contain, in one comprehensive volume, every molding and casting procedure of use to the theater props builder (no matter what his or her level or proficiency). The author demonstrates the techniques involved in using more than thirty different materials ranging from papier-mache to breakaway glass. While the use of some materials–plaster and polyester resins, for example–is covered to some extent in other publications, information on the selection and use of rubber materials (latex, neoprene, silicone, and the urethanes) and the procedure for making breakaway windows and bottles.

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Hollywood From Below the Line: A Prop Master’s Perspective

By Steven M. Levine
Paperback: 160 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1934759851

Steven M. Levine, a veteran Hollywood property master, through both humorous recollections and poignant stories, not only takes the reader onto a Hollywood set as a crew member, but he is also hugely informative about the art department and props in particular – any item handled or used by actors during the filming of a show. Once awakened to the world of props, the reader will never watch films or television shows the same way again. The reader will gain a whole new perspective and appreciation for a department, rarely if ever mentioned, but just as vital to the look and feel of a production as costumes, make up, set design, etc. The book explains what property masters do, how a script is “broken down”, why props must be thoroughly researched, how the prop master interfaces with other departments, and how to deal with the inflated egos he or she will certainly encounter. He also opens up about the toll that 14-16 hour days and being away on location for months at a time can take on a family.

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Film Production Books & Related Craft Books


Making Movies

By Sidney Lumet
Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0679756606

It’s well known that a vast number of people work on any given movie in roles as varied as writing scripts, choosing locations, dressing sets, costuming the players, lighting scenes, manipulating the camera, directing actors, editing film, working on sound, advertising the finished product, and screening it to an audience. Have you ever thought about how these components are collated? Or why the director is most often considered the author of a film? Wonder no more, because Sidney Lumet’s Making Movies is a terrific journey through each stage of filmmaking that is overseen by the director.

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The Filmmaker’s Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for the Digital Age (Fourth Edition)

By Steven Ascher and Edward Pincus
Paperback: 832 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0452297289

Widely acknowledged as the “bible” of video and film production, and used in courses around the world, The Filmmaker’s Handbook is now updated with the latest advances in HD and new digital formats. For students and teachers, professionals and novices, this indispensable handbook covers all aspects of movie making.

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Understanding Design in Film Production: Using Art, Light & Locations to Tell Your Story

By Barbara Freedman Doyle
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1138058705

Great visual storytelling is possible on a minimal budget, but you have to spend a lot of energy thinking and planning. In Understanding Design in Film Production, author Barbara Freedman Doyle demonstrates how to use production design, cinematography, lighting, and locations to create an effective and compelling visual story, even on the tightest of budgets.

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Hope For Film: From the Frontline of the Independent Cinema Revolutions

By Ted Hope
Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1593766092

An inspiring, tell-all look at the indie film business from one of the industry’s most passionate producers, Hope for Film captures the rebellious punk spirit of the indie film boom in 1990s New York City, its collapse two decades later and its current moment of technology-fueled regeneration. Ted Hope, whose films have garnered 12 Oscar nominations, draws from his own personal experiences working on the early films of Ang Lee, Eddie Burns, Hal Hartley, Michel Gondry, Nicole Holofcener, Todd Solondz and other indie mavericks, relating those decisions that brought him success as well as the occasional failure.

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The Complete Film Production Handbook

By Eve Light Honthaner
Paperback: 544 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0240811505

This book is for working film/TV professionals and students alike. If you’re a line producer, production manager, production supervisor, assistant director or production coordinator–the book has everything you’ll need (including all the forms, contracts, releases and checklists) to set up and run a production–from finding a production office to turning over delivery elements. Even if you know what you’re doing, you will be thrilled to find everything you need in one place.

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Filmcraft Series: Costume Design

By Deborah Nadoolman Landis
Paperback: 192 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0240818665

Actors often say they only really assume the identity of their character when they have donned the costumes painstakingly created for them by the costume designer. In this volume of the FilmCraft series of books, sixteen of the world’s leading costume designers come together to share their inspiration and knowledge with the reader. They provide insights into the challenges of envisioning a character, working with budgets, and collaborating with production designers, actors and directors. Designers featured include Academy Award winners Aggie Guerard Rodgers, Janty Yates and Lindy Hemming.

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The VES Handbook of Visual Effects: Industry Standard VFX Practices and Procedures (2nd Edition)

By Susan Zwerman and Jeffrey A. Okun
Paperback: 1100 pages
Publisher: Focal Press
ISBN-13: 978-0240825182

The award-winning VES Handbook of Visual Effects remains the most complete guide to visual effects techniques and best practices available today. This new edition has been updated to include the latest, industry-standard techniques, technologies, and workflows that are ever-evolving in the fast paced world of visual effects. The world-renowned Visual Effects Society (VES) tasked the original authors to update their areas of expertise, such as stereoscopic moviemaking, color management, facial capture, and the Digital Intermediate, as well as provide detailed chapters on interactive games and full animation. Additionally, fifty new contributors share their best methods, tips, tricks, and shortcuts earned through decades of trial and error and real-world, hands-on experience.

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