The journey to great video starts with a single step, grasshoppers. That step is to read, print and sign the How to Shoot video that Doesn’t Suck manifesto. Then email to others.
The bad video you prevent may be your own:
“I, [insert your name], hereby promise not to inflict lame video on my friends, relatives, customers, or complete strangers who might find it on YouTube because I put something about sex in the title.
I promise that if the picture is too dark to see, I won’t use it. If I left my thumb in front of the lens, I won’t use that shot either. And since I’d like you to hear the sound, I will always keep my microphone very close to the people talking or use an external mic if I’m too far away.
If the person I’m shooting is so far away you can’t even see them, I promise not to make anyone watch—not even my mother—for more than 10 seconds.
Unless it’s footage I accidentally caught of a once-in-a-lifetime thing, like my son catching Alex Rodriguez’s record-breaking 610th home run, a meteor hitting the Statue of Liberty or a thief breaking into my car, I promise to keep jerky, hard-to-follow video entirely to myself, erasing it where possible.
I pledge to conform to a higher technical standard, aware as I am that making someone watch bad video is disrespectful, that in most cases they would chew off their leg to get away from it, and that technical problems will keep them from appreciating the funny/cute/beneficial/talented/shocking thing I’m trying to share with them in the first place.
In short, I pledge to think about how to make quality video for my audience at the same time as I’m thinking about getting my point across. I won’t make anyone watch anything so crappy-looking that I wouldn’t watch it voluntarily if they handed it to me.
The How to Shoot Video that Doesn’t Suck Manifesto on signed on this date: [insert date].
[Your Name Here]