Book Excerpt: Here’s How To Make A Tim Grierson Movie | Features

A fascinating read for moviegoers who want to understand what’s going on behind the camera, and most importantly an essential read for students and newbies to the industry.

With sections on acting, directing, lighting and camera, writing and editing, this book includes all the technical help you need to start your film career.

Plastic images

Infuse inanimate objects with emotional or symbolic meaning – because sometimes a cigar is definitely not just a cigar

Almost all movies use props, which can range from weapons and artifacts to musical instruments and fantasy creations. But some props are more important to a story than others. Here we will be looking at what I will call “plastic images”, which are objects that represent the theme or emotional foundation of a film.

The most famous plastic image in all of cinema is probably that of Citizen Kane. This whole movie is devoted to understanding precisely why Charles Foster Kane whispered “Rosebud” before his death. What is “Rosebud”? Why was this so important to him? When we learn that Rosebud was his sleigh, we stop seeing him as just a childhood toy – it’s suddenly imbued with deep meaning.

Films have all kinds of plastic images. Unlocking their narrative import goes a long way in understanding the underlying message of a movie.

A symbol of hope

“Bicycle thieves”


Screenplay: Cesare Zavattini; director: Vittorio De Sica; actors: Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola

In Vittorio De Sica’s 1948 classic, Lamberto Maggiorani plays Antonio, who landed a menial job that requires him to use a bicycle. Unfortunately Antonio’s family is poor, so they sell items to buy back his bike from a pawnshop. Bicycle Thieves is the story of what happens after Antonio’s bicycle theft, which involves him and his beloved son (Enzo Staiola) traveling through Rome in an attempt to apprehend the thief.

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