How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck: Advice to Make Any Amateur Look Like a Pro 1st Edition
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"Stockman has packed a veritable film school between the pages of this highly informative, yet entertaining book. Very highly recommended."
"Great tips from a video expert."
"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."
"His simple-to-follow guide takes readers step-by-step through the film- and video-making process"
--David A. Goodman, Executive Producer/Head Writer of “Family Guy”
From the Author
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Among other nuggets, the book emphasizes the importance of caring about the audience, respecting audience members, guarding their time, refusing to bore them. I recently spent good money for a memoir by a prominent football coach. I can't get over how that guy and his ghostwriter put together that book so casually and lazily. Major disrespect for the audience.
Stockman's appendix includes film suggestions. Nice to see "Lawrence of Arabia" and "The Godfather" there.
There's very little about technical stuff here, i.e., not much at all about compression rates etc. Plenty of books supply that stuff. "The Filmmaker's Handbook" covers this turf very well.
Stockman's book is not only well-written, it's well-designed and produced - short chapters, plenty of white space, excellent typefaces.
My review for this book is 5 stars. But be careful when looking for other good books. Make sure there are more genuine reviews than endorsed views. The easiest way to do is is by sticking to books that have over 100 reviews.
The new "not yet rated" has been replaced with 15-20 reviews averaging around a 4.5.
This book is great for all he reasons everyone else says it is. I just wanted to share some advice as well.
Here are my take-aways to Plan-Move-Point-Shoot-Stop-Edit:
- Make sure that every video, scene, and shot has a clear intent of how you want the audience to react and be explicit
- Select a point-of-view (the "side"/opinion of a specific individual)
- Either script or build a checklist of an anticipated key shots
- Keep the light behind you; make sure the lighting matches the story
- Match location, background, and foreground to the story
- Make moves in large increments
- Focus on people's eyes to capture emotion
- Do not move the camera or use digital zoom before or during the shot
- Keep the focus of your image out of the middle square of a 3x3 grid
- Use an external mic (lavaliere or boom)
- Make every shot an action with a clear hero and a beginning, middle, and end.
- Make each scene answer questions from the prior scene and raise new ones
- If using two cameras, manually synch their AWB (automatic white balance)
- Keep shots under 10 seconds (if traveling, shoot two 10-sec shots per hour)
- Keep videos as short as possible; if doing a how-to, consider breaking into a series
- Edit out everything that does not need to be there
- Limit the use of graphics/text/titles; if used, make text/titles simple (ex: Helvetica) and effect-free
- Consider using a call-back to link the final shot to the initial shot
- Music & Sound: Test music that is on-story, counter-story; and unrelated and see what works; Add natural sound effects
- Rely almost completely on cuts with a rare wipe (to convey movement) and even rarer dissolve (to shift to a somber mood)
- Seek feedback and address all common concerns and think about unique ideas/concerns
[UPDATE: I updated this review from 2 stars to 5 stars on Jan 14, 2013. Though the book has a high degree of redundancy, it has truly transformed the way that I approach video.]
Top international reviews
We all make mistakes and get things wrong when we start out, but, a quick read through this book by a leading professional in the film making world will make you think about your production in a professional way and help the budding film/video maker produce interesting watchable films.
Highly recommended for the novice and a great reference for the more experienced. I keep my copy handy and dive back in regularly for advice and encouragement.
If you're a vlogger and are hoping this book will teach you how to shoot decent B-roll and improve your camera work, then this isn't for you.
He goes through the basics. Then, at the end, goes on to "what to read next".
Shame he didn't write the next book. How to shoot pretty good video", I'd buy that too.
STEVE! Listening? ;-)
Easy to read, makes you think about the filming process.
No tips or helpful info
Just a wise guy stating the obvious
Returned and refunded!
Thanks to the author.