The American Film Institute Desk Reference

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9780751349894: The American Film Institute Desk Reference

This reference work is a source of everything you need to know about movies and the people behind them. Comprehensive and informative, it is aimed at anyone interested in movies - whether you're an aspiring filmmaker, a Hollywood insider or a regular at the local multiplex. The book includes film history, the lifecycle of a movie, biographies of the major players, film term definitions, Academy Award-winning films, statistics, phone numbers and much more. It also includes hundreds of photos, quotes, sidebars and factoids, plus original essays by major Hollywood players.

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About the Author:

The American Film Institute is a non-profit organization committed to advancing, preserving and redefining the art of the moving image. The only national arts organization devoted to film, television and video, AFI serves as a point of national focus to those concerned with film as art. George Ochoa and Melinda Corey have written more than 30 books on film and other subjects, including The Dictionary of Film Quotations, The New York Public Library Book of Answers, Facts About the 20th Century, and The Wilson Chronology of the Arts.

From Booklist:

The American Film Institute (AFI) has created a unique reference source that captures the magic and excitement of the movies. Containing a wide range of information about cinema and the film industry, this volume is a feast for the eyes. Its striking and colorful page layouts feature more than 500 photographs and other illustrations and creatively integrate narrative text with sidebars and boxes highlighting miscellaneous facts, quotes, and trivia.

Relying on a small team of contributors (among them several Hollywood celebrities), the editors have produced a six-part compendium beginning with "Movie History," a chronology of motion pictures from 1830 through mid-2002. "Movie Basics" covers the fundamental components of the film industry, while "Movie Crafts" focuses on the skills and terminology involved in moviemaking, ranging from writing and directing to designing costumes and editing. Featuring brief biographies of principal figures, "People in Film" is subdivided by professions, such as actors, directors, and special-effects artists. "Films" includes lists of winners of major film awards, annotated versions of several of the AFI's lists of best movies, movie quotations, and brief overviews of cinema in other countries. The final section, "Sources," provides directories of studios, organizations, film schools, and other institutions associated with the film industry as well as lists of recommended publications and online resources.

Although the index is useful, it is not comprehensive, failing, for example, to provide access to such features as a sidebar about DivX and tips for finding an agent. In addition, because the numerous glossaries of film terms are not indexed, finding a specific term can be frustrating. More troubling is the apparent lack of rigorous fact checking. The biography of composer John Williams indicates that he is still conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra, a position he hasn't held since 1993, and the membership of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers is given as 39,000 although ASCAP's Web site indicates it currently has more than 140,000 members.

In spite of these problems, this attractive and fact-filled compilation is a bargain. Particularly suited for home libraries, it will also be a useful addition to high-school, public, and academic libraries. RBB
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Melinda Corey; George Ochoa
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ISBN 10: 0751349895 ISBN 13: 9780751349894
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Corey, Melinda, Ochoa, George
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