Book Cover

Communicating Ideas with Film, Video, and Multimedia

Southern Illinois University Press, 2004

This monograph is an insider’s perspective on the informational media industry. With over thirty-five years of experience, award-winning filmmaker S. Martin Shelton presents his astute views on the state of the profession and offers sage, constructive advice for the successful design and production of information motion-media.

This monograph is the winner in two categoraies of the Society for Technical Communication - 2004-2005 Southern California Spotlight Competition:

• Best of Show
• Distinguished Technical Communication Award in the Book category

513 pages

Paperback format: 9 x 6 inches



Paperback $12.00

Texas Residents $14.00


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Southern Illinois University Press




Fundamentals of Photographic Optics

Shelton Communications, 2010

In this monograph, Shelton explains the basic mathematical formulas that deal with photographic optics. He discusses the basic concepts of light. He displays the optical formulae in large, bright colors and discusses how to use them. Shelton solves sample problems and then tasks the reader to solve a problem dealing with that formula. He uses color illustrations to show the various optical concepts on which these formulas apply, such as f-number and aperture, depth-of-field, hyperfocal distance, circle of confusion, and achromatic lenses.

20 pages

Paperback $22.00

Texas Residents $24.00

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The False Reality in Film

Lamplight Press, 2014

There is no reality in film. There is only the audience's perception of reality. And, it is the audience's perception of reality in film that engenders empathy and thus acceptance—that point at which the audience willingly suspends disbelief in the false reality on the screen and joins the filmmaker in the scenario. However, without audience empathy and acceptance, except for certain types of films, most films will probably fail—no matter how expertly produced or what the goal of the film is: to turn a profit or motivate the audience. That is, the audience's feeling or sense of reality is the foundation of the effectiveness of a film. Shelton's monograph discusses his perception of reality in the five film genera that he has defined as information, documentary, narrative, enrichment, and experimental. He has drawn the scope of these genera on his developed Film Reality Scale and has plotted representative films on this scale

66 pages






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Motion Media and Communications

Lamplight Press, 2015

Forgoing discussions of technology, Shelton instead concentrates on the communication principles that can motivate an audience to achieve a particular goal—a goal that must be realistic, worthwhile, and appropriate. His inventive approach coalesces theory of the media with its psychology, philosophy, analysis, history, and application. Written for a broad audience of professional informational and corporate filmmakers, film students, technical writers, and clients, it is an insider’s perspective on the informational media industry. With over thirty-five years of experience, award-winning filmmaker Shelton presents his astute views on the state of the profession and offers sage, constructive advice for the successful design and production of information motion-media. This valuable guide examines how to encode effectively information in motion media by using in-depth communication analysis and pertinent filmic design.

Paperback format: 9 x 6 inches











Ghost Towning for Fun, Adventure, and Discovery

Lamplight Press, 2015

In this short monograph, Shelton highlights the protocols, the “do” and “don’t” as it were, of ghost-towning—visiting such sites and abandoned mining camps in the American West. His most important point is don’t be a blackguard. Leave these historical sites, non-renewable re-sources of our past as they are for future generations to visit. For over a century, the romantic mystique of gold rushes, gunfights, and saloons of the western town has captured popular imagination. Hollywood fantasy publicity engenders folks to visit these precious remnants of time gone by. Unfortunately, ghost towns are fragile resources vulnerable to the environment, artifact collectors, thieves, and vandals. Over the years, such scalawags have done incredible damage to our dwindling historic sites. Once a ghost town is gone, it is gone forever.

Shelton discusses maps and latitude and longitude, road conditions, weather, water, survival equipment and strategy, cautions, and driving conditions.

Paperback format: 9 x 6 inches

Visit Shelton's web site to view a potpourri of his ghost-town photographs. The address is








The Avengers: The Romance Between Emma Peel and John Steed

Lamplight Press, 2015

The Avengers was a popular 1950s British television series featuring Patrick Macnee as the character John Steed and Diana Rigg as Emma Peel. Steed and Emma were agents for an unnamed secret intelligence agency—a spoof of the James Bond capers.

The player’s sexual chemistry suffused throughout the episodes—with action left un-played and unsaid more often than not. In many of the shows, there were charmingly faint and sometime patently erotic innuendos: double entendres, roguish bon mots, and sensual play that spoke of carnal relations.

In this concise monograph, Shelton explores these clues to form a plausible decision.

Paperback format: 9 x 6 inches








Ho Chi Minh and the OSS

Lamplight Press, 2015

One of the least known operations in the Pacific Theatre in World War II was the United States Office of Strategic Services’ clandestine cooperation with Marxist Ho Chi Minh and his Communist Việt Minh in Vietnam. (The Office of Strategic Services, or OSS, was a precursor of the Central Intelligence Agency.) Ho was waging a losing guerilla war against the occupying Japanese army.

Ho’s agent in Kunming, China, told the OSS’s senior operative that Ho need assistance and that his cadres would fight side by side with the Americans in their campaign against imperial Japan. Soon after, OSS technical advisors infiltrated into Vietnam, bringing all manner of military gear, communication equipment, and medical supplies. Now well armed with U.S. weapons, Ho’s Việt Minh cadres significantly increased their guerrilla operations: sabotage, ambush, and assassination.

In July 1944, Ho became acutely ill and was near death. OSS medical personnel treated him for malaria, dysentery, and tuberculosis—they saved his life.

Ho Chi Minh considered the United States to be his friend, and the Việt Minh cadres treated the American personnel as honored guests. The OSS was convinced that after the war, Ho Chi Minh would continue to be pro-American.

President Roosevelt demanded that the French stay out of Indochina at the conclusion of the war. Unfortunately, he died shortly before war’s end. President Truman by indirection allowed the French to resume control. From the Vietnamese perspective, this fraud was just another example of the West’s imperious duplicity. Ho Chi Minh, his apparatchiks and cadres, were then convinced that the United States was perfidious and their enemy.

Spiral bound, 8 ½” x 11,” 33 pp., color and black and white photographs, References.





Paperback $25.00

Texas Residents $27.00

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Origins of the Japanese Pacific War, 1940s

Captain Sylvester M. Shelton, USNR (Ret.)

13 November 2019

The narrative of this 34-minute video explores the long-term Japanese goal of possessing by martial means the natural resource treasures of Manchuria, China, and the Occidental colonies in Southeast Asia. This strategic goal was introduced into Japanese political and military planning shortly after the Meiji Restoration in 1868. To implement this plan, Japan engaged in a series of aggressive wars throughout the twentieth century, culminating in their surprise attack on the American battle fleet at Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941.




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