Library Home

Exploring Movie Construction & Production: What’s so exciting about movies? cover image

Exploring Movie Construction & Production: What’s so exciting about movies?

(8 reviews)

John Reich, Genesee Community College

Pub Date: 2017

ISBN 13: 9781942341468

Publisher: Open SUNY

Language: English

Read this book

Conditions of Use



Learn more about reviews.

Reviewed by Kevin Smith, Instructor, Chemeketa Community College on 5/16/19

The basics are here, but in what is a running theme throughout the text, that's about it. One example would be the chapter on cinematography (Chapter 6), which give the reader a decent overview. Having said that, there are few illustrations in... read more


Reviewed by Andrea Wood, Associate Professor, Winona State University on 8/2/18

The provides a fairly general introduction into the study of film that would be accessible to community college learners but a bit too simplistic for students taking a film class at a four year college or university. While the book covers some key... read more


Reviewed by Annie Berke, Assistant Professor, Hollins University on 5/21/18

The book explains at the start that it is an “aid to anyone who does not have a good background” in film and is most useful in a film appreciation course. While I see why this book is focused on students’ personal interests and reasons for... read more


Reviewed by Karen Wenz, Adjunct Instructor, St Cloud Technical and Community College on 2/1/18

The book is not a comprehensive text about film, but then it does not claim to be. The focus is limited in scope and depth. It first offers a simple overview of basic elements of film and story and then discusses elements of production. read more


Reviewed by Daniele Fioretti, Lecturer, Miami University on 2/1/18

Teaching Cinema classes myself, my expectation is a textbook that covers all the main areas of moviemaking, both thematically and technically. Speaking about themes, the section dedicated to film genres should be expanded: it gives very little... read more


Reviewed by Thomas Castillo, Assistant Professor, Bowling Green State University on 2/1/18

The book at some level is probably more conceptually ambitious than it should be. As suggested by the title, the book covers both Construction and Production elements. Either of these topics on their own could and probably should make for a full,... read more


Reviewed by Lucas Ostrowski, Assistant Professor, Bowling Green State University on 2/1/18

The writer covers broad aspects of the movie making process but paints each concept in very broad strokes. Although many different ideas are covered, it seems to be missing a great deal of information. For instance, there is no discussion... read more


Reviewed by Don Diefenbach, Professor, University of North Carolina - Asheville on 8/15/17

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. read more


Table of Contents



Part I: Construction

  • 1. What Is the Theme? Why Do We Need It?
  • 2. What Is Genre and How Is It Determined?
  • 3. What Are the Mechanics of Story and Plot?
  • 4. How Are the Characters Portrayed?

Part II: Production Prologue

  • 5. What Is Directing?
  • 6. What Is Cinematography?
  • 7. What Is Editing?
  • 8. What Is Sound?

Conclusion: What's So Exciting about Movies? – Novice Answers

Production Assignment

Cinematography Assignment

Future Viewing


About the Book

Exploring Movie Construction & Production contains eight chapters of the major areas of film construction and production. The discussion covers theme, genre, narrative structure, character portrayal, story, plot, directing style, cinematography, and editing. Important terminology is defined and types of analysis are discussed and demonstrated. An extended example of how a movie description reflects the setting, narrative structure, or directing style is used throughout the book to illustrate building blocks of each theme. This approach to film instruction and analysis has proved beneficial to increasing students' learning, while enhancing the creativity and critical thinking of the student.

About the Contributors


John Reich received a B.A. in theatre from Buffalo State College in 1976 and an M.A. in speech with a theatre and journalism concentration from Kent State University in 1979. He has been teaching Film, Speech and Interpersonal Communication at Genesee Community College since 1998. He published an article entitled “I’ll Take Education for $100”, in Innovation Abstracts in 2011, which discusses a method of teaching film in the classroom. This article was the precursor that led to formulating the idea and concept for this textbook. He also published an article, “How to Transform Fear and Hostility into Enthusiasm” in Teaching for Success in 2009 that discusses how to help students get over their nervousness when taking a Public Speaking course.