by Vasuki Belavadi*
(Oxford University Press)
Price: Rs. 325/- (inclusive of a demo CD)
Television has developed into Multimedia Internet Communication convergence and its application is complex. Mastering an ever-changing technology like that is a tough task and explaining it with ease is tougher.
Video Production, written by Vasuki Belavadi, is a handbook useful for those entering the field of television and multi media. Self learned techniques and experiences are well presented for the practitioners' basic know how. The book explains the evolution of various formats of video cameras and its theory, the method of sensible synchronization of images and sound. Most of the problems encountered in the production of TV programmes, which could not be anticipated by beginners, are narrated with details of storage devices, lighting accessories and studio settings.
Use of high definition cameras and streaming of visuals and multimedia contents through Internet and wireless communication devices such as mobile phones have come up for mass usage when Belavadi's book went to press. But, he explains how they are used in the United States and Europe by convergence media such as Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) and Direct to Home (DTH) broadcasts.
New Generation Journalist
With the advent of new technologies, the new generation journalist should have transformed herself into a media person dealing with online multimedia functions. To begin with the work of producing a film or video and achieving good results, she has to learn many things from the technological side to social trends. Entertaining a wider audience in the highly competitive era is not so easy, and so, it is worth to have background knowledge.
Unified messaging and the use of compact multifunctional devices have made it possible for the younger generation to use compact cameras in their hands, shoot, edit and pass on videos to various networks and circulate them among friends. Moving from high-end video cameras, the television channels are now using compact digital and high definition cameras. Transmission is becoming easy through many satellites.
The OB vans and the big dish antennas may vanish in few years. High capacity satellites and the ground linked mobile towers are to replace the cables and posts. Television channels are now airing live programmes and streaming them to the hand held mobile phones. Trendy programmes like super dancer/singer with mass participation are becoming influential entertainment. As result, the job opportunities in the television and communication networks are multiplying many folds. Communication and mass media training is hence becoming more lucrative and attractive.
It seems the Video Production is planned and narrated with vast experience and the writer have done extensive research. It is presented in a manner the reader or learner should gain basic knowledge of evolution of video and practical applications. Guidance to avoid trouble during production is also imparted in a professional manner.
Television programme production was going through a trial and error phase in India for the last few years, as it was a new arena. Launching a television channel was not an easy task a few years ago. The cost of equipments in production and distribution was high. New technology digital cameras and even night vision equipments are now available in the market. One can shoot, edit and stream video on to desktop or laptop. Previously, the channels were based in the cities. Now, even the cable operators in the villages are doing professional programmes. Many news channels are encouraging citizen journalism.
Editing software is downloadable and latest computers can run them. Entertainment Industry is the World’s high potential commercial activity. The use of video cameras and the communication links are not limited for mere entertainment but have high scope for many spheres of life. Emergence of digital technologies made it possible for any layman to use the cameras and stream his amateur videos to use by public broadcasters as well as for other commercial, educational or industrial use.
Book for Journalism students
Belavadi elucidates production against this background in a manner anyone familiar with media can follow. He has done good homework on the making of videos and has mastered production of television programmes. The book is meant for the journalism students and anyone aspiring for entry into the world of moving images. The terminologies, various techniques of video production, use of cameras and lighting equipments in various situations are explained well. Most of the problems encountered by a television journalist are sensibly presented. The topics are worth following from the first to last chapter that touches upon the emergence of new television technologies.
Every budding journalist, whether he is experienced or not, has the ambition to produce great programmes. However, he encounters many problems in the field such as lack of light, sound disturbances, failure of audio and even camera shake. Dubbing, compeering chroma keying and sitting in the edit suit with rushes present challenges. Unless he has the basic know how on the functioning of the camera, range of mike or use of lapel, he is sure to run into trouble. And lapses can drain a lot of money.
Vasuki judiciously explains all aspects of television programme production and broadcasting. Though the new technologies are handy and easy, it will be worth to turn to a book for basic guidance on the production and the maintenance of equipments. And Video Production fits the bill. It is a good guide for amateurs as well as professionals.