Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Digital Video Secrets: What the Pros Know and the Manuals Don't Tell You
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on June 22, 2009
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.
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on October 26, 2009
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.
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on February 9, 2009
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.
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on December 10, 2008
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!
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on February 4, 2013
As a novice in the world of videography, I expected to get my teeth into some great insights from an "expert". Nothing, I soon learnt, could have been further from the truth. I guess this was partly because I had just finished reading Steve Stockman's excellent book (How to shoot videos that don't suck) and was looking for something that might supplement it. Unfortunately, I soon realised that Steve Stockman's book was a seriously tough act to follow. The difference was colossal.
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on November 24, 2008
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.
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on January 8, 2012
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.
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on January 3, 2013
The book is well designed and I was Unable to put it down and NOT pick up y cam to try out the Lessons!!!
I had lost my visual mojo and THIS book is bringing back my PASSION for creative visual art!!
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on October 25, 2008
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.
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on June 4, 2015
I wouldn't say this is a must have. The concepts are elementary if you've had any experience in video. However, if you are a newbie just getting started, this is a great introduction to the art of video taking.
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