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The Little Digital Video Book 1st Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 078-5342758481
ISBN-10: 0201758482
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Congratulations! You've got a brand-new digital camcorder. Now what do you do with it? Before you shoot a single frame of tape, pick up The Little Digital Video Book. This friendly guide to the basics of digital video will teach you how to shoot, organize, and edit your own footage like a pro. For new camcorder owners, it's the ideal--and affordable--introduction to the exciting world of quality digital filmmaking.

The Little Digital Video Book is not some dense, jargon-filled reference tome. Instead, it focuses on practical shooting and editing techniques, and shows you how to start and actually finish that video project you have in mind--in less than a day. You get a thorough grounding in the basics of digital video, from how to get a good close-up shot and how to add a sound track to your video to how to organize your videotapes. The Little Digital Video Book is platform- and software-neutral, truly making it the guide for the moviemaking masses.

About the Author

Michael Rubin is an entertainment-technology inventor, entrepreneur, graphic designer, editor, digital video advocate, and maybe a few other things. He has written and published three books, including NONLINEAR: a field guide to digital video and film editing, recently released in its fourth edition. In the past, Michael has worked on numerous feature films and TV programming, including Bertolucci's The Sheltering Sky and the CBS miniseries Lonesome Dove.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 1 edition (October 6, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201758482
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201758481
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.5 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,105,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By F. Neunemann on July 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
It took me a while to find a good book to get started with digital video, after I bought myself a Mini DV camcorder. What I was looking for was sound advice on how to shoot as well as about basic post production techniques, the stuff you do after shooting, editing, how and where to store and organize your footage, and most important, to end up with a finished product--a nice to watch video to show to the public.
Something else I was looking for was a book that is "lightweight" and that keeps things simple. There is plenty of time to get more fancy, but for starters I wanted to get a small video project done and have it on a Video CD, DVD or a VHS cassette.
This book shows exactly that! You'll learn the basics of digital video. The main idea is to get a little (manageable) project done in a clean and orderly way.
I consider the author a highly competent and experienced teacher when it comes to the subject of digital video. If you are in the same situation as I was (having a FireWire and DV capable Macintosh computer and a Mini DV camcorder, plus having not too much time to learn the essential basic techniques of digital video shooting and editing with all the necessary bells and whistles) then this definitely is the book to buy. In fact it is the best and most practical book to read first. Start simple, then attack the more sophisticated stuff. A must have book!
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By A Customer on November 30, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Michael Rubin - video guru extraordinaire - was one of the very first Evangelists of digital nonlinear editing. Well over a decade ago, he was one of George Lucas's emissaries to the Hollywood studios for Lucas' groundbreaking EditDroid project, and preached the virtues of this then-revolutionary approach to editing TV shows and feature films.
A pioneer in more ways than one, Rubin also wrote the very first book on the subject - "Nonlinear: A Field Guide to Digital Video and Film Editing" (now in a new 4th edition). I know all this because chancing across that gem was one of the catalysts that helped catapult me (and others) into a career as a professional video editor. "Nonlinear" rocks.
But his latest work, "The Little Digital Video Book", is brilliant in an entirely different way.
Yes, all the techniques are here - starting with the finer points of operating a DV camcorder ... maintaining continuous timecode on the tape (crucial!) ... a simple, practical scheme for organizing your source and master tapes ... "Rubin's Rules of Editing" ... and tons more. The book is also liberally illustrated with real examples lifted from actual home video situations - shots of his infant son, the neighbors, trips to the zoo, etc.
Rubin calls his approach "results-oriented" video, and it's true ... He isn't kidding when he says you can put together a totally cool, blow-your-friends-and-family's-socks-off video in as little as 3 to 4 hours. [It's awesome to see the reaction from friends and family when the footage you shot so nonchalantly this morning becomes a polished video, ready for screening after lunch!] Later on, after having a number of simpler projects ("video sketches") under your belt, you're free to branch out, of course.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you own a camcorder, buy this book. Like any introductory resource, this is not a 100% reference. Advanced sound and lighting, for example, call for a more advanced text. However, as with still photography and film, the 'basics' are 90% of what you need for good results, and this book provides the basics in a clear and concise form.
The 50 pages on shooting are themselves worth the price of the book. Before I begin any video project, I do a quick review of these fifty pages to be sure I haven't forgotten any of the rules, not to mention the dozens of Rubin's tips and tricks.
After the shooting section, the rest of the book is a bonus. In fact, the editing section is a good practical reference. Clearly a Mac user, the author does his best to not make that obvious, other than his reference to certain software which is Mac only.
I have and have read five other video, digital video, and video production books with advanced techniques and practices. Each has some value. However, this book is the one I go back to for a refresher time after time. Like I said at the beginning...buy this book!
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Format: Paperback
"The Little Digital Video Book" is very readable and to the point. I read it in two days and got some pretty good ideas for improving my home videos. This book will be most useful to readers who are familiar with iMovie editing software, for the author makes reference to that very accessiable editing software throughout his book.
I most liked the chapters on shooting and editing video. He provides tips on various types of shots: e.g. the action-reaction shot, shooting for cut-ins, establishment shots, and over-the-shoulder shots. In the area of editing, he talks about, among other techniques, setting music to shots, voice over narration, cut-ins, dissolves and fades. He provides some still photos to help explain these techniques. If I had written this book, however, I would have listed out many of these techniques for even easier reference.
Now the problem I have with this book is that like other home movie guides, it lacks a multimedia CD rom or website supplement. I think it's ironic to develop a guide about video production using mere words and black-and-white photo illustrations. In the era of multimedia presentations, guides such as this should come with a CD or with a reference to a good website that contains clips of the techniques that are explained in the book. For someone very new to digital video shooting and editing, mere written descriptions may not be enough. Also, I would have liked him to provide a list of references to other books and resources for those who want to get to the advance stage of home movie and other types of video production.
With that said, though I only give this book 3 stars, I would encourage you to buy it if you're looking for some ideas for home video production.
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