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Video Nation: A DIY guide to planning, shooting, and sharing great video from USA Today's Talking Tech host Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0321832870 ISBN-10: 0321832876 Edition: 1st

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Video Nation: A DIY guide to planning, shooting, and sharing great video from USA Today's Talking Tech host + How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck: Advice to Make Any Amateur Look Like a Pro
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 1 edition (July 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321832876
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321832870
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #649,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review




Amazon.com Feature: Bonus Content from Jefferson Graham, Author of Video Nation

[Click the photo to see the page spread with callout tips from the book]

Producing an Interview
Lighting Setup




Shooting with an iPhone
Position Your Subject
Creating a Title


About the Author

Jefferson Graham is a long-time technology reporter for USA Today, and host, producer and editor of the USA Today Talking Tech and Talking Your Tech video shows, which features interviews with tech newsmakers and reviews of the latest gadgets and gizmos. Tech guests have included celebrities such as Carson Daly, Selena Gomez and Valerie Bertinelli; tech stars like Zynga CEO Mark Pincus and Pandora’s Tim Westergren; and YouTube breakouts iJustine and the Annoying Orange himself, Dane Boedigheimer. All the shows are produced professionally on the same DIY budgets described in this book. Graham is the author of nine books and is also an accomplished Manhattan Beach-based portrait photographer, videographer, and jazz guitarist. 

More About the Author

Jefferson Graham is a Los Angeles based USA TODAY technology columnist, and the host and producer of USA Today's Talking Tech and Talking Your Tech video shows, featuring reviews and newsmakers, companies and consumers on the role technology plays in their lives.
Guests on the Tech shows have included musicians James Taylor, TV's Judge Judy, "Simpsons" creator Matt Groening, comedians Steve Harvey and Arsenio Hall, former boxer Mike Tyson and Pandora founder Tim Westegren. Before switching to the tech beat in 2000, Graham covered television for USA TODAY.
He is the author of nine books, including "Come on Down: The TV Game Show Book," and "Vegas: Live and in Person." Graham, who joined USA TODAY in 1984, is also a portrait photographer in the Manhattan Beach, California area and a jazz guitarist.
Graham was born in Evansville, Indiana and grew up in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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This book will get you started with what you'll need.
John Smith
Video Nation by Jefferson Graham is a good book of the basics for shooting video for online consuption.
E. Borgman
The book is beautifully designed, printed on high quality paper, and very easy to read.
Samuel Stone

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By KLanders on August 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
At my job, we do a ton of video interviews on the fly. This book has totally changed our approach for the better. Here are some of my favorite tips from Video Nation for shooting video like a pro:

1) Definitely Light It Up - To be honest, I hadn't thought much about lighting when shooting video. Either I had enough light or I didn't to see my subject. As Jefferson tells it, I am not the only one in the dark, blind to this basic of the videography craft: "Many people forget...your images will always look better with attention to lighting." Fortunately, Jefferson was able to show me the light, and provided me with a list and a handy how-to video to inexpensive lighting tools and techniques that would illuminate my videos. Turns out, all I needed was a basic clamp light, a light bulb, diffusion paper and clothespins to attach the paper to the clamp. To get the details on lighting how-to, I'd recommend checking out Chapter 6 of Video Nation and its accompanying online video.

2) Keep It Steady - Camera mounts are a must. To avoid making your viewer dizzy, keep the camera steady and stable with a tripod. For an amateur like me, Jefferson recommends the affordable Joby GP3 Gorillapod, a bendable tripod that you can wrap around a table corner or a bookshelf. For those with more advanced skills and needs, check out the Gear Guide in Video Nation.

3) Make It Social - Once you have created your brilliant video, given it the perfect eye-catching title, and uploaded it to YouTube, it's time to share it through the social channels. Post your video to Facebook, Google+ and Twitter (TwitVid). If you want your video to go viral, you can't be scared to share, be proud of your work and tell the world about it.

If you are interested in videography, I highly recommend checking out this book - to get you started or take your craft to the next level.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MCK on August 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
I'm starting to produce real estate videos and "Video Nation" guided me through everything I needed to know to get started. From cameras to lighting to editing software to tricks of the trade and more. Thanks Mr. Graham!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Celeste Thoms VINE VOICE on August 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Excellent book for beginners, especially those who want to shoot video for the web. It covers all the basics of types of cameras, creating great audio and planning your shoot. A lot of books do not go into detail of how to really plan. You have to get a separate book for that, but this book has everything you need to get started. It also details some great apps to get for your iPhone if you are shooting on that. There is also some great ideas on how to conduct an interview on skype or other online chat.
This book is definitely for the beginner who is not familiar with all this technology. It's a great starting point and it gives the reader so much valuable information.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael Lichter VINE VOICE on November 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Jefferson Graham's "Video Nation" is an annoying book. Because of small type, extensive use of colored type, frequent interruption of the text by photographs, illustrations, and a number of 1-page and 2-page personal vignettes about people who produce web videos, the book is tough to read. The fact that the book could be better organized doesn't help. The chapter on producing videos, for example, probably shouldn't come before the chapter on gear, and the section in that chapter on how to produce a parody video shouldn't include tips on using music that aren't mentioned in any other context.

Also annoying is Graham's unconscious bias towards video producers who are much like himself. His day job is producing the "Talking Tech" video feature on USA Today in which he demonstrates new products and interviews the people who created them. Although the book by no means excludes other sorts of video production, it does emphasize the types of skills he uses on a daily basis, including interviewing skills; knowing how to set up sound, lighting, and cameras for interviews; planning for conducting interviews in unfamiliar locations; and the creation of "B-roll" visuals to play in place of static head shots. These skills are useful in other contexts, but readers with other interests may have little patience for how the skills are presented.

The chapter on gear (Chapter 3, "Gear Guide") is probably the most useful chapter in the book ... but also the one most likely to be rendered obsolete within a year or two. (If you're reading this in 2014 or later, beware!) Graham does not disdain the use of low-end cameras like the
...Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. D. Boorman VINE VOICE on May 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It's written for a company looking to increase the professionalism of an already polished product. For the average amateur user, it does not have that much to offer. For example, the section on camera placement describes techniques used by professionals who have technology and resources far beyond the average user, like extra lights tripods, cameras, etc. IT is a book written for an experienced professional, not a beginning amateur.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Claire Jordan TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 18, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm a professional filmmaker and was given this book to review. Overall, I am impressed. I found it to be a very thorough introduction to shooting and editing video. If your experience is limited to point-and-shoot vacation or soccer videos and you want to add more quality and creativity to your videos, this book is a great place to start. It will help the novice understand the basics of digital video: production techniques; equipment; aesthetic considerations. It's not a book for want-to-be filmmakers, but it will definitely help you to improve the quality of the videos you make for your family or business.

PS - It always makes my day to know that people find these reviews helpful. If you'd also like to ask a question or leave a comment I usually respond the same day, so if you have a question or comment (even if it's just to say, Hi!") feel free to post it below.

Thanks,
Claire
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