How To Make Your Movie: An Interactive Film School
Ohio University (1998, Electronic Vision, www.interactivefilmschool.com, 3 CD-ROMs, $88)
How To Make Your Movie: An Interactive Film School offers a comprehensive look at video and film creation. The lessons are set inside a virtual film school, where you are able to run free and learn about scriptwriting, location scouting, casting, storyboarding, production and post production.
At its essence, How To Make Your Movie is three cross-platform CD-ROMs enhanced with Director movies with QuickTime clips, but there’s much more than that. For example, a scene teaching camera motion includes an animated clip showing the movement of the talent and camera. There are also interviews with faculty from NYU and The UCLA film schools, lending the product more credibility. The program interface is solid, but the book would benefit from more explanations in the production notebook and CD booklet.
The Digital Producer
Curtis Poole and Ellen Feldman (2000, Focal Press, www.focalpress.com, 345 pages, $40)
Intended for videographers who’ve contemplated further incorporating their computer into video projects, The Digital Producer offers many ideas for streamlining your productions with your PC’s help. The book includes a companion CD-ROM with templates for FileMaker Pro 4 and higher, as well as a 60-day trial version. Tightly integrated templates ensure that most database entries need to be made only once.
There are a lot of acquisition, production and post-production ideas. The book concludes with an interview section, including marked-up scripts to help you get a feel for how involved the production process can get.
If you are well-versed in computer editing systems (especially Avid), we recommend this book. While it has a lot of good ideas, The Digital Producer is not for those unfamiliar with editing terminology and concepts.
Guide to WebCams
Jason Byrne and John Breeden (2000, Prompt Publications, www.samswebsite.com, 288 pages, $30)
Love ’em or hate ’em, WebCams have become an Internet fixture. If you’re thinking about putting your own WebCam on the net, take a look at Guide to WebCams.
The book starts with a fairly thorough overview of the WebCam phenomenon. It continues with a discussion of how much software and hardware you need to devote to a WebCam, WebCam technology, WebCam placement and finally, getting the video on the World Wide Web. Guide to WebCams also covers other splinter technologies, including video e-mail and videophones.
There is also a section on using WebCams for business promotion. In addition, there is a security section, but it merely offers ideas and common sense tips instead of giving a step-by-step procedure for installing virus scanners, firewalls and similar utilities.