Review of BETWEEN THE SCENES by Jeffrey Michael Bays
Title: Between the Scenes
Author: Jeffrey Michael Bays
Publisher: Michael Wiese Productions
What It's About: Between the Scenes looks at the ways scene transitions impact a story through film.
Why I Read It: The book is written for film directors, writers, and editors. I read it from a screenwriter's perspective. I've never seen a book that was devoted solely to scene transitions, and seeing that the author felt so strongly about scene transitions, I thought I should check it out.
What I Liked About It: This book is illuminating in the way it reveals how crucial scene transitions are in a movie. It's not something I would have thought about before, but now I see it clearly in the movies I watch. The author shows how audiences become invested in the story during scene transitions. These are the moments the audience reacts to what has happened in a scene. A filmmaker uses these transitions to get the audience to think, to feel, to experience tension or relief, or to connect with the character. Before reading the book, I didn't even realize what scene transitions were, but the author outlines all the ways you can transition between your scenes to build a more powerful story. I never realized that scenes themselves can function as scene transitions. The author uses Gladiator as a case study to show how scene transitions really do impact the way an audience experiences a story.
As a writer, I appreciated what I learned about screenwriting from this book. It's helpful for a screenwriter to think about scene transitions at the writing stage to make the director's and editor's jobs easier as the film goes from production to post-production. This is definitely a much-needed book for telling a better story through film.