Produce Your Own Special Interest Videos for Fun and Profit
DVD Production

Philip De Lancie & Mark Ely (2001, Focal Press, www.focalpress.com, 171 pp., $35)
DVD Production provides a complete overview of what’s involved in creating DVDs, from the planning phases to the finished product.

Background information includes complete descriptions of each flavor of DVD, including DVD-Video, DVD-ROM and DVD-Audio. The meat of the book discusses production, including what you want the finished disc to be able to do. There are also details on "bit budgeting," the process of determining how best to exploit the space on the DVD. The section ends with the actual encoding of the content for replication or burning onto DVD-R. DVD Production concludes with ideas on how to streamline the DVD production environment.

The icing on the cake is the trial version of Sonic Solutions DVDit! provided in the package, adding to the already high value of the book. We’d recommend DVD Production to anyone who wants to start making DVDs.

Digital Moviemaking

Scott Billups (2000, Michael Wiese Publications, www.mwp.com, 238 pp., $27)
A deep knowledge of video and film production combined with a wry sense of humor and willingness to skewer sacred Hollywood cows make Digital Moviemaking stand out. The focus is on technology, but there are discussions of cast, crew and directing.

Just about anything you would want to know about producing film or digital video is covered here, including television standards, camera selection, lenses, use of light and editing equipment. A short but eye-opening chapter shows how to make a movie for $10,000 with used and rented equipment. The book ends with streaming your video on the Web and taking digital video to film.

Digital Moviemaking is a thorough book for videographers, and is especially well suited for those who enjoy in-depth technical discussions. It is also a good read for the aspiring cinematographer working with video.

How to Produce Your Own Special Interest (Guerilla) Videos for Fun and Profit

Gary Reed (1998, Quality Plus, www.qualityplusco.com, VHS, 47 min., $40)
If you’re a hobbyist looking for ideas on how to make money demonstrating your craft, How to Produce Your Own Special Interest Videos for Fun and Profit may be worth a look.

Reed is confident and low-key in his presentation, which includes sections on brainstorming for ideas, scripting, production, duplication, marketing and publicity. Sections are separated by fades to white, which make it easier to locate information on specific topics for repeat viewing. A nice touch is the list of the companies mentioned, provided on the back of the case.

Reed offers good advice and some great ideas, but if you have a short attention span, be patient. This is a straightforward video with basic production values. Reed makes no bones about this, as he explains that this tape is meant for the enthusiast looking for ideas, not someone looking for a flashy presentation. The tape is thorough, but it could stand to be tightened up a bit.

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