Monday, 22 March 2010

Filmmaking In Three Acts: Act II [Review: DV Rebel's Guide]

Stu Maschwitz's book is far less comprehensive than the Guerilla Blueprint, but what it does it does well. Explanations of how to stage action sequences, including use of airsoft guns, together with the visual effects or special effects needed to stitch it all together are particularly helpful. It’s totally written for the zero budget digital filmmaker and is well suited to short films. The author is an experienced special effects man and one of the developers of the Magic Bullet software package – and here describes several ways of digitally enhancing DV footage, as well as the best description of colour correction witchcraft I’ve yet found. Stu successfully avoids writing an advert for Magic Bullet, sadly instead it becomes an advert for After Effects which features heavily and exclusively. I’m currently working out a noodle network/sequencer setup to remove DV artefacts and perform some of the other tricks in Blender – watch the (CrCb quad blurred) skies.

Stu directed The Last Birthday Card which is used as an example throughout the book. It's a fun & occasionally brilliant short that demonstrates the strengths, and to be fair some of the weaknesses, of the DV Rebel approach. You can watch it here (via bifsniff who also reviewed this book).

The Last Birthday Card

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