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Digital Video Production Cookbook: 100 Professional Techniques for Independent and Amateur Filmmakers (Cookbooks (O'Reilly)) Paperback – December 3, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Chris Kenworthy has written, produced and directed several hours of drama and comedy, along with many hours of commercial video, TV pilots, music videos, experimental projects and short films. He's also produced and directed over 300 visual FX shots.

In 2006 Chris directed the web-based Australian UFO Wave, which attracted many millions of viewers. His short film, Some Dreams Come True, spent a year on the international festival circuit and won a few awards. As a screenwriter he has contributed to the development of several TV shows.

Chris was born in the North of England, but has lived in Australia for over a decade. He is married with two daughters.


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Product Details

  • Series: Cookbooks (O'Reilly)
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (December 3, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596100310
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596100315
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,267,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Robert Nagle on February 26, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I visited a technical bookstore in Dallas during a programmer's convention. I was determined not to spend any money on any books while there (especially because I've already dropped a bundle on other video books). But I sat in the bookstore and read as much as I could for 2 or 3 hours. This book is amazing. It illustrates camera techniques by showing sequences of shots and how they were produced. Often that is the problem: we can read about something but not see it in action. More than half of the shot setups concern everyday scenes and situations. The last third was about special effects (blue screens, fake blood, etc) which didn't really interest me.

I'm a relative novice to video production, so maybe more experienced videographers would find some of this stuff basic things they learned through experience. What I liked is the many examples of how videographers could use a flaw/mistake and turn it into an interesting cinematic effect. This book does a great job of training the eye when setting up shots.

Another thing. I'm not 100% sure, but I'm pretty sure the camera in the illustrations is the Sony HDV-HC1 (the same camera I own!).
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful By John A. Suda VINE VOICE on February 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
Advances in computer video and moviemaking software has mad it very easy to make a bad movie. Software like iMovie, Avid Free and others allow easy input of video camera footage into a program which can edit both video and sound clips, overlay clips, and add transitions, titles, sound effects, graphics, credits and more.

All of this technology however does not guarantee a watchable or quality product. There still is no substitute for compelling narrative writing, acting, dialogue, purposeful editing, and soundtrack selections.

Nevertheless, there are plenty of amateur directors and producers who want to create their own films for personal, family, or group enjoyment. This is where a book like "Digital Video Production Cookbook" fills a need. This is a volume of about one hundred professional- level techniques to help independent and amateur filmmakers improve their movie's quality. Almost anyone with basic competence using a digital video camera and video editing software can use these techniques to improve their movie products.

The author is a writer, producer and director of award- winning independent films, as well as a contributor to computer arts publications. This is a book for beginning or novice filmmakers on low or no- cost, easy to implement, production techniques to enhance your personal creations. These are techniques about lighting effects, camera illusions, visual effects, night shooting, make- up effects, weather and sound effects, and more, all designed to enhance the visual and dramatic impact of your shots. Most of these techniques are used to help you tell your story.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jack D. Herrington on December 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is fantastic! It gives two page descriptions of all kinds of cool video tricks, as well as describing proper video technique. Given the length most of these descriptions act as a starting point, but that's what you really want anyway.

I can't recommend this book more highly. It's just what you want if your idea is to add Hollywood style techniques to your movies.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Asling on February 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
The difference between ordinary and compelling video is often lighting, camera motion, or an unusual effect.

Indie filmmaker Chris Kenworthy has compiled 100 great professional tips.

The techniques are grouped into sections. Each technique is described in one or two pages, with text and six or seven photos illustrating how to set up the effect.

Although the format does not permit going into much detail,

the techniques are well presented and easy to understand.

Some are pretty straightforward, such as using a light card

to decrease shadows on faces, selective focus, and framing

a subject dramatically. Others are ways to simulate a complex

shot with basic equipment, such as various kinds of night-for-

day shooting and faking rain, snow, and desert sun. There

are several hints on using camera motion to make scenes

more interesting.

The section on make-up describes how to make your actors appear sick, injured, or dead.

Many of the effects are techniques for use on a set, but

there are some computer editing tricks: passing through walls

and keyholes, using a bluescreen to simulate a moving

background for a parked car, and making ‘picture-in-picture

video’ appear to be showing on a television or computer monitor.

This book is aimed primarily at videographers who want to create

dramatic productions, music videos, and commercials,

where striking shots help hold viewer interest.

All of us, however, can improve our videos by following the techniques on proper lighting and camera movement.
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