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The IFILM Digital Video Filmmaker's Handbook Paperback – 1 Sep 2000
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Book and CD-ROM. Digital technology is changing the way filmmakers compose images and tell stories. Geared toward first-time filmmakers and film professionals, this book covers the creative and technical aspects of digital shooting and is designed to provide detailed, practical information on DV filmmaking. Collier delves into the mechanics and craft of creating personal films and introduces the reader to the essential terminology, concepts, equipment and services one will require to produce their own quality DV feature film. Includes CD-ROM.
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The book I purchased was published in 2001, and while it was written at the cusp of the "digital age", the information related to the skill/craft/wisdom is relevant regardless of the advances in technology. In short, the technological information is outdated (equipment, media, pricing examples). If you can ignore references to tech circa 2001, I would recommend this book to anyone who needs a good introductory overview of independent film production. I found it easy to read and it helpded me to expand my understanding of the craft from "a guy and a camera" to "a full production cycle"
And though I don't mean to discourage anyone from buying it, I have to say that the editing section Chapter 8 is confusing.
I wish the author had taken the approach--here's how I do it and then followed his own path, then suggested other starting points and gone through those. What he did was put a whole lot of stuff that apply to a whole lot of different methods in a big jumble without any hint of how to follow them (or if you should follow them) to the end.
The rest of the book is great, though an index would have helped.
I have purchased and read dozens of books about digital filmmaking and low budget filmmaking and Collier's book is undoubtedly one of the most comprehensive. The book covers everything from film basics to an excellent explantion of digital production and post production technology and technics. I learned alot just reading the very informative glossary.
I have to agree with the review below that it is not the best edited book but the writing is excellent. I was impressed with the personal and inspiring tone of the book. Unlike one of the other digital filmmaking book I recently read (Digital Moviemaking by Scott Billups), this book is a great read. And, Collier's book cost less and comes with a DVD. (The DVD was kind of boring, but it has some real handy production forms on it that you can print out on your computer.)
While I'm a fan of other filmmaking books such as Feature Filmmaking at Used Car Prices (Rick Schmidt's classic), Collier's book covers digital technology far more thoroughly. If there is a better digital filmmaking book available, somebody PLEASE let me know the title and I'll order that one as well. Otherwise, the IFILM Digital Video Filmmaker's Handbooks gets my vote.
As someone just beginning to look into digital filmmaking, I bought this book along with Digital Filmmaking 101. I'm glad I bought DF 101. Digital Video, on the other hand, is destined to be donated to my local and impoverished library. Another book-buying lesson learned.
I don't think of it as a really bad book, or an unbalanced book, and if I were more familiar with digital video I might appreciate it more--or less, depending on how correct the information is. As it is, I finished reading it and felt as if I'd gained little "stick to the ribs" information from it. The chapters after chapter 7 seemed especially unsuited to the beginner.
It may be that the book tries to cover too much territory. Obviously, shooting a movie--even with DV--is a complex process where a lot can go wrong. Making a book complex (not necessarily detailed) isn't likely to work well with the person new to the process, especially if the editing isn't up to par.
I suspect the approach taken by DF 101, combined with further reading on various elements of the craft, will serve most of those readers better.
The book comes with a CD, the contents of which are unknown to me, as it appeared to be lightly scuffed and was unreadable in four CD-ROMs, even after cleaning. Hopefully an isolated case.
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