International Motion Picture Almanac
A comprehensive source for information on nearly every aspect of filmmaking, distribution, and exhibition. Includes listings (with contact information) for production services from advertising to talent scouts, for producers and distributors (both major studios and independents), and for professional organizations and government offices dealing with film. Hard-to-find information on theatre circuits, exhibitors, and even concession suppliers is also included.
The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States
The multi-volume AFI Catalog, divided by decade, provides (according to the AFI Web site) “authenticated information on every feature-length film produced in America or financed by American production companies” from 1893–1950 and 1961–1970. Details on cast, crew, plot summaries, subjects, genres, and historical notes are included for each film. Also included is the accompanying index volume for each decade, which lists films by subject.
The Complete Film Dictionary (2nd ed.)
So what exactly is a gaffer? Filmmakers and compulsive end-credits readers can find the answer to their question from among the nearly 4,000 entries treating all aspects of filmmaking, with a useful focus on technical terms. (Hint: check page 161.)
The Film Encyclopedia: The Most Comprehensive Encyclopedia of World Cinema in a Single Volume (5th ed.)
Fun to read as well as a great research tool, this exhaustive reference work covers nearly all facets of filmmaking in America and abroad. Entries range from brief biographical sketches to country-by-country overviews of the major film industries. Important film-related organizations and events are covered; inventions, techniques, processes, equipment, and technical terms are clearly defined and explained.
The Motion Picture Guide
Before the Internet Movie Database, The Motion Picture Guide was THE source to look up information about your favorite film. The alphabetically listed entries in volumes 1-9 cover American and important foreign films released between 1927 and 1983; supplemental volumes go through 1999. Separate index volumes list alternative titles, series, awards, and credits by personal name (including pseudonyms).
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