- Paperback: 248 pages
- Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; 1 edition (June 2, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0761163239
- ISBN-13: 978-0761163237
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 503 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck: Advice to Make Any Amateur Look Like a Pro 1st Edition
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"Like two years of film school in 248 pages" - Steven Pressfield, author of "The War of Art" and "The Legend of Bagger Vance"
"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
My hope is that anyone, at any level, can open the book anywhere and get a great idea for their next video.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
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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.]
Instead of it taking days to edit the 3 days down into a 7 minute highlight video, it took a total of 10 hours to sort, plan and complete the entire video.
It didn't even seem like it was a 7 minute video and I received a lot of compliments on it.
I can't wait to use what I've learned in the next few weddings I have in the Fall!
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.