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$1.50 in Late Fees

Peter John Ross talks about the mythology and Truth about Robert Rodriguez:

No one seems to remember that Robert had made well over 200 movies on video from the time he was 9 years old. How many other filmmakers, even in our cheap DV 1394, Non Linear World, can claim to have made over 200 movies? I’ve been making movies for 4 years, and I’m barely over 30 movies. Let’s just say that Robert has a distinct advantage when it comes to making movies at the stage he was at when he made El Mariachi. EXPERIENCE. It’s greatly undervalued if you went solely by the descriptions made in the book and in the Ten Minute Film School.

James Cameron on the value on going to film schools: I got a $150,000 film school education for a $1.50 in late fees at the public library.

I’ll disagree somewhat here. When doing a technical project, having access to the latest books can make a real difference. In film/video, books that are 3 years or older are out of date and might be totally irrelevant to your current tools. That said, certain basic texts can be informative. I’ve done interlibrary loan on several texts on film(video) editing and managing video projects that I don’t think will be out-of-date. I’ve spent so far about 75$ on film books so far, and I’ve learned a lot.

Here are the video productions I’ve used or planned to use so far:

  • Digital Video Hacks by Joshua Paul (the most current, the handiest). Particularly good stuff on improvising and lighting.
  • Directing the Documentary by Michael Rabiger (good on aesthetics, camera technique & project management). He also has another book, Directing: Film Techniques and Aesthetics, Third Edition. Both books are very academic and erudite approaches to the subject.
  • Digital Video Pocket Guide by Derrick Story (reference)
  • Lighting for Digital Video & Television, Second Edition John Jackman. I just received this book in the mail, and it looks terrific!
  • Extreme Dv at Used-Car Prices: How to Write, Direct, Shoot, Edit, and Produce a Digital Video Feature for Less Than $3000, Ray Carney (Foreword), Rick Schmidt (good at running a project, legal, budgets)
  • Transitions: Voices on the Craft of Digital Editing [Paperback] by Erik Andersen. Old Book but probably excellent (I’m adding it on the basis of the chapter titles–haven’t read it yet). Film editing is more of an art than a science, so I expect it to still be relevant and useful.
  • Producing Great Sound for Digital Video [Paperback] by Jay Rose
  • On film editing : an introduction to the art of film construction by Edward Dmytryk (1984 classic text on film editing)
  • Vegas 6 Editing Workshop (Paperback)
    by Douglas Spotted Eagle Probably a book for using Vegas 6 nonlinear video editor which I have yet to buy.
  • Walter Murch, In the Blink of an Eye, succinct thoughts on video editing.

Also, I have about a dozen books en route to me via the city library and interlibrary loan, so in a few weeks, I should have a few more titles. And so far, no library fines. Truthfully, though, watching a lot of movies has helped immensely. With every scene (even with Star Wars), I keep asking myself (Could I shoot that scene on my budget with my equipment?).

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