Video Production Book and Tape Reviews

After Effects Boot Camp

Desktop Images (1999, Desktop Images, www.desktopimages.com, (800) 377-1039, Four 120 min. tapes, $50 each, $180 set)

If you are trying to learn Adobe After Effects and have found the learning curve to be extreme and reading the manuals seems a daunting task, it’s time to go to After Effects Boot Camp. This four-tape series, from well-known Desktop Images, is like having a personal tutor show you the ins & outs, shortcuts and tips of one of the most popular 2D animation and compositing tools on the market.

Featuring Taz Goldstein, the tape series is an intense eight hours of information presented in an easy-to-follow style. Goldstein imparts a wealth of information, some of it quite quickly. If you’re totally unfamiliar with the program, you’ll need to keep your hand on the remote and be prepared to rewind often.

This tape series can help both the beginner and the intermediate user who’s trying to master After Effects.

The Independent Video Producer

Bob Jacobs (1999, Focal Press, www.focalpress.com, (781) 904-2500, 224 pp., $25 )

If you’re thinking about making the transition from video hobbyist to professional videographer, you may need some help. The Independent Video Producer is a down-to-earth look at the less glamorous side of videography. From creating the proposal to managing the client, the author walks you through the process.

The book examines real life situations that you may encounter as a producer, as well as sample scripts, budgets and proposals. There’s a whole section on setting up shop, aimed to walk you through the minefield of starting your own business.

This book will not teach you how to shoot or edit, but it will teach you how to build a successful video business. If you’re considering making the jump into professional videography, read this book first. If you’re already a video producer, this book is a solid refresher course.

The Anatomy of a PC

William E. Steinman (1999, Wesoomi Publishing, www.wesoomi.com, (248) 627-5804, 160 pp., $30)

Why does a videographer need to know anything about the anatomical aspects of a PC? Because these days, computers are involved in all aspects of video production, from scriptwriting to editing. Most videographers who are interested in a computer that edits video, will simply buy a pre-configured turnkey system. It takes a special kind of person to be willing to dive in and accept the responsibility and challenge of building a computer from the scratch. If you want to build your own PC, then this book may be for you.

As the author notes in his forward, building your own computer may not save you time or money, but it can be fun. The Anatomy of a PC is a well-written straightforward book that explains exactly how to build a PC from the ground up. If you’re motivated to build your own PC to edit video, this book may help.

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