Book and Tape Reviews

Complete Guide to Video

John J. Adams (1997, PROMPT Publications / Howard W. Sams & Company, 2647 Waterfront Pkwy E. Dr., Indianapolis, IN 46214, 239 pp., $25)


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This book should be called the complete guide to video and anything else that plugs into the wall. The book is designed to help the reader understand purchasing options and to answer questions about video technology that the average salesperson may not know. While this is not a book about production techniques, it may be a valuable resource for newcomers interested in purchasing consumer level video equipment. Between the covers, you will find 240 pages that span topics from digital cameras, to audio and video editing, to WebTV installation. The author, John Adams, did a great job in covering all the devices related to video. His writing style is easy to follow, entertaining, and often humorous. The diagrams of how to hook up audio and video hardware are also extremely helpful. There are also illustrations for wiring equipment like surround sound stereo and Digital Satellite systems. This is one book that really lives up to its title. 5

Directing and Producing for Television, A Format Approach

Ivan Cury (1998, Focal Press, 225 Wildwood Ave., Woburn, MA 01801, 212 pp.,$35)

This is an instructional book that walks the reader through the steps of television and video directing and producing. It covers lighting, camera and scripting techniques for news, panel discussions, music videos, commercials, public service announcements and theatrical programming.

This reads like required material for a video course where the techniques discussed emphasize studio production. It is written in classic textbook form, which means that it is heavy on the text and light on the pictures. This is not the kind of book that you would read for leisure.

Author Ivan Cury shares with us all the details that go into a production. Despite the book being wordy, it does contain information of value for both the beginner and experienced videographer. 3

Easy Home Videos

Brian D. Ratty (1997, Media West Home Video INC., P.O. Box 1563, Lake Grove, OR 97035, 60 minutes, $20)

Have you ever shot a visual masterpiece only to find out that the colors weren’t correct on your tape because you forgot to white balance your camera? This is just one of the many real world tips you will get from Easy Home Videos. The topics in this video include an introduction to the camcorder, shooting techniques, production style and additional accessories such as titers. All this information is packed into a 60 minute video hosted by Brian Ratty an internationally known photographer and videographer. He is very positive, informative and presents the content slowly so the viewers can follow along with out rewinding the tape.

This video would be a good companion to a new camcorder owner or anyone interested in improving and adding professionalism to their videos. 4

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