This page is part of my largerResources For Film Makers section.
Improving your skills in film making and visual effects, like so many other disciplines, is mostly about practice, practice and more practice. However, understanding the theory behind certain techniques and approaches can often unlock a pool of possibilities that you didn't even know existed.
I don't usually read any book on film making or visual effects back to back, but I like to leaf through a few of them from time to time to pick up new tips & tricks, understand why some things work and others don't and get a fresh perspective on some of the things that I might be doing in a less than optimal way.
It explains why certain clips work better in a sequence than others to convey your message and keep the flow going. The book contains a ton of examples and illustrations and I would recommend this book to anyone who is just starting out creating their own films.
The book shows you how to make shots look lonely, threatening, welcoming and how to use different types of shots deliberately rather than by accident.
For all of you who keep asking me 'How do I create effect X?', the The Visual Effects Arsenal: VFX Solutions for the Independent Filmmaker is a book I can highly recommend. The first half covers the basic concepts of visual effects and the second half of the book contains a large number of step by step tutorials that show you how to create all sorts of different visual effects for action, horror, sci-fi or animated movies.
The book is a basically reference guide for specific visual effects and while that in itself is pretty awesome, it demonstrates a large number of solutions to common problems and personally, inspired me to come up with my own visual effects.
It isn't as light to read as the other books, but gives a great holistic view of the industry and covers different approaches and techniques to common visual effects problems. Definitely worth a read!