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Mike Gondek examines Real World Digital Video

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Mike Gondek examines Real World Digital Video
A Creative COW "Real World" Book Review



Mike Gondek examines Real World Digital Video
Mike Gondek
Mike Gondek
Orland Park, IL USA

©2003 Mike Gondek and CreativeCOW.net. All rights reserved.

Article Focus:
CreativeCOW leader, Mike Gondek examines Real World Digital Video by Pete Shaner and Gerald Everett Jones and published by Peachpit Press, (434 pages).


Purpose
This book is about selecting the tools you need and understanding the world of Digital Video. I myself teach Adobe Certified classes and mostly got information out of this book about traditional production not digital video.

What Could be better about this book
Much of the book goes on about budgeting and all the different job roles in putting a film production together. C'mon now, if you have over $500,000 to produce a movie are you going to buy this book to learn how to be a future Spielberg, and how much to budget for a snack tables. Sure you will learn some cool slang like the Martini shot being the last shot of the day, so you can impress your friends at the end of the day.

In summary too many pages of this book deal with issues not relating to digital video but what you learn on the job. There is not enough content about Digital Video, and the book leaves you with many unanswered questions about digital video. OK if MTV decides to give you a bundle of money to produce your first reality TV series and you begin shooting next week, than this book might be the most valuable thing you coudl do in that week.

Are you really going to advance your career and become the next Night Shyamalan by reading this book? Your best bet to becoming a Hollywood director is years of experience and schmoozing, and this no cliff notes handbook will not get you there alone.

There is a typo on page 46 which explains fields. The second image is labeled field 1 and should be labeled field 2.

The section on digital technology was too brief and I was expecting more since that is the title of the book.

What was good in this book
If you are an amateur videographer or maybe you would like to get some new ideas then there are some good pages in this book. If you are not familiar with 3-point lighting, then this book explains the basic of a key, fill, and back light. So you might know how to shoot from low or high angles to either be David or Goliath, but you might also learn about why using a long lens can be good for a close-up. You will get a good explanation of pan, tilt and zoom all in easy to understand terminology.

Though we have all seen many times the explanation of f-stops versus exposure time, they give a really great basic easy to understand explanation.

There were some interesting tips about choosing a camera such as a larger CCD size will give you a shallower depth of field. I personally like having the subject in focus and the background blurred and being able to have a good lens for doing that, but was not aware that the CCD would affect that.




Conclusion
There are some good things to learn in this book, but you will definitely want to skip some pages and won't find every paragraph having stimulating. I give Digital Video 3 cows since $49.99 is about $10 too much for no color pictures and really a short section on the topic of Digital video. Most of the book being a dragged out explanation of what looks like to be a union staffing handbook and nothing of major interest on the topic of nonlinear editing, but a few good points on Digital Video.




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