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What’s the best book on HD cinematography out there?


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#1 Michael Maier

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Posted 02 December 2005 - 11:27 PM

What?s the best book on HD cinematography out there?
I have heard of a couple, but they seem to be geared towards the F900, like the one David Mullen has updated and which I can't remember the name now.
I wonder if it can be also applied to HDV, mainly speaking about the JVC HD100.
I know some things probably can?t, like many who shoot on the F900 go for the ?digital negative?. In HDV that?s not very smart as the signal is not as robust and will suffer more degradation in color correction. So I think for HDV getting the look in camera is the best way.
But how about the other concepts, like image control and manipulation, painting and everything else?
What?s a good book to learn HD cinematography and how to get the best out of HD for feature moviemaking?
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#2 Michael Maier

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 07:29 AM

No word?
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#3 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 09:53 AM

No word?


High Definition and 24p Cinematography by Paul Wheeler is a good starting off point for getting an overview. He doesn't go into any depth about creating your own "look" inside the paint menus, but you can go into a rental house with the book and use it to find your way around the F900 menus. The book gives his personal menu settings.

Perhaps it could do with updating because of new recording formats like HDCAM SR and hard drives.

I haven't read it, but you could get the "Goodman Guide to the Varicam", if that's the camera you use the most. It's not cheap at around $125, (although I think you can get it cheaper).
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 03:28 PM

HDV is a little too new for textbooks to have come out about it. You'll have to live with the 24P HD books like for the F900 or Varicam, or all the DV books out there -- HDV is sort of a hybrid anyway between those two worlds.
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#5 Michael Maier

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 04:00 PM

Hey Brian, I use a HD100. Thanks for the recommendation.
David, is the Paul Wheeler book the one you updated?
I know it?s too soon for specialized HDV books and that I will have to get a book geared towards the Cinealta, or maybe I should get one for the Varicam, since the HD100 is 720p like the Varicam. I would just like to know opinions on what would be different between HDCAM and HDV for example. I know I won?t be able to completely follow a book for the Cinealta. So what type of knowledge I could get from such books which would also apply to HD in general(which includes HDV) in your opinion? Is it even worth to get such a book or is HDV such a different animal that a book like that would be next to useless?
I know of a couple of books for the Sony Z1 and another one for the HD100, but they were all written by video people and not a real DP, and they seem to focus in video production rather than HD cinematography.
Thanks David.
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 04:11 AM

I didn't update an HD book, just the book "Cinematography", which is geared towards 16mm mainly.

I would just get a bunch of books covering video in general, DV, and HD. Jon Fauer, for example, wrote a book on DV cameras. Paul Wheeler has that 24P HD book. There are Focal Press books on basic video where you can learn concepts common to all video cameras.
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#7 Michael Maier

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 04:16 AM

Thanks David. For some reason I had the impression you had updated a HD book. Sorry for the confusion.
I'm pretty well versed in DV25 production. I just need to cover the HD end now. Even though HDV has a lot in common with DV, there are many differences too. I believe the same is true between HDV and other forms of HD. If I'm able to identify the main differences between let's say ProHD and HDCAM, I may be able to use a HDCAM book to learn HD cinematography and use the concepts with the HD100. If I know what doesn?t apply to HDV, a F900 based book will be more useful.
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 12:57 PM

The differences between DV concepts and HDV issues wouldn't fill a whole textbook. HD is just a subset of video in general and doesn't take a whole book to explain by itself. In fact, you could probably never read a book on HD and if you were well-versed in video in general, you'd know everything you need to know other than what a particular menu screen on an F900 does. For that, you need something like a Goodman's Guide to that particular camera, or hope Paul Wheeler or Jon Fauer, etc. get around to writing something that specific, but considering how fast the technology changes, and that it takes a year at least for a book to be written, produced, and distributed, a book is not always the best format for communicating such information, unless it is a cheap print-on-demand type. You might get more info wandering around websites and reading trade magazines.

But, no doubt, some HDV books will be hitting the market any day now...

For some reason I had the impression you had updated a HD book.


Perhaps you are confusing me with Steve Mullen, who writes a lot about video in magazines.

Edited by David Mullen, 10 December 2005 - 12:54 PM.

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