More Wedding Tips

Good article on weddings, but you should have mention it would take you at the very least $25,000 dollars to start a real wedding business. So what is a real wedding business, one that pays for all the equipment you bought and secondly back up equipment necessary to produce the wedding when things go wrong, and believe me things do go wrong.

Walt Paluch

Loved the Baby Video Tips

That you for your article “Making a Better Baby Video”. Ninety percent of my video work is of my family. Kyle somehow managed in one article to amass the bulk of the knowledge I’ve gleaned from many books on the subject.

Steve Engel

Bakersfield, CA

Making a Difference with Video

Matthew, I applaud your efforts in India. (RE: Article 14098 “A Great Use of Camcorders” Viewfinder column, July 2009). My wife and I worked with an NGO (Global Volunteers

8 Tips for Making a Stellar First Video

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8 Tips for Making a Stellar First Video

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) in the southern India city of Chennai (formerly Madras) last fall (2009). While working with the children to help improve their conversational English in various schools, I managed to instruct a group of nine orphans in the SEAM home to make movies. We had brought 3 Panasonic still/video cameras (the DMZ-TZ1) that I had obtained from e-bay.
Using their own stories that they had written, we fashioned a script from the storyboards they had drawn and they did the shooting. I edited the clips using a Mac PowerBook G4. We premiered the movie for the orphanage on the Friday of our last day of the 2-week stint in Chennai. The movie is on my web site at:

You can also see the back-story of how they made the movie at:

Again, your work in helping improve the instructional level is wonderful and I can relate to (I’m sure) some of the problems you encountered in India which is not really much more than a 3rd world country.

Thomas B Barker

Imaging and Photography

Product Placement

I’ve been spending the last couple hours online trying to find an answer to the question of Fair Use and copyright laws for using automobiles in filmmaking. Mark Levy’s articles are very helpful but don’t necessarily answer the question of what’s legal as far as using brands and styles of cars.

My film project depicts an artist painting a picture of a smashed up automobile. What precautions should I take, if any, to protect myself from infringements against the auto maker? For instance, if I use a BMW in the film, am I obligated to get BMWs permission? Or should I casually avoid shooting the logo and make no mention of the type of car?

Your magazine rocks. Your video podcasts rock. Your response to this will make you rock even more!

Dennis Nagelkirk

Zeeland, MI

The short answer, Dennis, is yes, you can. In some cases. Our contributing editor, attorney Mark Levy adds: “manufacturers spend a lot of money for product placement, so that answers Mr. Nagelkirk’s question: he does NOT have to ask permission to use someone else’s product in his productions.”

There are two caveats, though: first, and most obvious, he can’t advertise a product (e.g., a Mac computer by Apple, Inc.) and state or imply that his product is made by that company; and second, he cannot make false, harmful statements about the product, like “Diet Pepsi makes you sterile’ or “iPods make you blind’.”

Read Mark’s “What’s Legal” article that explains this concept in more detail What’s Legal: Placing Products in Your Production

-The Editors

Music Creation Concerns

Thank you for the article “Taking Stock!” by Terry Michael. Increasing Your Inventory Using Stock Footage Libraries. My question is: If I make up a song or use sound effects from “Garage Band” that came with my Apple Computer is that considered royalty free music that can be used in my videos?

Thanks again,

Joseph Martinez

Yes, Joseph, you can use Garage Band anyway you wish. That’s why it’s there. As long you’re not using custom-made samples from copyrighted material, you’re fine. Any loops from Apple (or any other legitimate company) are good, but if you downloads random samples from the web, care should be taken.

– The Editors

The Videomaker Editors are dedicated to bringing you the information you need to produce and share better video.