Steadicam techniques for Every Shooting Style

Digital Video Filmmaker’s Handbook

Maxie D. Collier (2001, Lone Eagle Publishing Company, www.ifilm.com, 264 pages, $25)

Collier’s handbook is a quick glance reference manual for many questions that hang on the FireWire cables of the novice budding DV storyteller. It offers quick, simplistic answers to DV technical riddles and once-overs of the production practices that have been perfected in Hollywood over the last century.

Although the references are brief, the Digital Video Filmmaker’s Handbook has much to offer. Good tips are here for getting a production off the ground, under budget and how-to’s that will fill out a list of "to do’s" for the videographer working on a shoestring.

There is comprehensive attention paid to Internet resources, helping the reader access the cusp of DV innovation and product hype. Of course, the Book is saddled with a DVD to enhance the learning potential, or to enhance marketing, or both. The Digital Video Filmmaker’s Handbook is worth the read. Rating 4

Steadicam Techniques & Aesthetics

Serena Ferrara (2001, Focal Press, www.focalpress.com, 182 pages, $40)

In Steadicam Techniques & Aesthetics, Serena Ferrara reveals the evolution and secrets of the masters of this marvelous tool. An astounding amount of information bristles from this delightful tribute to Steadicam, and ample photographic and graphic support accompany the enjoyable text. Great behind the scenes shots from memorable Hollywood classics illustrate techniques that operators and directors have labored to perfect. Interviews with experts including the inventor of the Steadicam, Garret Brown, insure this book will be a favored reference material in many collections. Bibliography, appendix and source reference show Steadicam Techniques & Aesthetics to be a well thought out, researched and insightful labor of love by author Serena Ferrara. If you are a camera person, you’ll be energized and inspired by Steadicam Techniques & Aesthetics. Rating 4.5

Guerilla to Guerilla: How to Make Your Video Look Like Film

Access DV and Joke Productions (2000, www.accessdv.com, 50 minutes, $50)

How to Make Your Video Look Like Film by Access DV and Joke Productions contains very useful and interesting information from talented creative storytellers that are out there doing it. Interviews glean the pertinent "how I did its" with plenty of video portfolio examples to support the DV-gurus remarks. Lighting and practical production planning play major roles as do software manipulations, and the results are impressive, especially when footage is A/B, so that the effect or technique in discussion is solidified in the viewer’s mind. Each interviewed guest is given a synoptic review at the end of a section or group of ideas to highlight the important points in a refreshingly simple straightforward fashion. This tape is recommended viewing, if for no other reason, than to instill confidence and validity in the video medium as a conduit for creative expression. For folks interested in polishing their craft, this video is a must-see. Rating 5

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