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DV Filmmaking

Book Description

Thanks to the digital revolution, film artists now have a spectacular array of powerful, new, inexpensive tools for creative expression through digital film. The once powerful studios can no longer stifle an artist's creativity. With the power of the Internet, film artists are finding once unimaginable ways to distribute their creations worldwide.

DV Filmmaking: From Start to Finish covers all aspects of the new digital video frontier, for amateurs and professionals alike--from the nuts and bolts of timecode and aspect ratio; to framing, lighting, and sound recording; as well as editing, special effects creation, and distribution.

The book is written for filmmakers at varying experience levels--taking an integrated approach to media production, and emphasizing the ways different aspects of the process work together to create a vital work of digital art:

  • Hands-on detailed examination of the artistic aspects of film and video production

  • Extensive examples use comprehensive step-by-step exercises for advanced editing techniques

  • Scenes from successful films illustrate techniques used by professionals

  • Includes a collection of professionally shot video clips, so the user can read and follow along with sets of structured exercises

  • Develops a highly refined repertoire of advanced skills in editing, effects creation, title design, and more

  • Inspires advanced readers to work with the included clips on their own and experiment with new ideas

  • Written for both Mac and PC users and covers advanced uses of both Final Cut Pro and Adobe After Effects

Written in an engaging, accessible style, DV Filmmaking provides a solid foundation of tremendous value to a beginner, while addressing the fine points of filmmaking with a level of sophistication, detail, and insight that even the most worldly director or educator can appreciate. The author draws upon his years of experience teaching at the college and graduate level, his extensive professional background as a media producer, and his unmistakable love of cinema to create a text that's not only easy to learn from, but also fun to read.

Table of Contents

  1. DV Filmmaking
    1. Foreword
    2. Preface
      1. Why Read This Book?
        1. Audience
      2. What This Book Is, and Is Not
      3. What This Book Covers
      4. Conventions Used in This Book
      5. We’d Like to Hear from You
      6. Acknowledgments
    3. 1. The Freedom of Digital Video
      1. The Flexibility of Digital Recording Versus the Expense and Constraints of Film
        1. Length
        2. The cost and anxiety of film processing
        3. Video tolerates mistakes
      2. Digital Features: A Brief History of Directors Who Chose Digital Production over Film
        1. Modulations: DV interspersed with film
        2. Buena Vista Social Club: DV in place of film
        3. Southern Comfort: digital immediacy
        4. The Hotel Upstairs: digital accessibility
        5. Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Call AT&T—big budget digital
        6. November: big screen HD success with a prosumer DV camera
    4. 2. Digital Cinematography
      1. Aspect Ratio
      2. Anamorphic Video
      3. Frame Rate and Video Standards
      4. Video on Your Computer, Pixel Aspect Ratio
      5. Why It All Matters in DVD Production
      6. Swing-out Monitor, Viewfinder, or External NTSC Field Monitor
      7. Working with a Viewfinder: Color Versus Black and White
    5. 3. Composing a Shot to Fit Your Output Medium
      1. An Overview of Shots—Medium Shot, Wide Shot, Close-up, and Extreme Close-up
        1. The 16x9 aspect ratio is especially friendly to wide shots
        2. CUs and XCUs for the 4x3 screen
        3. Editing, the art of placing one shot next to another
        4. The jump cut, cutaways, and coverage
        5. Continuity and detail management
        6. Timing
      2. Shooting with DVD Compression in Mind
        1. Compression algorithms
        2. Shots that make compression easier
    6. 4. Lighting for Digital
      1. What White Balance Does, and Why You Can Never Forget to Set It
      2. The Importance of Setting an Aperture
        1. Indoor lighting
          1. Working with lights
          2. Opening a light stand
          3. Placing a light on a stand
          4. Fine-tuning your light set-up
        2. Outdoor lighting
    7. 5. Shooting for Effects
      1. Preparing a Chroma Key Shoot
        1. Lighting your chroma key shoot
          1. The background
          2. The actor
        2. Wardrobe, hair, and smoke
      2. Framing Images with Composites in Mind
      3. Planning a Matte Effect
        1. Composing reflections
        2. Working with a tripod
    8. 6. Working with Specialized Camera Mounts
      1. Stabilizing a Moving Camera
        1. The expanded vocabulary of Steadicam shots
        2. Additional Steadicam and Glidecam Mounts
      2. Using a Camera Dolly
    9. 7. Recording Audio, an Overview
      1. Sync-Sound Field Recording and the Birth of Cinema Verite
      2. The Impact of the Camcorder
      3. Current Recording Options
        1. Using a camera’s onboard mic
          1. Pros
          2. Cons
        2. Connecting a microphone directly to the camera
          1. Pros
          2. Cons
        3. Recording audio to your camera using additional microphones and a sound mixer
          1. Pros
          2. Cons
        4. Recording to a device other than the camera
          1. Pros
          2. Cons
    10. 8. Digital Audio Production Techniques and Strategies
      1. Microphone Types
        1. Using a boom and a lav together
        2. Using two mics, without a mixer
        3. Using two or more mics, with a mixer
      2. Maintaining Sync
        1. Syncing non-timecode audio: slating each take
        2. Syncing non-timecode audio without a slate
      3. Strategies for Recording Good Digital Audio
        1. Proximity
        2. Exploit the null
        3. Turn off electrical appliances
        4. Wear headphones
        5. Record a test and play it back before you get into the meat of a scene
    11. 9. An Overview of Nonlinear Editing
      1. Timelines, Frames, and Tracks—How Nonlinear Editing Benefits the Independent Filmmaker
        1. Tape-to-tape linear editing
        2. Nonlinear editing with timelines and frames
      2. Making the Most of Nondestructive Editing: The Difference Between Project Files and Media Files
        1. The function of project files
      3. How Timecode Makes Nonlinear Editing Possible
    12. 10. Setting Up Your Digital Post Facility
      1. Is My Computer Fast Enough?
      2. Capture and Storage Systems
        1. Capture equipment
        2. Storage hardware
          1. Using internal drives
          2. Using external drives
          3. Why removable media is not an effective choice
        3. Keeping your footage organized
      3. The Importance of a Well-Calibrated NTSC Monitor
        1. Connecting a monitor to your system
    13. 11. An Overview of Composite Images
      1. What an Alpha Channel Does
      2. Importing Images and Adding Them to the Timeline
        1. Importing to Final Cut Pro
        2. Creating a Final Cut Pro composite
        3. Importing to After Effects
        4. Creating an After Effects composite
        5. Alphas, composite modes, and blending modes
          1. Experimenting with stacking order
          2. Rearranging stacking order
          3. Composite modes and blending modes
          4. To change the composite mode of a clip in Final Cut Pro
          5. To change the blending mode of a clip in After Effects
      3. Rendering Your Work
        1. To render a sequence in Final Cut Pro
        2. Setting the location of your render files in Final Cut
        3. To output an uncompressed QuickTime file from Final Cut Pro
        4. Rendering a composition in After Effects
      4. Creating Images in Photoshop for Use in Digital Video
        1. Applying a broadcast-safe color filter in Photoshop
        2. Compensating for non-square pixels
          1. Resizing for Final Cut Pro
          2. Creating a Photoshop image for use in Final Cut Pro
    14. 12. Compositing Techniques to Make Your Project Look Like It Cost More Than It Really Did
      1. Creating the Houston Street Composites
        1. Building a sequence, and creating a background
        2. Scaling the background clip
          1. Numerically scaling an image in Final Cut Pro
          2. Numerically scaling an image in After Effects
        3. Adding a new clip and applying a chroma key effect
          1. Adding a new video track and editing a new clip into a Final Cut Pro sequence
          2. Adding the chroma key effect in Final Cut Pro
          3. Adding a new clip into an After Effects Composition
          4. Adding the chroma key effect in After Effects
        4. Using a luma key effect to create transparency
          1. Creating a luma key effect in Final Cut Pro
          2. Creating a luma key effect in After Effects
        5. Drawing a mask in After Effects
    15. 13. Artistically Using Still Images
      1. Animating Still Photos to Simulate Camera Movements
        1. Simulating a zoom
          1. In Final Cut Pro
          2. In After Effects
        2. Simulating a camera movement
          1. In Final Cut Pro
          2. In After Effects
    16. 14. Creating Titles, Static and Animated
      1. Creating Static Titles
        1. Creating static titles in Final Cut Pro
        2. Adding your title to the Timeline and adjusting the position
        3. Editing your Final Cut Pro title
        4. Creating static titles in After Effects
          1. Editing the fill and stroke colors in After Effects
          2. Resizing and repositioning a static title in After Effects
      2. Animating a Title in After Effects
      3. Creating Scrolling or Crawling Titles in Final Cut Pro
        1. Creating a scrolling title in Final Cut Pro
        2. Adding your credits to the Timeline
        3. Creating a crawling title in Final Cut Pro
      4. Adding Still Images to Your Titles
        1. Creating transparency with a layer mask
        2. Bringing the image into your title sequence
          1. Using your edited still image in After Effects
          2. Using your edited still with Final Cut Pro
    17. 15. Bringing Your Title Sequence into Your Project
      1. Building Your Opening Sequence in Final Cut Pro
        1. Creating a main title sequence
        2. Adding the camera movement and title graphic to your new sequence
        3. Fading your composites off and on the screen
      2. Building Your Opening Sequence in After Effects
        1. Opening a new master project
        2. Adding the camera movement and title animation to your opening sequence
        3. Setting the opacity in After Effects to finesse the transition from one composition to another
      3. Joining Your Opening Sequence to the Body of Your Film
        1. Placing an interview clip after your opening title in Final Cut Pro
        2. Placing an interview clip after your opening title in After Effects
    18. 16. Color Correction
      1. How Color Functions in Video, an Overview
        1. Luminance
        2. Chrominance
          1. Hue
          2. Saturation
      2. Audiences’ Subconscious Response to Color, and How You Can Make Use of It
        1. Adding a color cast to a scene
          1. Using Final Cut Pro to change the color of your video
          2. Using After Effects to change the color of your video
      3. Making Your Video Broadcast Safe
        1. Using the Broadcast-safe filter in Final Cut Pro
        2. Using the Broadcast Colors effect in After Effects
    19. 17. The Concept of Sound Design
      1. Layering Audio Tracks
        1. Adding layers of audio in the Timeline
      2. Replacing Missing or Poorly Recorded Audio
        1. Replacing dialog, and why it isn’t easy
          1. Automated dialog replacement
        2. Recording and adding voice over
          1. The importance of a clear narration recording
          2. Effectively blending ambient sound under voice over
        3. An introduction to the art of Foley sound creation
          1. Footsteps
          2. Cantaloupe and other melons to simulate punches
          3. Breakfast meat as rain
          4. Cyborgs, laser blasts, and tall ships
    20. 18. Sound Design, from Nuts and Bolts to Fine Tuning
      1. Refining the Natural Sound in Your Sequence
        1. Layering audio and images in Final Cut Pro
        2. Using keyframes in Final Cut Pro to refine your sound mix
        3. Layering audio and images in After Effects
        4. Using keyframes in to refine your audio in After Effects
      2. Adding Music to Your Film
        1. Using music to enhance, and not overwhelm, your sound design
        2. Placing music in your Timeline, and making adjustments
          1. Adding music to a Final Cut Pro sequence
          2. Inserting additional audio tracks in Final Cut Pro, and layering music elements
          3. Adding an audio detail to a Final Cut Pro sequence, and placing it in exactly the right spot
          4. Transitioning from your opening theme into the main audio of your film, using Final Cut Pro
          5. Adding music to an After Effects composition
          6. Layering music elements in After Effects
          7. Adding an audio detail to an After Effects composition, and placing it in exactly the right spot
          8. Transitioning from your opening theme into the main audio of your film, using After Effects
    21. A. The Release Print
      1. Creating a Broadcast Master
        1. Outputting an EDL
        2. Bringing an uncompressed file to a post facility
        3. Outputting to tape directly from your system
      2. Striking a Film Print
        1. When your source material is video
        2. When your source material is film
          1. Creating an HD master for Romantico
      3. Outputting Your Audio
        1. Stereo
          1. Creating a stereo mix with the help of a post facility
          2. Creating a stereo mix yourself
          3. 5.1 or 6.1 surround sound
      4. Mastering to DVD, and the Benefits of Distributing Your Work in a Digital Format
        1. The DVD production process
          1. Encoding
          2. Building the DVD
          3. Copying the disc
      5. Streaming Your Work on the Internet
        1. Optimizing video for the Web
          1. Codecs
      6. Making Your Voice Heard
    22. B. The Last Step: Negotiating a Sale (and Why You Should Always Bargain Up)
      1. Getting Your Film Seen: How Festival Exposure and Press Coverage Can Get You Noticed
      2. The Option of Self-Distribution and the Story of Mary Jane’s Not a Virgin Anymore
      3. D.I.Y. or Die: Taking Your Work on Tour
      4. Don’t Sell Yourself Short
      5. Why Good Business Cards Are Important
    23. Index
    24. Colophon