Customer Reviews


29 Reviews
5 star:
 (20)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Straight from the hip, how to shoot video
As a new videographer and an old still photographer of 40 years, I searched extensively for a clear cut step by step guide to shooting video. Well, here it is! I bought it, read it, and use it's suggestions. Most books tend to get into the more commercial aspects of models, crews, producers, directors, and editors, but as a husband and wife team doing simple travel...
Published on October 26, 2009 by R. F. Rynkowski

versus
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Outline of Topics, Nothing More
The title is completely misleading. There are no secrets here. This book contains a good outline that can be used as a checklist of things to do, things to know, and things not to do. Each topic has from two sentences to a page of descriptive content. If you want to know the details of how to do anything recommended in the book, you will need to go to other sources. Its...
Published on June 22, 2009 by Charles C. Connor


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Outline of Topics, Nothing More, June 22, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Digital Video Secrets: What the Pros Know and the Manuals Don't Tell You (Paperback)
The title is completely misleading. There are no secrets here. This book contains a good outline that can be used as a checklist of things to do, things to know, and things not to do. Each topic has from two sentences to a page of descriptive content. If you want to know the details of how to do anything recommended in the book, you will need to go to other sources. Its more like a detailed outline or summary for a course in digital video. It's not that it's bad, you just need to know what it is and what it isn't. Don't buy the book expecting to get details on any procedure.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Straight from the hip, how to shoot video, October 26, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Digital Video Secrets: What the Pros Know and the Manuals Don't Tell You (Paperback)
As a new videographer and an old still photographer of 40 years, I searched extensively for a clear cut step by step guide to shooting video. Well, here it is! I bought it, read it, and use it's suggestions. Most books tend to get into the more commercial aspects of models, crews, producers, directors, and editors, but as a husband and wife team doing simple travel videos, and editing them ourselves, this book fits the bill. It soon becomes clear you just don't shoot and show like most of the YouTube amateur hack videos you see, but it's shoot, edit, shoot more, edit, shoot more, and edit to get it down to a fifteen minute or less show. Even Tony Levelle's mini assignments throughout the book are really helpful. From suggected equipment, pre-shooting tasks, the shots you need, on site shooting, and putting it all together it's here, and like Tony says, "everything happens in a sequence." If you want to start shooting video the right way, without a big production crew, "Digital Video Secrets" will show you the way. This great book is a step by step how to shoot video guide, with mini-assignments, that lead you through the maze to your final video masterpiece.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY clear and easy to follow...EXCELLENT resource, February 9, 2009
This review is from: Digital Video Secrets: What the Pros Know and the Manuals Don't Tell You (Paperback)
Accessible and easy to understand yet comprehensive. I'm a professional cameraman (documentaries) and I learned a few things. Good job! This book made me realize that I have spent WAY too much time learning things the hard way... this is the shortcut to shopping for video equipment and producing good work without the agony of trial and error.

PS: I saw an early version of the book and suggested a few changes, which Tony quickly implemented.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Definite Must Read, December 10, 2008
By 
This review is from: Digital Video Secrets: What the Pros Know and the Manuals Don't Tell You (Paperback)
Digital Video Secrets: What the Pros Know and the Manuals Don't Tell You

An excellent effort in creating a synopsis of digital video production. Having spent 30 years in a technical writing career, it is a pleasure to have simple straightforward technical information on any complex subject. Digital Video Secrets was a fast read and although I am not a professional in video, if I had this book a couple of years ago some of my projects would have been much better and I would have saved a lot of time. Tony Levelle has captured the essence of the digital video craft in a clean outline form and I enjoyed this book very much. Digital Video Secrets is going to live in my camera bag for a long time. Good work Tony! Thank you!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book For Short Film Maker, November 24, 2008
This review is from: Digital Video Secrets: What the Pros Know and the Manuals Don't Tell You (Paperback)
Very good little book - 180 pages - full of loads of useful advice, information and titbits with photos to illustrate. 107 'Secrets' listed - each a piece of relevant advice - plus several chapters of Do's and Don'ts - again all very useful especially for a beginner. 15 chapters overall and a very quick easy read - Worth the price.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well balanced, easy to read, October 25, 2008
By 
Gloria Hovde (Lower Lake, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Digital Video Secrets: What the Pros Know and the Manuals Don't Tell You (Paperback)
Digital Video Secrets is a great book for both novices and experienced filmakers. The outlined, straightforward format is easy to read and understand. DVS encourages exploration and an intuitive approach to composition with enough technical material to shoot well. Unlike many purely technical manuals, Levelle's book includes the author's personal experiences which make the book attractive and appealing.

I appreciated the author's emphasis on creating unique, emotionally compelling films using different camera angles, lighting, context and sound. Levelle encourages use of perspective with a nice balance between planning the shots and spontaneity.

For me, the heart of Digital Video Secrets is the section on Shooting Images That Have Meaning. No amount of technical expertise can create a quality film if the subject fails to be poignant, tell a story or touch the audience in some way.

Digital Video Secrets provides a balance of technical information, secrets to producing meaningful shots and a wealth of inspiration to all filmakers.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Save Yourself Years of Experimentation, January 8, 2012
By 
Carl King (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Digital Video Secrets: What the Pros Know and the Manuals Don't Tell You (Paperback)
This book is entirely practical. If you just bought a digital video camera or DSLR and want to know how to get the best results, you can save yourself a whole lot of unnecessary "learning by making mistakes" by using this book. It's also a relief to read a filmmaking book that isn't centered around a self-proclaimed guru. Tony Levelle keeps the focus on the information you need, and his technical explanations are rational and clear. I wish I had this book when I started.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book on the Basics of Making Videos, December 5, 2008
By 
Matthew Terry (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Digital Video Secrets: What the Pros Know and the Manuals Don't Tell You (Paperback)
I will be honest with you. I really did not want to read this book. I had just completed my first low budget feature film ([...]) using an HD Consumer Camera (Canon HV-20) and had shown it at a theatre to a very positive enthusiastic response. This, of course, meant that when I would read this book...it would tell me everything I either did wrong or could have done better.

Let me tell you straight up: I wish I had read this book BEFORE I got started in this film-making process. I certainly would not be going through so many post-production issues if I had.

Now, I already had some general knowledge of film-making and story telling (I've taught screenwriting for 10+ years) and I got a friend with a bit more experience in videography that I talked into volunteering as my DP. But, still - sound issues, lighting issues, "blown out" areas are the biggest crosses that I have to bear as I move along in this process. Would these have been fixed had I read this book? Maybe not - but I certainly would have been more aware of them.

As for the book, Tony Levelle does a great job of breaking down many aspects and, yes, secrets to making digital videos. He covers the topics (such as "which camera to buy", "shooting footage" and "getting good sound," etc.) very clearly and basically. He does get bogged down a bit into the minutiae like "gamma settings" and understanding the "color matrix" - but never long enough to make you feel like you can't just pick up your camera and shoot. His approach is basic, easy and to the point - pretty much exactly what you want out of a book like this.

Where the book could have been improved is in a break down of what you are attempting to film. I would have liked basic sections with: "So you want to film a wedding?" Or: "Feature Film-Making 101" Or: "Filming a sporting event" - he touches on these through various chapters but I would have liked sections where these are broken down in a bit more detail including other secrets that might pertain to them. So if you're running out the door to film the championship game, you can go straight to that chapter. (Note: A secret in regards to filming family events such as a wedding? Film the old people. Years later when the wife finds the dusty video or DVD of the wedding and pops it into the player - they'll love to see old Uncle Charlie (who has long since passed on) sipping punch and flirting with a bridesmaid.)

I was also surprised there was no mention of a "stedicam" or how to make a basic one - not even in the glossary.

But don't those little issues stop you from getting this book. Part-time soccer coach filming practice for your team to wanna-be feature film-maker hoping to make it big at the local film-festival, this book is for you.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of Great Useful Tips!, November 19, 2009
This review is from: Digital Video Secrets: What the Pros Know and the Manuals Don't Tell You (Paperback)
This book is like having a mentor right on set with you relaying, step by step, insider secrets and key production tips which might otherwise take years to learn. How to choose a camera with customized points for the film student, the independent filmmaker, the documentary filmmaker, etc: this is just one example of author Tony Levelle's depth and breadth of knowledge. Learning how to see with the camera and how to operate the camera by touch; exploring the most effective ways to shoot a wedding, a sporting event and how to shoot in the rain- this noteworthy level of attention to detail is one the book's great strengths. Interestingly, the book also has a set of unspoken lessons about the importance of patience, of keeping track of the details, of the attitude you bring to production, which only makes it more valuable for both beginner and pro.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful way to get started, July 4, 2009
This review is from: Digital Video Secrets: What the Pros Know and the Manuals Don't Tell You (Paperback)
I have never done any serious video, but now I have grandchildren and I would like to shoot some meaningful videos for family use. I wouldn't know where to begin if I had only a user manual to go by. A friend recommended this book and I was amazed at how simple it was to understand, while still providing a lot of specific guidelines at every stage. I think I could do a credible job now, even on my first few tries.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Digital Video Secrets: What the Pros Know and the Manuals Don't Tell You
$24.95 $17.02
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.