Book and Media Reviews
The DSLR Filmmaker's Handbook: Real-World Production Techniques
The DSLR Filmmaker's Handbook is the closest thing to a comprehensive film school in a book that I've seen in some time. From DSLR fundamentals to shooting with your camera underwater, from storing data in the field to color grading, it seems Andersson and Geyen covered all the bases. I would have loved to see them go a bit deeper on some subjects but the book is already a hefty 400+pages. The softcover is chock full of pictures and illustrations that support the easy and enjoyable, non-overly academic writing, though I found some of the side-by-side comparison shots difficult to discern their differences. This, like any book that must take longer than a year to go from concept to book shelves runs into problems with the accuracy of expired technologies when compared to text distribution models like the Internet. One example to reference is a MacBook Pro that has a FireWire 400 port, an input that my barely surviving four-year-old MacBook Pro doesn't even have. All in all, an excellent book for someone new to modern motion picture production or someone making the switch from camcorder to Digital Single Lens Reflex moviemaking.
- by Barry Andersson & Janie L. Geyen
- 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
From Still to Motion: A photographer's guide to creating video with you DSLR
From Still to Motion is a solid instructional book not only for the still photographer switching to "sequential image gathering," but also for the videographer moving over to DSLR cinematography. The 328-page soft cover book (no Kindle version unfortunately) achieves its goal of explaining the "same technics taught at top film schools" and at $50, it's much more affordable. From lenses to camera support, from follow focus setup to dolly, jib and crane use and from lights, audio acquisition and editing to color correction, this book really covers the bases. We loved the fact that it was written by not one but four experts supported by four contributing authors from all different areas of the industry. The book also contains two-page profiles of various working professionals. The many excellent photos throughout the book show current gear being used in the field and studio. There is an accompanying DVD with hours of extra video training.
- by James Ball, Robbie Carman, Matt Gottshalk & Richard Harrington
- New Riders Publishing
If you're looking for a new age book that promises 'self-transformation' via a 'personal video revolution,' invest $15 (Kindle $10) in Michael Sean Kaminsky's Naked Lens published by Organik Media Press (not to be confused with The Naked and the Lens: A Guide to Nude Photography). This book is more about 'spiritual electricity' and 'yogic breathing' than cameras and editing software. All the technical knowledge in this book could be printed in a light pamphlet. There are more inspirational quotes in this book than... anything. I want to believe all the praise on the back cover of this book and the six 5-star reviews on Amazon.com but I just can't. This book belongs in the self-help section of the bookstore, not the video or filmmaking isle. I honestly could not figure out the audience for this book. Just because bored cubical dwellers or school kids avoiding homework are watching people aimlessly gabbing into a camera and post their vanity to YouTube doesn't mean we need more of them. I honestly tried my best to read this 224 page book with an open mind but in the end, it left me very uninspired.
- by Michael Sean Kaminsky
- Organik Media Inc.
"5" - Excellent, "4" - Very Good, "3" - Good, "2" - Not so Good, "1" - Poor
Morgan Paar is an adjunct professor of film/video production and post-production and an independent cinematographer and editor specializing in international documentary production.