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Old October 19th, 2002, 07:34 AM   #1
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Recommend Text on DV Please

I am looking for a book that could be used as a text for upper level undergraduate, but still introductory, course on DV production.

The ideal text would have a basic technical orientation to video including a good discussion of compression schemes and standards etc.
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Old October 19th, 2002, 11:13 PM   #2
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Peter,
No single book comes to mind. There are many good books on the subjects you noted but they are either too highly specialized on a topical category or are too general to impart any meaningful knowledge. Also, a book to be used as the spine of a college-level class needs to be organized in lessons...which most books are not.

Here are a few thoughts to get you started.

You might expect a recommendation for Scott Billup's book "Digital Fimmaking" from me...not. Personally, I think it's hyped tripe not worth the price.

Ben Long's and Sonja Schenk's book "The Digital Filmmaking Handbook" is a far better generalized work.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1584500980/

Ben Waggoner's book on digital video compression presents a great deal on information (albeit time and platform-sensitive) if you plan to devote emphasis on this topic:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/157820111X/

Digital video is such a moving target that it's hard for me to imagine spending a college semester/quarter on the subject. Are you tasked with teaching such a class for a university, community college, etc.? If so, what is the title of the class and the class objectives?
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Old October 20th, 2002, 03:25 AM   #3
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About Scott Billups book, I read it and found a lot of useful information in it. I also found a lot of hype and editorialisation. He tends to get on his soap box a bit and I also wouldn't recommend it as a study text.

As Ken has said choosing one book to sum it all up is a difficult task. John Fauer's book "Shooting Digital Video" isn't bad and it includes a how to of the PD100-A/TRV900. (www.focalpress.com/companions) This link also has a lot of other titles that might suit your needs.
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Old October 20th, 2002, 09:52 AM   #4
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I've read the Billups book. I found it tantilizing while not completely statisfying. It very much needs some careful editing to restrain the hype and to make some of the technical discussions a little more clear.

Ken, I have the Long and Schenk book, and your comments sent me back to it to look again, and it might not be a bad choice. Yet I think it glosses over some subjects. Take the disucssion of color sampling ratios (p. 61). It tells you what without providing much information about why. While I don't want a book on video engineering, but I would like the text to provide a little more theoretical explaination of concepts like luma & chroma etc. Perhaps I'll just have to provide this information in other ways.

You are right, that DV is a moving target, an emerging discipline, and I think it's clear that what's in print has not (and maybe can't) kept up with what people are actually doing with DV. I realize that what i want may not exist yet. A lot of the material for undergraduates is related to "broadcasting" which does not capture the guerrila potential of DV (one thing I like about the spirit of the Billups book).

I am working on a course propsal both for the reg. undergraduate program (in the context of a small 4 year liberal arts college) and continuing ed. There is a growing awareness of DV as a way to do video production more cheaply and thereby providing all sorts of organizations with a communication tool that was very much more expensive and time-intensive just a few years ago. I am interested in planning a course organized around the idea of introducing how "small" organizations can use this new communication tool.

In anycase, the title, objectives, and content are all up in the air at the moment. Any ideas are welcome.
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Old October 20th, 2002, 10:52 AM   #5
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Peter,
It might not be a bad idea for you to start a thread in the general DV discussions forum soliciting suggestions on what such a class might feature and avoid. You might get some interesting and useful perspectives from people with the same backgrounds and interests as your prospective students.
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