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

$13.95 (as of April 22, 2018, 7:35 pm) $11.70

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Newly updated and revised, How to Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck is a quick and easy guide with the intention to make your video better instantly—whether you read it cover to cover or just skim a couple of chapters. It’s about the language of video and how to think like a director, regardless of equipment (amateurs consider the camera, pros consider 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 on your phone. Written by Steve Stockman, the director of the award-winning feature Two Weeks, 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. In other words, how to shoot video people will want to watch.

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 video production: framing, lighting, sound (use an external mic), editing, special effects (turn them off!), and gives advice on shooting quite a few 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. At the end of every chapter is a suggestion of how to immediately put what you’ve learned into practice, so the next time you’re shooting you’ll have begun to master the skill. Steve’s website ( provides video examples to illustrate different production ideas, techniques, and situations, and his latest thoughts on all things video.

“Like two years of film school in 248 pages” – Steven Pressfield, writer 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 really useful.”

―Videomaker Magazine

“Great tips from a video expert.”

PC World

“Whip-smart and funny… teaches readers how to consider film and reveals the why and when at the back of techniques; there is next to zero tech or tool talk.”

―Library Journal

“His simple-to-follow guide takes readers step by step through the film- and video-making process”

―Kirkus Reviews

“Stockman skipped past the entire technical crap about how to use a camera and cut right to the chase: how do you shoot a video somebody else will WANT to watch? The only thing missing is a time machine so I could reshoot fifteen years of sucky birthday party and school play videos.”
–David A. Goodman, Executive Producer/Head Author of “Family Guy”

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