I'm on a never ending quest to find good books about creating video. That isn't easy. There are technical books designed for professional videographers or for special interests like video activism. There there is that slimy, stinking, no-good badlands of content farming slop.
When it comes to books I am opinionated. Well, I am happy to say that there is a new book that talks about the craft of shooting video for those of us that are between casual users and pro-amateur level creators.
Steve Stockman's new book How To Shoot Video that Doesn't Suck is a non-technical and useful guide on how to shoot and edit videos. It is more about the creative process of how to make it look better but not so much the nuts and bolts.
Stockman is a director who can write and write clearly. He can also show and tell. This is a book trailer and tutorial examples of the Quick Start chapter:
At 248 pages it is a quick read but you can chapter jump if you need to zoom in on a concept. For me, the chapters on creating how-to videos, editing and shooting like a still photographer were helpful.
So Who Is the Book For?
Let me use a writer analogy. You know how to construct a sentence. You got the noun verb subject thing under your belt. You can write a paragraph but it has a lot of extra words and the intended meaning is in there someplace.
You know it needs tweeking but you don't know what to do and you are long out of school.
This book is for those of us that are designated family videographers, citizen journalists, vloggers, teachers, resource bloggers, or anybody that needs to tell a story using video.
Is it perfect? No. Stockman has to straddle the difference between people who have a different orientation to video than film students or professionals. He is drawing upon his background as a director.
Nothing wrong with that but sometimes you are at an unplanned event where you can't get into a mental planning space. You gotta hit record and do you best.
Also. I don't think ever video has to be cut at a frantic pace. If the action or dialog is good there is nothing wrong with a bit of lingering. This might be a generational shift on my part because I don't like the video equivalent of "Wham, bam, thank you mam."
I don't like the other kind either.
Really minor quibbles.
What I would suggest is that you visit his web site to check out some of the posts that are examples from the book or go to the Amazon page to read a excerpt to see if the book is right for you.