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The DV Rebel's Guide: An All-digital Approach to Making Killer Action Movies on the Cheap (Peachpit) Paperback – 22 Dec 2006

4.8 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; Pap/Dvdr edition (22 Dec. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321413644
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321413642
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.8 x 22.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 521,622 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review


 "I'd been wanting to write a book for the new breed of digital filmmakers,
but now I don't have to. My pal and fellow movie maker Stu Maschwitz has
compressed years of experience into this thorough guide. Don't make a movie
without reading this book!"
 -Robert Rodriguez, filmmaker and author of Rebel Without a Crew

From the Back Cover

Written by Stu Maschwitz, co-founder of the Orphanage (the legendary guerrilla visual effects studio responsible for amazing and award-winning effects in such movies as Sin City, The Day After Tomorrow, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), this book is a must-have for all those budding filmmakers and students who want to produce action movies with visual effects but don't have Hollywood budgets. The Orphanage was created by three twenty-something visual effects veterans who wanted to make their own feature films and discovered they could do this by utilizing home computers, off the shelf software, and approaching things artistically. This guide details exactly how to do this: from planning and selecting the necessary cameras, software, and equipment, to creating specific special effects (including gunfire, Kung Fu fighting, car chases, dismemberment, and more) to editing and mixing sound and music. Its mantra is that the best, low-budget action moviemakers must visualize the end product first in order to reverse-engineer the least expensive way to get there. Readers will learn how to integrate visual effects into every aspect of filmmaking--before filming, during filming and with "in camera" shots, and with computers in postproduction. Throughout the book, the author makes specific references to and uses popular action movies (both low and big-budget) as detailed examples--including El Mariachi, La Femme Nikita, Die Hard, and Terminator 2. Note from the Publisher: If you have the 3rd printing of The DV Rebel’s Guide, your disc may be missing the data files that accompany the book. If this is the case, please send an email to Peachpit in order to obtain the files at ask@peachpit.com

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Mr. Maschwitz' book is absolutely essential reading for any serious independent filmmaker. It covers the whole gamut of filmmaking, from pre-production to shooting to editing to visual effects, with a huge emphasis on getting the absolute best image quality for the least expense. He also covers the areas that most writers tell low-budget filmmakers to avoid - gunfire, action, explosion - the good stuff! It's clearly written and very inspirational. If you make films, buy this now.
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Format: Paperback
I normally buy books with high hopes and then feel let down when they are not mind-boggingly brilliant. This is one of those few books that hasn't only not let me down but has in fact exceeded my expectations. It's absolutely brilliant.

It's written in a nice humourous tone which doesn't come across as forced and stupid and there's a wealth of extremely useful information on all aspects of filmmaking. Most topics are covered briefly, but not so briefly that you they pass you by, and not so extensive that you get bored by them. It's a film that shows you what you need to do, makes you want to do those things, makes you want to make films by any means necesary, with whatever you have at your disposal. And it makes you feel that even if you only use 10% of the techniques discussed in the book you can still make a pretty good film.

As I said, amazing.
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Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book for those new to filmmaking and those who are already in the industry (like myself).

Although you can tell the author is a big fan of Adobe After Effects the book isn't dominated by After Effects - there is a great chapter on Online Editing including some genuinely helpful insight into colour grading (or color correction!!).

The included DVD has some useful Excel calculators on it as well as After Effects project files, and also the authors own short movie - which he refers to in the book.

I can't recommend this book enough (I can't write decent reviews either, writing isn't one of my fortes I'm afraid :) ).

I give this book 5 stars.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This incredibly readable book is written in a straightforward, conversational way and is always offering ideas and inspiration with a very "can do" approach to filmaking and effects. There is a DVD included with the book which contains additional chapters which you really should read when prompted and Stu Maschwitz has created a forum dedicated to the book where you get the opportunity to ask questions or swap experiences.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I feel as though I should be using the video-review option Amazon provides for this book, sadly though this book focuses almost entirely on action films (as the title obviously states)... if you're looking for information about the camera to use, how to set up your shots etc this isn't the book. It is however a great resource for creative ways to stretch your budget further.

One of the things the author has provided that's particularly helpful are references to hollywood films that provide excellent examples of the stuff the book teaches.

It is difficult to make a list of pros and cons but it boils down to this: if you want a book to help you make cheap practical and special effects and optimise your budget it's great, possibly unbeatable... if you want tips on being a film-maker you may want to look elsewhere.
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Format: Paperback
I just bought this book, and, what can I say that others haven't... It's absolutely fantastic.

It has more than 300 pages covering all that involves making a movie- doesn't have to be an action one- at home, by using DV cameras and PC.

It has lots of key ideas, hundreds of tips and tricks... everything is covered. Although maybe for completely starters, it might be confusing as it doesn't explain the obvious basics of filmmaking (and I mean just obvious things, such as how to capture your video on PC, or how to turn on your camera :P ). Anyone who's owned a home camera can easily get on with the book.

And it also includes a DVD with his own example movies, and with many very useful and professional projects, presets and scripts for After FX, which will make you're life easier (especially adding VFX and color correcting). And also 50 or 100 pages in pdf documents, expanding the books' own ideas.

One point, though. As the book says, it is almost impossible to make a film with 0 budget. You should almost obligatorily buy After FX (7 or greater will be better) and a DV camera (200 euro at least, mayeb Canon MVX 460 will be the minimum). If you're not willing to spend that money (500-600 euro) then, my friend, many things in this book won't serve you.

When you read it, you'll understand why you need a minimum money to spend.

Jump in and become a DV Rebel.
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Format: Paperback
Stu Maschwitz is a tech-head film-maker who quit ILM to start his own production house, The Orphanage. You can see their work in Robert Rodriguez' Sin City.

The DV Rebel is Stu passing on a decade of wringing the ultimate results from consumer digital video equipment in order to make exciting and ambitious action movies on a micro-budget. It covers all aspects of the film making process in an accessible, entertaining way, but also contains the technical asides to make you understand WHY you need things like a true 24p or 25p mode on your camera.

If you are attempting any sort of Indie film-making on a small budget, I'd throughly recommend it, even if you are shooting a slow historical romance on 16mm film. If you are trying to make an action movie with a digitial video you just HAVE to read it! Maschwitz' hard won tips will save you many hours of work and improve the end quality of your film in pretty much every aspect.

I wish I'd had the book when I shot my first short film a few years ago. I'd independently reached many of the same conculsions as Stu, but there was still a great idea, a cool insight or a funny anecdote on almost every page. It is a little heavy on After Effects in places but the principles are so well explained that you can easily apply it to any film-making workflow.

If you only buy one book on low-budget film-making, this should be it.
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