I like to think after making a few movies that I have a little understanding of the art of doing so. Not necessarily an expertise, except maybe on my more delusional days, but a bit of understanding that allows me to make something that passes as good film.
But I'm always looking to improve and learn, and I often read articles that analyze the styles of other directors and different techniques that can be used. Helpful, to be sure, but never presented in a way that allows me to easily understand the "whys" of each technique.
That's why I love the new net-books written by Matt Kelland and released for free by Moviestorm. They're easy to get through and understand, but more importantly they give concise, easily digestible explanations about the techniques. Better still, it's real mechanic of getting you to understand technique is by giving you scenarios and having you film them in many different ways, then making comparisons and drawing your own conclusions. This method allows you to both understand how to perform a technique and why you would use it, but more importantly does so without stifling you with the notion of imitating someone else. On the contrary, it allows you the freedom to create, explore, and expand your own style and technical palette.
And that is a good thing for any artist, even those who think they know something.
Go now and get Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, then click on the fancy banner on the right to get Moviestorm. I guarantee you will improve your art.