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Some old-fashioned book-learnin' will do you some good.

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Old January 8th, 2004, 06:35 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 25

20 year photographer (including digital) here getting heavy into DV now. I have also been in the tech world for 20 years as well (network engineer / design etc etc).

Just wondering what books people rec. and what good publications/magazines are good to subscribe to for DV.

Application of DV being mostly commercial from shooting plays, sports events and commercials to shooting independent short films and whatnot.

Brian Zamen is offline  
Old January 9th, 2004, 03:36 AM   #2
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Hi Brian

I bought a great book last summer called '303 Digital Filmmaking Solutions' by Chuck Gloman (McGraw Hill, ISBN 0-07-141651-X).

It's pretty much what it says it is, a bunch of useful tips, some of which will be of interest, while others will be of little value to you.

While it isn't a general intro to DV, it does cover lots of ground from the planning end, through the technical and creative zones and on into the business department (albeit not always in enough detail, to my mind).

Some examples of some of the tips :

How to create a realistic budget
How to use production software
How to create on-camera movement with inaminimate objects
How to use glass as a diffuser
How to make a cheap lens perform like a professional lens
How to use chroma key effectively
How to make animals talk (I had a method for this when I was a punk in the late 70's but now I just enjoy an occasional drink)
How to shoot through windshields
How to build a bounce light
How to light potatoes (!!)
How to light with only one lighting instrument
* * * How to find narrators and voiceover talent (begin shameless plug - I am a freelance v/o - feel free to check if you're looking for a fine British voice - end shameless plug. Sorry) * * *
How to edit for horror
How to use B&W video effectively
How to control colour temperature
How to record ambience
How to record sound outdoors

plus 286 more.

Like I said, not all are of use and some are downright daft (how to light potatoes? There's also one on how to shoot meat!) but the US$29.95/19.99/C$47.95 you'll spend is, in my opinion, well worth it for some of the nuggets.

Others that I expect will be recommended to you are :

Gerald Millerson's 'Video Production Handbook' from Focal Press - a great general course.

Chris Jones 'Guerilla Filmmaker' books - not specifically DV (and a little negative about digital as well, but still fantastic filmmaking books)

Hope that's of use, Brian.


Ian . . .
Ian Stark is offline  
Old January 9th, 2004, 09:27 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response, I am going to pick up 303 Digital Filmmaking Solutions, looks like a lot of good info.

Are there any publications that you have subscribed to that you find valuable?
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Old January 9th, 2004, 10:17 AM   #4
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I think you'll find it useful.

As for publications, to be honest I haven't subscribed to any. I occasionally buy the odd video magazine if there's something of specific interest (or I'm travelling, thus bored) but I think I get enough news, reviews, support and technique suggestions and so on from forums such as this one!

Here in the UK we have a magazine called Computer Video but I'm not wildly impressed. As for the What Camcorder type of mags, if I wanted eighty pages of ads I would get a catalogue! That maybe a bit unfair as often they do have some interesting interviews with filmmakers and so on, but at 3 or 4 a throw . . .

You've probably got a vastly superior choice over there and I expect one of your fellow nationals will be able to offer better advice about magazines.

There's one other book you might be interested in : Editing Digital Video by Robert M. Goodman and Patrick McGrath (McGraw Hill). Again, a real mine of info, some of use, some not. There are specific tips on the major NLE's as well as an interesting 'suggested viewing' list. All in all well worth it in my opinion.

You'll be broke at this rate!

Ian . . .
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Old January 10th, 2004, 08:52 AM   #5
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Location: Holland
Posts: 12,514
I've moved the thread to our special book section! There are a
lot more book recommendations in this forum, so I suggest you
check them out.

Rob Lohman,
DV Info Wrangler & RED Code Chef

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