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

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

4.2 8
by Steve Stockman
     
 

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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

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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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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:
05/25/2011
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
175,321
Product dimensions:
7.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Related Subjects

Videos

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"It’s all in here—family video, business video. . . even college application videos. What’s not in here? A bunch of technical stuff nobody understands. We can all shoot video on our smart phones or digital cameras—the question is, can we shoot video that doesn’t suck?”
—Joe McCambley, Co-founder/Creative Director, The Wonderfactory

“The odds are good that some of you suck at video. . . Steve is one of the smartest media minds in the game. This book is the perfect gift for any would-be filmmaker with the need to suck. . . less.”
—Rob Barnett, Founder/CEO, www.MyDamnChannel.com

“Stockman skipped past all the technical crap about how to use a camera and cut right to the chase: how do you shoot a video somebody else will WANT to watch? The only thing missing is a time machine so I could reshoot fifteen years of sucky birthday party and school play videos.”
—David A. Goodman, Executive Producer/Head Writer of Family Guy

“Like two years of film school in 248 pages. I've been in the movie biz for twenty-five years and I still learned a ton from Steve Stockman’s How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck. I guess that means either I'm pretty dumb or Steve is really smart.”
—Steven Pressfield, Author of The War of Art and The Legend of Bagger Vance

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