Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Book Review: How To Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck

Are you ready to take your videos to the next level? "How To Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck", by Steve Stockman, provides valuable information that will help you understand video better and improve your video production skills. This book is written for video amateurs who want to cultivate their skills and produce professional quality products.

About The Author
Steve Stockman is the founder of Custom Production, Inc., in Los Angeles. He is a producer, writer and director of hundreds of commercials, Web series, music videos and TV shows.

Entertain Or Die
A video must give the viewer an enjoyable experience. Every video, no matter how long or short, will be better if it tells a story. The author explains that the four elements of story are (1.) a hero, (2.) a beginning, (3.) a middle and (4.) an end. Story structure makes the video easier to understand.

The Rubbermaid Rule
Mr. Stockman relates a story about how he uses Rubbermaid containers to store leftovers. After several years of using these plastic containers, he has noticed that he always pulls out a bigger Rubbermaid container than he actually needs. Sometimes twice or three times as big.
The lesson we learn from this story is that we tend to overestimate how long our video needs to be. Brevity is always better. The author suggests that we use the Rubbermaid Rule and cut  the length of our video by two thirds. This will result in a tighter and more entertaining video.

How To Shoot Video
This book is not about video equipment and how to use it. The majority of this book teaches the reader how to plan, design, shoot and edit a quality video. There are chapters on how to shoot video at your children's parties, vacations, weddings and graduations. There are also chapters on shooting interviews, testimonials, instructional videos and advertisements for your business.

My Thoughts
I have owned a Flip Mino video camera for three years and enjoy making amateur videos. I also enjoy creating video slide shows and music videos. I learned a great deal about the structure of a good video and how to shoot it from this book. The book is fun to read and illustrated with line drawings that complement the text.
I am not crazy about the title of the book because I don't care for the term "suck" in this context. However, the content of the book is excellent and I recommend it to anyone who is interested in refining their techniques in video production.

Check-Out This Blog
Mr. Stockman has an excellent blog that supports his book. If you can't get the book, I highly recommend this blog.

FYI ~ I checked-out a Kindle version of this book from my public library.

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