Making Movies: A Guide for Serious Amateurs

A step-by-step approach to making quality video productions.

Making Movies book cover

Tired of turning video footage into ho-hum productions that make people yawn? Or, worse yet, just putting raw video out there and hoping for the best? If so, this guide is for you. It clearly explains how to research, plan, shoot, assemble, edit, and fine-tune video productions for just about any purpose. Richly illustrated with stills from an example movie, it’ll get you on the right track to making movies that’ll inform, entertain, and impress your audience.

Buy from Amazon’s Kindle Bookstore

I’m really pleased to announce that the first book in the Maria’s Guides series — Making Movies: A Guide for Serious Amateurs — is now available.

About the Book

I originally wrote the first draft of Making Movies as a personal guide to help me remember how I created my first “watchable” movie, Cherries: From Tree to Truck. Later, I rounded it out into a series of articles for InformIT. To create this book, I added and revised content and formatted it for print and ebook publication.

This book differs from most of my computer how-to books in that it concentrates on theory rather than specific how-to tasks. For example, it doesn’t explain how to edit moves in iMovie or Final Cut Pro. Instead, it tells you about the kinds of clips you should acquire and why. It also goes into a great deal of detail about the part of movie-making that’s most overlooked by inexperienced movie-makers: the planning process. The idea was to write a book that could benefit all first-time movie makers — not just the ones using a specific camera or editing software package.

Inside, you’ll find chapters for the following “steps”:

Step 1: Explore the Topic
Step 2: Plan the Shoot
Step 3: Shoot the Video
Step 4: Create the Rough Cut
Step 5: Fine-Tune and Complete
Step 6: Publish and Share

The printed version of the book runs 66 pages, including cover, front matter, and index.

The book uses two examples throughout the text: the existing cherry harvest video I created and a hypothetical home movie of a kid’s soccer game. There are screen images and other figures to help illustrate important points.

I think the book is a great guide to help new movie makers learn the lingo and get a feel for making good movies. Its step-by-step approach can help keep readers focused on the tasks that need to be done to ensure success.

Buy the Book

The book is available in four formats from three sources (so far):

EPUB and Kindle Ebook

I wrote the book primarily for distribution as an ebook. As such, it’s available in EPUB and Kindle formats from two popular sources at a very reasonable $3.99:

Print and PDF Ebook

The book is also available in print and in a PDF-style ebook format from MagCloud.

MagCloud is a print-on-demand publisher that calculates printed cost by the page, so the longer a book is, the more it costs. The printed version, which is in full color, is available for $12.95 plus shipping. Be advised that it may take up to two weeks for the book to arrive.

MagCloud also offers a ebook version of the book. Unlike the EPUB and Kindle versions, the MagCloud version is based on a PDF, so it’s formatted exactly like the book. The cost of this ebook version is $3.95 and it downloads immediately upon purchase.

Note that when you buy the print version, you get a free copy of the ebook version.

Additional Material, Feedback, and Support

You can find additional material about making movies on this site. Just follow the Movie Making topic link.

You can also post questions and read questions and answers on the book’s support page.

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