- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Focal Press; 1 edition (October 18, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0240815513
- ISBN-13: 978-0240815510
- Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.4 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #303,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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DSLR Cinema: Crafting the Film Look with Video 1st Edition
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"A huge thank you to Kurt Lancaster for giving a voice to HDSLR in this new trail-blazing book. -Shane Hurlbut, ASC (DP of Terminator Salvation)
"This book should be in every camera bag. A rich, comprehensive, and poetic examination of how filmmakers and cinematographers are creating stunning moving imagery with HDLSRs." -Rodney Charters, ASC (DP of TV series, 24).
"Kurt has written a masterpiece in HDSLR books-something that everyone starting to make a movie should read.-planetMitch (www.planet5D.com)
"Out of nowhere, two DSLR cameras came out, and over a period of 18 months, they have been embraced by everyone from Lucasfilm to keen enthusiasts .. This is easily the most exciting time I have experienced in my 20 or so years in the business.-Philip Bloom, DP, Director, Filmmaker (www.philipbloom.net)
"It tells me exactly what I want to know - how to get the LOOK that I need. Hats off to the author for tackling this subject. It make the book INVALUABLE for the DSLR filmmaker." -Julian Grant, Producer/Director
"It will spread the revolution and introduce people to this way of thinking...it would be a must read for anyone who has been filming for a year or two and still thinks in the old ways of looking through a camera." -Andrew Jones, Cinematographer
"If you are new to filmmaking with a DSLR camera and are looking for a place to get started, or if you are a seasoned filmmaker and just want to add some knowledge to your experiences, DSLR Cinema: Crafting the Film Look with Video is a great place to start that will give you solid information that you can put into practice immediately." - Tracey Lee, dslrcinema.com
"[T]his is the best book/training material about HDSLR video I have seen so far.. It summarizes of all the information available on the net about HDSLR on top of which Kurt has added interesting case studies and behind the scene tips from other shooters."---Canon5DTips
"A valuable reference to DSLR camera abilities, offering case studies from an international cast of DSLR shooter and covering all the basic tools, techniques, and composition opportunities of DSLR."--CA Bookwatch
"This is a fantastic resource for anyone just getting into the DSLR game. It has tons of information on using these cameras for the good of film kind. Kurt does a great job of breaking down everything from equipment to technique."--WideOpenCamera.com
"It's rare for me to make a simple, blanket, superlative statement like this, but I absolutely love this book. I'm usually suspicious of technology specific books like this that would logically become outdated with the release of 'next years model' of camera or technology, but this book is different for so many reasons. Its difficult to narrow down what I loved most about this 320-page soft cover] book, but pressed I would have to say the professionals' comments. Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) shooters from around the world explain their experiences with this new technology and I couldn't get enough (luckily Lancaster has a website where the fun continues).. The book is inspiring, well written, excellently paced and chock full of pictures, screen shots and illustrations that tie everything together. One of the best cinema production books I've read."--VideoMaker Magazine
"Over the past year DSLRs have become a powerful tool utilized in cinema. From indie production to hollywood work, they have become a tool that is taken seriously by filmmakers everywhere. And now thanks to Focal Press and Kurt Lancaster, there is finally a physical guide to using them. There are some cons to publishing a detailed guide like this on paper. But its sooo nice to have a physical book with this many features in ones hands. Learn to think more like a cinematographer than a videographer, whether shooting for a feature, short fiction, documentary, video journalism, or even a wedding. DSLR Cinema offers insight into different shooting styles, real-world tips and techniques, and advice on postproduction workflow as it guides you in crafting a film-like look."--DSLRvideoshooter.com
"This book will teach you to think more like a cinematographer than a videographer, whether shooting for a short fiction, feature, documentary, video journalism, or wedding. This account offers insight into different shooting styles, real-world tips and technique, and advice on postproduction workflow. 'DSLR Cinema' guides you in crafting a film-like look, case studies feature an international cast of cutting edge DSLR shooters, including Philip Bloom, Bernardo Uzeda, Rii Schoer, and others. Their films are examined in detail. The book covers the fundamental tools and visual techniques related to great stories offers wide array of technical information composition, camera movement, lighting; includes companion website which shows the films discussed in the book; offers inside perspective from master class of DSLR shooters."--NeoPopRealism
About the Author
Kurt Lancaster has shot documentaries that have screened nationally and internationally. He has also consulted for the Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor, training some of their print journalists in video journalism, as well as shooting and editing documentary journalism pieces. He is also an assistant professor of digital media in the School of Communication at Northern Arizona University, where he teaches courses on documentary multimedia production, scriptwriting, and production techniques. Kurt earned his PhD from New York University. His students have gone on to earn video journalism awards, screen documentaries at film festivals, as well as creating independent video companies. Dr. Lancaster's essays and articles on journalism, popular culture, performance, and communication have appeared in the International Journal of Communication, the Performing Arts Journal, Modern Drama, Journal of Popular Culture, Journal of American Culture, and The Christian Science Monitor. His previous books include: The Documentary Journalist: The Art and Craft of Video Journalism for the Web. Building a Home Movie Studio and Getting Your Films Online (Watson Guptill, 2002). Warlocks & Warpdrive: Contemporary Fantasy Entertainments with Interactive and Virtual Environments (McFarland, 1999).
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Top Customer Reviews
Lancaster offers VERY specific advice about essential gear for a range of budgets. He dissects techniques used in specific examples, citing HDSLR videos for readers to watch at Vimeo and other sites.
I drank the KoolAid some time ago and do share the author's delight at how enjoyable it is to watch well-produced DLSR footage. Although I recall feeling impressed by Vicent Laforet's very clean, professional "Reverie" about two years ago:
vimeo (dot) com / 7151244
But it was the intensity and immediacy of one short piece about the 2010 Nashville flood, shot by Michael Deppisch using a handheld Canon 5D Mark II that really made a deep impression and triggered my deeper interest in learning HDSLR filmmaking:
youtube (dot) com / watch?v=vwCGz1vSh_M
To distinguish the image texture of "conventional/normal video" from "digital film", Lancaster explains in his introduction that the "film look" is a result of the overall image quality and "cinematic approach", not a particular technical spec on the camera or sensor. He also further distinguishes the look of cinema film from the "HDSLR cinema aesthetic".
I'm very new to digital filmmaking (fiction or documentary), but have worked with video for art and for marketing for over 20 years. Over the past four months, I've invested a good deal of time researching everything I could find online about shooting DSLR HD video from:
cinema5d (dot) com
vimeo (dot) com
cheesycam (dot) com
nextwavedv (dot) com
philipbloom (dot) net
blog (dot) vincentlaforet (dot) com / mygear
Lancaster links to some of those same sites from his blog at
kurtlancaster (dot) com / dslr-cinema
Lancaster continues to regularly add blog posts, which I've found helpful as I learn how to get professional sound and video from a Canon 60D.
"DSLR Cinema" covers most of the practical advice I was able to find in those several months of research, and he adds a great deal more applied knowledge which I doubt I could have ever found online, even after many more months of effort. The author seems to genuinely desire that his readers would be successful with these tools and it seems important to him to share both his delight and the wisdom gathered from his and others' experiences.
Because DSLR represents a convergence of video, film and photographic techniques, this book may not be helpful to every type of HDSLR video filmmaker (beginner to pro), but it does exactly meet my needs as I develop a list of gear to pack for my own journey into this exciting, new territory of DLSR film making.
Of course, pro DSLR photographers (like Laforet) are NOT the first to discover the landscape of cinema, much of which was settled long ago by highly-experienced filmmakers, directors, and cinematographers -- it has been over a hundred years since the Lumière brothers began to explore the realm of moving images:
youtube (dot) com / watch?v=4nj0vEO4Q6s
Lancaster works hard at being a native guide in this land and I'm grateful for his experience as I begin to learn how to shoot efficiently and effectively with these new tools.
[My apologies for the spelled out URLs. Amazon strips any URLs from the review, but oddly not from the Comments. I've added the complete review again as a Comment, below. Thanks to Pablo for the suggestion! - Jonathan]
Not everyone is as excited about DSLR cinema as Kurt, and several camera manufacturers are already developing Prosumer Camcorders with substantially larger sensors that should be able to give the same "filmic" look as DSLRs. True, these camcorders will be much more expensive than DSLRs. However, the great advantage of a DSLR is its small size that allows one to record video in point-and-shoot style. By the time you have added a JuicedLink pre-amp that allows you to add a mic or two and/or lavalieres and suppress the automatic gain control of the DSLR, and after you've added a matte box for your filters, you got a substantial rig. Talent often prefers DSLRs because they are less intimidating. The future will show whether the DSLR develops into a shooting style of its own, or whether the DSLR will be useful in addition to a souped-up camcorder.
What I found most helpful was the discussion of the colorspace in the DSLR and the rationale for its adjustment both before shooting and in post production.
This is a very thorough and knowledgeable discussion of DSLR filming.
Also, there are so many blogs and websites out there that are dedicated to DSLR production that are absolutely free to read, there is no sense wasting your money on this book. It doesn't cover anything new, special, or different that all the other blogs cover. For example, nofilmschool blog gives you a DSLR guide for free if you sign up on his mailing list. That one guide may not be as flashy as this book, but the information is the same AND FREE!! So if you are new to DSLR shooting, do a web search, don't buy this book.
I read the DSLR Cinema from cover to cover in two hours then I tossed it. I wasted my money.