My friend and acting teacher Rob recommended that I read the book "A Film Director Prepares". And I'm glad I did. It tells you the really basic stuff that you think you know, but not quite, and it's been really useful.
Perhaps you already know this, smart readers, but through this process I have been discovering that film indeed works like a language. We get it instinctively, like babies who learn how to speak without knowing the rules, but it has a definite grammar and a set of rules and processes that you can learn and that are super smart and highly intuitive. I know, DOH, but bear with me.
So I love looking at the stuff I kind of know instinctively, and then finding out what it's named and what it really means and what it's good for, what it is supposed to communicate. What blows my mind is that film language and the process of making a film are really very smart and well designed. It's like musical notation or math, a crowning achievement of human thought, as far as I'm concerned.
Who came up with this wonder, of stringing images together to tell a story not in real time? What a beautiful thing.