Video Book and Tape Reviews

Video Warriors: Editing with Media Studio Pro 6
Ultimedia International (2001, www.videowarriorstraining.com, VHS, 1 hr. 30 min., $50)

The official training video for Ulead Media Studio Pro 6, Video Warriors: Editing with Media Studio Pro 6 is a cleanly produced tape that gives an expeditious yet comprehensive look at MSP6.

Conspicuously absent is a host of the videotape. The majority of the tape is the MSP6 screen and a voice-over discussion of what is taking place. This is a different approach than most of the editing system tutorials we’ve seen.

A helpful learning tool is the video and audio provided, which you can capture into your own editing system, so you can practice your editing techniques while you watch the tape.

Assuming your hardware is already properly set up (the tape focuses only on software, not hardware), Video Warriors: Editing with Media Studio Pro 6 will give you a good start on mastering MSP6. Rating: 4

Nonlinear: A Field Guide to Digital Video and Film Editing – 4th Edition
Michael Rubin (2000, Triad Publishing, www.nonlinear4.com, 415 pages, $40)

Nonlinear is an engrossing and witty guide to computer-based editing and distribution of film and video. It starts with a discussion of the basics and proceeds on to a very interesting history of computer editing. A section on fundamentals follows, discussing audio, color theory and compression, among other topics.

The chapter on editing primitives focuses more on discussing what the parts of the system do, than describing specific editing procedures. A chapter on distribution discusses cable, broadcast TV, HDTV, the Internet and DVD. Rounding out the book are (comparatively) short chapters on current systems, and where video theory diverges from the typical real-world experience of an editor.

Nonlinear does a good job going from very basic to very technical, all in accessible language. If you have an interest in nonlinear editing, you’ll definitely appreciate Nonlinear. Rating: 4.5

Film Directing: Cinematic Motion
Steven D. Katz (1992, Michael Weise Productions, www.mwp.com, 300 pages, $25)

If you’ve been meaning to work on your blocking, camera moves or choreography, take a look at Film Directing: Cinematic Motion.

Billed as "A workshop for staging scenes," the book’s basic format is to open each section with a written description of a family of shots, then to proceed into stagings of specific shots. The stagings include annotated storyboard illustrations, which include camera placement diagrams and arrows indicating camera movement. Also included are time requirements for the shots and notes on the production process; we found the technical details to be especially useful.

Especially insightful and interesting reading are the many interviews with seasoned industry pros. A brief glossary of camera motion and editing terms rounds out the book. Rating: 3

KEY TO RATINGS:
5. Excellent
4. Very Good
3. Good
2. Not so Good
1. Poor

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