The Right People + The Right Gear = Great Documentary!

You're only as good as your equipment and crew,
so learn how to make the right choices.

Videomaker's Documentary Production: Equipment and Crew DVD
Bonus Material

You might have an idea for the best documentary ever. You might even have the talent and drive to pull it off. But you can still be sabotaged by an unqualified crew or inadequate equipment. There's no reason that should happen when you can follow just a few simple guidelines for selecting the best crews and equipment. Videomaker's Documentary Production: Equipment and Crew will show you exactly what you need to look for to make sure that you surround yourself with the people and gear that will help you to succeed.


This informative DVD guides you through the perils and pitfalls of assembling your crew and finding your equipment with six enlightening segments:

  • Choosing a Camera - The camera is the most basic piece of video-making equipment, so it should be easy to pick the right one, right? Unfortunately, there are hundreds of video cameras on the market, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. How can you make sure that you find the one that works best for your shoot? We'll explain what features you need to keep in mind, so that you won't waste money on an expensive camera only to find out that it's completely wrong for your plans. Learn about quality optics, battery technology, inputs and outputs, recording media, and controls.
  • Choosing Audio Gear - It's easy to treat audio as an after-thought. After all, you're making a video, not a radio play. But the truth is audiences are consistently less forgiving of poor sound than anything else in a movie. Don't spend all your efforts producing slick visuals only to have your viewers abandon the theater when they can't stand muffled, tinny sound. In this segment, we'll teach you about mic features like pickup pattern and frequency response, as well as wireless capabilities and design, so you'll know how to assemble an outstanding audio kit.
  • Choosing Lighting Gear - It may seem sunny in here to you, but there's no guarantee that the camera will pick that up. Turn on the lighting for a crisp, bright video! We'll show you how to light up your production properly, so that the audience will clearly see your stars. Understand fixture designs and lamp types better after you watch this comprehensive introduction. If that's not enough, we'll also teach you how to select the best equipment for blocking, diffusing or reflecting light.
  • Essential Accessories - Now you have your camera, your microphones, your lights. What else do you need? Quite a bit, actually! How are you going to hold that camera up? You don't want to prop up your expensive camera on a rock, so you'd better remember to bring your grip gear. Before you head out, review this helpful segement to learn about all the essntial equipment that you won't believe you forgot to remember. From tripods and sleds to dollies and arm and vest systems, we'll introduce you to all the stabilizing gear you'll need when you're out in the field.
  • Finding Crews - Think all a crew needs to do is carry equipment? Wrong! A crew needs to understand how to get the best audio, how to light a scene properly, and where to focus the camera for the best shots. Don't rely on friends and relatives just because you don't know where to find a real crew. We'll show you how to recruit an energetic, knowledgeable crew who will be as committed to your video's excellence as you are. Learn what to look for when you hire your crew, where to seek out potential crewmembers and how to figure out how many helpers you'll need.
  • Working with Crews - When you're working with a crew, finishing a top quality video requires more than technical know-how. You have to have good interpersonal skills to make sure that your crew knows exactly what they need to do and, more importantly, that they want to do it right. In this segment, we'll show you some simple ways that you can make sure your crew stays focused and energized, so that they'll be just as committed to finishing a great video as you are.

Bonus Material
We want to give you the most complete information we can, so we weren't satisfied with just the video segments. That's why we also include, as a SPECIAL BONUS FEATURE, 5 of our best-selling eDocs, each designed with the budding documentarian in mind. These files are jam-packed with extra information that we couldn't fit into the videos, but we still want you to have.

  • Composition Tips for 16:9 - It can be frustrating when you watch your footage on a 16:9 aspect ration TV and half of your subject gets cut off. We'll give you some helpful hints to make sure that your videos look equally good whatever aspect ration you use to view them.
  • Handheld Shooting - Handheld shooting doesn't have to be shaky! Learn some easy ways that you can achieve a nice steady shot even without using any supports!
  • Lighting Gels - Lighting gels can be a simple and elegant way to add texture and depth to your lighting. Discover how to use them to create striking ambience!
  • Lighting Technology - Discover some of the exciting ways that lighting technology has changed since the old days of tungsten-halogen bulb and how you can use these advances to spice up your videos!
  • Understanding Digital Video architecture - Digital video only became popular when there was an easy way to reduce the amounts of data to be stored and transmitted. Learn how video compression fixed this storage problem and how you can use it without losing any quality.

Documentary Production: Equipment and Crew Helps you Find the Right People to Help Make your Video Dreams come True.

With this DVD, you'll know how best to navigate some of the trickiest aspects of putting together a documentary: dealing with the human element. You need to make sure you've got the right mix of people behind the cameras as well as in front if you want your documentary to shine like you know it could. You may not consider yourself a professional documentarian, but that's no reason why you shouldn't be able to produce a professional-level movie. When you have the right crew and equipment, that grade is within your reach.