No one wants to sound stupid. And with me around, there's no need for it. This month's Edit Points will dazzle you with terms guaranteed to transform you from a groveling neanderthal to a serene and confident techno-master. With this jargon in your mouth, you need never sound ignorant again. Ready? Let's...
Interview tapes are among the most interesting and valuable video projects you can undertake. They record thoughts, feelings, and personalities-not just how people look or what they're doing. Interviews capture people, not just events. Ten years ago television interviews were only for the rich and famous. Today, it's economically feasible...
When you're all alone, flying by the seat of your pants, you'll usually combine all audio jobs into one audio person. Or maybe it's sound editor. Or sound recordist. Or recording engineer, post-production mixing supervisor, mixer, sound effects editor, or sound designer. On a big-budget production, each of these jobs would...
Before calling for camera and action, the director calls first for lights. Let there be light. The first known utterance of Yahweh applies equally to videomaking. Without light the camcorder is an expensive hunk of junk. Of course, it's possible to record without light. If you're planning adocumentary on life during power...
If the director is the leader of the orchestra, the cameraman is the first violinist. The director may be able to inspire his shooting crew to produce an Academy Award-winner, but he can't make "music" alone. He must rely on the cameraman, with his camera violin. I'll be so bold...
In the hands of a master, tricks become techniques. In less competent hands, a technique can be reduced to a trick. Here they are! Revolutionary techniques absolutely guaranteed to make your videos exciting, dramatic, hilarious. Win prizes ! Impress your friends! Well, not quite. But there are some simple ways...
Like the leader of an orchestra or the executive of a large corporation, the person in charge of a video shoot is called the director. This is the person who makes the dream a reality, who sees the show in his head and transfers that vision onto videotape. The director...
Crossing your fingers and hoping for the best from a camcorder's build-in mike sometimes works. But exploring the proper use of an external micropone can lead to consistent audio success! Camcorder enthusiasts pay plenty of attention to the optical and imaging systems that produce the video picture, rattling off...
The same story given to these master directors would be filmed in a different and quite distinctive way by each. "Little Red Riding Hood" directed by Alfred Hitchcock would be very different from the same story directed by John Ford. (Just imagine what Steven Spielberg would do with it!) If you're...
What Grownups Need to Know About What Children Need to Know About Videomaking You've videotaped every occasion from your children's births to the arrival of the mail. You've sampled every camcorder function, learned the ins and outs of editing, and invoked effects from desktop graphics to tabletop volcanos. What next? Sharing the...

Essential Learning

Lenses: How does focus work?

If you’re new to shooting video, you may notice that fellow camera geeks like to talk a lot about “glass”. While there are a lot of things made of glass in the video world, there’s only one thing called “glass”: Your camera lens. Here's how it works to produce a useable, in-focus image.
How to Cover an Event in 360 - Source Sound, Inc - Jack White’s Live VR concerts

How to Cover an Event in 360

Spherical video has the ability to bring a viewer right into the center of the action, no matter if that’s sports, entertainment, concerts or...
Image stabilization systems are very useful in reducing camera shake when shooting handheld and, with practice, you can learn to achieve smooth tracking shots.

How Does Image Stabilization Work?

There are various ways for a videographer to stabilize their footage. If your camera doesn’t need to move, a tripod is ideal. Where camera...
How Camera Usability Impacts Your Final Product

How Your Camera’s Limitations Change the Way You Shoot (and How to Get the Shot Anyway)

There’s a 19th century poem by American writer Edward Rolland Sill called “Opportunity.” It’s about a battle: a cowardly soldier leaves the field, complaining...
Getting Started with 360 Degree Video

How to Get Started with 360-degree Video

Within the last few years the video industry has seen the emergence of a handful of new techniques, technologies and methodologies. Aerial videography has...
Person flying a drone.

Take Flight with These 8 Must-have Drone Shots

Camera-equipped drones are capable of capturing brilliant, awe-inspiring shots, and chances are you’ll want to learn the essentials of beautiful aerial cinematography yourself.
Understanding bit depth: the difference between 8-bit, 10-bit and 12-bit video

Understanding Bit-depth and Color Rendition for Video

A video camera’s ability to reproduce a smooth gradation between colors and shades is an important factor when seeking to capture filmic images. The...
How to Compose Your Shot When Your Camera Can See Everything

How to Compose Your Shot When Your Camera Can See Everything

Something to remember when shooting spherical video is that everything is visible in the shot.  Even if you think you are being clever by...
Make shooting RAW your default plan; you can always change it.

When to shoot RAW (and when to skip it)

A RAW image frame is like a film negative — different processing can give you different results.
The Essential Video Shooter’s Toolkit

The Essential Video Shooter’s Toolkit

The big day has finally arrived — a video shoot for the biggest client to ever darken your door. You’re nervous, but excited and...
10 Production-saving Accessories

10 Production-saving Accessories

Inclement weather, dead batteries, missing assistants, cars that break down, tripod legs that snap, shoots being delayed for hours, getting kicked off of locations,...
4x4 traversing rocky road.

3 Tips for an Effective Multi-Action-Cam Shoot

The action camera market segment, popularized by GoPro, has made point of view (POV) filmmaking accessible to the masses. There’s something compelling about watching...
Which is the Right Image Sensor for me?

Which image sensor is right for you?

We all know light sensors make our cameras work, but what makes a good light sensor? Which camera and image sensor combo is best...
A Primer on Live Video Production

A Primer on Live Video Production

Many people want to stream events across the country so far away viewers — whether millions or a select few — can enjoy. Live...
Understanding Lenses: How They Work

This is How Your Camera’s Lens Produces a Usable Image

In its most basic form, a lens is a piece of glass or plastic with curved surfaces. Lenses are used to bend rays of...
Technician Tightening Propeller Of Drone

Drone Safety: Tips and Best Practices

Playing the OddsDrones are just like any other piece of gear; at times, they can and do fail. Similarly, pilots are just like any...

The exposure triangle explained

The exposure triangle is the most fundamental concept of image capture, yet many people know little about it. Here is a simple explanation.
End scene from 2001 A Space Oddessy

What is mise-en-scène? An essential filmmaking concept

Mise-en-scène means “placing on stage” and refers to props, lighting, wardrobe and blocking.
Best Frame Rates for Slow Motion

How to choose the right frame rate for your epic slow motion sequence

Until recently, directors didn't have a lot of choice in slow motion without highly specialized equipment. 1987's Panaflex Gold II, for example, could only...
As cameras have increased their video resolution and framerate capabilities over the years, the SD specifications have evolved to include more space and faster write times.

How to Choose the Right SD Card

SD stands for “Secure Digital” — it’s a technical specification published in the waning years of the 20th century, created by three digital giants:...
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