Books on Keeping Budgets Creating Graphics

Film & Video Budgets, 3rd Updated Edition

Deke Simon & Michael Weise (2001, Michael Wiese Productions, www.mwp.com, 462 pp. $27)

This book answers any production budget question that may arise. The preliminary chapters deal with setting up your production company, dealing with unions and guilds, getting insurance and finalizing schedules. Film & Video Budgets eventually gets to the line-by-line accounting, and includes very thorough explanations of individual budget items for several scenarios, including shooting film, using off-line and on-line linear editing, and (of course) using digital video and editing on a computer. The book even includes sample accounting codes as illustrated on spreadsheets. The appendix includes money-saving ideas and listings of resources that will help you crank out that production while keeping you within budget. Film & Video Budgets is undisputedly full of good ideas even for first-time independents, though it seems quite Hollywood film-centric at times.

Rating: 4

Microsoft Windows Movie Maker Handbook

Bill Birney, Matt Lichtenberg & Seth McEvoy (2000, Microsoft Press, mspress.microsoft.com, 365 pp. $30)

A complete overview of the video production process, Microsoft Windows Movie Maker Handbook also includes a CD-ROM with Windows Media tools, production music, clip art titles, sample video for practice and a storyboard template. The book begins with questions for the beginning videographer, dealing mostly with approaches to interacting with audiences, then proceeds to planning and equipment discussions. The chapter on shooting includes a hypothetical example and the chapter on editing discusses theory, saving the detailed discussion of Windows Movie Maker for later. A discussion of distribution and streaming is also included, as well as adding still images, sound effects and music. You’ll be comfortable with this book if you’ve read any Microsoft Press manuals in the past; the same fonts and styles are intact, but this is a good thing, as it keeps the book readable.

Rating: 3.5

Creating Graphics Clients Love (and pay for!)

PixelPops Design (2002, www.pixelpops.com, VHS, 83 min., $60)

So, you’re well versed in your editing software but haven’t quite mastered the dark art of Photoshop yet? Here’s a tape that will give you a guided tour with Photoshop-wiz Lance Gray, co-owner of PixelPops Design, a Dallas-based multimedia design firm. You can follow along with the samples on the included mini CD-ROM and learn how to make great looking opening screens with 3D effects and rotated pictures. A little typography, gradient effects and color adjustments tips are also included. Both Mac and PC shortcuts are shown on-screen, for your convenience, and a last look at the finished project as imported into an editing system gives you an idea of the results you can achieve with the techniques shown in this tape. While a working knowledge of Photoshop is helpful as you start watching this tape, it’s not necessary as all of the illustrated procedures are very complete.

Rating: 4

Keys to Ratings:

5: Excellent

4: Very Good

3: Good

2: Not So Good

1: Poor

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