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Author: Scott Billups
Book Review by Matthew Terry
Published by: Michael Wiese Productions
ISBN-10: 1932907378
ISBN-13: 978-1932907377

I can do it on my own, right? I've got the camera, right? I don't need anyone else's help...right?

I had hoped that when I cracked open this book it would provide me with a step-by-step guide on how to make my film with my Canon HV20. I've got the script, kinda. I know where I want to film, sorta. I can do it...maybe.

Though I had hoped to find a big warm shoulder of love and acceptance and "you can do it!" spunk, what I found was better. A tough-love, don't take any crap, here's what you're going to face...now FACE IT! Which, in reality, is what I really need at this point.

This book takes the digital movie industry and, frankly, smacks it upside the head (in a good way). Though the first few chapters have a tendency to bog down in minutia that I don't really understand: "A 4:1:1 signal would have full luminance but only a quarter of the original Y'CbCr color value and only 8% of the original RGB color." The author does an excellent job of pulling you through all of that and explaining it in a clear way, to the chapters regarding lighting, cast and crew, production, editing, etc.

If I have only one issue in regards to the book, it is that Mr. Billups does not spend any time actually talking much about the story that you want to shoot. A seminar I took in 2007 a Producer got up and frankly said: "Is your story worth shooting? Or is it crap?" Now, I don't expect a book on digital movie making to really devote a chapter to whether or not I'm wasting my time making a glorified home movie - but it would have been nice for some emphasis.

But that is a small dent in this otherwise smooth machine. What I like about this book and Mr. Billups's approach is that he's honest. Straightforward. No BS. And that's what I need before I step out into the darkness with my camera in my hand and go: "what the hell am I doing?"

This book details everything you need to know about Digital Movie Making, explaining it all in a clear and concise way. Buy a copy before you start filming, you'll be glad you did.


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