Comprehensiveness rating: 3 read less
This book in specifically targeted in its objective and thus it is not a particularly comprehensive treatment for the subject. It does not contain an index or glossary, but each chapter does conclude with a number of helpful resources.
Accuracy rating: 5
The content of the book is pretty accurate and the book does a good job in addressing its stated objectives.
Relevance/Longevity rating: 4
The book uses classic film examples and timeless principles of film construction and production. For these reasons, the book is one that will have a good shelf life and can be updated easily.
Clarity rating: 3
I found the writing quality to be a weaker element of the project. The author repeatedly uses the device of citing dictionary definitions of terms, something as the lead to a chapter, and sometimes many times within the same chapter. Sone of the transitions are clunky. Some of the early discussion is anecdotal in nature based on the comments from the author's own school. I really like the premise of this book, but I do think it would be stronger if reworked for style and if more scholarly citations were added.
Consistency rating: 5
Consistency is good. The book utilizes a defined structure and tone and stays with this throughout
Modularity rating: 4
The book is successful in its modularity. It could be generally assigned as stand-alone units by chapter, although there are some references backwards and scaffolding.
Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 4
I think the structure and flow of the book are both good the style and content issues already cited above not withstanding
Interface rating: 5
I read this book in iBooks and everything worked great. The coding of the text and links seems very good. Text boxes were set aside in shading as they should be and images looked good.
Grammatical Errors rating: 5
The grammar is pretty good but the style could be raised a notch.
Cultural Relevance rating: 3
The book is centered on three classic films that are widely available from the earlier days of cinema. The films are relatively homogenous, but the principles explored in the text are quite universal.
I think this book operates from an effective premise and is a valuable resource. The author uses three classic films available for free on YouTube and a hypothetical project to take the reader through the stages of film construction and production. Leading the chapters with questions is effective. I like the formulas that illustrate the various stages of the process. The discussion of character is very good and thought-provoking. The chapters on the technical elements of production are pretty comprehensive and will give introductory students a good basis for understanding how movies are made. The "Further Viewing" recommendations at the end of each chapter present a range of very good suggestions. The concluding section bring the whole book together nicely. The book contains a few assignments at the end that can help students apply what they've learned. While this work lacks some of the depth and scholarly citations of other works on this topic, it does provide a great deal of useful information and a valuable structure for students and instructors in an open access format.