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How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck

The Mythical Effectiveness of “Asking for the Order”

This week a post went by on my Linked-In feed suggesting that all good video must “ask for the order” and contain a clear “call to action.” This awful idea was, as far as I can tell, invented by someone in …(Read the rest)

Video in the Classroom: Free Downloadable Lessons

Are you a teacher?  Do you know a teacher?  Have you ever had a teacher?  If so, read on: It’s the beginning of a new school year.  Which means one more year of school projects shot on video, and hours of …(Read the rest)

Yeah, But is it Any Good? Learning from Mediocre Video

People hate going to the movies with me. It’s not because I talk or text during films, because I religiously don’t do either. It’s what happens after the lights come up.  “That was good” says my wife. “I enjoyed it” says …(Read the rest)

The Curse of the Inactive Hero: Lessons from “Ant-Man and the Wasp”

A hero is who your story is about. Strong heroes have strong desires and goals. They make choices and take action. Watching that action to see how it turns out for them is what pulls us through the story. A mute woman rescuing …(Read the rest)

Shooting Crew-Free

I make educational videos for computer enthusiasts on YouTube, but I have to do everything myself. Lighting, sound, script, talent, editing, posting, video description, video thumbnail, marketing…  Problem is, without a crew, shots have to stay static. I can use digital zoom, but it …(Read the rest)

Perfect Holiday Video in 10 Easy Steps

Ah, the Holidays! Chestnuts roasting, noses being nipped, and hours of incomprehensible video being shot of people you can’t see or hear all that well doing…I don’t know…something near a fireplace. Each year web sites, magazines and newspapers publish millions of column-inches on …(Read the rest)

Story Structure and “Arrival”

William Goldman (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting, Princess Bride) wrote in his classic book Adventures in the Screen Trade that “screenplays are structure.” Because Goldman is a writing god, people listened. They listened, but they may not have heard well. Goldman was saying that structure …(Read the rest)

Can a Teaching Video tell a Story?

How can I better use storytelling techniques for teaching science? Does numerical data contribute to the story, or is having a data table in a video a sure recipe for having viewers click away? By the way: your book is awesome. In the video I’m …(Read the rest)

Checklist: 20 Questions to Make Your Video Great

Since everyone alive today has been watching film and video from birth, we all have some idea of what bad film and video look like.  It’s that stuff you click out of instantly on your browser or your remote, often within …(Read the rest)

“Lensing In” to Find What Your Video is About

So, @SteveStockman I’m ready for a critique of one of my videos. I’m interested in ideas for improvement. –Paul (Mr. Adventure) @bcoutdoor via twitter Pretty video, Paul, and I can’t tell you how much I love being inside on a nice day …(Read the rest)