The Digital Filmmaking Handbook

The advent of iMovie, Final Cut Pro and the FireWire-equipped Macs has put many people in a position to make home movies. Even if you’ve never had the desire to make a movie, if the equipment is sitting there, it’s silly not to use it. Making movies is addictive – whether it’s a simple iMovie or a homemade pop-video – and many people will want to take the next step. This book goes through everything involved in making a digital-video movie. It’s a scary amount of information, but it might just make you the next Spielberg. This book is pitched at the mid- to high-end video-editing market. It takes you from the storyboard and equipment, through to distribution for the finished product. Every detail of the film-making process is included. Scratch
If you’re starting from scratch, the first thing to do is buy some equipment. Chapter six goes into great detail on the difference between single-chip and three-chip cameras, and how to evaluate image quality. It will arm you with enough information to stride confidently into a camera shop and not be bamboozled by jargon. The book isn’t entirely devoted to DV the Macintosh way, as PC-use is covered too. However, because one of the authors is Ben Long, who writes for our US sister-magazine the Mac forms a prominent element of the book. It’s only fair to point out that the book US-centric, and much of the useful contact information is for US residents only. However, if readers from the UK, or anywhere else, want to find out about more local issues there is a Web site (www.dvhandbook.com) to partner the book. Here, you’ll find not just excerpts from the book, but forums, where you can discuss the finer points of DV film-making. There are a few experts – including the scriptwriter of The Ewok Adventure – there to moderate the discussions, though because the book is new, there aren’t many hot topics right now.

OUR VERDICT

Even if you already have experience as a camera operator, sound engineer or best boy, this book will give you an insight onto how the rest of the production process works. If you want to be your own crew and make a movie single-handed, the book has all the info needed too. Anybody who isn’t already a director can’t fail to learn something from this book – it’s an incredibly thorough and helpful read, and a must-have for anybody involved in DV movie-production.

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