Theme Videos

Sandy Brooke (1995, Brooke Video Productions, Beverly Hills/Van Nuys, CA 818-786-4671, 40 min. $49 each or $199 for series of 6 tapes)

If producing your own video of a special event–like a birthday, anniversary or wedding–has always piqued your interest but you werent quite sure of the look you were after, Theme Videos by Sandy Brooke is a good place to start. In this 40-minute tape, designed to inspire creativity, Brooke shows tried-and-true samples of various theme videos you can try yourself.

Be aware, though, this isnt a "how-to" video (nor does it claim to be), and doesnt provide step-by-step instruction. Instead, it serves as an imagination booster and inspiration tool. However, the individual segments tend to be a bit long. The video might be more user-friendly if it had more segments that were shorter in length. You can buy the tape as part of a six-tape series, or separately. Other tapes in the series include Basic Videography, Glamour Videos, Sales and Marketing, Demo Tapes and Training. 3



Writing for Multimedia

Timothy Garrand (Focal Press [Butterworth-Heinemann], 313 Washington St., Newton, MA 03158-1626; 329 pp.,$35)

Considering entering the world of writing for multimedia? What about creating interactive multimedia? For newcomers and experienced multimedia professionals alike, Writing for Multimedia is an excellent resource. Complete with CD-ROM, this book discusses a wide variety of programs (like education, training and advertising), and includes examples of the major multimedia formats.

The book has three parts: "Multimedia and the Writer," "Writing Informational Multimedia," and "Writing Narrative Multimedia." Part I looks at the many demands that multimedia puts on the writer (including scriptwriting and HTML), while Parts II and III provide in-depth case studies of a number of multimedia programs, including the World Wide Web and interactive movies. The CD-ROM offers even more: script samples, program demos and product information, to name a few.

Garrand offers readers an easy-to-read, comprehensive research tool. This book is a must for every multimedia enthusiasts reference library. 5


An Introduction to Computer Animation

Ford McCann (1995, Kinsman Physics Productions, 95 Legran Rd., Rochester, NY 14617, approx. 55 min., $18)

Computer animation intimidates many videographers. It’s something strictly for highly trained professionals and computer programmers…right? Well, not anymore. Animator Ford McCann explains computer animation in an easy-to-understand, step-by-step presentation. Using simple blocks, Ford explains the importance of real-time rendering and storyboarding.

Although he created his examples with Crystal TOPAZ, the principles of animation he demonstrates are universal. Ford covers a wide range of information: defragmenting a hard drive, using modeling tools, rendering, morphing, applying maps and more. This video is a foundational introduction to animation, and it’s not intended to be a detailed training guide. Those new to animation will find this video informative. But those already familiar with the basics of animation will find little here to advance their knowledge. 3

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