Friday, January 28, 2011

Book Review: From Still to Motion

Perhaps like everybody else with a DSLR camera, I have about ten-thousand how-to books. I do plan to review all these books here on my blog. The book that I'm reading a lot these days is this one, From Still to Motion.
This book covers a lot. It is a case study on how to make a music video, and it covers the entire process.
 It's very useful for me because it tells what the pros use and do.  It comes with a DVD which also has a lot of great tutorials on all sorts of aspects of film making.  For me, the color correction tutorials are especially helpful.
Unfortuately, I don't enjoy reading this book. First, it assumes you have an unlimited amount of money for your production. It recommends great gear, but most of it is so very much out of my price range such as a $5000 starter grip kit. It does include several DIY tutorials such as how to make a reflector and a soft box perhaps to appease the beginning crowd like me. Nevertheless, the general attitude is that one is much better off being pimped out. Duh.  I do truely realize that gear is vital. It is frustrating to have to rely on daylight at all times. But, from this book, I keep getting the message that you can't make great videos unless you got all this stuff. Is this reality? Maybe, but not definately.
The second reason that I don't enjoy reading this book is because I think the images are so dull. Even, the book cover doesn't do a lot for me. I mean the production quality is wonderful, but art direction seems absent. The final music video doesn't have enough visual style for me to get excited about. Given that film is a visual medium, the lack of visual intrigue of the images and videos within the book is uninspiring.
So, this book is more like a have to read than a want to read. I do read it almost every day.

The neon in the image is a sculpture by Jeremy Bert, a Seattle based neon artist. I added that just for some visual interest. It has hardly anything to do with this review.

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