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Profile for Paul Solomons > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Paul Solomons (London, UK)
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Berol Dry Wipe Pen Fine Nib 1mm - Black (Box of 12)
Berol Dry Wipe Pen Fine Nib 1mm - Black (Box of 12)
Price: £6.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Great for detail, 5 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I mainly use whiteboard pens for whiteboard animations and explainer videos. Finding pens that are sufficiently fine to allow for detail has been tricky, but these do the job very well. Like all whiteboard pens, they do splay a little after you've been using them for a few minutes, but even so, they are still finer than most others I have tried.


Happy Birthday (Presents) - Printable Amazon.co.uk Gift Voucher
Happy Birthday (Presents) - Printable Amazon.co.uk Gift Voucher
Price: £50.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect, 11 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The perfect gift for anyone if you can't think what to get them. Amazon has so many products that the recipient is bound to find what they want.


Thomas Edison (DK Biography (Paperback))
Thomas Edison (DK Biography (Paperback))
by Jan Adkins
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.24

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a guy., 8 May 2011
This book gives a brief, yet fascinating insight into a person who changed the whole world. The word "genius" is banded around fairly freely nowadays, but Edison was truly deserving of the title. The book explains his inventions in a clear and concise manner as well as painting a picture of this slightly eccentric, driven man.

A brilliant introduction to Edison.


Silent Comedy
Silent Comedy
by Paul Merton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful history from a true fan, 5 July 2010
This review is from: Silent Comedy (Paperback)
The great strength of this well-written and entertaining book is Paul's choice to make it a chronological account of the developing careers of all the major silent movie stars. One gets to appreciate how Chaplin led the way and how so many other stars found themselves following his lead (often emulating his tramp character) before finding their own on-screen personas.

Paul describes a great deal of the action in various movies and I found it incredibly rewarding to be able to trawl through YouTube after reading each section to try to locate the movies to which he referred and see for myself the business he had discussed.

Paul Merton is clearly a huge fan of silent movies and his passion comes through. He writes very much as he speaks and at times you can almost picture him delivering the lines. Certainly, knowing the author as a comedian makes his little asides in which he suggests how his subjects might be feeling, all the more plausable.

Very enjoyable.


Khachaturian: Spartacus, Gayaneh, Masquerade / Ippolitov-Ivanov: Caucasian Sketches
Khachaturian: Spartacus, Gayaneh, Masquerade / Ippolitov-Ivanov: Caucasian Sketches
Price: £14.25

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully rousing stuff., 4 July 2010
I purchased this album primarily for the Waltz from Masquerade which is one of the most atmospheric and exciting pieces I have heard. It is the kind of music one might envisage accompanying the dark, gothic romance of a Tim Burton animation. Wonderful. The waltz alone is worth the money for the CD.

The other tracks are full of energy and emotion (though for me, none quite match the Waltz), and special mention must go to the Sabre Dance, a piece that most people will know and cannot fail to enjoy.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 28, 2011 4:37 PM BST


Sleight of Hand: Practical Manual of Legerdemain for Amateurs and Others (Dover Magic Books)
Sleight of Hand: Practical Manual of Legerdemain for Amateurs and Others (Dover Magic Books)
by Edwin Thomas Sachs
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good old fashioned magic, 2 April 2010
This book is a great instructional manual for anyone wishing to learn sleight of hand magic. The language is a little old-fashioned, but that merely adds to the atmosphere, building up an image of the author as a Victorian, top-hatted, wand-waving magician of the old days.

Edwin Sachs is passionate about sleight of hand being an art, referring to other magic that invloves mechanical props in fairly derogatory terms. Sleight of hand is primarily about the skill and dexterity of the magician.

There are lots of great tricks and techniques explained in the book. However, with only a few illustrations dotted around, some of them can be difficult to visualise on a first reading.

As well as simple palming of coins and cards, there are lots of bigger, more involved (and audacious) illusions, including the classic pulling a rabbit from a hat. There are also several tricks that involve pricking your volunteers with pins - probably best left alone in view of today's litigious society.

All-in-all, a really fun book. I've seen many far more user-friendly magic books, but this one has an old-fashioned charm that every magic enthusiast should enjoy.


The Animator's Workbook
The Animator's Workbook
by Tony White
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well explained advice from a master animator, 24 Aug. 2009
The beauty of this book is its simplicity. Tony White is a great, accomplished animator, yet he manages to explain the rudiments of animation clearly and concisely so that even a beginner can understand. Divided into several useful sections (inbetweening, head turns, walks, runs, etc.), the book can be read from beginning to end as a full animation course, or can be dipped into for reference. I bought the book after purchasing Preston Blair's "Cartoon Animation" and found White's far easier to understand. The Animator's Workbook allowed me to nail the all-important walk cycle that I had struggled with in Blair's book. This book was written before computers took hold of the industry, so there is no mention of them (unless there has been a revised edition), but the techniques found here are as valid for computer animators as they ever were for traditional animators.


The Cartoon Music Book
The Cartoon Music Book
by Greg Ehrbar
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully informative book, 24 Aug. 2009
This review is from: The Cartoon Music Book (Paperback)
Having read many books on the history of animation, I had a reasonable knowledge of the main composers and musical directors in the cartoon film industry before reading "The Cartoon Music Book" (Carl Stalling, Scott Bradley, Winston Sharples,etc.). However, this book goes well beyond anything I've read before. Rather than a straightforward history, it is a collection of short essays and interviews that gives the reader a real insight into the minds of many animation composers and their working methods, as well as explaining how composing for animation changed over the years. Two sections were particularly fascinating. One concerned Raymond Scott, a composer whose music has been used in countless cartoons over the decades despite the fact that he never (allegedly) wrote specifically for animation. The other was all about how rock 'n' roll found its way into cartoons, resulting in "The Chipmunks", "The Archies" and a whole host of Hanna-Barbera pop-star sleuths. Part of the joy of the book is that each section is a standalone piece and so, if one article doesn't excite you, the next one might.


Comedy Writing Secrets: How to Think Funny, Write Funny, Act Funny and Get Paid for it
Comedy Writing Secrets: How to Think Funny, Write Funny, Act Funny and Get Paid for it
by Melvin Helitzer
Edition: Paperback

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Informative, 5 July 2009
I don't know if it's possible to learn humour, but there are certainly plenty of techniques in this book to help the budding comedy writer or performer hone whatever natural talents they may possess into a marketable product. The book covers various areas of comedy writing, including writing for stand-up, TV, the press, greetings cards, cartoons and more. Illustrated with fun comedy one-liners from famous comedians (mainly US comics, some of whom I had not heard of as a Brit), the book is light-hearted (as you'd expect) and easy to read. Several exercises are included for the reader to test out the various techniques. I'm not sure how many secrets were revealed, but nevertheless, a great book for anyone with an interest in comedy.


Magic Moving Images: Animated Optical Illusions
Magic Moving Images: Animated Optical Illusions
by Colin Ord
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.99

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clever and Fun, 5 July 2009
This is a very clever little book. Getting static images on a single page to animate is a wonderful gimmick that is bound to impress most people. If there is a down side, it is that there are not that many images in this rather slim book and once you've had a go at making each image move, that's pretty much it. Having said that, the cheap cover price makes it worth purchasing just to view from time-to-time, or to have as a coffee table book for visitors to enjoy.


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