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Video Nation: A DIY guide to planning, shooting, and sharing great video from USA Today's Talking Tech host 1st Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321832870
ISBN-10: 0321832876
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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. 
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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: 7.4 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #964,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a great DIY manual for getting the best impact for your videos at the lowest possible cost. It will give you the basics without the fluff. Jefferson Graham is a professional photographer/videographer and writer and knows that lighting and sound knowledge are more important than expensive cameras in getting the look and feel of what you want. Even if you are just starting out with your Smartphone, he will show you how to get a great look and feel for your videos. This is a great starting point. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are so many things about this book that I love, it is difficult to know where to start. I really like the bonus videos that are available once you buy the book-- those are so informative and very fun to watch! I also like the way the author give us his personal insight into how he has made short videos, and that he shares is successes as well as his failures, so that we can learn from that. I like the personal anecdotes and side bars. I like the thorough description of what I need to purchase. Having this book makes me feel like a I have a personal friend in the business who is guiding me along and speaking to me just as though he were there beside me. I have purchased the equipment described in the book and have not been disappointed. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to make short films without breaking the bank. Great great book!!!
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