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Book Review: "Making Movies" by Sidney Lumet

"Making Movies" is a must-read for anyone interested in the art and craft of filmmaking. Written by the legendary director Sidney Lumet, the book is a comprehensive guide to the creative and technical aspects of filmmaking, based on his experiences working on some of the most iconic films of the 20th century.

The book is divided into four sections, each covering a different aspect of the filmmaking process: preparation, shooting, editing, and sound. Lumet begins by discussing the importance of the script and the pre-production process, emphasizing the need for careful planning and attention to detail. He then moves on to the actual shooting of the film, sharing his insights on camera placement, lighting, and working with actors.

The section on editing is particularly illuminating, as Lumet explains the crucial role that editing plays in shaping a film's narrative and emotional impact. He also discusses the various technical and creative considerations that go into sound design, from dialogue recording to music and sound effects.

Throughout the book, Lumet shares anecdotes and insights from his own career, providing valuable lessons and inspiration for aspiring filmmakers. His writing is clear and engaging, making even the most technical aspects of filmmaking accessible to a general audience.

One of the most striking aspects of "Making Movies" is Lumet's emphasis on collaboration and communication. He stresses the importance of building a strong team and fostering an environment of open communication and mutual respect. This approach is reflected in his own work, which often features ensemble casts and rich, multi-layered storytelling.

Overall, "Making Movies" is a highly informative and engaging read, offering a rare glimpse into the creative process of one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. Whether you're an aspiring filmmaker or simply a fan of Lumet's work, this book is an essential addition to your library.


Lumet, S. (1996). Making Movies. Vintage Books.

"Making Movies by Sidney Lumet - Book Review." Cinema Escapist, 5 Dec. 2017,

Hartmann, T. (2015). "Making Movies" by Sidney Lumet. Film Criticism, 39(3), 73-76.

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