Shooting Digital Video
Jon Fauer, ASC, Paperback, 284 pp., Focal Press, $34.95,

Reviewed by Kim Fatica

Digital video has opened up a whole new way for freelancers to make money, for consumers to make a serious upgrade into better quality video on a tight budget and for broadcasters to reconsider the way they assemble their daily news. Digital video is a totally accessible medium and this book follows in the same path, borne from the familiar question, "what kind of video camera should I buy?"

Jon Fauer has spent considerable time and effort compiling a digital video companion for uninitiated, ham-fisted video freshmen hoping to dive right in to use their new handycam. Then again, there are those initiated, ham-fisted video seniors who haven't a clue what DV is all about, and this will help them get up to speed with the format du jour.

The title may be a bit misleading, as you will not learn how to shoot, but more likely what you will shoot and post with. This is an excellent introduction to the various consumer and professional digital formats, the current major product lines, technical specs and general nuts-and-bolts of understanding what digital video is all about. The text is written simply, reading as if your best bud and you just sat down at the local pub to discuss this new production revolution. That makes some of the more boring technical details palatable.

Jon provides synopses of various equipment choices so you can best fit your needs and is able to explain the various proprietary features most of us would find confusing. That alone will save you a lot of time dealing with dishonest and inexperienced sales people.

The experienced videographer or photojournalist will note that he uses his expertise as a cinematographer to refine the electronic camera operator's way of understanding crucial production elements. He explains why a lightmeter is more useful than a waveform monitor. You'll finally get a clear understanding of the uses of the different types of lens filters, how to get your DV production to look like film, how DV lenses can be converted to 35mm film formats, and what editing software may be best suited to your needs and budget.

Jon Fauer is a talented, award-winning Director of Photography and director with commercial credits that include GM, Timex, AT&T, Neutrogena, Clairol and many others. He is considered the foremost expert on Arriflex cameras, and shares his knowledge and experience at leading film schools worldwide. If you can look past some of the glaring typographical errors in this publication, you will find the most easily comprehensible guide to digital video today written by an expert who could easily be the guy sitting next to you having a cold one at your favorite hangout.

back to reviews

Kim Fatica began his career in television as the voice of WBGU-TV (PBS) in Bowling Green, Ohio back in 1983. His first full-time photo gig was at WWAY-TV in Wilmington, NC in 1985. Fatica came to the Cleveland market in 1986, where he is now Director of Photography at WKYC-TV. Kim Fatica has 10 Emmy Awards to his credit, including Photojournalistic Enterprise (1997) and was a runner-up for NPPA's Region 4 TV News Photographer of the Year. His freelance business, Hemlock Point Studio, has been creating video projects since 1988.

home | what's new | product reviews | SPOTLIGHT | b-wear | message board | tips | job listings | market info
evil media | chat | photos | b-roll GIRLS | classified ads | links | resumes | privacy policy | about | contact us ©1996-2006 Kevin Johnson