We review and rate DVDs, videos, books and online tutorials on the subject of video production. These materials are focused to teach, encourage, inspire and explain the techniques of making the best video you can. Learn composition, lighting, editing and sound design from the pros.
3D TV and 3D Cinema: Tools and Processes for Creative Stereoscopy
Oftentimes technical, always thorough, 3D TV and 3D Cinema by Bernard Mendiburu is an excellent reference book for those with a serious interest in working within the medium of stereoscopic 3D. Mendiburu covers working with complex, expensive hardware and software systems used by 3D professionals in detail. Discussed are the many requirements for shooting in 3D: types of camera rigs and other equipment, necessary personnel, lighting, framing, camera movement and dressing the set. Mendiburu reveals how the 3D image is achieved and processed, post production workflow, challenges and solutions. Of particular interest is the troubleshooting section found in Chapter 3: "3D Image Processing and Monitoring". Here, the author introduces an anomaly such as keystone or desynchronized stereo. He follows with the headings: Cause, Consequence, Catch it, Correct it on set and Cure it in post. The explanations and solutions found in these sections are sure to save many a headache for those entering this blossoming field. The value of the work is enhanced further with the inclusion of case studies and detailed interviews with professionals already working on the front lines. A discussion of the history, development and future of this medium makes for a well rounded, interesting and highly informative read. If you have but a passing interest in 3D technologies or are looking for material pertaining to the new generation of consumer level 3D camcorders then you will want to look elsewhere. Aimed at professionals, 3D TV and 3D Cinema by Bernard Mendiburu will be enjoyed by anyone looking to learn more about this topic. Highly recommended.
How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck
Not only easy, but a joy to read, Steve Stockman's How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck is well worth much more than the $14 asking price. In a humorous style that will keep you chuckling, Stockman has packed a veritable film school between the pages of this highly informative, yet entertaining book. In an introduction entitled, "The Opposite of 'Good' is Off" he points out that bad video simply doesn't get watched. In spite of one's intense desire to inspire or inform, bad video does neither, it just gets turned off. The book is not about cameras, audio, resolution, frame rates or editing systems. It is about telling a story and connecting with your audience; it's about creating videos that get watched. Immediately on the heels of the introduction we are treated to "12 Easy Ways to Make Your Video Better Now"; a collection of useful tips you can put to use immediately. With advice such as, "think in shots", "don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes", "keep your shots under 10 seconds long" and "zoom with your feet", you are sure to make immediate strides forward in your quest to produce watchable video. Each tip contains a detailed explanation of why it is important and a page number you can flip forward to for more information on that topic. Subsequent chapters discuss the importance of thinking about both your shots and your audience, preparation tips, proper techniques for focusing, zooming, composition and more. Information about shooting special projects, editing and what happens after the edit completes the book. Chapters are short, some as few as one or two pages and each includes a "Try This" section which is an exercise you can do to practice the techniques discussed. An education in itself, How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck, by Steve Stockman should reside on the shelf of...well, everyone! Very highly recommended.
Rating: "5" - Excellent, "4" - Very Good, "3" - Good, "2" - Not so Good, "1" - Poor
Contributing Editor Mark Holder is a video producer and trainer.