110 Ways to Improve Your Sound System


Basics of Video Production (Second Edition)


Des Lyver & Graham Swainson (1999, Focal Press, 225 Wildwood Ave, Woburn, MA 01801-2041, 150pp., $20)



Whether you are a newcomer to video or an experienced producer, you will benefit by reading the latest from Des Lyver and Graham Swainson. The two have teamed up to update their popular Basics of Video Production in this second edition release.

The book assumes little prior knowledge, yet explains both studio and field production procedures and techniques in ways that will benefit even seasoned videographers. Written in an approachable manner, the tips and techniques are easy to understand and apply. The book covers the whole spectrum of video production, introducing the reader to the various roles on a production team, with detailed explanations of each position. Techniques covered include the basics of studio and location sound, lighting, camera work, directing, makeup and scripting. In addition, the book discusses various types of editing options, defining and explaining such things as timecode, insert and assemble edits and online vs. offline editing. The update includes a section on digital video and nonlinear editing. If you are looking for one book that covers all the basics of video production, look no further.



Rating 4
Selling to Corporations: A Producers Guide to Selling Video, CD-ROM and Web Sites


Peter Simmons (1999, Peter Simmons, OneWorldVideo.com, 978-373-2227, 56 minutes, $50)



Selling to Corporations contains a wealth of information to help you sell your video or CD-ROM. In this 56-minute video, Peter Simmons outlines what you need to know to develop a corporate image, compile a database of potential customers, how to talk to clients on the telephone and how to write a proposal.

While Simmons has a great deal of expertise, his presentation is dry and the video itself shows little creativity. In the video, Simmons slouches in an armchair in front of a cluttered desk and speaks to a static camera about each topic. Visual examples are limited to a series of items that he holds up for the camera. Bear in mind, however, that this is not a tape about how to make a good video, CD-ROM or Web site. Simmons does not address content, but salesmanship and marketing techniques. Despite the poor production quality, the content is good.



Rating 3
110 Ways to Improve Your Sound System


Larry Stover and Sheila Orr (1999, The Sound Doctor, PO Box 58703, Raleigh, NC 27658, 73pp., $30)



Sound is surely one of the most neglected, yet most important aspects of video production. In this book, Larry Stover, the "Sound Doctor," provides no less than 110 tips for improving your sound recording system. While the book appears to be written for those who set up and operate sound systems in auditoriums (in churches, theaters, etc.), many of Stovers insights universally apply to recording and processing sound and can help you produce better audio for your video productions.

Some of Stovers tips are rather basic and may seem like common sense to many readers. Tip #28 for instance, reminds you not to allow food or drink near the mixer. Remember, however, that common sense isnt always common. Other tips address proper use of wired and wireless mikes, how to select (and even build) the right cables and how to tweak a mixer to get a rich, clear signal.



Rating 4

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