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Film & Visual Effects: Finding Books

A guide for students studying Cinema, Film, Film Studies and Visual Effects and Motion Graphics at USW
Mae'r canllaw hon hefyd ar gael yn Gymraeg


Books give an overview of a subject and provide information on core concepts and theories.  This makes them a good starting point for your assignments. Core books for your subject will be listed on your module reading list.  If you have an online reading list on Blackboard or another learning environment, this will show you the copies of the book available from the library.   You can also find books by searching FINDit, the Library search engine. 

Shelf marks

Here are some shelfmarks to get you started.

777 Cinematography
777.55 Film & video editing
777.9 Special effects / visual effects
791.43 Film
791.4301 Film theory / film philosophy
791.43025    Art direction
791.4309 Film history  / silent film
791.43092 Directors by country
791.4372 Screenplays / film scripts
791.4334 Animation
791.436 Film genres / documentary films  
808.23 Script writing / screen writing


Films & TV Programmes

791.4309  Film history  / Silent films
791.436 Documentary films
791.4372 Individual films
791.4375     Film collections
791.4334 Animated films
791.4572 Television programmes
791.4375 Television Series / Boxsets

Use FINDit: Search/Libraries, to perform detailed searches for individual books or for material relevant to your topic or subject.

Looking for a book

1. To find a specific book title, enter the book title or author in the FINDit search box and select the Libraries search option. 

2. To find books on a subject, enter a keyword into the FINDit search box and select the Libraries search option. 

3. Can’t find the book you are looking for? You can request it as an interlibrary loan or Recommend the book to your Librarian 



FINDit is a simple, one-stop search engine for books, e-books, journal articles, DVDs and more.




Suggest a Book

Recommend a Book

Students and staff are welcome to recommend books or eBooks for the library that support University assignments and research.

Fill out the online form or email your librarian.

Useful books

Film art an introduction. 12th ed.

Film is an art form with a language and an aesthetic all its own. Since 1979, David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson and now, Co-Author, Jeff Smith's Film Art has been the best-selling and most widely respected introduction to the analysis of cinema. T

The VES handbook of visual effects : industry standard VFX practices and procedures. 3rd ed.

The award-winning VES Handbook of Visual Effects remains the most complete guide to visual effects techniques and best practices available today. The third edition covers essential techniques and solutions for all VFX artists, producers, and supervisors, from pre-production to digital character creation, compositing of both live-action and CG elements, photorealistic techniques, and much more. With subjects and techniques clearly and definitively presented in beautiful four-color, this handbook is a vital resource for any serious VFX artist.

Introduction to documentary. 3rd ed.

The third edition of Bill Nichols's best-selling text provides an up-to-date introduction to the most important issues in documentary history and criticism. Designed for students in any field that makes use of visual evidence and persuasive strategies, Introduction to Documentary identifies the genre's distinguishing qualities and teaches the viewer how to read documentary film. 

Interactive storytelling for the screen

An invaluable collection of essays and interviews exploring the business of interactive storytelling, this highly accessible guide offers invaluable insight into an ever-evolving field that is utilizing new spatial and interactive narrative forms to tell stories. This is an ideal resource for students of filmmaking, screenwriting, media studies, RTVF, game design, VR and AR design, theater, and journalism who are interested in navigating a career pathway in the exciting field of interactive storytelling.

Spectacular posthumanism : the digital vernacular of visual effects.

Spectacular Posthumanism examines the ways in which VFX imagery fantasizes about digital disembodiment while simultaneously reasserting the importance of the lived body. Spectacular Posthumanism argues that special and visual effects images produce a digital, posthuman vernacular, one which generates competing fantasies about the utopian and dystopian potential of a nonhuman future. 

Becoming an actor's director : directing actors for film and television

The collaboration of director and actor is the cornerstone of narrative filmmaking. This book provides the director with a concrete step-by-step guide to preparation that connects the fundamentals of film-script analysis with the actor's process of preparation. It is ideal for students of directing, early career, and self-taught directors, as well as cinematographers, producers, or screenwriters looking to turn their hand to directing for the first time.

Gender in film and video

Gender in Film and Videotracks changes in gender on screen by documenting trends of the internet age. This volume focuses on the breakdown of the categories (content, production, reception) that top-down production/distribution in TV and cinema tended to keep distinct. This text is for students in sociology, media studies, and women's and gender studies.

Cinema studies. 5th ed.

Cinema Studies: The Key Concepts is essential reading for anyone interested in film. Providing accessible coverage of a comprehensive range of genres, movements, theories and production terms, this is a must-have guide to a fascinating area of study and arguably the greatest art form of modern times. Now fully revised and updated for its fifth edition, the book includes entries on topics such as: Acting Audience CGI Convergence Cult cinema Digitisation and globalization Distribution Experimental film Transnational cinema World cinemas

Undergraduate research in film : a guide for students

Undergraduate Research in Film: A Guide for Students supplies tools for building research skills, with examples of undergraduate research activities and case studies on projects in the various areas in the study of film, film theory, film production, history of film, and interdisciplinary projects. Professors and students can use it as a text and/or a reference book. Essentially, what makes this volume unique is that it brings together examples of film projects and film studies courses within the framework of research skills. 


The Library has access to a wide variety of eBooks across all subject areas, these are discoverable and accessible via FINDit.  Type your keywords or title into the search box and choose to search 'Libraries'.

FINDit search for eBooks

Next refine your search to 'Full Text Online' on the left hand side of the search results. 

Refining to eBooks

When you have found a book that you would like to read then click on the title and access via the 'View it' link.

More information can be found in our eBooks Guide.