The Complete Idiot's Guide to Making Home Videos
Writing For Interactive Media

Jon Samsel & Darryl Wimberley (1998, Allworth Press, www.allworth.com, 291 pp., $20)

If you’re interested in writing and creating interactive multimedia content, especially video for the Web, DVDs or CD-ROMs, Writing for Interactive Media just might be the place to start. The authors, outline the entire process in detail, from the planning stages to the final product.

They present the material in a systematic and easy-to-follow way, covering everything from character development to a typical user’s point of view. Along with real-life examples taken from familiar film scripts, the authors also refer to interactive programs on the Internet to illustrate their points.

Although this book is aimed at the beginning writer, intermediate and advanced writers would benefit from it as well. Writing for Interactive Media book provides a good launch pad to help you start creating interactive media.

Video Toaster: Get Started

Desktop Images (1999, Desktop Images, www.desktopimages.com, 800-377-1039, one 60 minute tape, $30)

Having trouble setting up your Video Toaster? This instructional video presents step-by-step instructions on how to set up and configure your Windows NT system to maximize use with the new NewTek Video Toaster. Amiga-based Toaster owners will have to look elsewhere.

Don Ballance, training manager for NewTek, is the host of this hour-long video. Learn to set up multiple hard drives, override default settings for video capturing and preview clips. He also covers basic editing techniques for Speed Razor, the software that ships with the NT Toaster.

Ballance also explains the basic functions of Aura and Lightwave 2D and 3D graphics and animation programs.

Video Toaster: Get Started will help you set up your system and get you on your way to making video on your Video Toaster for Windows NT.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Making Home Videos

Steven Beal (2000, Macmillan Publishing, www. macmillan.com 335pp., $17)

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Making Home Videos is an excellent book targeted at video hobbyists. But don’t let the name fool you, you don’t have to be a dummy to buy this book. In fact, if you’re a beginner looking for tips on shopping, shooting, lighting and recruiting talent, this book might be a very smart choice.

It begins with how to buy a camcorder and slowly builds up steam to cover nearly every aspect of videography. The book covers everything from script writing and storyboarding to computer-based editing and methods of distribution. There’s also a handy glossary that conveniently defines some of the technical terms.

Although some of the information in The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Making Home Videos is superficial, it’s an excellent resource for anyone who wants to make better home videos.

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