Ready, Steady, Shoot

A Pro’s Guide to Smartphone Video

By Roger Sherman

book cover of Ready, Steady, Shoot: A Pro's Guide to Smartphone Video





Ready, Steady, Shoot is an upbeat, easy-to-follow eBook with embedded videos that will help you make movies people actually want to watch! Make better videos to post on Snapchat or Instrgram, hanging with friends, vacations, kids’ sports, family events, horror films or tear jerking dramas. No matter what you shoot with – smartphone, digital still camera, or a camcorder – this book will teach you all the basic techniques.

As I say in the introduction:

Ready, Steady, Shoot wants to make you comfortable shooting, and if you’re already making videos, to help you improve your technique. You’ll learn how to plan so that every shot counts; how one shot follows another so when it’s played back, it all flows naturally. It’s a film.

I’ve invented an EASY LEARNING SYSTEM system I call The 10 Shot Video®, short exercises you can shoot in just a few minutes. Follow my scripts, shoot in your living room and right outside your house. They’ll help you begin to see like a filmmaker. I shot those 10 Shot Videos too, they’re embedded in the book. Many other 10 Shot Videos here on the website to show you how I handled a variety of situations and to give you ideas to make your films better.

No editing needed. I’ll teach you how to shoot so you don’t have to spend weeks fighting with editing programs. It’s called editing-in-the camera. Post your latest opus instantly. But if you get into filmmaking and do want to edit, there’s even a chapter to learn basic techniques.

I hope you find Ready, Steady, Shoot really useful. Send me your questions and get out there and SHOOT GREAT VIDEO!

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Go For It

1. Make Friends With Your Camera
– Zooming Equals Death
– Focus and Exposure
– Practice, Practice, Practice
– Screen Your Footage
– Ch-Ch-Choices
– In The Clouds

2. Ready! Get Your Film Head On
– The Secret Sauce is Seeing
– Make the Everyday Beautiful
– Planning Makes the Difference
– The World is Not Just in the Center of the Frame
– Be Flexible
– Even Short Films Can Be Too Long
– Hello? Recording Sound, the Crucial Weak Link

3. Steady! A Little Technique Goes a Long Way
– Static Shots Are Winners
– Panning, Tilting, and Other Moves
– The 5-Second Rule
– Hold Longer—It’s Not Over When It’s Over
– Move Slower
– On Second Thought: Buy a Tripod
– When to Use a Tripod
– Moves Aren’t a Drag
– Shooting on the Sly

4. Shoot! Every Shot Tells the Story
– Break It Down
– Make a Sure Cut
– Turn It Off!
– Telling the Story
– Tighter, Closer, Better
– Vary Your Shots
– Move Yourself
– Get Down
– The Last Shot Keys the Next
– Walking Shots—Trucking and Dollying

5. The 10-Shot Video: Short Exercises to Master Technique
– 1st Exercise: Inside, All Static
– 2nd Exercise: Inside, All Static, More Camera Angles
– 3rd Exercise: Outside, All Static
– 4th Exercise: Outside[…]” “Camera Angles
– 5th Exercise: Inside, Every Shot Is Moving
– 6th Exercise: Outside, Every Shot Is Moving
– 7th Exercise: And Beyond

6. Sh-Sh-Short Films
– SnapChat, Instagram and Other Micro Films

7. Advanced Techniques
– Light, Light, Light
– Stuck in the Wrong Place
– Pace Yourself
– Children: Talk About Unpredictable
– Skip the Commentary
– Variety is the Spice of Filmmaking
– It’s Storytelling
– The Net is Your Friend

8. The Art of the Interview
– Interview Questions Are Different
– The Wedding Present
– Family History
– Getting Kids to Talk
– Turn Off the Sound

9. Shooting Sports”“Baseball or Softball: Wait for the Action
– Soccer, Lacrosse, Hockey, Ultimate Frisbee: Don’t Follow the Ball (or Puck or Disk)
– Basketball: Use the Bleachers

10. Go Hollywood: Make Your Own Feature, Action, and
– Horror Films
– Develop Simple Plot Lines and Plan Scenes
– Write the Dialogue As You Shoot

11. Editing
– Where to Begin
– Hold It
– Pacing
– How to End
– Take Your Time––Get Feedback
– Editing Apps
– Music
– Sound Effects
– Afterword
– About the Author”

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