|Review: Making Awesome iMovies, CD-ROM
Awesome iMovies, CD-ROM
List price: $29.95
Run time: 90 minutes
Review by Ken
Question: Why am I reviewing an iMovie
tutorial for a FCP web site? I'm glad you asked. Because, while
45 minutes of this 90 minute CD-ROM is a complete tutorial for
iMovie, there is an additional 45 minutes of instruction about
the making of movies. Pre Production, Production and Delivery.
Camera controls, lighting, audio, shooting techniques and final
output are all covered. If you are completely new to the movie
making process, these areas would be very helpful even if you
are working in FCP.
Like other CD tutorials from DVCreators.net,
the production values of this CD ROM are very high. The entire
tutorial is delivered in high quality video, with superb images
and audio. This CD ROM has improved navigation ability with a
slider at the bottom of the page so that you can pause, go back
or forward to any point in the lesson. The lessons are hosted
by an on screen spokesperson and are done in a very comfortable
manner with good humor. This tutorial is based on the making
of the movie "The Disappearing Ink Story". So let's
take a look.
This is a very short section that acquaints you with planning
your first project, brain storming, scripting and story boarding.
There are 'story board' forms included on the CD ROM which you
can print out and use.
The Production section is divided into five areas; camera operations,
camera aesthetics, lighting, audio, and behind the scenes.
The Camera Operation section demonstrates on screen how to use your camera. It teaches you how to use the manual mode for focus, white balance, exposure (iris), shutter speed and zoom (don't). Also included is information on time code, panning and progressive mode.
In Camera Aesthetics we are introduced to basic shooting composition. Rule of thirds, nose room, camera position, camera height, camera angles, Dutch angles, camera coverage and backgrounds.
The Lighting section teaches the basics of 'three point lighting'. Keylight, fill light, back light and a fourth, background lighting. Tips on how to make and use soft boxes, snoots and gels.
Rule of Thirds
No nose room - poor composition
Better composition - nice
Both tree and horizon centered
3 point lighting / background
The Audio section contains discussions
on using the on board camera mic (for ambient sounds) and using
a second mic. There is information on shotguns, lavaliers, hand
held mics and using a boom.
The Behind the Scenes section
deals with shooting methods, shooting out of sequence, different
camera positions for the same scene, insert shots, cut aways
and other techniques for getting the footage that you will need
to put your movie together. This section is demonstrated by showing
the entire shooting area, lights, mics, booms, camera, camera
operator and talent. There is a 'picture in picture' of the footage
being shot that will be used in the movie.
The post production section is
the heart of this CD ROM. In this section viewers are taught
to edit in iMovie. Starting off with an introduction to the iMovie
interface, each element is shown and described.
The tutorial then continues by building
the movie "The Disappearing Ink Story". Starting with
importing clips, trimming the clips, placing them on the Time
Line, we are moved through the three basic steps in editing the
movie. Rough cut, fine tuning the clips (adding effects and transitions)
and finally adding music and sound effects.
As the tutorial walks you through making
an iMovie transitions are applied and titles are made.
As the movie building process continues effects are applied and audio sound effects and background music are added.
Time Line Window
During the movie building process additional
information and techniques are demonstrated. Insert or cut away
shots and other editing tools are involved to enhance the story
line. A number of good tips are provided to help you understand
the story telling process and how to employ these tips to produce
a good movie.
The last section of the tutorial
is Delivery. Making DV and VHS tapes, Quicktime movies for the
Web, CD ROMs and iDVD disks are demonstrated and covered with
all the appropriated QT settings for each different medium. There
is even a step by step lesson on uploading your QT movie to iTools
so that others can view your QT movies on the web. There are
also some good tips for shooting video expressly for the Web.
The Making Awesome iMovies, CD-ROM
tutorial is excellent. The beginners sections on using a camcorder
and lighting are very well done and go into some detail on these
subjects. In the Production section you have the feeling that
you are on the set during shooting. You gain insight into shooting
procedures, getting all the shots that you will need when it
comes time to edit the movie. The post production section (45
minutes) teaches iMovie by actually putting a complete movie
together, 'The Disappearing Ink Story'. Starting with opening
a project, clip import, rough cut, adding cut away shots, transitions,
FX filters, titles, sound effects and a music track. Start to
finish, it's all there.
In the tutorial interface, lower
left hand corner is a 'Web Link' button. This link will take
you to a different web location depending on which section you
are in, pre production, production, post production and delivery.
There is yet another Web Link inside the 'goodies' folder in
the CD ROM folder. It's a little confusing.
There is one 'gaff' in the post
production section. After adding multiple sound effects to the
audio track, the review of the video with the applied sound effects
is missing. There is a 12 second gap where you are left guessing
as to what is going on. Maybe someone spilled some disappearing
ink on this section. You can see the missing part when the 'The
Disappearing Ink Story' movie is played in it's entirety.
At $29.95 the Making Awesome iMovies
CD-ROM has excellent value. Lot's of good information and very
copyright © Ken
iMovies resource page.
first appeared on www.kenstone.net and is reprinted here
All screen captures and
textual references are the property and trademark of their creators/owners/publishers.