Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dive into Python or Digital Filmmaking for Teens

Dive into Python

Author: Mark Pilgrim

Python is a new and innovative scripting language. It is set to replace Perl as the programming language of choice for shell scripters, and for serious application developers who want a feature-rich, yet simple language to deploy their products.

"Dive Into Python" is a hands-on guide to the Python language. Each chapter starts with a real, complete code sample, proceeds to pick it apart and explain the pieces, and then puts it all back together in a summary at the end.

This is the perfect resource for you if you like to jump into languages fast and get going right away. If you're just starting to learn Python, first pick up a copy of Magnus Lie Hetland's "Practical Python" (Apress, 2002).


About the Author:

Mark Pilgrim is an accessibility architect in the IBM Emerging Technologies Group. He is the author of several technical books, including Dive Into Accessibility, a free online tutorial on web accessibility. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and newborn son, and spends his copious free time sunbathing, skydiving, and reading Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason.

Practical Python

This is the perfect resource for you if you like to jump into languages fast and get going right away. If you're just starting to learn Python, first pick up a copy of Magnus Lie Hetland's.

Dive Into Python may be one of the thinnest programming language books on my shelf, but it's also one of the best. Whether you're an experienced programmer looking to get into Python or grizzled Python veteran who remembers the days when you had to import the string module, Dive Into Python is your "desert island" Python book.

Interesting textbook: Geography of Wine or Game Cookbook

Digital Filmmaking for Teens

Author: Pete Shaner

You don't have to invest a small fortune, own expensive gear, and employ an army of technicians to create a movie. Today's high-tech tools will fit in your backpack and don't require the financial backing of a major movie studio, making this the first generation in the history of moviemaking that doesn't have to beg for big bucks to put its stories on the screen. "Digital Filmmaking for Teens" emphasizes Hollywood-style moviemaking, the way the pros do it. You'll learn how to tell your story on a budget, using tips from industry veterans. Not sure where to start? No problem. You'll cover each step-from developing your idea and writing a script to planning for production, shooting, and editing. "Digital Filmmaking for Teens" includes an amazing DVD packed with advice, instructional videos, and examples.

School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up-The highlight of this guide is the DVD included in the package with which one can watch some films made by teens in a workshop in New York. One of the first pieces of advice is that the majority of filmmaking time will be spent editing. Knowing this information makes the film samples even more fascinating and the contents are given perspective, for only 2 of the 10 chapters are specifically about shooting the film. The other sections describe equipment, storyboarding, lighting, planning, editing, adding music, and releasing the film. Chapters are organized into a series of how-to instructions embedded with definitions, tips, and notes. Images and components seem contradictorily static and colorless for a catalyst for creativity; however, the instructions and suggestions are meticulously documented and easy to follow. This book is for novices and for filmmakers who wish to learn a bit more, and could serve as a superb guide for filmmaking at home or as a text for a class. Teens are the target audience, though this title will be useful to all who wish to produce their own digital movies.-Jodi Kearns, University of Akron, OH Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Table of Contents:
Chapter 1What's Your Project?1
Don't Think Outside the Box-Blow It Open!1
It's All About DV2
The Two (or Three) Big-Ticket Items4
Output Hardware8
Other Gear8
Where to Borrow It10
You Can Start Right Now11
Chapter 2Pick a Story13
Your Three Main Choices14
What Makes a Good Screen Story?18
Conflict: The Essence of Drama20
Thinking Visually: Avoiding the Dreaded Talking Head20
Emotion: The Prize at the Bottom of the Box22
Your Screen Story Checklist22
Get It in Writing23
Get to Know Your Camcorder25
Chapter 3Getting the Basics25
How Camcorders Work26
Depth of Field30
Hands-On Camcorder Tips30
Special Modes for Special Circumstances37
LP Recording Speed38
Spotlight Mode38
Sand & Snow38
Digital Zoom38
Variable Shutter Speed38
Semi-Auto Modes39
Alternate Frame Rates and Scanning Modes39
Widescreen Aspect Ratio39
Digital Effects40
How to Hold Your Camcorder40
Where's the Light?40
Controlling Contrast41
Showing the Audience Where to Look41
The Principle of Three-Point Lighting42
Hard or Soft Light?42
Color Balance43
Lighting Tips43
Follow the Guerilla's Code-Improvise!46
Tactic 1Shoot on Overcast Days46
Tactic 2Move into the Shade46
Tactic 3Cheat the Sun46
Getting Good Production Sound47
Audio Perspective47
Audio Levels53
Plan, Then Shoot54
Chapter 4Planning Your Movie55
Making Choices56
What Are the Basic Decisions?57
What Does the Story Need?57
Breaking Down the Script59
Where Can We Shoot?61
What Shots Do We Want?63
Types of Shots64
Your Goal-Get Coverage70
How Long Will It Take?71
How Will We Get It All?72
Do We Need to Rehearse?74
Chapter 5Shoot It!75
Things You Must Control75
Controlling Light77
Things to Keep in Mind on the Set: Lighting81
Controlling Sound82
Wear Headphones83
Watch the Mic85
Things to Keep in Mind on the Set: Sound87
Working with Actors88
Things to Keep in Mind on the Set: Working with Actors91
Getting Results from Your Crew92
Things to Keep in Mind on the Set: Working with Your Crew94
Get Your Shots: It's All About Coverage95
Shooting Action97
Tips on Getting Coverage for Documentaries and Music Videos Spike Your Actors98
Shooting Chases98
Screen Direction and Continuity101
Following Action with the Camera102
Are You Ready?104
Chapter 6Editing Your Show and Adding Music105
Basic Editing in iMovie 4106
Uploading DV Footage and Organizing Clips112
Trimming a Clip114
Trim as You Upload114
Trim Before You Insert115
Organizing Your Clips116
Assembling Your Movie by Inserting Clips into the Clip Viewer117
Playing Back Your Movie118
Switching to the Timeling Viewer118
Timeline Viewer Controls119
Making Edits in the Timeline Viewer120
Cropping a Clip in the Timeline Viewer122
Adding Transitions124
Extracting an Audio Clip126
Controlling the Audio Level of a Clip127
Overlapping Audio Clips128
Creating a Split Edit130
Importing Music from the iTunes Library132
Importing Music from Sonicfire Pro133
Importing Music from GarageBand134
Making a Documentary from Digital Stills with the Ken Burns Effect135
Watch the Pace136
Chapter 7Shooting and Editing Fights and Special Effects139
Be Safe Out There139
Selling the Punch-Staging a Convincing Fight Scene140
Throwing the Right Cross140
Four Secrets to Selling Punches on the Screen142
Other Types of Punches: The Jab and the Uppercut143
Staging a Fight as a Series of Combinations144
Tips for Safe Choking and Hair Pulling144
Striking with a Weapon145
Faking Injuries with Makeup146
Editing a Fight Scene147
Stunt Fighting Recap149
Movie Magic Debunked-Shooting and Editing Special Effects149
Preparing for Compositing-Shooting a Green Screen150
Okay, Go Ahead and Try a Dolly Counter-Zoom-If You Must!152
Chapter 8Polishing Your Blockbuster155
Polishing Your Soundtrack156
Cleaning and Separating Dialogue156
Fixing Audio Problems158
Replacing Dialogue159
Fine-Tuning Music161
Manufacturing Sound Effects163
Enhancing Imagery164
Adding Titles165
Adding Effects168
Correcting Color170
Compositing with Chroma Key171
Getting Feedback173
Chapter 9Releasing Your Extravaganza175
Printing to Tape176
Copying a DV Cassette to VHS Tape177
Burning a CD179
Creating a VCD181
Creating Video Files for the Internet182
Authoring and Burning a DVD183
Archiving Your Project187
Chapter 10Going to the Next Level189
Learning How the Pros Work189
Camera Operations192
Director of Photography192
Camera Operator192
First Assistant Camera Operator192
Second Assistant Camera Operator193
Dolly Grip193
Will You Shoot News-Style or Film-Style?194
Matching the Camcorder to Your Shooting Style194
Meet the Moviemaker's Power Tools195
What's Better Than DV? HDV Is Coming!196
Where to Get Training197
Going Commercial198
Here's Your Big Send-Off199
Computer Configuration201
Appendix ASetting Up a Computer Editing System201
Hard-Drive Requirements202
DVD Collections205
Web Sites207
How to Use the DVD236
DVD Table of Contents237

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