While I'm sure there are a few who might be insecure about the notion of learning anything from the "for dummies" series, I must say that their Machinima installment may very well be the holy grail of literature on the subject.
Both concise and thorough, Machinima for Dummies was written by machinimists and it shows. The boys at Strange Company know what they're about. And I must admit to the little thrill I felt when I reached the "Advanced Machinima" section and the first chapter was a full 24 pages on World of Warcraft. I actually learned something about the model viewer I didn't know before.
Another feature of this book is something some readers will love and others will hate. Instead of having seperate chapters on each game and seperate chapters on theory and on programs, Strange Company wrote it all into a mix that, in my opinion, flows very, very well. The book moves through storytelling and film theory into in-engine production through editing in Vegas, Adobe Premier, and a few other programs, moving through legal and pro content creation just as promised, with no skimping.
I think we machinimists have found our bible. Once you're able to ignore the big yellow "For Dummies" printed on the cover, "Machinima" is one of those rare products that is everything it was advertised to be and more.
And a Footnote: For beginners, all the nessesary tools really are included on the disc. Trial versions of fraps, vegas, modelviewer and everything else you could think of, including nearly everything (the movies, especially) mentioned in the book. I feel like I've struck gold with this thing. Never have I been less disappointed with a product.