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Jul 112013
 

How to Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck: Advice to Make Any Amateur Look Like a Pro

How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck: Advice to Make Any Amateur Look Like a Pro

How to Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck is a quick and easy guide that will make your video better instantly– whether you read it cover to cover or just skim 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 dir

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Summer Infant Sleek&Secure MultiView Video Monitor

Summer Infant Sleek&Secure MultiView Video Monitor

  • 2.5″ color video display; Black and white night vision, 2.4 ghz digital technology for a secure and private connection, 4-way split screen to view up to 4 cameras at the same time, Talk back feature also allows parent to talk to baby while in nursery, Automatically scans between rooms every 8 seconds with the ability to hold on 1 room

The future of baby monitors has arrived. Summer Infant is proud to introduce the Sleek&Secure MultiView Handheld Color Video Monitor to those parents striving to stay ahead of the curve. This hip new monitor is designed to look and feel like a cell phone, but has all the great features you’ve come to expect from Summer Infant products. The parent’s unit features a 2.5″ color LCD screen with automatic black and white night vision, as well as 100-percent digital technology to provide a secure and

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  6 Responses to “How to Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck: Advice to Make Any Amateur Look Like a Pro”

  1. 69 of 71 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Great title, good insights, so-so structure, May 25, 2012
    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: How to Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck: Advice to Make Any Amateur Look Like a Pro (Paperback)

    With no prior training, I was immediately drawn to this book to improve the quality my home videos.

    Here are my take-aways to Plan-Move-Point-Shoot-Stop-Edit:

    I.Plan:
    – 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
    II. Move:
    – 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
    III. Point:
    – 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 3×3 grid
    – Use an external mic (lavaliere or boom)
    IV. Shoot:
    – 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)
    V. Stop:
    – Keep shots under 10 seconds (if traveling, shoot two 10-sec shots per hour)
    VI. Edit:
    – 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.]

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  2. 36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    I’m glad this book was written, May 28, 2011
    By 
    Jay Rose (Boston, MA USA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: How to Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck: Advice to Make Any Amateur Look Like a Pro (Paperback)

    I’ve spent most of my career in various aspects of film and TV production. There are principles of shooting and structure most of us in the biz take for granted… but it’s obvious, now that low-cost cameras are everywhere, that these techniques aren’t intuitive. Many people seem to think of the camera as an extension of their eyes: wherever they’re looking at the moment, they also point the lens. But it doesn’t work that way. Even though these cameras have a lot of automatic functions, shooting that way gives you video that’s hard to watch and sometimes downright embarrassing.

    The tricks we use aren’t difficult, just not obvious. Stockman breaks them down into tiny steps, makes them easy to master, and even adds a touch of humor. Take his advice and you’ll shoot better videos, whether they’re of your kid’s birthday party or your boss’s sales pitch.

    I’ve worked with hundreds of writers, producers, and directors on various projects, including with Steve Stockman. I can tell you he knows his stuff, runs a happy and productive shoot, and is very good at explaining how he accomplishes it.

    This is not a difficult book. You’ll get a lot out of reading it. More important, the people who watch your videos will get a lot out of your having read it.

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  3. 25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Read this book twice and then once more, June 2, 2011
    By 
    A. Sheridan
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

    I’m a weekend warrior. I have a cool camera and all the toys guys like me buy. Over a few years of trial and error, mostly error, and some photography experience, my video has improved. If I’d only had this book 5 years ago I could have saved countless painful hours watching sucky video. This book is unique. Good luck finding anything like it. I think this book should be sold with every camera with a video record button. It’s the best $10 I’ve spent in a seriously long time. I just downloaded it this morning and I’m getting ready to read it a second time. Ok, ok, what’s the big deal? I’ll let you in on a little secret: it’s nearly impossible to find a pro that will reveal the real gems that will turn your crappy home videos into fun to watch pro quality movies. What is it about pro quality video that makes you think, “Wow, I wish I could do that?!”. This book will show you the light.

    I highly recommend it. Thank you Steve Stockman!

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  4. 14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    FANTASTIC MONITOR – FINALLY!, August 29, 2012
    By 
    M. Henson “hensonm” (Charlotte, NC) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Summer Infant Sleek&Secure MultiView Video Monitor (Baby Product)

    This unit has mixed reviews, but I can’t figure out why. It is hands down the BEST monitor we’ve ever tried. If you have 2 kids to keep an eye on, in multiple rooms, you just can’t go wrong here.

    The image is sharp and clear, the night vision is great, and the audio is fantastic. We can hear our kids breathing in the night and the camera/microphone is across the room!

    We have a bedroom downstairs and our kids sleep upstairs so this has been a real lifesaver. Our kids aren’t scared and know that all they have to do is call out to one of us. We can also keep an eye on playtime, homework time and the occasional fight! ;)

    We love it — five stars all the way!

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  5. 16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Works as expected., January 30, 2012
    By 
    G. Faiman “gfaiman” (Cleveland, OHIO United States) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Summer Infant Sleek&Secure MultiView Video Monitor (Baby Product)

    Not sure why others have had trouble with it, but our experience with it has been great. Set up is straight forward and simple. Took longer to take out of the box then it did to set up. Works exactly like it is supposed to. No problems with screen or level of light when in the dark. Sharp image. A must have in our house since we have twins who are in separate rooms.

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  6. 1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Love the capability of this monitor, May 30, 2013
    By 

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Summer Infant Sleek&Secure MultiView Video Monitor (Baby Product)

    We purchased this for two separate nurseries. We’ve had it about 2 weeks and love it. The graphics are clear. The monitor is light weight. The cameras are easy to mount. I love the option of the screens switching every 8 seconds, or being able to watch both rooms at the same time. I would recommend this product to every parent.

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