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The Practical Art of Motion Picture Sound Paperback – 18 Jun 2007
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"If you're looking for the best source of knowledge and inspiration between two covers, you have only one choice: David Yewdall's 'Practical Art of Motion Picture Sound. Yewdall goes back and forth between step-by-step explanation of every part of the craft and reminisces on his career, all the while never forgetting the end product--the art."
- Larry Blake, Mix Magazine
"Practical Art of Motion Picture Sound" is a must-read for all students of sound, whether in film school, recording school or already working in the craft. More than that, it's a must-read for all students of film, and no doubt, a few directors and producers out there would benefit from a read." - Mix Magazine
"I wish this book had been available when I was starting to make movies: there is probably no producer or director who will not benefit from David Yewdall's lucid and thoroughly practical explanation of creativity with sound, and the technical disciplines necessary to use sound as an art form."
- Roger Corman, Concorde/New Horizons
"The DGA should make this book required reading before their members could go out and work in the industry! This is the first time I have ever seen the subject presented in such a realistic and practical way that is written in a style that everyone can understand."
- Jim Webb, Academy Award-winning Production Mixer and multi-channel expert
"This is a book for ALL filmmakers, whether a budding 'in-the-trenches' sound editor or a producer/director who deigns to touch actual film. This book reveals HOW to achieve the creative soundtrack that the director reams of while actually saving money for the producer--and best of all, it's told in a witty, anecdotal style...A must read for both student filmmakers and the seasoned professional."
- Richard Anderson, M.P.S.E.
"The best book on the subject to date, hands down. Thanks Mr. Yewdall!"
-Ken Trevenna, Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I have read many books on filmaking but this is the most comperhensive, almost step-by-step, book I have read to date.
If you are, or want to be, an independent filmaker read this book first, then re-read it again. Yewdall will show you how to get that "Big Movie" sound into your low-budget or no-budget film. Of course sound design is an art and a craft, so it must be practiced and worked at. But this book will give you the advise and direction you need to get you going in the right direction.
The big bonus feature of this book is the DVD that comes with it. It's on the DVD that you get to HEAR what the author is teaching.
I feel this review doesn't do the book justice, but if your interested in the technical skills of making films, and sound for films, read this book.
Yewdall's book will help me in this endeavor -- it's not just for filmmakers, but for anyone seeking a better understanding of film sound, including festival judges and film critics.
This is the most complete book on motion picture sound that I've come across. Printed on heavy, high-quality paper, the book covers sound from every angle, though as the title implies, the book's emphasis is on the practical -- full of tips and instruction on creating, recording, mixing, and editing sound for your projects.
Yes, sound has to be created. There's much info here about sound recording on location -- how to choose a microphone and recorder, where to put the mic or mics. But there's also info about Foley artists; the people who create sounds in a studio -- from the fantastical or difficult (e.g., alien noises, explosions, crashes), to the deceptively simple (e.g., the many types of footsteps, depending on whether characters are running or walking or sneaking along, on grass, carpet, stone, whatever).
Yewdall's book discusses how microphones work (with diagrams) and reviews four portable digital sound recorders (with illustrations on what buttons do what, much like a "how to" manual). Another chapter discusses what he calls "The Venerable Nagra IV-S," an analog recorder. Back when I went to NYU film school, before the digital era, sound recording meant using a Nagra. It was the industry standard, and apparently, there are still many recordists out there who prefer it to digital.
It's hard to think of a sound topic not covered in this book. We learn about sound librarians; how music editors collaborate with music soundtrack composers; sound restoration (cleaning up the soundtracks to decades-old films); and creating and editing sound for the growing video gaming industry. And about jobs outsourcing
Some film workers may not like this, but technology is shipping jobs overseas. American film and video game producers are sending their digital images and soundtracks to post-production houses in India (via broadband internet), which send back the work product (via broadband internet) the next day.
Yewdall says. "Outsourcing to Canada was yesterday; today it's India and China." As he explains the process, "India is 12 1/2 hours ahead of us. We receive color data from India every morning that are applied to our high-definition frames here in San Diego. We ... send QC notes for fixes, which follow the next day."
In the new global economy, it's not where you are, it's what you know. But the good news is, you'll know a lot more after reading this book.
This book has 657 pages, and the text is fairly dense, so it's heavy reading. But it's also generously illustrated with diagrams and photos (of equipment, cue sheets, computer screen shots, etc.), and the writing style is breezy. It reads easily, even if there's much information to digest.
I wish Yewdall had reviewed all the major sound editing computer programs, including the smaller ones for hobbyists, and explained how each works. Of course, there are manuals for such programs, and one can't expect a broad overview of sound (such as this book) to offer detailed instructions for every sound program.
Yewdall does occasionally touch on Pro Tools (a computer program), and gives some explanatory screen shots of the program. So this book helps in learning Pro Tools. But it's only a taste, rather than a Pro Tools manual.
That's not to take away from the book. It's a great, easy-to-read book covering just about everything you want to know about film (and video game) sound.
Yewdall is an experienced soundman (with some 140 feature films to his credit), holding many jobs over the decades, including sound editor. (He's a member of the Motion Picture Sound Editor's Society). His book talks a bit about the history of film sound, and a lot about his own work experiences.
Apart from his own anecdotes, working with famous directors and producers (yes, he name drops, but that just makes his book more interesting), Yewdall has interviewed his colleagues for this book. So his book offers insights from many perspectives.
Included is a DVD with "over 1000 sound effects from the author's personal library," which you can use in your own projects.
Sound is too often negelected in film, and it is more important now than eve and in spite of the advent of digital media and nonlinear film editing, the attention to detail and the quest for high quality is still needed. Yewdall, with his years of experience, gives this and he gives it in vast detail. While some may get annoyed at the citation of personal examples, or interviewing others in the industry with big budget pictures under their belts, that is the kind of information that most independent and small time filmmakers need to know - get it straight from those who have been there and know how to get the best results. As one of the producers of our student film program, it helped me understand a great deal of what had eluded me before by making it more tangible and gives the reason why things are and how important it is to go over your script rundowns with your supervising sound editor. Yewdall is right - that important step saves a lot of time, frustration and potentially a huge amount of money in the end!
It may take you a while to get through all of the information in the book, and even longer to apply it. The nice thing is that it includes a DVD that has 10000 great WAV files that are licesnse-free so you can importand use with your own projects as well as the authors own personal library, insights into the foley arts, dialog editing, equipment reviews, and insights on looping. Focal Press has come through again with a great book that has a lot of information for the money.