Wedding Photography and Video

Chuck Delaney (1994, Allworth Press 10 East 23rd Street, New York, NY 10010, 159 pp., $11)

Weddings provide opportune moments waiting to be captured on film. And becoming a wedding videographer may be the perfect way to catch them. Although Wedding Photography and Video is a guide for the bride and groom on how to choose a competent photographer or videographer, it does include an abundance of helpful information for the beginning wedding videographer.

In Wedding Photography and Video, Delaney provides a plethora of tips on what to look for in a videographer. With step-by-step advice, he states what should be included in the wedding video, the story it should tell and even the ins and outs of copyrighted music. The book includes a useful checklist of video moments to capture, ranging from the bride getting dressed to the best man’s toast. The bottom line is, if you’re interested in the field of wedding videography, this book will help you know what the happy couple is looking for even before they ask.


Silent Echoes: The Films of Buster Keaton

John Bengtson (2000, Santa Monica Press LLC P.O. Box 1076, Santa Monica, CA 90406-1076, 58 pp., $25)

With technology racing forward, it’s comforting to take a step back. In Silent Echoes, John Bengtson provides a historically intense scrapbook of Buster Keaton’s pioneer filmmaking. Bengtson depicts the works of comedic Keaton through behind-the-scenes photos. He illustrates how Keaton used varying camera angles to achieve different scene looks while staying in the same location. Photos point out torn down, moved, then reconstructed buildings, repeatedly seen props and streets used over and over again in Keaton’s films.

However, while the book itself is intriguing, it holds limited value for budding videographers. A majority of the book focuses on "Keaton’s Hollywood landmarks" rather than on his actual filmmaking techniques. On the other hand, it might be useful to budgeted videographers who are wondering how to turn the same old neighborhood into a brand new set.


Understanding Sound Systems

Larry Stover (1997, Atlantic Video Productions, P.O. Box 58126, Raleigh, NC 27658, 108 minutes, $40)

While this video is encased in a rough exterior and lacks aesthetic frills, it delivers valuable information on managing sound for video. Understanding Sound Systems will help the beginning videographer gain basic knowledge of how sound equipment functions. The video includes layout design, installation technique and operation information. Detailed subsections cover audio chains, microphones (including wireless), cable systems, mixers, amplifiers, loud speakers, feedback and equalization. Stover also includes some helpful troubleshooting information. The video addresses specific audio questions, one-by-one, in a classroom-like setting (with whiteboard diagrams and all).

Although immensely informative, the video is fairly dry and slow moving. But, if you have a serious interest in sound systems and are willing to look past the classroom setting, you will benefit from Stover’s expertise.

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