The Shut Up and Shoot Freelance Video Guide [NOOK Book]


The Shut Up and Shoot Freelance Video Guide is an easy-read crash course in the ins and outs and hundred little details of creating video works for hire. This ultra-friendly visual field guide for freelance videographers picks up where The Shut Up and Shoot Documentary Guide leaves off and gives you more detailed practical production strategies and solutions not found anywhere else on:

* Marketing videos
* Music Videos
* Wedding videos
* Music performance videos
* Live event ...

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The Shut Up and Shoot Freelance Video Guide

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The Shut Up and Shoot Freelance Video Guide is an easy-read crash course in the ins and outs and hundred little details of creating video works for hire. This ultra-friendly visual field guide for freelance videographers picks up where The Shut Up and Shoot Documentary Guide leaves off and gives you more detailed practical production strategies and solutions not found anywhere else on:

* Marketing videos
* Music Videos
* Wedding videos
* Music performance videos
* Live event videos
* Corporate videos...and more!

Covering everything from dealing with clients, production strategies and step-by-step guidance on planning, shooting, lighting and recording the most common video-for-hire genres this book sets out to help you rise above the competition and make more money by doing quality work.

Anthony Q. Artis will instill you with the "down and dirty” mindset that helps you to creatively maximize your limited resources regardless of your budget.

Lavishly illustrated in full-color with real-world step-by-step visuals, The Shut Up and Shoot Freelance Video Guide is like a film school education in the form of a video cookbook.

You don't need loads of money to make professional-looking videos - you need to get down and dirty!

Includes access to a secret bonus Web site with:
* Video and audio tutorials, useful forms, and case-study video projects from the book.
* Crazy Phat Bonus Pages with Jump Start Charts, online Resources, Releases, Storyboards, Checklists, Equipment Guides and Shooting Procedures

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781136040894
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 11/12/2012
  • Language: Portuguese
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 394
  • File size: 85 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Read an Excerpt



Focal Press

Copyright © 2012 Anthony Q. Artis
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-240-81488-9

Chapter One


"Good things come to those who wait, but only the things left by those that hustle." —Abraham Lincoln

"Always be patient in filmmaking, but don't wait for [anything]. Waiting implies inaction and aspiring filmmakers should always be in action." —Anthony Q. Artis


Intro: My Low Definition of High-Definition Video

In as much as I like to focus on content and story and stay out for the bottomless rabbit-hole of confusion that is the technical specs and terminology of video, it is necessary to give some basic explanations of certain video concepts and definitions in order to better understand certain camera and TV settings and specs.


Pixels are all the little red, green, and blue microdots that make up the image on a TV or monitor screen. The more pixels there are, the sharper and clearer the picture will be, the better the quality of the image.


Video resolution refers to the size of the image in pixels. In camera and TV specs resolution is listed as the number of horizontal pixels × vertical pixels. The most popularly used resolutions are 1920 × 1080 and 1280 × 720 for HD cameras. Standard definition (SD) cameras have a resolution of 720 × 480. When listing HD resolution, most manufacturers simply state the vertical pixels: 1080 or 720 followed by the type of scanning (interlaced or progressive) as in 1080i, 1080p, or 720p. (See next page.)

Progressive vs. Interlace Scan Lines

Images are created on a screen by scanning vertically from top to bottom to refresh the picture a specified number of times per second, known as the refresh rate. The two flavors of video scanning are progressive (Yeahhhh!) and interlaced (Boooo!). Progressive scanning goes straight down the vertical rows of pixels to form a complete picture on each frame of video. Interlaced scanning skips every other vertical row of pictures–making one pass on the odd-numbered pixel rows (1, 3, 5, etc.), then a second pass on the even-numbered pixel rows (2, 4, 6, etc.) and alternating between these two half images known as video fields to form a single interlaced frame of video. The end result of interlacing is a less detailed and less smooth image than progressive video. This is most noticeable in text displayed on-screen and when pausing an interlaced picture, where funky jagged lines can often be seen in a freeze-framed image.

Refresh Rate

Lastly, we have monitor refresh rate, which refers to the number of times per second an image is scanned on a screen to form the picture. This number is measured in units called Hertz (Hz). So a TV with a 60Hz refresh rate scans the image on-screen 60 times per second to form the image we see. At the time I'm writing this, common refresh rates in Europe are 50Hz and 100Hz, and in the U.S. refresh rates are 60Hz, 120Hz ... and most recently, refresh rates have gotten as high as 240Hz on the very baddest HDTV sets or monitors on the shelf. (Not bad meaning "bad", but bad meaning "good" ... Michael Jackson bad.) As technology improves, so will the maximum refresh rates, so by the time you read this, it could be even higher. Just like pixels, a higher refresh rate is a good thing to have on a TV.

Frame Rate

Frame rate refers to how many frames of video you are shooting each second. Frame rates are usually shown in camera specs followed by a designation of "p" for progressive or "i" for interlaced scanning as explained above. So typical frame rate specs are expressed in terms such as 24p, 30p, and 60i. Video frame rate accounts for a good deal of the aesthetic look and feel of the video. For example, film is shot at 24 frames per second (fps), so video that is shot at the same 24 frames per second looks more cinematic and film-like. Video shot at the 30fps looks more "broadcasty," like the local news.


Check Your Menu ... First

The first thing that I advise you to do when you pick up any camera before a shoot–is to thoroughly check the menu settings. I understand that this can be a tedious and boring exercise. However, impatient shooters should be aware that there are some crucial settings in any video camera menu that can make for some big headaches in postproduction and even during shooting if you are not familiar with what your camera is doing to your footage "under the hood."

One thing you become keenly aware of with experience is that as brilliant as the people who make cameras are, they are not filmmakers or cinematographers–they are engineers. And as such, they occasionally make some nonsensical design decisions, so key features important to us are sometimes unintuitive, buried deep in a menu system or otherwise awkwardly arranged. Let's take a look at some of the most crucial menu settings:

Video Format

This is the very first thing you should check, because choice of video format will have the greatest effect on the quality of your captured image. Prosumer cameras generally have a choice (often a wide choice) of format configurations that you can shoot in. The video format section of the menu is also where you will choose your frame rate–the number of video frames recorded per second (abbreviated as "fps").

This is where you will decide which type of HD footage you're shooting: 1080 vertical lines of resolution × 1920 pixels of horizontal resolution or 720 vertical lines of resolution × 1280 pixels of horizontal resolution. (And just to add a layer of confusion, HDV format cameras shoot 1080 × 1440 pixels!)

Common frame rates are 24fps, 25fps, 30fps, 50fps and 60fps. And just to go a little deeper down this rabbit-hole, this spec might also be followed by an "i" for interlaced scanning or a "p" to indicate progressive scanning.

Video format settings are typically listed in a menu as 1080p/24–which means you'd be shooting 1080 vertical lines × 1920 pixel progressive high-definition video at 24fps. (Some models may also list the exact same setting as 1080/24p, preferring to indicate progressive video after the frame rate.)

Shooting at 24fps will give you the most cinematic film-like video, since this is the same frame rate that film is shot at. Shooting at 30fps will give you a traditional broadcast video look.

Generally, it's a good idea to shoot at the very highest quality video format your camera is capable of. The only time you'd switch this up usually is when you are going for a different look, such as a more video or film-like appearance.

Whether you understand all of this or not, the most important thing is that you check with two parties to make sure what you are giving them is compatible with their end needs and/or in-house systems: (1) your clients and (2) the editor. The clients will often be completely clueless, so you want to check with the people serving their technical needs on the other end such as a projectionist, editor, cable station, webmaster, etc. The bottom line is that anyone who will be handling the footage after you shoot it is someone you want to have a conversation with before you shoot. They will marvel at your foresight.

Timecode Menu Settings Record Run

Record Run timecode is the setting you should use most of the time. This means that whenever you start recording, the camera is going to start running and recording timecode, and whenever you hit the record button to stop recording, the timecode is going to stop. When you start recording again, the camera will resume recording timecode at the very next frame.

Free Run

Free Run timecode, on the other hand, runs continuously like a clock, no matter when you start or stop the recording. So when you are in Free Run mode and press record, then stop for one minute and start recording again, there will be a one-minute jump in the timecode, resulting in a timecode break, which can make your nonlinear editor very unhappy when shooting on DV tape. (For tapeless cameras, it's not such a big deal.)

... "That seems like a real unnecessary pain in the butt, Anthony. Why would I ever want to shoot in Free Run timecode then?" ... I'm glad you asked. Allow me to pontificate.

Free Run timecode is good for one very important function- multicamera recording, which is standard for many live events. If you are recording a band performing live with three different cameras all shooting Record Run timecode, you are going to have a real editing nightmare on your hands when you load the footage on your laptop and realize that you also have three different sets of timecodes and no reliable way of matching up the close-up from camera 1 with medium shot from camera 2 or the audience shot from camera 3. If you have a timecode generator and cameras that allow you to jam timecode or jam-sync, then you would shoot with all those cameras in Free Run mode, and every shot from the same point in time would have the exact same timecode, so you know precisely where to cut from one camera to the next, and every frame will match regardless of the camera it was shot from.

Timecode Preset

In Timecode Preset mode, the timecode runs the same as in Record Run, except in this mode you can preset the value of the timecode. For example, if you were shooting with your second media card, you could preset the value to 02:00:00:00 as an easy way to tell which card your clips were from in postproduction.

Timecode Display

The Timecode Display function lets you choose what type of timecode information is displayed on your LCD screen or monitor. You have three standard choices on most cameras: user bits, duration, or timecode. Timecode Generated displays timecode on the LCD. (That's what you want.) Duration just keeps a running count of the elapsed time of the recording, so you can know exactly how long a shot is. And user bits are an archaic way of writing some simple alphanumeric metadata into your timecode. Most recent generations of cameras have much easier ways to write metadata into your footage, so we ain't gonna be using these bits.


On many popular prosumer models such as Panasonic's HVX-200 and HMC150 cameras or Sony's EX-1, you can go into the menu to manually assign values to the generic gain settings of Low (L), Medium (M), and High (H). The switch for video gain appears on the side of the camera with three positions marked "L," "M," and "H." The ability to assign specific gain values to these positions is a very nice plus that will make it easier for you to set up the camera for your specific shooting situation or personal preference. Following is a chart of common configurations for a few different situations:




I think there are equally compelling arguments both for and against shooting video on DSLR cameras. (DSLR = Digital Single Lens Reflex) I'll try to share both arguments and let you decide whether it's a good choice for you. DSLR video cameras are essentially high-quality still photo cameras that now have added HD video functionality. As such, DSLR cameras are designed first and foremost with still photo shooting in mind–NOT video. This means they have some major limitations and require you to jump through a few more hoops than if you were to just shoot with a traditional video camera.

Here are some of the biggest DSLR issues as I see them....

1. Major Audio Limitations

One of the biggest drawbacks of DSLR cameras right out of the box is that they do not have XLR audio inputs. Instead, they come with a single mini-stereo audio input. This means you can't plug in any of your professional-quality mics if you only have a camera. Instead, you will need some type of audio adapter to feed sound into the camera, or you will need to record sound on a separate device. Not only that, but many popular DSLR models, such as the Canon 7D do not allow you to manually control the audio. They have autogain audio only, which is simply unacceptable (i.e., whack) for professional-quality work. Also, if you go the route of a separate audio recorder, you will also need to sync the sound with the picture in postproduction—film style, which is an extra step you don't have to take when shooting with a dedicated video camera. Most DSLRs do have a tiny built-in onboard mic, but it's not good enough for professional-quality audio capture. It's primarily useful for a "dirty track" for syncing or just recording personal home video. And to top it all off, as of the time I'm writing this, there are no on-screen audio meters to show you your audio levels. Lame!


Excerpted from THE SHUT UP AND SHOOT FREELANCE VIDEO GUIDE by ANTHONY Q. ARTIS Copyright © 2012 by Anthony Q. Artis. Excerpted by permission of Focal Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Image Control
Chapter 2 Audio Techniques
Chapter 3 Lighting: Getting Ya Shine On
Chapter 4 Marketing and Promo Videos
Chapter 5 Music Videos
Chapter 6 Weddings
Chapter 7 Live Events
Chapter 8 Handling Ya Business
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2012

    Once again

    This book got good reviews on Amazon where it sells for $22. Humph.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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