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What's the best way to learn the basics of recording, editing and producing an underwater video From a DVD, or from a book
I began by putting my feet up and watching the DVD Your Guide to Creating Underwater Video. A couple of hours later, having watched it all plus the extras, and repeating some bits, I popped it out of the drive and thought: I could do that.
The book, Underwater Digital Video Made Easy, took longer to read and digest. The three writers cover the subject in considerably greater depth and detail. I felt I had learned more, but even with the short written case-studies, the printed medium is limited by having no examples to view.
Both book and DVD could have benefited from a more detailed worked and annotated example, providing some continuity about how the techniques and advice are applied, and showing an overall project from end to end.
The DVD might have found room for such an example by having fewer shots of writers Annie Crawley and Jeff Morse standing in the studio talking to camera, and providing a commentary instead.
The book would have needed more pages to do the same thing. No space is wasted; every page says something useful. The writers write with considerable authority.
To create a football analogy, if cameramen such as Peter Scoones and Howard Hall are Premier League, the book authors fall somewhere in the middle of the Championship, and the DVD team in Division 2.
Yet it isnt just about the experience and ability to produce, film and edit. It is also about the ability to communicate and educate. In that respect, both the DVD and book teams score the same.
Though not designed as a set, the book and DVD complement each other. Even so, if I had to choose one, I would go for the book.
John Liddiard
  • Your Guide to Creating Underwater Video by Annie Crawley & Jeff Morse (The Camera Coach, www.thecameracoach.com). DVD, US$40
  • Underwater Digital Video Made Easy by Steven M Barsky, Lance Milbrand, Mark Thurlow (Hammerhead Press, ISBN 0967430550). Softback, 192pp, US$23.95


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