Here are some of my favorite reviews available on the web right now.  Of course, they’re all going to be good, but (to be honest)  aside from a few lukewarm reviews out of the many on Amazon, the response has been great.  So, I’m not shaving off only the good ones.

Blogcritics Magazine, by T. Michael Testi.

I really liked The Lean Forward Moment and the focus that it has on analyzing the story. Taking this tack can really solve a lot of problems and difficulties in the making of a film, commercial, webcast, and to some degree, the writing of anything within the creative realm.

The writing style is easy to understand, and the real world examples really make the points within each chapter. Some of the films that are used to describe the author’s points are a bit obscure, and may not be easily available to everyone, but I think still easy to follow.

If nothing else, I think that The Lean Forward Moment will force you to think more intelligently about the media that you watch, whether it is a film, T.V. show, or a webisode. This is a rare book that brings the concept of filmmaking together.
If you want to learn more about the craft of filmmaking and how it all comes together, the I highly recommend The Lean Forward Moment.

Mike Jones’ Digital Basin from February 21, 2009

‘The Lean Forward Moment is the new book by Norman Hollyn that examines the construction of dramatic experience and what it is that makes we, as viewers, lean-forward in our seats.

The Lean Forward Moment brings to bare its articulate and profound examination of the dramatic process from the perspective of the Editor and yet does so in such a way that it provides a singularly powerful point to observe and comprehend the whole cinema process.

The Lean Forward Moment strikes that much sort after but rarely attained balance between grounded, practical examination on one hand and an elevated and insightful conceptual investigation on other. Hollyn’s book is decidedly graceful in being both a filmmakers guide and an survey of the psychology of the viewer.

Hollyn’s book steers clear of the swathe of ‘how to’ books for editors to position itself as a book far more profound and ultimately far more impactful.

The book shall henceforth be compulsory reading for my future students and with respect I will happily be pilfering some of Norman’s insights for my own classes.


Daniel J. Lebryk on Amazon

This is truly a fantastic film book. The printing is outstanding, the paper stock thick, and the page layout pleasing. My frame of reference is a fair amount of film history study, some film production, and an avid film watcher (well over 2,000 films in the past 3 years). Anyone in the middle of their film making career or an aspiring film person would benefit from this book.

Jason, on Amazon

My main goal in learning filmography is really to learn better story telling and to translate the material into the 3d world (by creating 3d animated shorts).

This book, The Lean Forward Moment, gets it. I’ve bought many books, attended seminars, wasted money on dvds, etc, etc.

I’ve had to take those materials, those concepts, and somehow weave them into a workable model (though not elegant)

This book distills all that wisdom into an easy and most importantly workable model.

You can buy this book, read each chapter, then go back, buy a few books or videos on each topic, and then work them all together, knowing you have a solid blueprint.

I love this book. I recommend this book. Know it is not everything you need, but also know that is is a great blueprint, a roadmap for your success in creating compelling stories, and outputting them for a visual medium.

Daniel Figueredo on Amazon

I Would Give It More Stars If I Could
This is one of those rare books on filmmaking that has everything - information, references, illustrations and photography, experience, . . . the list goes on. It is a complete book that delivers on its topic. Norman Hollyn, the author, speaks from so much experience that you feel like he is talking directly to you and is eager to share what he has learned over his long career. He has a great way of introducing film ‘lingo’ so that it is natural to the ‘conversation’ - there’s never any judgement of what you might or might not know. The scene dissections are so clear - you see a floor plan of the scene with arrows showing you which way actors and cameras move, he fills you in on the camera shots (close-ups, wide shots, etc), camera angles, tempo, pacing - all of this rises above the technical to give you an intuitive feel for how to build a scene so that your audience connects to the central story (which he shows you how to figure out what that is). Along these lines, he always talks from several different perspectives - the script writer, director, actor, designer, editor, composer, fx; any discipline that is part of filmmaking. So you get a well-rounded view of how to approach story-telling.

The book is a mix of a textbook, help guide, novel (sounds wierd, but it is like a novel) - I found it to be a page-turner because I wanted to learn what was coming next. Ultimately, I think he teaches you how to think and how to make the best decisions when it comes to story-telling, which is useful in just about everything.

I highly recommend this book.

From Jesskid’s website for Drawn By Pain

…it really is a great read with all kinds of informative tidbits and insights rarely seen in texts for filmmakers/people interested in film. So if you are interested at all in storytelling (in all types of film, tv and web media), I highly recommend taking a look.

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