[Kc] Book Review: Digital Video Pocket Guide

Garrett Goebel garrett at scriptpro.com
Tue Aug 26 07:25:55 CDT 2003

Title: Digital Video Pocket Guide 
Author: Derrick Story
Publisher: O'Reilly 
Published: 2003_07 
ISBN: 0596005237
Pages: 126 

Dear Friends,

The Pocket Guide to Digital Video by Derrick Story is a book every beginning
videographer should read. Derrick suggests keeping it in your camera bag
alongside the camera's instruction manual. He says, "When you're on location
and waiting for the event to begin, pull out this book, read a few pages
that apply to the work your about to do..." If you follow his advice, this
113 page book will help you make better movies by teaching you to avoid the
most common mistakes and by introducing you to the most essential tricks of
the trade. Derrick covers everything from how to work the camera's levers,
buttons and wheels to how to blend in at special events. I especially liked
learning how to compare cameras. To know why you may want to buy a camera
with three CCDs -- read this book.

I was hired as a videographer for the first time this weekend to record a
wedding. I followed many of Derrick's tips. I blacked and labeled all the
tapes I could imagine using at the event. I stayed ahead of the action and
out of the way of the other camera guys. I zoomed in very close during the
vows so the couple would be clearly visible even in smaller versions of the
recording made for the Internet. I was able to compress and burn the most
important parts of the ceremony onto a CD and hand it to the mother of the
bride a half hour after the couple left on the honeymoon. How's that for
fast turn-around time, Derrick?

My favorite facts: 1) it takes 3 DVDs to hold the 13 gigs of data recorded
on one video tape, 2) two channel 16bit PMC is one of the major advantages
of DV, and 3) the lifetime of a VHS tape is 10 years.

My favorite tips: 1) "Quietly go about your work so people forget about you.
Then you'll get the great footage." 2) "Try to record moments that are
actually happening, not ones you create." and  3) "Tell the story of the day
as simply as possible."

Derrick uses simple language to explain difficult concepts. O'Reilly's
published a great book for $14.95!

Michael Morgan
mike at handuma dot com
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