How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck: Advice to Make Any Amateur Look Like a Pro

( 7 )

Overview

Video is everywhere. Over 90 percent of American homes have some form of video camera, we upload 24 hours of video to the Web every minute, and we watch videos two billion times a day on YouTube. Problem is, most of it is bad—but here’s how to make it not only better, but also great.

How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck is all about the language of video. It’s about how to think like a director, regardless of equipment (amateurs think about the camera, pros think about ...

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How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck: Advice to Make Any Amateur Look Like a Pro

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Overview

Video is everywhere. Over 90 percent of American homes have some form of video camera, we upload 24 hours of video to the Web every minute, and we watch videos two billion times a day on YouTube. Problem is, most of it is bad—but here’s how to make it not only better, but also great.

How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck is all about the language of video. It’s about how to think like a director, regardless of equipment (amateurs think about the camera, pros think about communication).  It’s about the rules developed over a century of movie-making—which work just as well when shooting a two-year-old’s birthday party. Written by Steve Stockman, the director of Two Weeks (2007), plus TV shows, music videos, and hundreds of commercials, How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck explains in 74 short, pithy, insightful chapters how to tell a story and entertain your audience.

Here’s how to think in shots—how to move-point-shoot-stop-repeat, instead of planting yourself in one spot and pressing “Record” for five minutes. Why never to shoot until you see the whites of your subject’s eyes. Why to “zoom” with your feet and not the lens. How to create intrigue on camera. The book covers the basics of framing, lighting, sound (use an external mic), editing, special effects (turn them off), and gives specific advice on how to shoot a variety of specific situations: sporting events, parties and family gatherings, graduations and performances. Plus, how to make instructional and promotional videos, how to make a music video, how to capture stunts, and much more. At the end of every chapter is a suggestion of how to immediately put what you learned into practice, so the next time you’re shooting you’ll have begun to master the skill. Accompanying the book is a website with video clips to illustrate different rules, techniques, and situations.

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  • How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck
    How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck  

Editorial Reviews

Various

"Stockman has packed a veritable film school between the pages of this highly informative, yet entertaining book. Very highly recommended."

—Videomaker Magazine

"Great tips from a video expert."

PC World

"Whip-smart and funny... teaches readers how to think about film and reveals the why and when behind techniques; there is next to zero tech or tool talk."

—Library Journal

"His simple-to-follow guide takes readers step-by-step through the film- and video-making process"

—Kirkus Reviews

From the Publisher
"Stockman has packed a veritable film school between the pages of this highly informative, yet entertaining book. Very highly recommended."

—Videomaker Magazine

"Great tips from a video expert."

PC World

"Whip-smart and funny... teaches readers how to think about film and reveals the why and when behind techniques; there is next to zero tech or tool talk."

—Library Journal

"His simple-to-follow guide takes readers step-by-step through the film- and video-making process"

—Kirkus Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

An often plodding but highly informative manual for fledgling filmmakers.

Producer, director and screenwriter ofTwo Weeks(2006), Stockman adds "author" to his growing list of credits with this debut instruction manual. His simple-to-follow guide takes readers step-by-step through the film- and video-making process, complete with personal anecdotes ("A screenwriter friend of mine told me that he chooses a project by deciding whether or not he'd pay to see it in a theater") as well as helpful tips to avoid often-overlooked elements of filmmaking ("Given the choice between shooting the picture right and getting good sound, directors always choose picture... [but] great sound pulls viewers in"). The author punctuates the chapters with incisive and complementary exercises granting readers more opportunity to reinforce each lesson, which run the gamut from lighting and scene composition to post-production editing and promotion. The narrative reads like a VCR manual at times—and the author tends to overexplain certain concepts—but the Stockman'ss attention to detail is impressive.

Whether they're aiming to shoot the next summer blockbuster or more entertaining home videos of their grandchildren's ballet recitals, readers will go forth in good confidence that they have been rigorously instructed.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761163237
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/25/2011
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 227,586
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve Stockman is a director, producer, and writer of films, television shows, and commercials. He made the feature film Two Weeks (2007) starring Sally Field, Ben Chaplin, and Tom Cavanagh. Every summer he mentors aspiring filmmakers and teaches video-making at Summer Stars Camp. He lives with his family in Los Angeles.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2011

    This book is fantastic

    A very layman explanation for making video that people actually want to watch. I've used his principles already to take what woud be boring home movies and made them entertaining for multiple facebook friends who wouldn't have cared. His advice has helped me significantly.

    Seriously check this book out if you like home movies or making movies for youtube...or if you're a serious movie maker and you want to improve your skills conceptualizing your content.

    Loved this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 15, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    More people should read this book. I'm a reporter with a backgro

    More people should read this book. I'm a reporter with a background in photography and newspaper writing and video has been a pretty smooth transition because I follow the rules. This book has all the classic rules and more.

    In journalism, a lot of people are failing at video. Photographers make pretty montages of shots with no story line and writers have shaky video of talking heads that is way too long. This book should be sitting in every news room.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 15, 2012

    Great book, very useful!

    It is put in layman's terms, very easy to read and you can understand what the author is trying to tell you. He gives a simple no-nonsense approach as to what you should be thinking about before, during and after the video shoot. Has a touch of humor and very personable.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2012

    Nook version is buggy

    Will not open for me. I cannot get past the cover. It opens but when I try and turn the page, it flips back to the cover. I have archived it and reinstalled it several time but still cannot read it.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews

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