One of the greatest comments I’ve received came from Michael Rosenblum, the author of “iPhone Millionaire”. He and his wife Lisa (featured in the book, and in the picture above) taught at the Travel Channel Academy (the precursor to New York Video School) in 2009, and we had to make two short films as part of the class. (Here is the first short film I made, and here is the second.) When asked what I did, I responded to Mr. Rosenblum with “Computer Forensics”, to which he responded, “You should give that up – you’re wasting your time when you should be doing this.” For someone with an interest in film and travel, that I had even the potential to make a passing go at the combination was exciting!
At the start of the class, I had considered using my LiveScribe pen to record all the lectures, but we were asked to not record the class. I considered still doing it anyway – not to broadcast or anything, but for my own reference later. However, I chose not to, and took copious notes, along with giving it my all in terms of doing as instructed and participating. (The gentleman next to me did pretty much the opposite, and to this day I wonder why he bothered going if he was just going to do his own thing and cause trouble.) This book contains a significant amount of the wisdom that I learned from the class, and which served as the basis for everything I learned which isn’t included in the book. Without going into the specifics (and therefore giving spoilers) it gives you the basics of how to shoot using a camera such as the one in your iPhone or small camcorder (I use a Vixia HF S 11 personally) (and avoid all your natural, yet completely wrong, instincts about how to shoot), how to tell a compelling story, and importantly, how to then turn around and start selling your film to make money from it. Complete with real-world examples of people who already have done this, it’s a compelling manual on how to start a career in the film business. Additionally, it tells you WHY you might want to start a career in the film business. The insatiable demand for video that exists now (demonstrated amply) is only going to increase, and you can be a part of it.
If there is only one negative to the book, it’s that the mechanics of actually cutting together film is left out. However, this is not as glaring a problem as it might seem at first, for two reasons. The first is that plenty of resources are available on the web that can teach you lessons on how to do this. Secondly, the actual classes and resources associated with the New York Video school are an additional resource. To his credit, Mr. Rosenblum does not use the book as one big marketing platform for NYVS – it is only mentioned (from a sales perspective) once toward the end of the book, and comes with a code for a free trial.
Would I recommend this book? Absolutely. I’d recommend the class I took, too, and the NYVS. I consider it one of the best things I’ve done in recent years to have taken the class at the Travel Channel Academy – I am now versed in the “lingua franca” of the web – video – an indispensable skill for the future.