Video Production Books and Tape Reviews

Video Camera Technology

Arch C. Luther (1998, Artech House,685 Canton St., Norwood MA 02062, 781-769-6334, 312 pp., $75)

This book covers video camera technology
at all levels, from consumer products to professional broadcast and production
cameras. It is written primarily for readers who have very little technical
background in video operations. The fourteen chapters of video applications
range from simple camcorders to camera signal processing.

If you are interested in how film is transferred to video, there is a chapter
on telecine systems. Also, an extensive section on digital still-picture
cameras gives many examples and comparisons of the new technology. Another
section deals with HDTV and how it operates.

The bibliography has an extensive list of web sites for technical reference.
Each chapter brings you face to face with terms or functions you may have
never seen before. If you are new to video or who need to brush up on your
terminology, there is a helpful twenty-one page glossary.

For anyone who needs to know the technical details of camcorders, this book
is definitely a helpful tool. 4

Contemporary Cinematographers on Their Art

Pauline Rogers (1998, Focal Press, 225 Wildwood Ave., Woburn, MA
01801, 800-366-2665, 240 pp., $20)

Do you crave the behind-the-scenes gossip of a cinematographer? Always
wondered how a particular special effect was created? Then Contemporary
Cinematographers on Their Art
is a book to satisfy you. There are thirteen
interviews of Directors of Photography from around the world. All aspects
of cinematography are covered, from pre-production planning to post-production
of a film or television show. Each interview has its own flavor of how some
of the most popular TV programs and movies come to life. The elite crews
who created many hot movies and television shows, from Air Force One
to X-Files, discuss their creative process.

Covering a variety of genres, each interview explores the tools cinematographers
use to capture their shots, from traditional equipment to the latest camera
and lighting techniques. Although the behind-the-scenes viewpoint is entertaining,
Contemporary Cinematographers is not a how-to guide for videographers–don’t
expect any fancy pictures or diagrams. This book is strictly accounts of
interviews and histories of filmmakers and videographers. 3

Filmmakers and Financing: Business Plans for Independents

Louise Levison (1998, Focal Press, 225 Wildwood Ave., Woburn, MA
01801, 800-366-2665, 192 pp., $23)

So you have the creative story to make a movie, but lack the business
aspect of filmmaking or video production. Filmmakers and Financing: Business
Plans for Independents
might be worth your time. The primary goal of
this book is to meld creative thought with business fundamentals, whether
you’re producing film or video. The author presents an easy-to-follow format
and a step-by-step approach compressing the gap between the filmmaker and
the financial aspects of production. Each chapter focuses on a section of
the business plan for your movie. The author uses generic pitch situations
to simulate real life experiences you may face while trying to wheel and
deal your ideas. There is also a sample business plan for reference as you
write your own. Defining your goals, market outlines, financial projections
and obtaining financing are all discussed in this budget helper. If you
lack financial experience, this book can assist you in creating a successful
business plan to attract investors to your projects. 4

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