Entertaining Book Gives Vital Tips on Storytelling

Video Shooter: Storytelling with HD Cameras, Second Edition,
Barry Braverman
Focal Press, $45 – 286 pages

If you want to maximize your HD storytelling then this amazingly comprehensive work by Barry Braverman will not disappoint. A veteran DP and digital media consultant expert with more than thirty years experience, Braverman blesses us with his vast insights into the world of digital storytelling. In this often confusing world of ever-changing cameras, equipment, recording formats and media, Braverman reassures us that, “Craft is and will always be the crucial factor in your success, not which camera you use, which flavor of flash media you employ, or which recording format you ultimately decide on”. Attention to one’s craft is the recurring mantra throughout the work. Though he does delve into the details of the techniques and technology, as well, with discussions on what to include and exclude from the frame, how to build compositions on the power of the triangle, shooting proper close ups and many more, he takes us by the hand and guides us step by step along the path to becoming a master visual storyteller. If you’ve ever wondered about camera detail, gamma, black stretch, knee, matrix, master pedestal and other such settings, you’ll find explanations and tips about them here. Awash with color images and well-defined section headings, all of these important topics are covered in Braverman’s easy to read, often amusing style.
Rating: 5

Complete TRAINING for Pinnacle Studio: for users of Pinnacle
Studio version 14

Featuring Paul Holtz
Class on Demand, Inc., $50 – DVD-ROM

DVD tutorials are my preferred method of learning new material and the Complete TRAINING for Pinnacle Studio (for Studio 14 users) met my expectations beautifully. The visual approach was that of a motion screen capture showing each mouse movement combined with detailed voice-over explanations by Paul Holtz, President and CEO of Class on Demand. Paul begins with proper installation tips and a comparison of Studio products so users are not surprised should the training cover a technique or plug-in not applicable to their particular version of Studio 14. He covers in detail the various panels, menus and other interface features as well as the many editing tools and techniques. Project files are included so the user can follow along with Paul as he goes through each example. The DVD also includes training for each of the Red Giant plug-ins: Magic Bullet, Trapcode 3D Stroke, Particular and Shine, Knoll Light Factory and ToonIt. Paul concludes the training with bonus lessons on creating animated wipes, working with track mattes and using them for Special FX. With an approximate running time of 8 hours and 15 minutes this training DVD is easy to follow, fun and quite thorough. When you’re finished you’ll feel like a Pinnacle pro.
Rating: 5

The Business of Media Distribution: Monetizing Film, TV and Video Content in an Online World
Jeffrey C. Ulin
Focal Press, $35 – 509 pages

Whether you’re a student or an industry professional, this book is a wonderful resource guide covering a broad range of topics complete with case studies. A true insider with over twenty years experience, Jeffrey Ulin is remarkably well-qualified to write what may well be the most comprehensive reference ever written on the inner workings of the motion picture industry. Ulin covers crucial topics such as protecting one’s intellectual property, financing fundamentals, marketing, distribution and monetization of content. Adding to the relevance of the work are detailed, real world examples of distribution costs, available financing and current film development costs. Various distribution and monetization models are also discussed. The author approaches his material in a warm, conversational manner. Whether you have merely a passing interest in the workings of this complex industry or aspire to produce the next internet blockbuster, you would do well to read this amazing work.
Rating: 5

Mark Holder is a video producer and trainer.

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