A few friends of mine, told me, that they do not have school books at university and most of their work is "hands on".

I'd like to learn this stuff too. However, it's hard to learn the craft, if I don't have access to the learning ressources (classes). If I, for example want to learn about Medicine, I can look up the curriculum online and order the accoarding book from the internet.

Now here is my question: Are books used to teach film at universities and if so, what books are most common used?

Is there a "bible", a book that has been read by most of the proffessionals, or one that they reference to? What is recommended for reading?

I know, this might differ, from Job to Job, but I'd like to get a broght understanding of all the different crafts involved as well as the pipeline.

This might sound oppinion based at first, but I'm asking about, what is actually used in colleges, universities and by proffessionls. However other book suggestions are welcome in the comments.

  • When you say "study film", which aspect are you thinking of? Media theory? Criticism? Writing/directing/producing? Technical production? Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 0:22
  • Writing/directing producing/ animating/editing/color grading...
    – Frezzley
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 7:18

1 Answer 1


Yes, a good program should have books in at least some of the courses. A lot of stuff is best learned hands on, but the history and why of things is very helpful to have good books as resources.

Unfortunately, the book choices tend to change over time because the pace of change is pretty high and while a lot of the why and older history stuff doesn't change, the practical side of it does, so books can change and be updated fairly frequently. I was in college back in 2002-2006, so my books are all pretty old now and I don't remember what most of them were anyway.

At a practical level, you don't really reference back to any of the books from college much though. It's more just background information and teaching you the way to communicate using the medium. It all just becomes part of your toolkit and you don't really think about it too much after that unless you're dealing with someone without any of that background and having to explain it in your own terms.

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