How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck

  • by Steve Stockman
  • Narrated by Steve Stockman
  • 6 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck is a quick and easy guide that will make your video better instantly - whether you hear it cover to cover or just listen to a few chapters. It's about the language of video. How to think like a director, regardless of equipment (amateurs think about the camera, pros think about communication).
It's about the rules developed over a century of movie-making - which work - just as well when shooting a two-year-old's birthday party. Written by Steve Stockman, the director of Two Weeks (2007), plus TV shows, music videos, and hundreds of commercials, How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck explains in 74 short, pithy, insightful chapters how to tell a story and entertain your audience. How to shoot video people will want to watch.
At the end of every chapter is a suggestion of how to immediately put what you learned into practice, so the next time you're shooting you'll have begun to master the skill. Accompanying the book is a website with video clips to illustrate different rules, techniques, and situations.
Here's how to think in shots--how to move-point-shoot-stop-repeat, instead of planting yourself in one spot and pressing "Record" for five minutes. Why never to shoot until you see the whites of your subject's eyes. Why to zoom with your feet and not the lens. How to create intrigue on camera. The book covers the basics of framing, lighting, sound (use an external mic), editing, special effects (turn them off!), and gives advice on shooting a variety of specific situations: Sporting events, parties and family gatherings, graduations and performances. Plus, how to make instructional and promotional videos, how to make a music video, how to capture stunts, and much more.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


Some people are multi-talented, and this author is one! Plus he's got a self-deprecating sense of humor, which only the most confident people pull off (or even try ...). He describes himself as a filmmaker but then immediately humbles the title by saying, basically, in Los Angeles, EveryOne's a 'filmmaker'. His delivery is clear & basic but not so basic you want to tear your hair out, which is helped also by a steady pace when delivering new info. This is not a book about what cameras to buy or technical advice, but about basic yet hugely important info everyone must learn, practice, relearn and then deliver in order to create a video 'that doesn't suck'. For example, he says it's crucial to "use your feet" to get "the whites of their eyes" (two tips here - don't use your zoom, instead use your feet & always try to get so close to people that you can see the whites in their eyes). Many more tips too.

This is a classy professional with a great sense of humor (he dedicates the book to his partner, adding, something like 'by now, you really deserve a statue' or something, instead of his dedication). His delivery is fun, not overdone. And if you're someone interested in learning more about the law of attraction in action, this guy's an example. You just know he focuses more on what he's grateful for than complaints, a worthwhile goal for us all. Sincere & fun-loving. I'd want to go on a shoot with this teacher, which, in part, is the 'likeability' factor in action too. But nothing superficial; nice.

Just by listening, your mood will be lifted. Basically his book content is an example of his video philosophy: If you're bored with what you're shooting (or writing, talking about), then your audience will be bored too. When in doubt, cut it out. The tips he suggests ensure you will snag exciting content/images. So, tips that are timely and well worth repeated listening, plus you get a narrator that exudes a certain je ne sais quoi. Live, learn & keep editing to ensure your visual&audio memories, how-to's, and/or blockbusters just don't suck.
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- Susan Mather

A must read for amateur videographers

What did you love best about How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck?

This book is packed full of video editing advice that is clear and easy to apply. The advice is equally applicable to youtuber videos and full length productions.

What did you like best about this story?

Steve explains why the advice works and how to go about applying it. Related themes are referenced in each chapter so it's easy to browse forward if you want a specific question answered.

Any additional comments?

This book answered all the questions I had about video editing. I've surfed the web for this advice, but nowhere have I found such clear, easy to apply tips... certainly not in one place. I'd recommend this book to anyone looking for tips on how to make videos that don't suck... as well as to those haven't asked but could really use the advice!

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- Paul

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-10-2013
  • Publisher: Custom Productions, Inc.