directed by Steven Spielberg
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Directed by Steven Spielberg, by Warren Buckland

by Warren Buckland

Continuum International Publishing Group (May 31, 2006). 242pp, illus.
Hardcover: $90.00. Paperback: $21.95

This book is not another biography of Steven Spielberg. It does not aim to repeat well-known anecdotes about him (with a few exceptions). Nor does it offer interpretations of his films, in the sense of reading social, cultural or political meanings into the stories they tell. Instead I examine Spielberg's filmmaking practices - the choices he makes in placing or moving his camera, framing a shot, blocking the action, editing a scene, designing the sound, and controlling the flow of story information via a multitude of narrational techniques. I intend this book to be equally relevant to filmmakers and moviegoers wishing to deepen their understanding of contemporary Hollywood filmmaking practices.

Much of what I discovered about Spielberg's filmmaking is not unique to him. Nevertheless, in the process of analyzing his blockbusters, I became attuned to his novel treatment of conventional and routine film techniques. Spielberg does not invent a new film language, but manipulates the existing language in a distinct and completely effective manner to create a quality specific to his films.

From the Preface of Directed by Steven Spielberg (2006).

by Warren Buckland