EDITING LESSONS by wanghonghx




Assuming you have read the manual, and/or have experienced the mechanics of tape to tape editing - or
NLE computer editing systems. We go to the practice of editing with this lesson, it is a study of the
work of other individuals. The editor of a program, makes it or breaks it, and the best written and
performed and taped program can be made awful if poorly put together in editing. This set of exercises,
will give you the intellectual tools to apply to the camera application lessons which follow. As you
follow through the lesson exercises on camera work, editing the project should always be in the back of
your mind, and many decisions should be made thinking of how your final tape will appear.

On the plus side of this you will have the opportunity to really study your favorite, movies and
televison programs. Your goal is do to your editing as well as the best.

Editing has these basic elements, all of which must be considered in the production of your Lessons.
Some of your lessons will have little or no post production editing - but the majority will require you to
1. Titles
2. Transitions
3. Visual effects
4. Voice Over
5. Sound effects
6. Music
7. Scene length

The disecting movies, and television programs is the simplest method of coming to an understanding of
the need and process of editing.


COPY from the television
1. Videotape your favorite soap opera
2. Videotape a news, sports , weather broadcast
3. Videotape an action Television program
4. Videotape a sitcom

1. a classic film noir film
2. a musical
3. a high action thriller modern with digitial effects
4. a classic Shakespeare production

Write a paper which has the following lists, and discriptions 1. Title style
2. type of open to the program
3. Amount of music - how used -
4. Most films will use 'FOLEY' for sound - note how the sound is constructed - think how your video
would be if the sound was redubbed in the studio and all effects created and added in editing
5. What transitions are used between scenes - list the types and number of each -
6. time the space between spoken dialogues - describe what filled in.
7. digital effects - what were they and how were they used - what effect did it have on the viewer.
8. time the individual scenes - explain the uses of long and short scenes -
9. Explain relative time, as experienced by the viewer, with relation to individual portions of the
video/film being reviewed.
10. Explain the effect of B/W - Sepia - tinted - Full color in the various reviews.
11. Describe the use of camera movement - count the scenes where the camera moves and contrast that
with the number of scenes where the camera is stationary. This includes booms, trucks, dollys, tilts,
pans, and zooms. 12. Describe the use of any different form of camera placement or movement. 13.
Count and contrast the tripod shots to the hand held shots.

The purpose of these exercises, and subdivisions of these film/videos is to expose you to the use of the
various elements of the production. You will be making decisions throughout the pre-production,
production, and post-production process.

The majority of all your editing will be done NLE or In-Camera. For those of you who will be using
tape to tape systems - (cuts only and A-B Roll systems)I will suggest you learning an obslete system,
and the exercise of learning on the equipment you are working with will better prepair you for NLE

My comment on editing is the majority of scene changes you will use are 'CUTS' and all other
transitions will be found used minimally and for special reasons. Therefor the single system deck to
deck systems will be of special importance for you as an editor. Because for a many productions you
will be able to utilize this editing process to advantage when time is of importance.

For those of you who will be attending classes we will illustrate much of this in class, those of you at
home should take the time to write the reports as I have suggested above. By studying these
productions you will have a solid understanding of editing.

Finally - look at the credits and copy down the entire list of a few of the films your reviewed - this will
give you a better understanding of the size of the crews, and the various duties which have to be
performed for a successful production.

I have met so many people, who just give up on their video camera, and let it set and gather dust. They
 don't like the videos they make. I hope to make it simple for you to create a nice video, one that you,
your friends and family will enjoy. Some of you are interested in going further than just home use, this
  manual will benefit you as well. You may want to become a professional in this field, if so you will
                    find pointers here that will allow you to produce excellent work.

Lets start by thinking in three distinct areas.
1. The Equipment and its use
2. Video taping, acquiring footage
3. planning and production.

                                   LABELS AND DOCUMENTATION

 The first lesson for this manual is the importance of LABELING AND DOCUMENTATION. Labels
on your tapes, shot sheets, and scripts are more important than you will ever guess. Have special boxes
where you store all of the documentation and tapes you shoot for the project. You will have many tapes
and so much paperwork when you are in production of a serious project, that, if you dont have a serious
 way of keeping track of it you will get lost and waste time. So label every tape and number it, keep a
 log of the tapes, use the label name and number in your edit scripts. If you are shooting from a script,
read it well and list all the possible shots you can dream up for a scene. This list will become your shot
sheet. If you are going out and shooting a documentary style, start with a blank sheet and list your shots
                                                as you shoot.
                       1. Label and number the tape before you put it in the camera
                  2. Keep notes as you shoot the video, use shot sheets if you have them
                               3. Have large zip-lock bags for tapes and papers
                        4. Keep all tapes and paperwork in one box/container/folder

                                         **Grade for this lesson**

    Give yourself an "A" if you have learned this, your success as a videographer will rely on your
                                            attention to detail.

The equipment and its use

In the Equipment pages, you are going to learn how video cameras work. There are controls and
settings, which will give you a better final picture. A camera only does one thing, it captures light, and
the camera settings determine how it captures light.

We will learn about other equipment used in making a video. This equipment is, Audio, Lighting,
Tripods, and then editing equipment and computers.

Each one of these pieces of equipment is important, and knowing how to use them when they are
available will really help you.

We are living in the most wonderful technological age, so many new inventions and advances have
come to us. At the end of the Equipment section, Computers will be the topic. This area will describe
the current computers and software. Understand this, it is going to be very difficult to be on top of the
exact development. Today everything is going along at an awesome pace. I will have an entire set of
links to all of the major manufactures of equipment at the end of the section. I recommend you go to
those sites and expose yourself to their products.

A large number of trade magazines are also in print, you will find their URL's here as well.

As a final note on equipment, used and home made equipment is just fine, so long as it works for you.
So we will have the never ending chapter called "Make it yourself".
Using the Camera - field shooting techniques

This area will teach you how to take pictures. It is really easy to capture good footage when you know
just a few techniques. There are not many different techniques so don't worry. Just to start remember
this. If you will just forget you have a video camera and think of it as a regular film camera you have
the best place to start. To begin with forget you can pan or zoom, look through the viewfinder and find
a pretty picture. In that picture have your family and friends move around, let the action happen there.

From this simple start you will begin to make some of the best video movies possible.

We will learn about the other equipment one piece at a time and discuss how and when to use them.
Lots of times, you will not have the options of using the best and have to improvise, just make do.
We'll talk about that too.

I was not quite as fortunate as you are, by being taught this. The people who taught me, tried to impress
me how hard it was, and had their little secrets, which they didn't share. I want you to learn how simple
it can be. I don't have secrets, 'don't believe in them'.
Using the Camera - field shooting techniques

So many different areas are a part of production. Lets start with the writing of your script, from your
first idea. You will have so many different steps to go through before you finally finish the video. This
section will cover them one at a time.

Having an Idea, and having a movie are many steps away from each other. Here is as good a place as
any to say - VIDEO IS BEST DONE AS A TEAM EFFORT -but- I'm going to assume you will try and
do it all your self. The production section is designed to expose you to all of the areas, which you will
have to make decisions in. If you know how to do make-up, sew, keep books, cook and cater, write,
shoot and edit, sell and promote you are rare. You see this is why I stress how important it is to accept
the team principle.

Ok, what is important is, to learn enough about the different areas to either assign someone to do the
work, or you can do some in-depth study and do it yourself. I'm sure you realize that accounting and
bookkeeping (for example) are entire university courses.

Editing, you may be a person at home with just a camcorder, VCR and television, if so, you are
included here. The page on making your own recruting tapes describes this technique. We start with
this simple form of editing and discuss the different tape to tape editing systems and end with various
NLE (Non Lineal Editing) systems. Your first assignment is to watch movies and pay attention to the
way the movie goes from one picture (scene) to another.

There are many, many details to learn if you are to be a videographer, but do not let this worry you.
You will be able to start simple and use checklists, and the complexity will come easily, your
knowledge will grow with your practice. Practice really is the key, if you play music or sports, you
realize the importance of practice, your work and attention to detail will quickly make you proficient.
Just as the performer will work on one instrument his whole lifetime striving for a perfect mastery, the
camera or any other videographic skill can be the

                                           DV CAMCORDERS

I have no doubts about the new DV and DVC camcorders, THEY ARE THE BEST CAMERAS
AVAILABLE, on the market today. The Computer editing and digital cameras are the perfect matches.
You can purchase for small cost high quality systems, which will give you professional results.

The DV format is completely digital, and because of this fact the picture quality is improved for a
number of reasons.
The recording on the tape, is our subject for a moment, how that signal is recorded.
Analog - or old time video signals - are a very complicated mix of - black and white, color, and audio.
The video is not one signal but many cycling signals, (think sine-waves) and is delicate when compared
to the digital signal, (think dots and dashes, or series of numbers) The old time video signal is prone to
interference from every electrical source and wire around you, including the Sun. The Digital tape will
also be subject to the same sources but far less so.
The analog tapes (VHS -etc-) do not lose information on the tapes over time, they add information.
This is the reason the picture quality degrades over time. As more and more electromagnetic signals
pass through the tape, the video on that tape is buried and the new signals begin to show on your
television screen (as snow or other bad signals)>
The new DIGITAL (DV - DVC - DV-PRO) videotapes, are completely different, the tape is recorded
digitally. This means you have a long series of off-on signals, these off on signals are numbers, and
these numbers are the picture, the audio, and much more information. This exact numbering system of
the computer does not change or leave room for miss-interpretation or confusion as does the analog
I realize this is a simplistic way to explain the difference, but is a true generalization of the way the
ANALOG AND DIGITAL signals work.

We see that we have a more reliable tape with digital, one that will be read the same every time. With
this type of reading, the tape can describe-tell more than the analog, this results in the ability to provide
the information for five times more color information, also it will have timecode, time of day, and tape
time used and remaining.

Ok you're sold on DV, now which camera is the best. HARD TO ANSWER THAT ONE, but here is
what makes a good camera.
One. The size of the CCD (charge coupled device)- the chip the camera has which reads the picture.
The larger the CCD the better the picture. The common camcorders have 1/3-inch chips. These are
really small. The better Camcorders have 1/2-inch CDD chips, and the best have 2/3-inch chips.
Two. The internal computer of the camcorder, no they are not all the same, unfortunately there is no
way to test them. However the features which are offered in terms of - exposure - shutter speed - white
balance - digital effects (controls) indicate the complexity and ability of the camcorder. You must have
hands-on testing - view the menus and check all the controls on the camera you are considering. The
greater the number of controls the better the computer.
You should actually record some footage - on one tape - on different cameras - and view the resulting
picture. View that picture on a common home television not the expensive monitors the sellers have
available. The expensive monitors will show everything as great - the cheap home televisions will
show what you and your friends will see at home.
three. The LENS, the lens of the camera is ultimately the most important factor for all camcorders. The
CANON, JVC, SONY, cameras that offer interchangeable glass lens are the best. The rest of them with
the cheaper plastic lens will fall behind in resolution and clarity of the picture.
A glass lens, will allow more light into the camera, and because it is a quality, individually made item,
and focus' the light better. The Glass lens will be larger than the plastic one, again allowing more light
into the camera.

Those are the primary differences; the actual construction of the camera itself is a thought you should
keep in mind. The door can measure the strength of the case and its construction, to the tape
compartment. If this door is strong, and fits well, you have a good indication of the rest of the case.
This is a measure of the over all construction. A well constructed case, is an indication of the quality of
the camera.


With the new DV format cameras, the worst camera is still great. Your work will be "Broadcast"
quality for the network television stations, and the DV format is good enough to copy to film for the
movie theatre. "The Blair Witch" movie is an example of a movie made from the mini-DV tapes.

If you will pay attention to the lighting and the audio, your inexpensive $600 mini-DV camera will
produce as good a picture as the most expensive $30,000 camera. Just an aside here, but the television
broadcasting companies just have not got the idea yet, and still insist on the huge model's, where they
could use smaller units. The big cameras do have better control and lens yet under most conditions the
point is moot. The long distance photography and adverse conditions do require the best.

GOOD NEWS - the $5000 DV cameras, (JVC and Sony) are equal to the $30,000 cameras the
professionals use. Does $5000 sound like a lot of money, it is and it isn't, for the non-profit, church,
business, or school this should not be a major thing. The need for this level of camera should be
considered, with the idea in mind that, you could buy three excellent inexpensive cameras for the same

The video cameras are also excellent still cameras. I am actually amused by the fact the companies
have a photo function, or that they add a special chip or card to take photos.
Why? Every frame of the digital video is a photograph, when the tape is paused on a single frame. The
in-camera photo functions simply write that one frame over and over for approximately 4 seconds. You
can print these on your color printer and will find it very useful to have the ability to freeze a frame for
a photo, or a still video picture when editing.
The video still 'single frame' pictures are of high enough quality to use on web pages, news-paper
photographs, flyers, and other print mediums. This gives you a wide range of choices, as there are 30
pictures every second on the tape. You will learn a lot about your ability to shoot video when you begin
to use stills. If you have learned to use the camera correctly you will have many choices. When you
freeze a frame, you will be able to analyze the framing and the lighting qualities; here is where you will
see how good your eye was.
I have spoken of the technique of, using a tripod, and, framing a good picture in which you have your
action. In the long run you will have your best success if you treat your video in this manner. The page
on camera operation discusses this and other techniques. But this one type of shot will serve you better
than any other.
These pictures are not as good as the mega-pixel digital photo cameras, and you should not consider
them for high quality photo work.

THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT - make sure you are putting the tape in correctly - if you accidentally
put the tape in backward, or upside down, and try to close the door - you will probably ruin your
camera. Every Digital Camera is vulnerable to stupidity.

When you are loading the camera - never get in a hurry - put the tape in carefully - gently close the
mechanism - let it cycle and load and then close the door. Never ever rush, you may miss a shot - but

If you have a Digital camera, and you see one edge of the screen with strange things happening, you
have a tracking problem. Hopefully you have the warranty and can send the camera back for repair. In
all probability they will simply remove the tape transport assembly - heads and all - and give you new
ones. The heads on the DV cameras are tiny, and the tape is small, this means they are delicate. So take
care to be gentle when loading and unloading the camera.

curious thing happens sometimes when you reuse a tape. The new picture will have 'BARS' of two
different pictures - the new one and the old one. I think this is a tracking problem with the recorders,
and the old signal is not being erased, and the new signal is recorded just slightly to the side of the old

Make sure there is a - ieee1394 - Firewire - socket on the camera. If you don't have one you will have
to have a special docking station to feed the video to the computer, or another camera.

Buy at least 3 batteries and have them charged at all time. You will find if you are out shooting all day,
one battery will not last the day.

Some cameras come with universal DC voltage in connections. Those that do will allow you to use a
motorcycle battery, and adapter. This will allow you to shoot for long hours with no worry of running
out of power.

A diaper bag makes one of the best camera bags. They are waterproof, have a lot of pockets, and are
large enough to hold all your gear.

Always carry your power supply, an extension cord with you and a two-prong adapter for your cord.
You should include Duct Tape or Gaffers Tape to tape the cords to the wall, and floor for the protection
of the public and so you will not loose power because someone knocked the plug out of the wall.

Large Plastic Garbage bags, have at least two with you, one for your equipment and one for you to use
as a rain coat.
A few smaller bags to cover the camera and hold other equipment are also a good idea. You cannot
always stop shooting just because it is raining. So you will have to improvise on the spot. Thin saran
wrap is clear enough to cover the lens, and the heavier bags can be taped to protect the camera. 'More
uses for the duct tape.'

If you use extra on-camera lights - use one that has its own battery - these lights will drain your camera
battery faster than anything will.

Refer to the sports page for the contents of the home-videographers camera bag. I have listed a good
comprehensive list of equipment there.

You can use inexpensive mikes, mixers, lights and other additional equipment to start, and as the need
happens you can buy better and more expensive equipment.

                                      REVIEW OF DV CAMERAS

Note none of these cameras are being manifactured now. If you are a company and would like one of
your units tested, used, and reviewed here, please contact me.
the Mini-DV format are the Sony VX-1000 and the Canon Ultura. Of these two cameras the Sony is the
Sony VX-1000 - is a three-chip camera, and has a marginally better set of controls and effects available
to the user. There is also an audio input box attached to the camera - this give you two microphone
inputs to the camera- this allows you to use the XLR cables and better microphones and control the
levels. The camera is an older unit - approximately 4 years. It was handed down from the government
channel when they upgraded to the Sony DV-PRO camera.

On the back of the camera are a number of buttons which give you shutter speed, white balance and
digital effects menus for you to use in controlling the camera.

I have used the VX 700 for 6 years, this camera has been a real workhorse, reliable and has good
features. This is the first of Sonys consumer DV camcorders. I really can say it has been the best
consumer camera I have used. I think that Sony missed the point when they shifted to the VX-1000.
The VX-700 is a one chip camera and the VX-1000 a three chip camera.
The VX-700 has a dissolve DVE - that freeze's the last frame and transitions with a dissolve to the new
moving video. I have found this is the most useful incamera effect, The wipes and dissolves to and
from black while cute seldom find any applications in the field. I have used the dissolve well in a
number of field incamera editing situations. One of my favorites, was the Documentation of the
'Washington County Historical Society, High Tea . This event brought together a large collection of
fine silver services and table settings from all over our community. I used the dissolve between shots,
ant the shots were all planned short pans or zooms. The concept of going (camera movement) from one
good picture to another and dissolving to the next one. Not all cameras have this Dissolve freature,
check and see if the camera you are purchasing has this feature, you will really use it.

The Canon Ultura - is a consumer level DV camera. This camera costs approximately $600 dollars at
the store. I have one of these cameras and use it to do - THE CATS EYE ON SPORTS - the camera is
overall a good one for this purpose.
1. AUDIO this camera audio input really doesn't work well. You may have hum and feedback when
using, hardwire, wireless, radios, or phone interfaces.
2. The picture is not as good as the Sony VX-700 camera, which i previously used, and wore out. I
produced over 600 two-hour programs with the VX-700.
The Canon does not have many transitions and those default to black and transition to your picture.
There are some interesting art, sepia and b/w, DVE's
The shutter speed control - is excellent - giving you a series of steps from 1/25 to 1/5000 of a second.
The auto focus is not fast and does not focus until you end your zoom. When you are shooting use the
manual focus feature, when possible. For sports you will remain in focus through the game, because -
being high and far away from the field - your focus on the distant objects will allow the camera to stay
in focus when you zoom to the near sideline.
The Auto white balance - seems to work well, the over all color for this camera seems to tend toward
the red, which means the field will look more brown than green. The skin color does come out well.
The color saturation comparison between the two cameras - Sony and cannon - the Sony will give you
the most accurate color, and the cannon will tend to be over saturated and be in the red side of the
spectrum. Over all either camera is good, but if you are shooting a projects stick to one camera for all
of the shots or the color will shift on you.
I have made some very good videos with this camera.

SONY VX-1000, This is a 3 chip camera. With a 3-chip camera the light entering the camera enters a
prism which splits the light into 3 different paths, that light strikes each of the chips and is read by the
camera as red, blue, or green. These colors are blended and converted to become the colors we view as
red, blue, and yellow on the television screen.

The fact the light is divided and read by three different chips give you a better color resolution, that
combined with the fact that the DV cameras have 5 times the color bandwidth of regular analogue
format, makes this the best color cameras ever to exist. The drawback is this camera does not have the
low light capability of a one-chip camera.
This Sony camera has its own set of DVE and they are different from the VX-700. Over all this is a
wonderful camera, but old; the Government channel has heavily used the camera for the past 5 years. It
performs with a reasonable reliability.

VIDEONICS has my vote for professionally performing editing equipment, at reasonable prices. They
are constantly re-inventing themselfs and improving their products. I own the MX-1 video mixer, Edit
Suite, and Titlemaker 2000, and this equipment has performed flawlessly for 5 years. Although I have
not used the new additions, I do, without hesitation, encourage you to consider their equipment. They
are really forerunners in the field, and I am sure their new DV products will serve your needs well.
Your being able to connect the DV camera directly to the switcher will allow you excellent real time
editing. This switcher can be connected to your computer and on-line computer editing becomes
possible. You should expect Videonics to produce a new DV titlers soon as well.

                                 TRIPODS AND CAMERA SUPPORTS

                           There are many different types of Camera supports

There are many types of supports for the camera, these are the examples to be discussed on this page.
1. Camera Booms, 2. shoulder mounts,3. Tripods,4. mono pods, 5. clamps with attachments for the
tripod, 6. bean bags 7. remote control camera mounts, 8. Rails and tracks, 9. Wheels 10. Stedi-cam
supports, 11. wheelchairs - Im sure I have left a few types of support out of the picture, so If you notice
an omission please hit the feedback and tell me, I will include the additions.

The use of the tripod, is a personal effort you will have to become use to the way your unit works and
practice with it.
remember for most shoots you will go from one good picture to another in short smooth moves.

I have said this I other places in this manual - "Think of your video as a still photograph - make a pretty
picture and let the action happen inside the frame

The Tripod is the most important accessory to the camera the videographer uses. The use of a Tripod
will help you produce the consistently level and square pictures. Your movements - pans and tilts will
be smooth and your pictures will not shake.

You will find 100's of different designs, makes and models of tripods on the market. Tripods are of two
basic types, Photo and Video. For video there are inexpensive designs which are made of aluminum
and plastic, these will work, you may have to use some oil or lubricant on the friction head to make
them move freely. The HEAD is where the camera attaches to the tripod. The next level of tripod has a
Fluid head all of the good tripods will have one, the prices start in the range of $100 for these tripods.
You will find all sizes, the larger the tripod the more stable it is. But you may want to hike or do a lot
of location shooting, then get a tripod, which is light but not shaky. Try it out in the store, and see if
you like it.

The first thing you will investigate when considering a tripod is the the way the head moves then see if
there is a quick release so you can remove the camera quickly and easily. Next is the legs, and the locks
on the legs - if they are light an will flex - you dont want it. Check and see if the locks which hold the
legs when they are extended can be tighten' when they get loose (and they will). Now the over all size
will be important to you. A large tripod is normally steadier than a little one. You want to put the
camera on the tripod and play with it a bit. How easy is it for you to change locations?

HEAD DESIGN - Two types - fixed and claw-ball mount - You only find the claw-ball on more
expensive tripods. The Claw-ball allows for a fast leveling of the camera. With this system you simply
set up the tripod and make sure it is stable, Then you loosen the ball and twist it till its level using the
bubble level built into the head. You then attach the camera.
Even for home video of the family, tripods are important. Without one your pictures will be shaky and
jumpy with one they will look good.

You should invest in a good 'video tripod', because these tripod are designed for the movements of the
camera. They have lock/drags which you can set for your own particular touch. My personal tripod is a
Bolgen. The small ones are as reliable as the larger ones. If you are going to be a one-person camera
crew, the lightweight tripod will be the best choice. You will find the day can be long when you have
to pick up and move a lot of heavy equipment.

All of the tripods will have head locks on them, this is really good for you to know. If you will get in
the habit of pretending the camera is a film camera, and you make a nice picture, then have the action
happen in that well composed picture, your video will look good. Watch movies and see all of the
scenes where the camera does not move and there is no zooming.

These unmoving scenes are the reason any tripod will work for you, even a photo tripod.

Regardless of the tripod you use, leveling the tripod is an all important skill. There are three different
methods to make the tripod level.
1. Some tripods are equipped with a bubble level, if you have this, leveling the tripod will be easy.
2. Purchase a small carpenters level and use it the following way
..a. extend the legs and roughly set up the tripod
..b. extend the central post on the tripod
..c. place the level in line with one leg and adjust that leg until generally level
..d. go to each leg in turn leveling each one
..e. now check all three legs again.
This technique takes a little time, but it is worth it, it is the way I have to level my own tripod.

The third way to level the tripod is by eye. This is a difficult way to have to do it, however you may
have to fall back on this technique many times. 1. keep this in mind - the true horizon is the only
horizontal line you can depend upon
2. Using your view finder find a vertical line - for example - a corner of a building, or a room, a
telephone pole, a window or door frame.
3. adjust your tripod with this object lined up with the edge of the picture in your viewfinder
4. Now pan you tripod the opposite direction and repeat this process
This should give you a level and square picture however it will not be perfect

The only time you should have the camera tilted is when you want to create tension in your viewer's
mind. The tilted picture is used to make the viewer feel something is wrong, horror, war and fighting
scenes use this technique.

When using the tripod make all of your movements short, and go from one good picture to another.
Short pans look better than long ones. The same is true of Tilts.

pan = side to side
tilt = up and down

Shoulder Mounts, the older VHS and current professional models, are large enough to rest on your
shoulder, but the newer cameras are all very small and must have a add on shoulder mount.
The shoulder mount adds stability to your camera. there area many variations on the shoulder or body
mount. You can look in the back of almost any video trade magazine and you will see 6 to a dozen
different designs. Which one is best? All of them, whichever one works for you.

Monopods these are single sticks, which will have a camera, mount on top of them. You could make a
simple one of a one-inch wood dowel, a hole drilled in the top, and a threaded bolt(which will screw
into your camera) glued into the hole. Now that is really all they are. You will find them on the market
with extendable legs and nice secure mounts, they are not expensive.
The do have drawback for the videographer, because they are difficult to keep still and to keep the
picture square and level. The monopod is much more an attachment for the still photographer who can
and will crop the final picture to the frame he wants. They are however useful and will provide an extra
measure of stability, they are worth practicing with and including in your kit, for special applications.

Boom Camera Supports- are large and heavy machines which require more than one person to operate
effectively. They hold the camera at one end of an adjustable boom, the camera mount is controllable
and the camera can be tilted and panned. Additionally the boom can be raised, lowered, and extended
while the camera is being used. A boom will enable some interesting shots.

BeanBags - This is something you can make for yourself. A beanbag support will be useful if you want
to put your camera on the table, or on the ground and want it stable. Get a small pillowcase, and
partially fill it with - beans - rice - Styrofoam beads. Before you sew it shut try the camera on it and
make sure there are not too many or too few beans, you want the bag to mold to the camera. Pick a
pillowcase which is small yet large enough to set your camera on. push the beans around the camera to
support it. You will look through the viewfinder and frame your picture, then record with out touching
the camera.
This little cheap support is really handy and you will capture shots/scenes that no one else will. Here is
a tool you can experiment with, with this and a little duct tape you will be able to secure a camera in
some pretty strange places.

Specialty mounts - few really adaptable mounts exist on the market, for the field videographer.
However a little inventiveness will allow you to make one from parts you can find in the hardware
store. Things like spring-clamps, C-clamps, Tubing, plates and bolts can be put together for workable
secure mounts.

Remote control camera mounts - These mounts are used in many commercial applications and are used
for security cameras. These mounts may be controlled by an operator, or set to sweep pan an area, or
may have motion sensors which will point the camera. These are useful where a camera operator
cannot be used.

Tracks and Rails - This was developed as a film tool, to allow the camera to move and have no shake.
A set of tracks are laid on the ground, a special wheeled cart is set on the track, this cart would hold the
camera man and the focus puller (on film cameras the focus-puller is a person who keeps the camera in
focus, the cameraman himself is responsible for the framing of the picture.). Today there are
lightweight adaptations of this principal on the market for the video camera.

Wheels - Frames are made which are supported by wheels, the tripod sets on the frame, and this allows
the camera operator to move the camera smoothly. This is called TRUCKING the camera itself moves
to the left or right - in or away from the scene. Your local hardware or lumberyard will have a selection
of wheel which you can apply to a platform. Just a hint use large wheels which have swivels, and if
they are air filled so much the better. Pay attention to locks for the wheels - when you get the camera
where you want it you may want it to stay there.
You dont have to be fancy a simple four foot by four foot square of plywood with wheels on all four
corners will work. Put some sort of rail or handles on the platform so a person can push or pull it.
These supports can help you create some nice smooth shots if you will pay attention to the surface -
clean up the path - and practice pushing/pulling the platform. The person supplying the movement will
really be the one who makes it smooth, talk about the shot and practice practice practice.

Stedi-Cam - This is one of the most re-invented devices on the market, you will find professional
models which are elaborate harness's that have arms and springs to stabilize the camera. With the
professional models you can run with the camera, and it will compensate and give you a good picture.
A WHEELCHAIR is one of the simplest and easiest ways to produce a smooth trucking or dollying
shot. The chair has large wheels and is very manuverable. You should sweep the path the chair is going
to follow, so you will now encounter anything to make a bump or shake to the camera You will find
many variation of hand held Stedi-cams, all of them will work for you if you will take the time to
practice. I cannot comment on all of them really because I haven't used them. Yet will all equipment,
how much you practice and gain experience, will determine how successful you are with it.
The purpose for them is to help you capture a shot where the camera is moving, i.e. up a stairs -
through a crowd.
Professional Studio - Camera support -- these units are massive yet have wheels which allow them to
move across the floor smoothly. The Center shaft is hydraulic and will move up and down with little
effort. A prompter is usually mounted on the front of the camera. Studio arms are used to focus and
zoom the camera. These supports are very smooth and steady, they weigh a lot and support a lot of
equipment. Note if this properly maintained it is a dream, but one which has been neglected or is old
and worn out is a nightmare. Older Television stations sometimes have neglected these supports, and
consequently the range of movements are restricted, and jerky.

I have written this section to inform and impress upon you how important it is to have a steady shot.
You realize now that there are many types of camera mounts, and that profession camera operators rely
upon them.

This will take you to Habbycam, this young mans company offers what appears to be a nice shoulder
mount, and an intersting hand held boom for light weight cameras. I have not tested or used either of
the products. But by looks and by reading his FAQ page, I can see he has thought out how they work
and I believe they would be a good addition to any camera operators kit.

Jimmy Jib, offers a varity of camera supports and long jib arms

VariZoom, has lens controls and studio arms for the lightweight camera. These are something you
really need if you are doing long shoots from the tripod.
ez fx, offers jib arms with excellent controls

VideoSmith, has shoulder and hand held support accessorys

PORTA-JIB, has many offerings including a flex-track system for smooth variable path dollying

HOODMAN, has inexpensive hoods for your fold out LCD




These pages have been intended to be as easy as possible, the idea is for you to be able to create a good
video in what ever circumstances you find. Needless to say I am not an audio expert, so I will try to
direct you to the indivduals and sites and manifactures who are.

Audio will give you more headaches than any other part of your video. It is strange that we take sound
so for granted, until you try to capture it or announce it over a speaker system. Then you begin to have

Your ears are selective, justs as you focus on what you want to see, your ears focus and shut out sounds
that are un-important to you. The camera will hear it all. Is that bad, well kind of, all the extra sounds,
the wind the people around you, the traffic, fans, air-conditioners and so on. They are all around us all
of the time, and we dont notice them. The cameras microphones are different they are sensitive and
they pick up on everything.

We use smaller less sensitive mikes for the hand-held and lavalier's, the distance which they pick up is
less. The person speaking into them can be heard well, but little else is picked up.

A variety of directional microphones exist, some use parabolic dishes to focus the sound from a
specific but wide area, other directional mikes use a series of tubes which only pick up the sound from
a small area. You can even test this yourself if you have a large satalite dish, point it at an area a few
blocks away, put your head close to the reciever unit, you will be amazed at what you will hear.
Shotgun microphones are very long mikes that pick up from the area the mike is pointed. They are
expensive, but useful.

Wireless Microphones - These are useally a good bet, still they too come witha series of potental
Radio interference is the first problem, you may be also tuning into some local raido station.
Your wireless may conflict with the house wireless system - which isnt so bad - because you may be
able to recieve their signal with out having to use your own mikes.
You must always use fresh batterys or if you use re-chargeable ones - be sure they have a full charge. (
carry a battery tester to make sure)

First assuming you only have the camera, and no other microphones. If you want to hear what the
person has to say get as close to the person as you can. How you shoot the video will be up to you to
make a good picture, but since you are close to them you can safely use a wide shot. If you are using a
tripod then consider zooming in and framing a closer shot of the subject.
Lets say you have gone to a presentation, and the speaker has no PA system to ampfly their voice, if
you get close the other sounds will be less noticable.
If there is a PA System - get close to the loud-speaker - generally it will be so loud that it serves to
completely cover the room or environments sound.

As a general rule the sound will be useable when the speaker or the music is ampflied and poor when it
is not.

If you have come prepared, you have a set of mikes - a lavalere and a hand held - and you also have a
long mike cable.

In this case you have a set of alternatives, put a mike on the person speaking, or on the podium.

tape a mike to the loudspeaker

plug into the house sound board - I have found this method the worst of all the alternatives, the signal
you recieve, is being controled by the house audio tech. and useally he is not monitoring your output.
rather he is balancing the sound for the room. This situaton may leave you with bad audio, as the signal
may be too hot or too weak. The signal you are recieveing may not be the same as the house speakers
are recieving. There are many variables and none of them can you do anything about.

Mike cables - If you have them make sure that they are shielded cables. An un-shielded cable can act as
an antenna and pick up the local tv or radio station.
An unshielded cable can also pick up the 60 cycle hum from the house electrical system.

The grounded plugs which are commonly used, also give you problems of line hum. If you have a hum
or a buzz in your audio, you need always carry a - two prong - adaptor for your electric cables - this is
called a ground lift plug. Isolating yourself from the house ground can often eleminate the buzz in the
your audio.

Many times you will have to improvise. This solution was offered, In copying the audio, from one
source to another, there was no way to see the levels or adjust them, the audio was run through and old
tape to tape audio recorder. This unit had volume adjustments and VU Meters to monitor the audio.
This is a wonderful example of improvising, and using an otherwise obsolete piece of equipment.

Long Live Analog an article by Steven Johnson, following is the first paragraph, check this out.
IT'S ONE OF THE little ironies of today's digital culture that the least visual of the arts -- music -- has
started to generate some of our most interesting visual interfaces. MP3 skins already constitute the best
example of grassroots interface design, coating music players with endless variations of fifties-style
jukeboxes, Starship Enterprise consoles, mahogany-paneled armoires, and other more exotic fare. And
the plugin format translates the shifting EQ levels of audio into dynamic visual images, treating music
listeners to the kind of virtual fireworks and fractals that used to require a few grams of psycilobin. But
another region of the music world has also been pushing out some striking new designs. While our
word processors, spreadsheets, and graphic applications share the same basic conventions as their
predecessors from the early nineties, the software employed by actual musicians to create and edit their
sounds on the PC has undergone a dramatic transformation. Indeed, today's audio-production software
features some of the most radical interface design anywhere.
You will have a Radio Shack and other electronic sellers in your area, most of todays microphones will
serve the beginnner well and you do not have to buy the most expensive equipment while you are
learning. You will need to make some long shielded cables for the mikes. The experience will be good
for you.

Radio Shack Locate the nearest store to your home and find out about new products and services, with
online product support. www.radioshack.com

Read Reviews Read Reviews of Microphones MusicianREVIEW.com allows you to read and write
reviews of music gear, discuss music topics, buy or sell gear and stay up-to-date with the music scene.

price compairison Compare Prices and Shop Online! PriceGrabber.com - save money on computer
products, comparing prices among your favorite online retailers! www.pricegrabber.com

prices Microphones From Bogen Microphones, microphone stands, gooseneck microphones and sense
microphones from Bogen. Pricing & online ordering from TWAcomm.com. An affiliate of
TWAcomm.com. www.telephonestuff.com

Shure Buy Shure Microphones Online at Discount Online sales at discount prices of Shure
microphones, Mackie mixers, Hafler Amps, JBL, Tannoy, Tascam, Sony and more. International
orders accepted. www.music1online.com

Rane Rane Corporation Professional Audio Products - mixers, equalizers, crossovers, signal processing
Manufacturer of amplifiers, crossovers, delays, equalizers, mixers and related accessories. Find
equipment specs, software, and support. www.rane.com

Linux Linux Audio Mixer Linux Audio Mixer Linux Audio Mixer Version: aumix 0.2 Description:
Source for Linux Audio Mixer. A mixer program with colorful interface built with ncurses (Sliding
volume control, etc) Keywords: aumix audio mixer sound multimedia Au www.yggdrasil.com

Azden Azden On-Camcorder Mini Audio Mixer Azden On-Camcorder Mini Audio Mixer Current
Specials About Us Customer Service Order Tracking View Cart/ Checkout DEPARTMENTS
Audio/Video Business/Education Cameras Clothing Communications Electronics Factory Serviced
Gift Shop Golf www.globe-mart.com

Mackie Mackie Designs Inc. Pro Audio Systems The Mackie Industrial web site has arrived!! Read all
about it! Summer Namm 2000 Coming soon... the new HDR24/96 Hard Disk Recorder. Also in the
wings... Mackie OS(tm) Version 3.0

In Computer mixer XG/GS Enhanced Mixer: Easily control your sound card's level XG/GS Enhanced
Mixer : Easily control your sound card's levels , Mike Le Voi http://hotfiles.zdnet.com/cgi-

Tutorial Home Recording dot com - Learn how to record and mix your own music tapes, CDs, MP3s
on digital, computer, or cassette t Helpful resource includes new product info, and tips on setting up
and getting the right sound when recording at home. www.homerecording.com

Location Audio Tips Location Sound Recording Tips Location Sound Recording Tips Tips and
Techniques in Location recording From sound man Chris Munro. Chris Munro (seen here during the
filing of True Blue) has a massive track record as a sound man on feature films which have included
the more recent prostudio.com
Home Recording Home Recording Central - Tips, Tricks and Techniques for Home Recording Home
Recording Central - Tips, Tricks and Techniques for Home Recording Home Recording Central News,
Information, Tips and Tricks for Home Recording and Gigging Musicians Ý Home | Music Directory |
Help Wanted | Music News: Industry | Pop | MP3 audiorecording.hypermart.net


                                 LIGHT AND THE VIDEO CAMERA

The Video Camera, has a one to three chips or plates, called CCD's (Charge Coupled Device's), these
are electronic devices which measure the amount of light striking the various parts of the surface. A
signal is sent what amounts to a small computer, which reads that light and converts it to a series of
lines. These lines are the lines that are traced across your television screen to make the picture.

These Chips are 1/3, 1/2 or 2/3 of an inch, most of the consumer cameras are 1/3. The larger the chip
the better the picture, because more light hits the chip giving camera more information to make a

The newer cameras have color viewfinders and many have doors which open with a small screen. The
addition to color in the viewfinder and screen has improved the cameramans ability to actually see
what he is recording, and it has also given him a few more problems to solve. The screen is really
useful and frees you from looking in the viewfinder, but it may confuse you about the color and the
exposure. These screens can be tilted and the tilt of the screen will change the way you see the picture.
It may be dark or light and the color may seem strange, you should close the door and use the
viewfinder when you are checking to see if the exposure and white-balance color temerature are
correct. Then open the door again and use it for reference to frame your shots and follow the action.

This is the technical side of the camera, the way the light is read. Now we will talk about lighting itself.
We have two basic types of light available to us, sunlight and artifical lights. Both of these present
problems for the videographer and the problem is compounded when you must deal with both.
You should remember to WHITE BALANCE after you have established/set your lights.


1. the quality of the sunlight will change durring the day. The Early morning and late afternoon light is
considered to be the best for video. The light is even and softer than when the sun is higher in the sky.
2. Use the white balance "SET" control, this control will read the exact color temerature for that
moment and set the camera appropriately.
3. Pay attention to where the sun is when you shoot, you will have better results if the sun is behind
you. 4. Sometimes, your subject will be heavily shadowed on one side and bright on the other.
Reflecting the sun will often correct the problem.
you can make an efficent reflector from and aluminium sided piece of foam insulation. One side will be
highly reflective metal, the other white and soft. On location you can decide which to use for the effect
you want. Look through the view finder (hopefully you will have a color viewfinder) have your
assistant move the reflector untill the picture looks good.
5. Do not shoot into the sun.
6. When you are in the shade, reflecting the light using one or more reflectors will make your subject
look good. You may still have to compensate for back light, by opening the iris, if the background is

Remember this - light is light - and the camera is designed to capture it. Another way of stating this is -
you are recording the light reflecting off of objects.
You will find there are advertisements for "Video Lights". but any type of light fixture may be used.
The placement of the light is the important thing.

This section will have illustrations to show the methods for this technique

With 3 point lighting you are exactly controling the placement of the light - fresenell lights - allow you
to make these controls.
The light fixture itself - will have a slider on the bulb - this movement places the bulb closer or farther
away from the reflector - this allows you to spot light or flood an area.
The metal shades are called barn-doors, these allow you to shade the light and only light an exact area.
(plans will be shown later for making your own fresnell lights, materials - tools - and plans - these units
can cost a few hundred dollars each )

This is a very general description for lighing one person. with 3 point lighting you should remember
you are lighting each person individually. 1. one light above the person high and behind them. This
light will light the edges of the person and set them off from the background.
2. set two lights each at a 45 degree angle to the person and both shine downward at approximately a
45 degree angle- 3. One light is useally closer than the other - strong light on one side and softer light
on the other will make the person round instead of flat. 4. Your camera is useally placed between these
two lights, but not always -


This light is useally near the camera
This is useally a light with a white filter in front of it. This light provides a soft over all light on the
subject. When you can only use one light this will even out the light on your subject.


When you are taping, dance recitals, plays, or bands is the most common time you will have to deal
with color lighting. You will have to adjust the exposure, perhaps the shutter speed to make the picture
look good. Adjusting the white balance, may defeat the color lights and ruin the effect which the group

Adequate light is more important than the type of light. In this vein there are a number of lights which I
am experimenting with. The large battery powered flood lights and battery powered flouresent lights
are the types I am playing with now. The term video light throws a lot of people off, making them think
those are the only lights you can use. You must remember the white-balance function, by white
balancing the camera for the light source you are using, you will achieve the correct color for your
the strength of the light and the way it diffuses will be important for you. This really is falling into the
realm of do it yourself. You should play around with different lights, and see what the results are.

Stage lighting and television lighting are parallel in use - the strength of the light is a major difference.
The stage must have strong lights, but the studio needs less light. Distance is one factor and the
cameras of today simply dont need the strong lights.

I want to bring us back to this point - this manual is for the beginner and the home video maker - You
will benefit from knowing the professional approaches to production, and by being able to adapt what
you have you can produce - work which will be as professional as the best.

One major point for all your location lighting, THE LIGHT MUST HAVE ITS OWN BATTERY. The
camera battery will not sustain a light and last. Just when you need the camera your battery will die.

While on the subject of batterys, small motor-cycle batterys are an excellent choice. you can have a
battery bag, which contains 1. the battery, 2 A battery charger, 3. a voltage converter, 4. Extension
cords for both A/C and D/C. If you set this up correctly you could also power your camera from this
same battery.

-----to be continued--- designs for home made light fixtures --
a list of commerical lighting sources
inexpensive subsitutes from discount stores and sporting good stores

                                       STUDIO PRODUCTIONS

                                    STAGING THE PRODUCTION

The Theater is the study in grand and large movement, but the Television Studio is a study in the small
movement. Where in the theatre you the viewer are well back from the performer, television places the
performer so close even the smallest motion or twitch is noticed. So the exception for the performer
will be in the manner of acting. With this exception all of the disciplines of the theater apply to the
television studio, plus all of the technical video requirements.

Lets start with the simplest studio. Your own home, -after all what is a studio?- it's a room. Its a room
with lights and cameras. You dont have to have the big television studio with the fancy lights and
expensive cameras, the elaborate audio system and all that, to produce a good program. Look at the
daytime talk shows. What do you see? People setting on couches, or at tables, or a cooking show - why
cant you use your own kitchen. My point is you have a camera, you have a house and therefor you have
your own studio. Later on this page I write about lighting, and lighting is the real key to it all. In fact
throughout this manual I harp on the importance of LIGHT and really I think the more times I tell you
the better. The key to turning you home into a television studio set is the way you light it.

I am working on the links section for this page now, and at the bottom of the page you will find
accessorys useful for the building of your studio.

You can arrange your furniture, and light the area and the performers, place the camera and make a
really nice talk show. Or you can turn your garage into a larger and more versatile studio. Im saying
this to encourage you, to remove some of the artifical limitations of the television industry. You can
use small radios for communication with your camera people if you use more than one camera.
Remember the home video doesn't have to be live switched - you can edit the show later.

A good working studio does not necessary have to be large, but it does have to be well planned. In fact
the small studio can really be an advantage. You can have one set of cameras which can easily turn to
different areas. the news studio at channel (xx)(xx)network has three different areas set in a U shape,
the news desk on one side the weather desk in the middle and the green screen on the other side. The
cameras can turn to the capture the shot called for at the time.

I have encouraged your independence stressed your ability to do-it-yourself. Now we throw all of that
out the window. For the remainder of this page no matter which of the positions we speak of on this
page, keep in mind you are one member of a team.
From here on I am going to assume you want to be a team player and really do a good job. If you have
played sports you will have a good idea of the importance of teams and that each team member works
together if they are to win - here if you are to have a winning production, team work will be what
creates it.
The more responsibility you have on these teams, the more you must control your behavior, and the
studio is no place for prima donnas and eccentric behavior. Be kind and polite to everyone on the crew
and complement everyone on his or her work.
The crew as with all crews mostly goes unnoticed and the talent receives all of the accolades and
complements. This is normal, your reward, is the job well done and the pride you can have in the
flawless performance of your task.
Remember this many individuals choose one area of skills, and they make a career of it whether audio,
lighting, directing, or camera. Here at public access you have the opportunity to learn all of the skills
and practice.

You have many skills to learn in the studio. The lists below will indicate and/or explain what each of
the positions must have knowledge of, or what is necessary for that position.

Now lets go into the general discussion of the studio. The first item on the list is the TALENT. You
may want to be the newsperson, or the host of your own program. Lets hope in learning the art of
studio production you will also learn respect for the tech. who make you look good.
There are many books written on performance for television, and the duties of the on screen performer.
At all times remember your slightest expression will be seen and all of your motions noticed. I am
really more concerned that you develop respect for the crew that presents you to the world. Pay your
dues to each of them and thank them for their work, and most of all mean it. You may have a tech crew
that will produce you if you are a jerk, but if you love them it will show in their work on the show.
1. Costume
2. Scripting
3. Make up
4. Acting/presentation

Here are some of the decisions which the Light crew must make as they work, the elements of the light
fixtures. The lighting tech and the director usually work together with other members of the crew. The
Set designer may play a role here as well. The mechanical duties and art, play hand in hand here.
All of the techniques for lighting for still photographs may also be applied to lighting your set. Many
books exist on creative lighting for photography. 1. Placement
2. controls (dimmer board and movement)
3. Switching
4. Gels ( colors )
5. direct light Vs reflected light
6. the use of shadows
7. Footlights
8. Fill lights
9. 3 three point lighting
10. Spotlighting

There are various books on the art of set design and the methods of construction written for the theatre,
I do not know any written for the television studio. 1. Flats
2. Curtains
3. Properties
4. Set changes


Audio is the first difference, where in the Theatre the performer must project to the back of the room,
In television you must use microphones to capture their speech (or Music). This is one of the most
difficult portions of the set up for any production. Requirements. Microphones
1. Lavaliere
2. Stand or table microphones
3. Boom microphones
4. Wireless Microphones

Here we begin to study the control room. The term online editing is used for the process, which takes
place here. You have realized these studio productions are dependent upon a team of individuals, the
pre-production work now will be justified by the creation of a program. Audio Mixer
1. level controls
2. EQ controls
1. operated (manned) cameras
2. fixed (un-manned) cameras
1. Video Switcher

Other Control room positions and equipment
1. Tapes - for insertion into the program 2. Character Generation - Tilting - Credits 3. Music from -
CD's - Cassettes

If the program is a live production, A broadcast engineer or cable-caster will control the output to the
cable or the antenna.

If the program is a call in production, Telephones and related equipment will be required. The decision
to accept live calls in real time or broadcast your program on a tape delay will be made. Perhaps an
operator will record the question and play it when the on-air talent is ready for a question. Finally an
operator will take questions and write them for the talent to read and answer.


1. On air persons
2. manager studio - directs talent - entrances & exits - fixes mikes - cues talent - monitors and checks
for program continuity.
3. Camera Operators
4. Camera Director / switcher
5. Audio Engineer
6. Character Generator operator
7. Tapes Operator
8. Program Director - monitors script - directs studio operators
9. messenger - to get talent from greenroom - and any assigned task


The starting point for any production is the script. This script may be general if the show is to be candid
with no written dialogue. It may be more elaborate with all movements, dialogue, lighting, audio
effects, and set changes written out. Even the simplest production must have a script - the open - tape
or introduction written, Times to breaks - tape insertions if any - commercials or sponsors tapes or
messages, and the conclusion.
As a basic minimum - The program will start on the second and exit on the second. The script is a
necessity regardless of how little is included.

                                              SET DESIGN

In our public access station, this is the most neglected duty. The set is the personality of the program -
it sets the mood - and tells the viewer a lot about the nature of the program.

The studio itself is a tiny theatre, The cameras are the real audience, but every camera is the same
person looking at you from a different point of view. In television your down turned mouth or raised
eyebrow will tell a story for you. Your camera director/switcher is the person thinking on his feet and
setting the pace of the program in the manner which the cameras are directed and switched.
Most programs will begin with a wide shot of the entire set - and the principal performer will either be
present or will make an entry upon his or her introduction.
What does the viewer see in this shot?
The set, and from this point on the viewer will have some specific thought about the program they are

                                 SET CONSTRUCTION AND DESIGN
If you have experience in the theatre you have a head start, and if you actually helped construct and
paint flats you are really ahead. All that you have learned about theatre is directly applicable to the
television studio. You painting should be a little better than that of the theatre because the viewer
(camera) is closer.
The Flats and their placement define the space, which your performers will move within. The
properties (tables - chairs - etc.) will determine how they are able to move within the space.
You must rely upon the television monitor when judging how the set looks. Your viewpoint as a person
standing in the set is not going to be the same as the camera sees the set.

In the theater the designer will often construct a tiny model of the set so they can get the feel of the
viewpoint the audience will have. This would be a good idea for any television set designer.

Following of the construction of the set you will do the lighting.
Lighting is a long and involved process of subtle placement of the fixtures, the process will require
study - with people in the set representing the performers. You should try to have the performer there
for the lighting process. The skin of one person may adsorb or reflect more light than another. If you
have lit the set and the individual you used for reference has an entirely different skin type all of your
work may be for nothing, and you will have to try and make last minute changes to correct for the


These two different lighting requirements are where the problems begin to arise. Resolving the
conflicts between the performers lighting and the set lighting is what takes so much time. You will be
climbing ladders and moving lights - putting screens or gels on them - refocusing - and even changing
bulbs. If you are luck you will have a dimmer board available and can adjust the intensity of the light.
The barn doors on the fixtures will block the light from shining on areas, which you do not want lit.

You will almost always want a light or set of lights high and behind the performers - these lights shine
on their backs and the camera will see the edges of the person - this causes the person to be set off from
the background, rather than blending in. A subtle white outline will be defined on their edges.

The use of Shadows is a creative process - using mats - cutouts - of (plants or blinds - window frames)
- can create a necessary mood for your program. Shadows can be used on a boring (plain wall)
background to make it interesting. Your set design is your first project and how you light it to make it
more interesting is your second project.

Lets say you want to use your own home for the studio - every living room or kitchen can be used for
the studio - You will go through the same steps of lighting but you can use the house hold lights. About
the only special effort will be placing the highlight you shine on your performers back. The rest of the
lights you can gather from around the house and set them so your set and the performer looks good
Hook the video-out of your camera to your VCR and then the VCR to the Television so you can see
what you are doing --

                                     STAGING THE PERFORMERS

Always have your performers as far from the set walls as possible.
You must not place the performers close to the walls of the set because will not be able to light them
correctly, they will cast shadows you don't want, and the set lighting will be messed up.

The monitor is your best friend as you work with the performers, You will have to look at the monitor
as you have the performers walk through the set and hit their marks ( marks are the [tape lines] where
you want them to stop. You will be looking to see how the light and shadow actually looks with them.
Some performances will be scripted plays and others will be less formal and the people may be moving
randomly around. You may have it easy and be doing a talk show where everyone is setting all of the

                                    FILM STYLE SHOOTING
                               THIS STYLE CAN BE USED IN BOTH
                                  THE FIELD AND THE STUDIO

Film style shooting is economicaly efficent in terms of time saved and materials (film or tape) used.
Film makers rely upon one camera for the majority of all movies which have ever been made. The cost
of film and the multiple costs for talent and crew, plus location fees and the many other expenses
involved with filming required the movie maker to devise short-cuts. Film style shooting is such a short

The script is broken down into scenes and these scenes are shot out of order. The rational and the
method would be for the camera, lighting and all the other considerations to be set up for the delivery
of all of one actors lines from a specific mark. The actor would deliver one set of lines/speech/dialogue
representing one scene, the next set, and the next untill all of the lines which used that camera/light
setup were complete. Now lets say that actor was having a conversation with actor 2. The reverse
camera angle would be set up and actor 2 would deliver each or his or her lines one after the other
untill each of the scenes for that set up were complete. Now lets say the script called for a two shot -
head to toe of them - as a cut away from the previous scenes - then the camera and everything would be
re set for that camera angle. the script dialogue would be all mixed up but the actors total delivery
would be complete.

this film would be developed - screened and selected for the best shots - those shots logged and the film
would then go to the editor.

The editor would un-roll the film find the scetion of the film for those secnes/deliverys and carefully
cut them into film strips.
The film strips would be marked, ordered and hung on pegs.
Then the editor would start re-assembling the film into the correct order following the script.

Two types of editing was performed by the film editor. the simplest and most basic was CUTS ONLY.
Here one piece of film would be glued to the next making a simple cut from one scene to the next.
Even today in 95 percent of the video programs and the movie films you see use cuts only for the
majority of the scene changes.

Next is A - B Roll editing, this allows for complicated transitions between two scenes. These transition
would be determined as A roll and B roll and these transitions would be mastered in the printing
process. The A/B roll is a method where two film reels were begun and one reel would start with film
having images and the other reel would hold clear film, the next scene the two would reverse places.
when transitions such as wipes or dissolves were called for the ending and starting places would be
different and over lap one another, thus allowing two different images to be displayed at the same time.

Today we see the majority of transitions in television commericals, however many modern films are
using more and more transitions and effects. These transitions and effects are for impact and between
them you will find cuts only. The impact would be lost if to many were used.

I place these links as possible sources for equipment which you will find useful and indespensable for a
studio. It doesnt hurt to look at some of the designs and build your own stuff. I really beleve innovative
constructions can work for you. Yet at the same time its not necessary to *re-invent the wheel* every
time you need something, and purchasing a well made item can save you money and more important

, Tripods page, you will find accessorys for tripods at the bottom of the page
Canon, the canon GL1 would be an excellent choice for the small studio.

SWITCHER, VIDEONICS, offers the most efficent and useful switcher on the market. This switcher is
both analog and digital. and has many many features. Check out their other products for online editing.

                                FIELD VIDEO TAPING TECHNIQUES

                             GOING OUT AND SHOOTING THE VIDEO

So far you have been exposed to the elements of video - cameras - tripods - audio - light, now you will
start thinking of planning your shoot.

Just in case your not too sure what you are going to encounter, this page will discuss a few sample
scripts. These are common things that you may shoot. Most but not all of these will be discussed in this
section. For ease I may refer to any of these as an event. Some of the events I will group together
because they will all be covered in a similar manner.
(((note to proof - this list is out of order)))
1. Weddings or Funerals
2. Party's
3. Anniversaries and Reunions
4. Church Sermons
5. Meetings
6. Classroom lectures
7. After Dinner Speakers
8. Bands
9. Recitals - Music and Voice
10. Dance Recitals
11. Plays
12. Animals
13. Press conferences
14. Fairs and Outdoor Celebrations
15. Products - demonstration and sales
16. Training Videos
17. Safety Videos
18. Sports - (sports will have many subsections)
19. Promotional Videos and PSAs (Public Service Announcements)
20. trips and travel documentarys
21. Historical Documentaries
22. Short Stories
23. Film Style Video Movies (this will be an entire section itself)
With all of these remember to shoot a number of establishing shots for later editing purposes.
..a. the location exterior
..b. the interior wide
..c. identifying signs and posters

Lets get right into it with the list, remember these are general things that are likely to occur, what to
expect, and what to be sure to do.


Always keep in mind the wedding video and the photos are for the Bride. This sample script is for 4 or
more cameras shooting continuously through the ceremony, but one camera can capture much of the
script. This footage will be edited for a smooth fast video. The ceremony will be the slowest pace of the
the introduction will be medium fast, the ceremony will be the pace it is, and the procession up the Isle
after the ceremony will start picking the pace up until the dash for the Limo and the drive off. The
Bride is your main character, try to catch every emotion she expresses. Also identify the parents and
grandparents, they are important and you should have many different nice shots of them.
The video begins with a wide pretty shot of the exterior of the church. this can be video or a still. You
will superimpose your title over this scene/still "The Wedding of (names) - the place and the date" The
introductory portion of the video may have any or all of the following short scenes.

1. Flower arrangements showing cards
2. The signing of the guest book - close up of hands and signature
3. close Friends or Family entering the Church Lobby
4. dissolves to Preparation by the Bride and Maids cuts back and forth to groom and party
5. The ushers Seating guests from various angles
6. Close up of floral arrangements zooming out to reveal the Alter.
7. Shot from the Alter looking at the guests wide
8. The opening of the door and procession of the bride various angles
9. Many close-up and other shots which will show bride from back to reveal the groom and the minister
waiting at the alter.
10. The father handing the bride to the groom
11. Here starts the Ceremony - side shots of bride and groom turning to the minister/priest. Cut to back
camera, which will zoom into a 3-shot close enough to easily see the face of the minister/priest
12. If you have 4 cameras available, one may be mounted high and behind the minister, this camera
sees the bride and groom, this is a default shot and will not change.
13. There will be a camera on each side, and slightly in front of the bride and groom at about a 30-
degree angle - then both cameras can see all of the bride and groom and a profile of the minister.
14. Head and shoulder shots of the "I Do's.
15. Close up of the rings and hands
16. AT any point the Bride may cry -- have a close up and try to see the tears -- Tears Rings and Lips
are the three Extreme Close up shots
*note* Grooms will have their emotions repressed - hidden - Grooms passing out or throwing up is
common. If the groom begins to roll his eyes or starts swaying this will be your shot - dont try to help
him - catch the action.
17. If your camera is not the one for a ECU - have an appropriate HS shot
18. The back camera will widen out to a head to toe shot of B&G as they turn to leave the church.
19. Both side cameras will go mobile as the B&G exit. one will catch their backs as they step from the
20. During the Ceremony look to see who is crying of the guests, be sure to get medium shots groups
of 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 people - hold on them long enough for inserts.
21. Have many shots of the crowd showing their reactions as the bride passes
22. With the exit from the bride up the isle you will cut to exterior shots
23. Find a close up of a woman crying if possible and pan to reveal the front doors of the church and
groups of people
24. the exit and throwing of the rice various angles.
25. Camera positioned to catch the entry into the limo
26. cuts to "cans" which are dragged camera pans up to reveal the limo leaving.
27. cuts to looking in the windows at them close up as possible
28. Cuts to individuals waving - reacting
29. cuts to limo disappearing and fade to black.
30. Go to the photo session and tape everyone and everything the other camera people and the guests.
Of course get some really pretty pictures of the Bride and Groom and the wedding party.

There are many different shots you can capture at a wedding, try to make all of the shots as pretty as
possible. Well-framed pictures should be the rule. Reflections in Glassware, or Silver, foreground with
flowers framing the main shot, These are things of opportunity, which you will have to look for and

That description was for many cameras, the individual only using one will have to do as many of the
shots/scenes as possible and of course it will be impossible to capture all of them. For a one-camera
operation your concentration must be on the bride.

If you speak to all of the people who come to the wedding with video cameras you can create a
multiple camera shoot on the spot. Have this list and discuss how and what each person will shoot
during the ceremony - the video each will capture before and after the cermony will be shots of
Read the section on making Hi-lite and recruiting tapes for a simple method of editing all of the
footage together.. You will want to the cameras which were used for the shots, when you edit - most
people will loan them to you.
The reason for this is of the different formats people shoot with (ie. VHS, VHS-c, SVHS, SVHS-c,
8MM, HI-8, Digital 8, mini-DV) if they will loan you their cameras you can edit all the good footage

Use only the best shots when you have a lot of footage.

                                    THE WEDDING RECEPTION

This is Party time and people will change from the formality of the Wedding and the Church. Now you
can have some fun with your video.
1. Wide shot of Exterior
2. wide shot of interior from different angles
3. Close up of the cake
4. the flower toss
5. Dad and Daughter dance
6. Mom and Son dance
7. throwing of the garter
8. cutting of the cake - and sharing
9. interviews -- you will get some funny ones -
10. Leave early before people get drunk, but stay long enough to get the main shots and a few cute
interviews from well wishers. 11. Ask yourself did everyone at the wedding appear in the video



If you do a lot of taping some day you may be asked to tape a Funeral. This tape will be for the family
and friends. One camera will be plenty for this type of event. Try to be invisible, anything can upset the
1. Arrive early at the Parlor and take Portrait Shots of the Deceased and the Arraignments.
2. Set the camera for the sermon and comments of the guests. 3. Have the camera on a tripod semi
hidden and ask if anyone would like to make a farewell statement on video. Have a tape mark for them
to stand on, don't fuss with the camera they will want to get their speech over with quickly. 4. Shoot
group shots and then zoom in for head and shoulder shots 5. This tape is for the survivors, these friend
will want to see each other 6. The wake - You can be much less formal here. Mingle with the group and
be relaxed. A good place for interviews. 7. Shots of all the food and decorations.

                                         Churchs and Sermons

((note this equipment list would serve for anyone who wishes to build a studio, the links page has most
of these companys listed - and that list is growing.))

If you are setting up a church for their first time of using video, You are lucky you can choose the
equipment. The common method for doing this is to have a professional supplier pick what is needed.
After all no one in the church will have a clue, or the confidence to make any choices. As a result the
equipment is always expensive and always obsolete. Sounds funny, well having toured a few of the
"State of the Art Church Setups", that's my opinion.
If you have read this section previously, you are know that I have removed quite a bit of material, here
should be studied. All of the information necessary for building a television set-up in the Church may
be found there.

                                    Parties - Anniversaries - Reunions

These are all similar in coverage, and the idea is to capture everyone having a good time. One person or
group usually is the central focus of these occasions and you should have many shots of them
individually and in groups.
1. Setting the camera on the tripod overlooking the gathering, you can use a wireless hand held mike in
the hands of a guest. this person can circulate and you can capture good candid stories and interviews.
This technique is a good one where the camera is too intimidating up close.
2. the food table before anyone gets to it is important.
3. the barbecue being prepared is a good set of shots for an open title area.
4. Have one or more people tell the camera why this event is being held.
5. Birthdays - the blowing of the candles, the song
6. Any gifts - get the display - and shots of them being opened
7. Toasts - find out if someone is going to make one - there will usually be a number happen after the
first one
8. The oldest people there - be sure to have some interview with them --
9. Children - Give a child the mike and let them go around and talk with people. You will get good

                                VIDEO SCRIPT
                                 AND THEN

To make an interesting video of these events have this shot list
Introduction - and title area.
1. wide shot of location
2. Interior shot of groups before the event
3. Wide shot which pans the room and centers on the podium at the end - you will dissolve to the event
speaker(s) from there.
Body of the Video
4. There will be more than one speaker. the Camera will make a series of shot changes using the zoom
...a. Start with a wide shot that slowly zooms in to the first speaker
...b. Hold on one shot and both follow and lead the speaker if he moves - do not go closer than a head
and shoulder shot, and wider if the speaker is a walker.
...c. When the speaker changes - you will get the cue from the introduction - Widen out to pick up the
new speaker - then zoom back in to a good shot of that speaker.
...d. You will not change the shot often - but - when you do let the camera stay on that shot for a while.
You are not trying to make an interesting video with lots of camera movement - you are documenting a
speaker and the message.
...e. Lighting - seldom will you have the ability to set lights, and you will have to deal with the existing
light set ups - refer to the section on in camera manual controls.
5. If you have a second camera - have it at the front of the room and shoot cutaways of the crowd
reacting to insert for interest.(you will have an assistant shoot them)

You will want to take a few shots of the main speaker talking with the groups after the event and you
will run the final credits over this section.
You may be asked to make one of these event videos into a complete program. You will build that
program by listening to the speaker and shooting video, which illustrates the speaker's message. This
video will be inserted over the delivery. If you are requested to perform this type of work remember it
will be very time consuming, and will be difficult to project the finish time or the expense required.
Some considerations for these projects:
1. transcribe the speaker's delivery.
2. Make a shot list - from the speaker's clues
3. the inserts may interrupt the delivery and have its own sound
4. shoot many more scenes than you think you will need. you will want them.
5. Ask for photos that you can copy to insert into the video.
6. Video Documents for interest.
7. Books displayed attractively - close up on the titles

The techniques for editing will be discussed in the editing sections


I am not going to be very encouraging on this topic, I'm sure you will understand why as you read this.
Taping a Band, is as a difficult a process as you will ever encounter. You will find there are no harder
clients to please than these are. The audio will seldom please them, and editing one of these projects
can be a forever project. Lighting will usually be difficult to deal with and to compensate for.

Before you begin one of these projects - determine how the video will be used.

The most time consuming project will be the song which you illustrate. You may have to shoot the
band and singers in many locations, they may change costumes, you may have many close ups. You
may have to stage an entire story with Actors. The cameras may be moving, be located at strange
angles and tilts. The list of variables may go on and on. You will have countless hours in pre-
production planning, Actual taping, and post production re-shooting and editing. Think $$$$$$$, and
dont take this on, just to prove you can do it. Its easy for the band to dream up their perfect video, but
this video may be so time consuming that it will not be cost effective. If its a labor of love - well of
course thats different. You will absolutely need to learn Non-lineal editing (computer editing). The
pages on Adobe Premere will help you.

A band Demo can be one of the easiest projects. For a Demo use one camera, set on a tripod, place the
tripod at the "sweet spot" for the sound in the room. This tape is supposed to show the band the way the
audience will see and hear them. One to three songs are recorded.
1. have the camera high enough to see all the band members
2. Find the spot where the sound is the best, when picked up by the on camera mikes or place a set of
crossed microphones and feed them into the camera.
3. If there is an audience, speak to them and make sure they realize you are making a DEMO. no
yelling, during the piece, don't block the shots, don't bump the camera position, no loud talking.
4. In editing Title each song, you will have many options. 5. Use smooth pans, tilts, and zooms and
show each member during their leads.
6. Be sure that you are in a place where you can see the drummer - of all the band members the
drummer is most often neglected on videos.

The next situation when you are shooting bands is the on line edit. You will have one or more cameras,
more the better. You can both live switch the songs and record tape in the camera for later editing. The
more cameras you have and use in this situation the better. Music videos are fast pace and you may be
superimposing one picture over another, the piece will determine the style of shooting.
1. leave the camera on for a complete song.
2. Shoot lots of cut aways of the crowd.
3. Watch MTV - country music - in general all the variations, and see the way the cameras move for
the various shots
4. Shoot lots of hands and instruments close up
5. have a number of wide shots to default to - from different angles - these will be so far back that they
can fit almost anywhere in the song -

Last is the produced music video, this will be the most edit intensive of all. you may shoot the same
song over and over and will have to sync the lips and movements to a studio produced music track. The
band may wish many of the shots produced which illustrate the lyrics. This type of production will be
subject to many revisions. These are a lot of work but will make you proud when you finish them.
                                    MUSIC AND VOICE RECITALS

A recital will take place in an auditorium or hall normally, It is best to find a spot in the room and set
up a tripod where you can see the performer enter and exit. Natural Sound will be the most usual way
to record the audio - but - you may patch into the house or mike a loudspeaker, depending on the
1. make all the zooms, pans and tilts smooth.
2. place the camera so you can frame a number of pretty pictures of the performer
3. the camera moves very little

                                           DANCE RECITALS

When you shoot a dance recital, arrive early and shoot a lot of the warm up and dressing room close-up
of make-up applied - shoes tied and such. You should attend the rehearsal and memorize the entrances
and exits. These will be placed in the introduction to the performance. I prefer to shoot the performance
with one camera. The reason for this is, dance recitals normally have a group on stage. You should
always have all of the dancers in the picture, Unless there is a solo and the remainder of the troupe is
not moving.


3. Room sound is usually fine - use the camera mike.
4. In editing - I usually find one frame in the dance which will serve for a title for the video and freeze
it and put the title of the dance and roll the performers names over it
5. Start the camera before the curtain opens - while the house is dark.
6. The time between -acts- will never be regular - it is better to let the camera run with out stopping
from the start to the intermission. Then if you are using one-hour tapes -- change tapes --
7. You never have time to change tapes between acts - plan ahead. 8. Get a copy of the program. and
copy it. Make sure everyone gets credit. 9. Lighting - in most recitals the lights will change from one -
act - to the next. You will have to use the manual settings on your camera to get a good picture. The
exposure reset for each performance and often in the middle of one.
10. If possible set the focus manually - because with changing lighting conditions the focus on
automatic may misbehave. You zoom into the far point on the stage and focus, then when you zoom
back everything should remain in focus. This is - in the end - a judgement call.


Plays, have many challenges and are difficult to tape with one camera, actually are difficult with many
cameras. If you can convince the company to allow you to shoot the play "FILM STYLE" the
production will be the very best. Refer to the page on FILM STYLE production for more information.

ONE CAMERA, productions will be the most common application for you. You will want to attend
rehearsals and try to memorize the action on the stage. The camera work will be similar to that of the
Dance recitals and you will always be moving and changing the shot.
You may want to attend more than one performance and shoot the play from different angles. If you
shoot one performance from the back and high, then review the tape, you can go back for other
performances and set the camera to catch the delivery of specific lines. These shots can be edited into
the final video, and will appear normal.
Lighting will be a major consideration.


You have two kind of animals, wild and tame. A rule of thumb for animal videos - people are interested
in everything a wild animal does, but unless the tame animal does something special they don't care.
Of course this is not strictly true, but just true enough you should remember it!

When you tape wild animals there are two situations, one you have a small area your are taping and
expect the animal to come to that "blind", where you can tape it. Two you are taking shots of
opportunity as you travel. With the first you can control the light and the sound. You can have all of the
equipment you need at that location. For this type of shooting you will have extensive planning. You
can determine a really nice series of shots from a well-placed blind. Your location should have a
number of really nice pictures, which would be interesting by themselves. When these pictures have
action from the animals within them you will have a successful scene. You will have to hunt and find
the location, pack in all of the equipment and build a blind. You will probably live in a nearby camp.
Days, weeks, or months may be required to capture a good story.

Shots of opportunity, are like hunting trophies, you will be more likely to have a number of fleeting
shots, than hours of footage.

TAME ANIMALS, include domestic and tamed wild animals, These animals are predictable and
controllable. They can be trained. All aspects of shooting can and should be controlled when shooting
them. Why? because you can, and when you do the video looks and sounds better.

There are many different uses for tapes of tame animals.
1. Sales - To sell the animal
2. Documentaries of Shows
3. Performance
4. Inventory
5. Feature Films and Short stories
..a. as stars
..b. as extras
6. Commercials - using animals to sell products
7. Personal pet portraits - for owners

One simple hint -- get the camera on the same level with the animal. Now then all the techniques for
taping people apply to animals.

                                         PRESS CONFRENCES

The two types of PRESS CONFRENCES, are formal and informal. Formal Press conferences will have
a podium, occasionally audio breakout boxes are supplied, seats for reporters and areas for the camera
crews determined. Informal Press conferences will be totally different experience, with every reporter,
photographer, and videographer trying to get in the best position. You may have to handhold the
camera just to get the shot. For most press conferences the footage will be used as a sound bite if you
are shooting for a television news program.

To learn more about press conferences, attend a few, and observe the working press.

                              FAIRS AND OUTDOOR CELEBRATIONS

These events are really fun, shoot everything - get lots of strange angles - shoot from the rides - get
close ups -

Before you take your camera out of the bag. and with nothing in your hands walk around the area and
look, get a complete idea of what is going on. A story of the event may come to your mind. With that
story in mind then start shooting.

Keep in mind you are telling a story, you could start the video with a picture of the main entrance or a
poster. It will help a lot to have a reporter with you - someone who will speak and talk about the event
in this way you can put together the final video as a much more exciting presentation.
                               PRODUCTS AND DEMONSTRATIONS

Here we are entering commercial videography, this is a very interesting and profitable aspect of the

All of the production skills you can apply should be used here, before you attempt this study every
aspect of camera operation, equipment use, lighting, audio, and scripting.

Your assignment with these projects will be to help the client produce a video, which - is clear and
understandable - is convincing - is attractive - and especially people remember the product.

When you demonstrate the use of the product, the viewer should be thinking, "I can use that", and
hopefully "I want that!"

This manual will help you on your way to becoming a professional, keep reading and studying.

                                  TRAINING AND SAFETY VIDEOS

There is a very simple way to do these videos, and avoid the entire scripting phase. Business which
need these videos, need them because, they have a large turnover of personnel and need consistent
training materials. These tapes save money for the business by protecting the employs and customers.
There is less unit cost for training the new employ, plus that employ is better trained by the tape.

You can produce this tape, by attending the training of one or more new employs and taping the
sessions. You can then edit them together.
You view this tape with the client, and discuss every part of it. Always the QUESTION is, ??HAVE

Producing these videos it really helps to have a small crew. One person to handle a boom mike and
another to take care of the light, Or just one person to do both. You will be making shots/scenes of
opportunity, every location at the business potentially may be the area you are taping. The extra
expense of these two helpers will be more than made up in the final quality of the tape. The extra
freedom for the trainers and will allow them to be more natural.
Have a work jacket or the same outfit for them to wear every time you tape. Then you will have
continuity throughout the tape.


Please refer to the Sports chapter, this subject has so many variables it is better discussed in its own
section. Sports are one of the best areas for the cameraman to begin learning. You will learn to be an
intuitive cameraman with experience in this field.

                                     Promotional Videos and PSAs

The need of Non-Profit organizations for Public Service Announcements and Promotional Videos is
never met. Your organization is in constant need of funds and you have many obligations. Videos are
the perfect medium for outreach. Your projects can be shown rather than simply being described to
prospective donors. Your services can be shown and the message widely known. Your group can gain
so much with a well thought out and prepared video.

The average PSA will be from 15 to 60 seconds in length. Informational videos may be of any length.
Although they may be as long as you want them you should keep in mind the attention span of the
average television viewer is roughly 10 minutes. This may be conditioning, by the networks, who insert
their commericals. The shorter PSA, is much easier to produce, because a simple message is being
presented. The date of an event, and appeal for help would be the normal PSA content. These may be
as simple as writing a script, and choosing a location, setting up your equipment and shooting it. Or as
complicated as rehearsing performers, building sets, with elaborate lighting, or haveing many locations
to travel and shoot in. Of course you see the variability possible.

The other pages of this manual will suggest many alternatives to you for the method of production, the
equipment, scriptwriting, and editing. You are story telling in both the short and long PSA, If you will
view commericals and record them you can break down the number of cuts in editing and count the
scene setups, analize the use of music and sound effects. You can turn the sound off and see how the
storys are told visually, and you can listen with your eyes closed and learn the use of the audio.

A PSA is an important promotional tool for any orginaziation, if you do it well you will achieve results.

But your problem is compounded or relieved because of the rule of committee, which represents your
group. I personally favor a single executive producer, who has the final authority over all the decisions,
you may not have this luxury and must initate a committee approach.

If you utilize the group, for the preparation of the script, and engage the group in all of the pre-planning
and organization, then you will start with a brainstorming session. You will accept every idea the group
presents and attempt to integrate them into a tentative script. This script will then be rewritten
eliminating portions, which simply don't work. You finalize the script, and detail all of the needs. You
then delegate your members to the various needs described in the script -
1. locations, 2. make-up, 3. Costuming, 4. performing, 5. audio, 6. camera, 7. lighing, 8. set design, 9.
posters or titles, -- this list of assignments can go on and on.
On other pages I will have a list of the crewmembers of some films - as an example of the various
individuals hired for specific jobs.
The point of this is to emphasize how important the team function can be. A non-profit can accomplish
this because you already have a chain of command, an organization.

I have a certain cynicism about volunteer groups - you usually have a core of workers, and a bunch of
hanger-on's who try and grab your glory, and credit, and you have another group who are prestigious,
but useless and are your show pieces. The worse individual in the group is the critic, who will find
problems, prompt arguements and discord, and will be unable to supply solutions for their perceved
problems. Sorry to say there are too many groups that fit this description. If yours is one of them - and
its going to be left to a tiny group to accomplish this big project - don't start. Do the work of your
organization and let this idea go. But if you have a cohesive group try it.

                           TRIPS AND TRAVEL DOCUMENTARY VIDEO

For this type of footage, you will have only a simple list of the type of shots that you will take. If you
have been to these locations, you will have an idea and can list those shots in advance, these shots will
form the beginning of your documentary and you should look for the other interesting scenes, details
which you may not remember yet will add body and interest to your final video.
Traveling even vacations can be stressful, I hope you can relax and enjoy the experience. Stress and
being rushed will show up on your video, so take your time and have fun with the video.
Talk about what you are shooting, with your companion while you tour the site. Dont just start
shooting, walk around and see what scenes you want to record. The reason for this is so you can plan
the story of the site you are visiting. If you are shooting for personal use this will allow you to do in-
camera editing saving you from having to edit later.
If this is for professional use you will be shooting scenes in a different manner, you will hold on any
given scene for a longer period, and you will shoot many more detail/cut-away shots. If this is your
first experience making a professional documentary, I want to remind you now to keep an accurate and
complete shot sheet. When the day is over review your footage and make more notes on the shot sheet.
You may decide you need more footage, if this is so try to shoot at the same time of day trying to
duplicate the lighting conditions of your first set of shots. Of course you may see that the lighting was
all wrong and be replacing those original shots. Remember If you do your job you will save yourself
much time when it comes to the editing process.
Remember in both situations to make all your camera movements smooth and precise - you are going
from one 'pretty/interesting' picture to another.
I want to stress this point again - FORGET YOU ARE USING A VIDEO CAMERA AND THINK OF
IT AS A STILL PHOTOGRAPH - when you look in the viewfinder make sure you have a good
picture. Make sure it is square and level. Make sure you know where you are going to go when you pan
or tilt or zoom the camera. The catch phrase is "MAKE A PRETTY PICTURE AND LET THE

On site narration, can be as easy or difficult as you want to make it. If you are taping yourself or
another as the speaker, knowing what the speech/delivery will be is all important. Don't just try to wing
it and be cute and glib, instead be friendly and informative. Practice the delivery and know what you
are talking about, you dont have to have an exact script, you do have to know what you mean. You or
your talent even after practicing may change the delivery as you are doing it. This is ok. It doesnt hurt a
thing to do the scene over, but dont erase the first one.

You remember the movies, where you see a movie being made, and the little guy runs infront of the
camera with a clap board and shows it to the camera and "Clacks" it. That is an easy way to keep track
of the scenes, and if you will work out a way of doing it yourself, you will help yourself or the editor
save time.
When you are recording narration, use a clap board or a paper with enough information to help you in
editing to find the shot you want. I like to use the childrens - marker pad that you lift the plastic and the
writing goes away - I ccan list such things as -take number - site location - talent names (spelled
correctly)- date - time of day - and starting time-code number -


                                   HISTORICAL DOCUMENTARYS

You may not consider current events as historical, yet in truth they are. After all by the time you view
any tape, it is a historical document.

You can consider every orgainized event historical, but on the other hand unplanned circumstances
may be of historical significance. Disasters always fit this discription, many unplanned things happen
every day. These are opportunitys, and you may have little or no time to prepare for them, you may
have to be there already to capture them. The hints given on other pages about your equipment, and
being ready at all times to pick up and go will serve you well. Life in general has more unexpected
events than planned ones. I will stress here - once more - the skill you can gain by shooting sports will
hone your skills and prepare you. Sports videography will give you the ability to capture the unplanned
opportunity. You may also include unplanned opportunitys as a sub-set of the orgainized event. By
being alert, you may see and shoot or be positioned to capture the speech of someone, and that footage
will be far more significant than the planned event.

The visits of famous individuals are all historical events, and every thing they do may have significance
in the future. The events which take place in a community are also important. You may believe with so
many cameras around that everything is well covered, just the opposite is true. At best one small
portion of the event will recieve through or adequate coverage, and the rest will go unremarked.
Few individuals will think of telling the whole story. You can with just a little study and planning
produce a wonderful tape of any event you attend. The event will have spokes-persons which will be
happy to be interviewed, You should have done your homework and have questions prepared, but if
you didn't, tell them so before the interview, and discuss what you will talk about. Let the spokes-
person help you with the details, and tell you the important questions to ask.

A common complaint of people who have been interviewed is, 1. everyone asks the same questions, 2.
no one asks what is important. You will be unique if you remember this, and the interviews will
become much more informative. You will recieve a lot of help as a result of your consideration. Tips
on what to shoot and when. You may recieve advice on other people to interview. A wealth of
possibilities will open up for you with an approach such as this.

                                             SHORT STORYS
With a short story you have a completely different discipline than the documentary. Here you will want
to read and re-read the story and do some serious visulation, Your first step is to try to tell the story
with no dialogue,

impossible -no- difficult -perhaps- a challange -you bet-

Now then remember some movies - can you remember the times where the camera was simply telling
the story and no one was speaking?. Using a combination of no-dialogue and dialogue is very
important. Here the addage, one picture is worth a 1000 words, can take on some real meaning. It is
your job to tell that story.

This is as good a time as any to introduce FILM STYLE SHOOTING.

You will have to make a series of scripts.
A shooting script. Here you will list each and every shot you need to take and order the list by set-ups.
For example you have one setup for shooting each actor in a scene. all of one actors lines will be taped
at the same time - and all the reactions to other actors. Then the setup will be redone and all of the lines
for a second actor shot. I will take one scene from a script and give it to you the way the actors study it,
and the way you will shoot it. (make href= here ) click this link for a scene from (play ).Refer also to
the pages on scripting and go through the links. The study of film style shooting is pretty well

                                            Sports videography

                               THE HOME SPORTS VIDEOGRAPHER

The first group, which I want to direct this chapter toward, is the parents of the players. Your group is
one of the largest of all those who tape sporting events. I will assume you have read the basic pages,
and you really want to produce an interesting and useful video.

Don't worry if your not a parent - I will be digressing a lot on this page, being a sports journalist is an
entire study. If you want to really get with the program study. There are various books on writing
sports stories for the news. Study how to write and organize a print story and apply the knowledge to
I will use the book THE STUDENT JOURNALIST ANS SPORTS REPORTING" by Harry Stapler,
Library of Congress Card # 64-10396,published 1964 Richard Rosen Press, Inc. 29 East 21st Street,
New York 10, N.Y. as reference.
You may be a member of my community, and are reading this at my recommendation, If so you realize
I wish for you to aid in my efforts to document our youths sports events. We have many hours
available to us for the play of these games and events on our cable. Where today I program 3 new tapes
each week, If you participate with this project - many more of our children can be televised.

The average parent has little or no experience with the video camera, and quite possibly purchased the
camera specifically to record their children.
If you have not already read the chapters one through 6 please go back and read them. Many of the tips
you need to know are already written there. And for you who have read them, you are going to find
some redundancy here, because I want this chapter to be one which can be printed and used for

                                  GETTING OVER EMBARASMENT

First of all, when you are video taping, you have the right as well as the duty to place yourself in a
position where you can actually capture the event you are shooting. Insecurity, is natural when you first
begin, but all sports events expect the camera people to be where they need to be. You will be told if
you have placed yourself in an area which is forbidden. Then simply ask which of usually many areas
you may shoot from.
Many of you take your camera to an event and then sit in the bleachers and handhold the camera. This
is sooooo wrong, its wrong for three reasons.
1. You are interfering with the sight lines of the other spectators.
2. Hand holding the camera never produces really good video, it is shaky and usually poorly framed.
The only place handholding is at all appropriate is on the floor close to the court, or on the sidelines of
a field game. In fact using a tripod in these situations is forbidden, because the tripod represents a
danger to the players.
3. In the bleachers you will have to stand and sit - stand and sit - and someone will obscure the very
shot you want most in front of you.

At indoor events, look around and observe the professional camera crews, and behave as they do. There
are rules of behavior,
1. be polite,
2. do not get in front of another cameraman and block his shot,
3. give way to the professional crews, their living relies on their work, they often show up well in
advance of the event and set up their location.

Indoor Court events - I cover many of these events, and use the game-camera technique of
documentation. You can watch any professional event, the actual game play itself will be from one
camera, and this camera is normally high above the court at the centerline.
This camera position allows you to see the entire court, and game well.
You need to use a tripod from this position, please refer to the (tripod) section for how to set up and use
the tripod.

                                       A check list for your equipment

1.Your camera
2.Your power supply and battery charger
3. Three batteries minimum - charge your batteries as soon as you get home
4. two brand new tapes
5. Tripod and the plate to attach the camera to the tripod (if one). I have to stress the importance of a
tripod - spending $100-$200 for a good tripod will be well worth the price. The number of people who
think all tripods are the same, and buy the least expensive one is amazing. They end up with a tripod
that is no good at all and actually defeat the purpose of using a tripod.
6. Headphones - Wal-Mart 5$
7. Handheld mike - Wal-Mart 5$
8. Roll of Duct tape
9. Extension cord - have an adapter to fit a two prong plug in - incase you are somewhere with older
ungrounded wiring.
10. two large garbage bags (one for a rain coat - one to put all your equipment in)
11. a couple of small plastic bags to make a waterproof camera cover in case you need to shoot in the
12. a 15 or 20 foot long extension cord.
13. Large diaper bag is one of the best camera bags there is, they usually have lots of pockets - and they
are waterproof.
14. battery tester (one with leads) - small screwdriver set, pair of pliers.- small flashlight(with extra
flashlight batteries)
This list of equipment is the basic, I recommend you put together this list and keep it together. You will
find every thing listed here useful and necessary

                                 TECHNIQUE FOR TAPING THE EVENT

I will present a series of scripts as idea starters.


The parent will naturally want to just shoot the activities of their player, but I insist this is a mistake.
You should instead include the player as part of the game and only make a close-up when he or she
becomes the central person in a play. By making the tape tell the story of the game and focusing on
your player, only when they are doing something exceptional you will produce a video which will be
interesting and have a lasting appeal to the family. Your son or daughter will be as interested in the
other players as they are themselves.

When you are shooting a game there are two alternatives, 1. only shoot the plays, or 2. Shoot the entire

These two events are similar, in that you will have a wide shot most of the time. There are only a few
moments that will allow you to zoom in for one or two people' shots.
Volleyball zoom in shots.
1. Before the serve you can do a portrait shot of the server, watch the referee and with his hand motion
start zooming out to your wide shot.
2. Who ever scores - zoom for a hero shot. - catch the hi 5's
3. The time out periods - zoom in to the group
4. zoom in for substitutions
5. zoom in to the refs and line judges when appropriate.
6. zoom in to the coaches when they show emotion - happy - sad - or mad
7. zoom in to the score board at every time out.
8. zoom in to the net and frame a nice shot showing the final pass of the teams.

In Soccer - you seldom zoom in close - you want to show as many players as possible all the time. This
sport really needs a camera on the sidelines, which you will edit onto your main tape. If you have one
camera concentrate on your team and your goal - you will move from the centerline to the goal area
shooting. Here you can try for really tight hero shots. You will loose the ball at times. If you get behind
the goal and shoot through the net - manual focus your camera - at infinity - so you don't show just the
Remember you are telling a story with both cameras, lower on the page is a list of possible shots.

Soccer zoom in shots - game camera
1. the starting kick off zoom in to show the ref and the kicker and zoom back wide before the kick off
for the action. 2. In soccer the ball is really traveling fast, and it is easy to lose, so always lead the
action ( put the empty part of the screen in front of the player, so if they kick the ball you wont lose it.
3. zoom in for the throw in - again back wide to catch the reception
4. corner Kicks - zoom in while they set the ball - the wide showing the kicker and the goal --other
wise you will lose the score if there is one

5. Dribbling contests - where the player with the ball is head up with another player, go in to a two shot
at the most -- and be ready to zoom wide when they pass the ball.
6. Injuries - zoom in for the story -
All sports camera operators should know the game, because you can develop an intuitive style - you
will know that when the person with the ball pulls their foot back they are going to pass it. The
cameraperson who will second-guess the action on the field will tell the story of the game in a more
interesting way.

This technique produces a fast pace tape, by leaving out everything but the plays. A camera operator
and one play-by-play announcer, will be able to co-ordinate their taping and narration, if the cam-op
will simply make the same hand signal for starting and stopping each time. He starts just before he
makes the signal and stops just after, giving the announcer an opportunity to wind up the phrase. The
announcer keeps in mind the last statement, and attempts a continuity each time he speaks.

The announcer does not say "WELL WE ARE BACK", OR ANY VARIATION, EVER. If the
announcer starts saying "we're back", that will become the main comment on the tape.
I recommend this style for five reasons,
One. you will have a one-hour or less tape for the game.
Two. The coaches can use it for training better.
three. The shorter tape will be easier to program on cable.
four. Your gross expenses will be less in material costs and time investment.
five. You and your announcer can be anywhere on the field or court and you can move between plays.
the second elaboration of this technique, requires the announcer to keep in mind the shot list below, by
using this list -pointing out to the cam-op - one shot can cut to the next and make sense. The announcer
can announce the shot, or simply pick up the narrative thought on the tape. If the "Band", (for example)
was the shot cut to, the announcer may not have said anything, and could choose to comment on that
shot or simply go on with the game play. This technique works because there is a time lapse between
plays, and you can observe if the team is slow or fast to the line, or if there are a lot of flags and time-
out periods.

When you shoot the plays by themselves you are creating a 'Game Tape', this is the type video the
coaches use. The camera starts recording as team leaves the huddle, and stops with the end of action,
when the referee blows his whistle. This is repeated for every play of the game.

Continious Coverage

The continuous coverage, means you turn the camera on before the game starts and turn it off at half
time, or for long time out periods.

Getting the play is the hard part, If you are looking through the viewfinder at the quarterback and have
a wide enough shot you will be able to see if he is passing-off, running or throwing the ball. If the ball
is passed-off you can zoom-in to a closer shot, If running widen out to see the play - will the tackle
catch him, If passing widen out watching for a 'sack' and be ready to follow the ball wide -- zooming in
on the receiver when appropriate.
Your announcer can tell the story of the receiver on the kick off, and you can have a wide shot of the
line up, which has found and zoomed tight on the receiver for the catch. As soon as the catch is made
widen out so you can see the run and the play - defense and offense players.

If you are shooting for a coaching tape, you show the entire line including the ends and then zoom in
loosing the ends and show the primary line, all the players on both sides. You will not zoom in any
further than this, the coaches want to see how all the players performed.

Pass plays -- you can see if the quarterback hands the ball off or if he steps back and sets for a throw.
Follow the person carrying the ball and try to keep him centered in the frame. On a pass play - put the
quarterback on the side of the picture so he will throw into the empty frame. try to keep the ball in the
frame at all times, and as the ball is reaching the receiver, try to have the receiver centered in the frame.

The rule of the thumb for zooming in, zoom in just enough to be able to read the numbers on all the
jersey's, while at the same time keeping the largest number of players in the picture as you can.

TENNIS - Tennis is a simple coverage - place your camera high at one end of the court - looking at
your player - most of the coverage will be wide so you can see the entire court. If you are going to
zoom in for close up shots, you will do it between serves. This sport can use a second camera low and
on the sideline for close ups and cutaways -
Close up shots
1. parents - spouses
2. coaches
3. Judges
4. ball boys
5. serves and returns - don't try to follow the ball when down low. rather frame the shot and shoot with
a fast shutter speed - you can slow motion the shot later. or freeze frame the shot.
6. Stay on your player at the end for the winning shot - the play and especially the reaction to the win.
7. post game ceremonies and awards. shoot from a low angle and make the player seem bigger than

SWIMMING - This sport is problematic - the pools are crowded and close even with only a few people
at the event. The air is wet and steamy, which can cause your camera to stop working.
With approval and co-operation from the event I have a simple track set designed which you could use
to follow the leaders of the even up and down the pool -
One camera at the start finish end of the pool can catch the dives and the finish and do a reasonable job
of following the action. This camera will also be good for the close up of the hero of the event.


You will need to practice shooting diving if you are to follow the dive well. go to as many practice
sessions as possible to learn to be in close enough and yet wide enough for you to follow the diver and
not lose them. Shooting this event would be best done with multiple cameras.

1. wide and 90 degrees to the side
2. wide and at a 45 degree angle to the side
3. high and behind the diver
4. follow camera - for the close up. - preferably on the same side as the diver will exit the pool.

Your tape of this event will be one, which you will want to edit - cutting in as many different cameras
as possible.
If you can have a play by play - announcer - for the commentary it will really help in the editing. The
commentary will take much longer than the action of the event and you can cut in all of the other
cameras and do slow motion and still shots over the top of the continuous talking.


You will want to get the wide establishing shots of the entry to the location and the sign-up areas -
hands signing - papers filled out - numbers accepted. The cross-country events really need a series of
cameras - Locations
1. Start line
2. Finish line
3. place where you have the longest fields of views - places where you can track the runners for a long
4. good views of the downhill runs.
6. get the warming up shots
7. shots in the finish shoot where the runners are cueing to be listed
8. Shots in the final rest area
9. shots of the medic tents
10. drink and lunch bars

These are heavily edited tapes if you have a number of cameras to work with. You will want your
camera operators to make clear distinctions on the tapes - showing the program or race list between
each event is a good way.

If you only have one camera you will want to plan out all of your moves from one position to another -
you will move from the start area to a series of locations so you catch the runners over and over - you
will try to be at the finish line in time. You will need to walk your route before the race so you know
where you are to be -- In a real sense you are going to be running your own race doing this type of

The play by play for this event will be a really hard one - it will probably be best to do a voice over
following the editing of the tape, and report the event as it is seen on the tape.

                                          TRACK AND FIELD
Everything is going on at the same time, how many cameras can you put together here, if you want to
cover every event you will have to have many camera operators.
If you can have a coach or some one for your play by play, for each one of the events the tape will
come out better - all of these events will be start and stop shooting. you will need to have many
batteries for each of the cameras for all of these track events. It is really disappointing to shoot and
shoot only to have you battery die at the finish line, or before the event has finished.

Baseball - Fast pitch - Softball
Single camera coverage of these games is really hard, because all of the action is happening all over the
field at the same time. Multiple cameras live switched are the best solution.
Three cameras all at the same center location behind the home plate are a simple solution.
Use three cameras mounted on tripods one a wide shot showing the entire field
a second camera zoomed in to show home - the pitchers mound - and second base
the third camera - is operated and follows the ball or catches the play. it will be a judgement call on the
photographer's part.
With this minimum of cameras you can make an acceptable continuous game. The announcer for this
event is all-important - Ball games have as many cameras as possible to keep the pace going. A good
announcer will make or break these programs.
One of the simplest things to do is a feature on the game - shooting and editing out the best shots into a
With this type of program you and your announcer will have to become real journalists. Well as a
matter of fact for any feature where you have to edit this is true.


You are a storyteller when you shoot in this manner. Ask yourself first --??How many stories are there
to tell??--Lets make a CHECK LIST

The National Anthem and School Songs are always good places to begin the video, but is not strictly

1. the game itself
...a. the warm up period
...b. the entry to the field
...c. the coin tosses
...d. all of the plays
2. the referees
...a. the ball boys
3. the coaches
...a. Assistant coaches
...b. Trainers
...c. doctors and nurses
4. the benches
...a. the whole bench
...b. individual players
...c. injured player
...d. the water boys
...e. the trainers and medics
5. the cheerleaders and spirit group
6. the stands
...a. parents
...b. students
...c. band
7. Band
...a. marching in
...b. half time ceremonies
...c. in the stands
8. security
9. the ticket booth
10. the booster club and other groups selling
11. the snack bar
...a. the servers
...b. the customers
12. close up shots of balls and equipment
13. close up shots of ankles wrapped, or hands doing something
14. any unusual activity - by anyone - but tell the story from where you find it to its end.
15. Document illegal activities, and tell the officials you have the footage -- offer copies these tapes to
15. The press box, and all of the individuals and the activities there.
16. The Stadium Announcer and Score Keepers

You have noticed all ready many of the shots on the list cannot be made from the game camera
We now will jump to the coverage of an event with two cameras. The field camera and the game

                                    FIELD CAMERA TECHNIQUES

There are video and audio transmission technology under development at present, which will enable
any field camera to transmit A/V to a switcher, these will be lightweight and easy to operate. Being
free of cabling will change the techniques for sports coverage a great deal. www.pulse-wave.com

I have already mentioned the soccer techniques but this section will include ideas appropriate to soccer
as well. The field camera operator, does not shoot continuously, this camera is capturing the plays and
interest shots.
We will only consider the camera is free and without direction, you are calling your own shots.
Accept the fact that you cannot shoot everything at the same time, pick the shot you are trying to get
and don't be distracted. You might even miss a touchdown but you will get the reaction to the
touchdown. The reaction is just as important as the play itself, when you are preparing a hi-lite tape or
participating in a project where your footage will be edited into the program later.
The list includes all of the shots you could ask for. but others will appear to you when your shooting,
try and capture them.

It will be almost impossible for you to use a tripod for the field camera, but a monopod can be used.

Try for DRAMATIC SHOTS - the camera on the ground as the players run past, the extreme close up
shots of action and faces.

The field camera should try to capture the face of every single player - at least on your own team -
sometime during the game. This will not take long and these shots can be frozen as still pictures --

                           PLAY BY PLAY AND COLOR ANNOUNCING

If you have never been an announcer, remember you job is to keep the tape interesting. You do this by
always having something to say, and by being excited about what you say, also by making what your
statements sound important.

Before the game collect information to include during the action and, where there are breaks in the
action of the game.
1. the rosters of both teams, and hi-lite the starters
2. get the program if any and read it quickly - announce the schedule for upcoming games and any
other significant information.
3. ask for histories and biographies of the players and coaches
4. get the statistics for the team
2. DONT SAY 'WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK" OR "WE ARE BACK", instead talk about what is going
on --- if your camera is breaking at time out periods - the camera man will give you a hand signal -
finish your sentence and stop . The cameraperson will give you a hand signal to start talking again.
3. DONT TRY AND BE FUNNY - YOU WILL SOUND STUPID - have fun and be happy - but jokes
will almost always hurt someone' feelings.

Here is where the handheld microphone comes in - the simplest way of recording play by play is to
have some one do it live for you. Just plug in the mike to the camera, hand it to the announcer and
listen with the headset. Below we will investigate other solutions.

The addition of an announcer on your tape will raise the quality of the program you produce, the play
by play will make your tape one which people will really watch and enjoy. Again there are two ways,
One 1. Use a radio and, Two 2. have your own people capturing it live.

If you are using a radio again there are two ways to record it.
1. have a small portable radio, with fresh batteries
2. have a cable with a male plug on both ends
3. plug the cable into the headset of the radio and the microphone input of the camera.
4. Use headphones and monitor the audio for volume
5. a common mistake is having the volume on your radio too high, being too high it will distort and
sound awful - turn it down.
6. THE SECOND METHOD - A fail-safe is to have someone at home record the game on cassette.
...a. you will copy this tape to videotape
...b. you will edit the video tape copy of the audio - onto the video of the game.

7. This technique Works.

you need:
...a. A telephone splitter - to plug into the back of the radio play by play converter. one line will go to
the radio station the other to you.
...b. 50 to 100 feet of telephone cable - you will have a telephone inline connector, which goes to your
...c. converter from telephone to mike level - this is a simple 'Radio Shack' item used to tape record
phone calls
...d. if you are limited to the amount of equipment you want to carry, just feeding the signal direct to
the camera.
...e. a good set of head phones - .
...f. the next level is to have an audio mixer and feed the signal from the announcers in one channel and
have a crowd mike in another channel. you can then fade from one channel to the other and keep the
audio interesting.

Your own announcers, this presents an entire new level of complexity. From a technical point of view,
The simple way is to plug a hand held mike into the mike input of your camera - monitor with
headphones - and let them talk.

If you use two mikes, the complexity increases, you need an audio mixer, two mikes, perhaps 3 (the
third for the crowd sounds).
If you have this level you will really need an audio operator to maintain the levels, and while he is
doing this you can include a cassette with pre-recorded sponsors messages - and announcements - you
may have an audio open and close with music -

                           USES AND APPLICATIONS FOR YOUR TAPE

Getting back to the original premise, that you are a parent shooting for your own home record. If you
follow the above script, your player will enjoy it because you will have captured a story showing many
of the important people in the life of your child.
The school or the team itself my wish to use your tapes for seasonal hi-lite tapes.

If you are shooting a game camera - your tape may be used for coaching

If you shoot in the digital format - your footage will be acceptable to the news media. both for still
shots and video.

You may live in an area with a Public Access Television Station, these stations will play your entire
tape in their programming. Read the chapter on PEG and Cable Stations.

Cities, which only have cable but no access stations - will often have a channel that will play your
tapes. It will simply be a matter of calling them and asking.

Many cities have low-power television stations - many of them are Christian stations, often they will
offer low cost air time - or provide air time for free. this type of programming benefits them and can
increase their rateings, Even enabling them to gain cable slots.
Towns and cities, which do not have 'Public Access Television' often, have a channel which only plays
a slate with the time and weather -- sometimes the cable company will play your tapes on that channel -
ask them.

                                      Multiple Camera productions

This is a description of a professional production unit. Multiple camera productions will come to age
soon for the small Production Company when wireless transmission becomes a practical solution. At
present, these setups are very complicated.

I am including this for contrast to the simple one camera operation.

Now we have reached the professional level of production. Be ready for a full day of setup and testing.

You may have a chance to work on one of these crews on one of the most basic levels, if possible take
the job. This is one of the more interesting and educational jobs you can have as a beginner.
The production trailer is pulled to the site, by the semi truck and is waiting the next morning for the
staff member and the crews to arrive. Your first job will in all probability pulling cables, operating a
directional microphone, or a runner (passing notes and delivering messages).
The day begins with the set-up of the arena or stadium. Cables both audio and video are unloaded from
the truck and you will string them out to each of the camera locations. No you won't be alone, and the
staff technicians will check everything you do. Each Camera operator will be in charge of setting up his
camera position, you may be assisting him in this. The Game and Chase cameras will be high and
centered on the game area. They will have large professional tripods, and the cameras are in many
sections, the camera body, the monitor, and the lens. The lens itself will weigh 20 to 40 pounds, just the
front glass lens will be 6 or more inches across. The camera body will have a control cable which
attach it to one arm on the tripod and the lens will have a focus cable to the other arm. The cable, which
you ran from the truck, will be attached to the camera. A headset with a microphone will be connected
to the camera also.

These cameras, allow the camera operator to do many different things. He can view the actual
broadcast signal, or view just his own cameras out put, the head set allows him to talk within his
circuit, hearing the camera director and the other camera operators.

If you are assigned to the audio crew, again your first job will be running audio cables to all of the
locations, The announcers will have sets of cables the field or the court will have cables, the monitor
locations and so on.

There is no set rule for how many audio locations will exist. Each one will have a cable a mike and
usually many connections and cable joining's between their position and the Production Van.
The audio crew will always encounter more problems than any other of the crews will. cables will fail,
or microphones, they will be patched to the wrong locations and so on. You will be running
everywhere, doing, redoing, testing and so on, until the job is set for the game.

All of the above will take hours, sometimes the entire day just to be ready for the event that evening.

A few hours before the event is to begin, staff meetings will be held and everyone will be told their
exact duties for the event. The camera operators will be told what is expected, and portions of the script
for the event explained where necessary.

A camera crew will have been taping interviews, and getting shots of players to be stored in the "still
store" for on air reference when one of them deserves special mention, for example a star or the line up.
These stills will have - names and statistics superimposed over them. The interviews will be used in the
pre-game show.

The person operating the Character Generator will have typed in the names of all the players, coaches,
all of the statistics for both teams. The pages indexed and ready for the event.

In the truck will be a tapes position, this position will have a stack of tape players where the interviews
are played from. Also each camera position will have a deck recording their output. These tapes will be
used for "instant replay".
The tape operator will, monitor the cameras and re cue all the decks that captured the significant plays,
and the director will call for that deck and the operator will play it, by direction form the

The control room for the game will have 50 or more monitors, a bunch of computers, at least two video
switchers. One end or side of the production van will be full of monitors. The two largest will be the
preview and program monitor. there will be a monitor for each camera, and tape deck input, the still
store, and the character generators, and a monitor of the network or television station playing the

                                    MAKE TITLES AND CREDITS

                                         Titles Look Professional

Titles are always nice when a video starts. You give your viewers an immediate sense of reference. A
title, such as the name of the place or the name of the event, helps set the tone/mood for the rest of the

You don't have to have a fancy machine to make your title screen, and you don't have to shoot the title
the first thing. This is a list of things you can do to make titles>


You can dream-up your own variation of a title. This list should give you a few ideas. If you can't
letter, the local sign shop will make you one, or one of the print shops.
I'm missing the obvious -- your using a computer to read this -- you can use your word-processor and
print your own title.
You could even print it on clear plastic.

In the back of the video magazines, you can find a number of title making units. I own the
'VIDEONICS TITLEMAKER 2000' this is a good inexpensive titling machine, one which you could
use for years. VIDEONICS current manufactured TitleMakers models are TM3000 and Personal
TitleMaker. "I wouldn't be surprised if Videonics is working on a DV titler." Please refer to my page
on DV Cameras, I recomend the digital format if you are going to purchase a new camera.
The choices go on an on and the prices go up and up.

If you have a video out on your computer you could use 'POWER POINT' to title the video.
From this point there are titlemaking programs in most of the NLE editing systems, and those which
don't have their own - plug-in programs exist.

Pick fonts - alphabet styles - which complement the mood of the video.



6. JUST FOR FUN - JOKES - SHAZOOM - POW - LOL - You may remember the Batman television
program, which used the comic book style and flashed words on the screen to emphasize the action - it
was pure camp - I loved it.


I recently suggested, that a group, have a poster close to the camera for use as the title screen, to zoom
out wide, and shoot the poster for a minute before the event started, then to simply pan 90 degrees to
see the wide shot of the room. Centering the podium then zoom into the introduction of the meeting.
This technique would give a nice open for any video. I suggested a minute of time because CAT -
programs need color bars and countdown screens for broadcast purposes. The minute of time at the
beginning allows for the insertion of the color bars - countdown and CAT logos. CAT prefers their
logo at the beginning and end of the program submissions.

                                            SCRIPT WRITING

On other pages you have read, suggestions and ideas to include in your video. This page will give you
tools to create a proper script. You have your own ideas, the purpose of the script is to enable you to
make real those ideas of yours. You have many details, which must be considered the script is the
document where you will first give form to these concepts.
The second link will take you to a site where you can view various actual video and film scripts. By
reading a few of them you can get a better overall idea of how to write your own.
You will see that there has been considerable freedom for the director or photographer on some of
these scenes. I cannot, give you more than the most basic instructions, and so, here is a list of links,
which will get you, started in the right direction. Some of these are tutorials, others are links are to
professional services and software companies.

Click here on VIDEOMAKER this page contains the writers guidelines for Videomaker Magazine,
your interest in writing may lead you to read this page as well.
That you are reading this section tells me you wish to do more than just point the camera and hope.
Planning the successful video will start with a good script.
You may look forward to an addition to this page, by a retired Hollywood filmmaker.

  The links list is somewhat small at this time, research underway to expand it for you. Please scroll


script writing success
CinemaSpot.com - Scriptwriting
Scriptwriting Secrets - Write scripts and screenplays better than ever!
WGA: Scriptwriting Software
Scriptwriting Basics
Video Scriptwriting
Hollywood Scriptwriter, The Trade Paper for Screenwriters
Scriptwriting - Suite101.com
Scriptwriting for Video & Multimedia
Scriptwriters Network - Triad Program Since scriptwriting is a process, it is helpful to get
knowledgeable feedback on your works-in-progress.
Common Errors in English - an EXCELLENT SITE
Videomaker Magazine writers guidelines

                                        SPORTS JOURNALISM

                                      WRITING ABOUT SPORTS

            As a writer you will need a dictionary and thesaursus, so just to start here is one.

We will be discussing how to create feature stories with video. Your role is that of a journalist, and
your job is to write a story for the event. The story you write will make the footage come alive for the
viewer. The story will be the emphasis, which may help your team or a specific player become great.
You may be having your own cameraperson and/or you may be using the footage from the game
camera. You as a reporter should remember this about your game-camera or sideline videographer.
Their job is to capture the action, and during the game the framing of the shots and keeping up with the
action will be what they are thinking about. Oftentimes they will not be able to tell you what the game
was actually like. Shooting the game is a specialized and difficult process, it is telling the story
visually, and this person is continuously working and keeping a good picture for the entire event. They
only see through the viewfinder, and miss much of the story, Do not rely on them to write your story -
rather your story and their visual story is one which you will work together on in editing and create
your feature.

However if you are going to create feature stories about sports you will have to know how to put
together a good story. There is not much of a leap from a print story to a video story. But to make that
leap you are going to have to learn to write.
You have the regular Television News story that is 30 seconds or less and you have a feature story,
which may be any length. We will discuss the longer feature here rather than the short clip. While you
are in the reporter mode try and forget that you are making a video feature, pretend that your words
alone will have to tell the entire story. In this way the addition of the video will make your story stand

You are used to going to the games and talking about them afterwards, you can expand your short
versions to a real story. We are going to put together a plan here.

Introduce yourself, as a reporter you need to identify your self to everyone you will need to speak with.
Have a nice card printed, (with the computer available you can print your own card) preferably one that
has your picture on it. Few people have their photo on a card, this alone will help you stand out in the
mind of the people you will be working with. Introductions are important for the remainder of the
season, the first introduction will be the one remembered so make the best impression you can - even
dress up and wear a tie for a change - *Laughing*

1. Going to the game is the first thing, your job starts well before the game because there is a lot of
information you need to have. Before the game is time you will have to get it. You will need the rosters
for both teams and the statistics for both teams. You want the coach's names. You want the schedules.
The statistics are important but they are not the entire story, you use them to make the story more
interesting. Do not rely on statistics to write the story for you.
Get all the newspapers the next day and clip (cut out) the stories that were written, add these to the
information which you gather during the game. Reading these stories will often add to the story which
you write, If you do use any of this material - give the reporter and the paper credit - the last thing you
want is to make an enemy of a fellow reporter or the paper they work for. Other reporters are excellent
sources of information and a comradrary and friend ship exists between all of the reporters and
photographers of the different media.
Be free with what you know and share, help the other members of the working press as much as
possible. This is really the spirit of reporting. A simple thing is to have a multiple power connector to
plug in your electronics, and share the extra plugs with other reporters. Duplicate mikes, headsets, and
other cords are good for you but will allow you to be a good person to know at the games, pencils,
papers, scotch-tape and duct-tape, extra copies of the rosters and the statistics are good to have to share.

2. Get all of the background interviews before the game, after the game you will get the reactions to the
outcome. If you are doing an unbiased version you will have interviews from both teams, if your doing
a piece for your team and being supportive you will only interview your players.
3. You don't get to just watch the game - you have to keep the statistics and write the story as you go,
make notes and be creative.
4. After the game you get your final interviews with the heroes and coaches, or any other special
interest story you are working on.
5. Now the real work takes place you have to set down and write your story. Write as much as you
possibly can, the big stores and the little ones. You have your heroes but you have the other heroes who
seldom get recognized - the player's assists are what make heroes. The way the team works together is
what results in a winning team. Your viewpoint will be special and the more comprehensive and
complete you are the better the story. Your stories can help make a team and can definitely make a
6. Think you're done - nope - now go back and re-read it and revise it. Clean it up
7. Done yet - nope - now read the story OUTLOUD - with PACEING AND EMOTION - how does it
sound - is the sentence structure clear - now you need to go back and make it HEARABLE AND
UNDERSTANDABLE for the viewers.
8. The final step is the voice over itself - and - as you read it for the recording you will undoubtedly
want to change a word or two - but try to keep this to a minimum, writing the story over as you record
it will take you forever and you really don't have that much time.
9. You will have a mix of audio for the final program - 1. natural sound from the game - 2. the
interviews - 3. your commentary. 4. music and or sound effects. A feature program is not simply the
reading of your story it is the compilation of all the parts of the documentation process.

                                    ?NOW WHAT DO YOU HAVE?

                            THE BEGINNING OF YOUR VIDEO SCRIPT

We are not finished with the discussion of writing yet. How we will expand your story into a video
program will come later. I just wanted to make the point now.

You story is going to be viewed well after the event is over, and this can be a real plus for you. You
have reported the story and you have the writing and the revision done, now you can go back once
more and get the inside story. Expand the story into a timeless piece.
The coverage of the team will be a long-term project and over the course of the season you are going to
gather many unrelated facts and stores, a good notebook or system of files is going to be indispensable
for you now. As you write the story your research and will come together and you can tie things which
you did not believe you would use into an interesting and complete story.

Now back to the beginning again, before the event. You need to know the rules, if you are going to
understand the calls of the referees. And if you know the rules you can comment on the game in a more
complete manner. A knowledge of the rules of a game and the knowledge of the game itself is not
static - the game changes - the rules change - the style of playing changes. You as a sports
writer/videographer will need to know and keep up with the sport, and not just one sport but all of the
ones you cover.

There are a number of people that you need to know, the principal, and the athletic director, all of the
coaches, players, managers, and business manager. All of these people are sources of information for
you, and you will need to speak with them all at one time or the other.
Quotes - get used to making the quotes in context, and are absolutely accurate. The video camera is
going to be indispensable for you here, because you don't have to transcribe the words.
Your questions will determine how freely the person talks, you will want to spend a few minutes with
each person you interview and discuss what you are going to ask them, so they can get the topics in
their mind. If you have prepared before the game you can have the questions written out. and give the
list to them before the game, when you ask them if you may come to them after the game for the

Examples of the list
Interviewer - "This is Coach (name) of the V/JV/S - M/W (sport) team"((complement the team)) 1.
"Coach (you had a good/rough game today/tonight) ??How would you describe the overall flow of the
2. "Coach on offense you have some good players, tell me about 3 different players which earned
comment this game.
3. same question - defense -
4. ??was there a key play, which made the game a win for you??
5. Player (name) was injured today/tonight how are they now?
6. Player (names) injured in the past how are they - will they come back?
7. (the next game is always one to worry about) Coach we play (name) next, what preparation are you
planning for the practices? What are the strengths of that team?
8. Coach tell me about the entire season and how you project the rest of the season.

In editing you will cut some of the comments, and cover them with action or still shots. Don't hurry the
person you are interviewing - and don't cut them short so you can get to the next question. Sometimes
the person will ramble and take a while to get to the point, its alright. You will be able to have more
material to edit (choose from) Hopefully the interview will be so smooth that you will be able to use all
of it.

PLAYER INTERVIEWS - you will want to make these interviews - and get the responses and feelings
of the player - their history - Practice sessions and after the game -are the best times - If you are going
to do pre-game interviews do them well before the game starts, a couple of hours if possible.

Team Group shots

Is there a sports expert - (student)(parent)(fan) who you can interview - ?

                                INFORMATION DURING THE GAME

You will need to learn to organize your self and have the method for saving all of your information.
Things you will need
1. A clipboard and plenty of paper. If you are doing play by play have two clip boards (or a stiff
cardboard which you can have two papers side by side)and tape so you can secure the rosters
2. Blank the statistics sheets
3. extra pencils and a small sharpener
4. A steno pad
5. A couple of large zip lock plastic bags to store materials, you can use these to put notes into as you
compete sections - the program - and other materials which you will gather. I recommend large zip-
lock bags because they are waterproof - and can be the file folder for the information later on - these
bags will keep the pages from becoming scattered.
A waterproof marker will be handy to write on the outside of the bag for later identification.

Conference games - may have the managers print the statistics and distribute them to the reporters at
half-time and following the game - be sure to pick up these copies
The school paper is a good source of information - if one is available put one of them in the bag also.

You don't have to set in the press box that little table may end up being more of a problem than an
asset. Place yourself where you have another point of view, such as behind the players bench, or in the
crowd. You will see and hear the game differently from another point. The attitude of the crowd and
what they say may give you a better story. If your are behind the scorers table you will be able to
follow the discussions, which always happen during a game. These are little vignettes, which can be
good for your story.

If you are doubling as a cameraperson, while writing these stories you will not be shooting
continuously. Instead you will only shoot when some particular event occurs. Also if you are
responsible for the interviews after the game - your nearness to the court will place you in a position to
reach the Players - Coaches - or Officials faster. After the game there is always a press of people trying
to speak with all of them. Being there first will give you the best chance of having your questions
answered. In this situation the camera will be hand held or preferably on a monopod - Stable shots are

The reporter & photographer team -- this is the best way to get the interviews. Now from the start
remember you are a team - and you help each other - setting up and carrying equipment - contacting
people and gathering information -
If you observe the professional television news teams, you will see this is not the case, rather the
reporter (on camera personality) will more likely have an elitist attitude - If you are the Reporter don't
start you career as a prima-donna, you will make your photographer hate you, and the other media
personnel will laugh at you. Again I am stressing the importance of the team attitude, you may be the
star but you won't be for long unless you strive to be helpful and share the workload. This manual
being written to give you the tools to become a true professional, and if not a professional to produce
really great amateur videos.

Using the camera as both a way of recording the action and reporting the game makes an interesting
technique. You can shoot the action and following or during the shot make a comment on the tape.
Your on camera mike will pick up your voice well - if the game is loud - speak up - a little
experimentation will give you the knowledge of how loud you need to be. You can have a headset mike
plugged into the camera for this purpose.

You have four options when recording into the camera
1. the on camera microphone
2. A hard-wired mike - Be sure to have a good insulated cable to connect between the mike and the
camera. ( here you have the option of a hand held mike or a lavaliere (clip-on) mike
3. A wireless (hand held or clip on ) mike and receiver
4. the facility may have an audio breakout box
Each one of these options will require you to have a different technique when you shoot, and interview.
(1.) you will need to be close to the subject and have your camera zoomed out wide;
( 2.) Being hardwired, you can be further away - the mike may be placed on a podium or clipped on the
( 3.) Wireless - you are going to be subject to many variables, it is a good thing to have a receiver
which you can tune to the house frequency- your own mike frequency may be interfered with by - cell
phones - short wave - CB - am/fm radio - television station - other wireless mikes - transformers -
electrical cabling - microwave transmitters - or the battery may just die - The wireless mikes are the
most subject to problems of all - be ready to change to another system .
(4.) The Breakout box, is a box, which the house will provide to the video crews, to keep the podiums
from being filled with microphones, and the floor covered with cabling. - these boxes have XLR
connections and you may have a MINI PLUG on your camera. be ready to adapt. Have a long XLR
cable for this connection. An adapter to go from XLR to MINI.

The choice of HAND-HOLDING - MONO-POD - TRIPOD holding of the camera will depend on the
circumstances. If you are using a new lightweight camera you need some kind of support, or the
camera will be shaking all over the place. You can use your tripod as a monopod by extending just one
leg, have the head loose and support and direct it with both hands. A monopod is better than shoulder
holding the camera but not as good as using the tripod for stability.

Refer to the page on FIELD and look at the list of possible shots which your photographer will be
finding from the sideline positions. These shots are all elements of your story, and you need to be
aware of what is going on every where as a reporter - not just the action on the field.

We have gotten all the way to here, and have not talked about the editing of the video.
The question now, do you have to fit into a time frame or can this feature be of any length. It will be
best to work in 10 min, 15-min -30-min - one hour time frames. Now depending on the nature of the
story and the material you have available you will pick one of those time frames. I'm not locking the
time in stone its just a guide line.
the times you will add up to determine the program length will be:
1. Your Story as a voice over. covered with video
2. your interviews - a mix of subject and illustrative video
3. the Cutaways with crowd sideline comments
4. game footage - with or without play by play - and or natural sound
4. the time for the title and introduction
5 the time for the close and the credits.

Your story is going to determine how the video footage is used, and so you will record your story piece
by piece - remember - the phrases, sentences and paragraphs will have footage to illustrate both
covering the speaker and \ between the speeches.

List all of the shots/scenes in categories, shots for the - open - interviews - game camera footage - floor
camera game footage - cutaways - close footage.

In vision - your video starts with an open - a set of scenes and title screens, you will have either music
or natural sounds over this section.
This section may fade to black and fade to the introduction
How do you introduce the video, your choice - a voice over or shot of the narrator
from your introduction you assemble your program with all of the narrative sections, you will go back
and insert video to cover the black.
If you have your voice over sections with a black screen as the video or the narrator as a talking head -
It will be clear where your inserts belong.
The inserting of the footage is a creative process, and you will probably make changes as you insert
edit. Commonly you will shorten up the existing cutaways and add more shots, to pick up the pacing of
the program.
As you look at the project, most likely you will have a stack of tapes and a lot of sheets of paper.
Your Editing script will have the TAPE NUMBER AND THE TIME CODE OR CONTROL TRACK
Remember to log the tape well - have the tape clearly labeled and the accompanying log labeled and
keep them close. if there is time-code on your tape finding a specific clip will be much easier, because
they are always present. If you are relying on control track numbers the tape will have to be rewound
each time and the counter zeroed for you to find the clip. The DIGITAL format has the time code
numbers - usually the VHS, SVHS, 8mm, and Hi8, do not have them.
After you have edited a few programs you will develop your own system and style. However you list
and mark your tapes and information makes it consistent and clear. You will find yourself making last
minute changes, correcting and improving the program. In spite of your best effort to be accurate, you
will find many times the information you were given is wrong, or has changed, you will want to correct
all of the mistakes, and if you cannot find the clips you need you will have to spend a lot of extra time.
                              AN INTRODUCTION TO EDITING

Computer editing programs, are simply the most practical method for complicated edits. If you are
going to have many short scenes and various transitions the computer will save you much time. On the
other hand if you are simply going to place titles and credits on the tape - you will save time by only
building them in the computer, or with your other titleing equipment, and then simply copying from
tape to tape.

A primary advantage of using the computer will be the tiny degration of the video signal, I say tiny
because - as it works out there are no editing solutions which do not have their own inherent problems.

Editing is changing from one picture or scene to another. If you have noticed in the movies or a
television program the scene simply changes - cuts - this is called cuts only editing. When the movie
film was being edited, every scene would be one long strip of film. These strips were sorted and hung
on pins/nails with all of the loose film hanging into a bag below. As the film was edited together one
strip would be glued to the next in the edit process. This was the first cuts only editing.

With Video editing you will copy from one tape to your new edit tape. This means you will be
forwarding and rewinding the tape from scene to scene, rather than cutting the strips and sorting them.
With videotape any cut on the tape will show up as a glitch when the tape is played. We will use the
term cuts only, meaning the scene has no transitions (dissolves, page rolls and such) between them.

A/B Roll editing allows you to use transisitons, In this type of tape to tape editing, two player VCR's
are both playing at the same time, and the record VCR is running. You will have a edit control unit on
THE IN POINT ON THE RECORD TAPE and on your switcher you will select the type transition you
are going to use. I really recomend that you learn one of the NLE (Non Lineal Edit) systems if you
wish to perform this type of editing. The NLE systems are much easier and faster for A/B roll edits.

You will be learn the essentals of editing faster, if you use cuts-only for all of your beginning projects,
and You can do it at home with simple equipment.

This is a list of possible things to include in your first finished video.

1. Titles,
2. Narration,
3. Music,
4. Sound effects,
5. Credits.

Editing is a process, which you will do well if you have a plan. On other pages you have learned
scripting, and to shoot the scenes, make shot lists, here is where it all comes together.
I cannot suggest, or guess what your final video will be, or how it will look. In editing you can and will
make your work exciting, informative, or whatever you wish it to be.

You will be buried in all the possibilities in a moment, so now try to keep in mind - that - some of the
best movies ever made were edited very simply. Your content, story, pictures, and sounds do not have
to fancy to be great. Learn the simple methods and add complexity gradually. To many people try to
cover a bad script, poorly shot video with fancy NLE effects.

Shooting video and editing video are two completely different disciplines, The photographer in looking
at the finished product, thinks "they only used a few seconds of that scene so I dont have to shoot long
scenes" The Editor thinks "I wish the shooter had given me a longer shot". What this should suggest to
you is, when shooting make long clips/scenes and when editing dont be afraid to throw shots away or
cut them very short. MTV started the use of very short (less than one second clips), this practice can
now be found in everything from film movies to news stories.
                                       LOGGING YOUR TAPE
Before you start editing you have to discover what and where the scenes are you are going to use in
your program.
The logging of your tapes is all important regardless of what editing system you use, because this
"SHOT/SCENE LOG", will be used in every editing system.

There are three different logs kept on the tape themselves, depending on the tape format.
1. TIME CODE - time code is a number on the tape, which tells you the exact location of any frame on
the tape. This number is on all the digital tapes.
2. TIME AND DATE - this is the time hour-minute- and sometimes second the tape was made. Again
the tape format will determine this. On the older VHS cameras you had to turn it on, and the date
would be showing on the screen, on the newer DV formats this is embedded/hidden on every frame and
can be used. This is a fast way to find a clip.
3. TAPE COUNTER - this number is the least accurate, especially when you are changing the tape
from one player to another. It depends upon the tape being completely rewound to have any degree of

If you are making a serious video, you will have a shot-log sheet in the field when you shoot the
footage, and you will write the following on the sheet:
1. time code number - the start and the ending number of the scene
2. the date and time of day
3. the description of the scene
4. the script page and line numbers
5. make appropriate notes about the scene.

Under construction are, these pages, specific for the Fayetteville Community Access Television facility
and producers. These pages are only linked here, and are not available on the index page. I really want
you to develop a general concept of editing before you jump into the NLE systems.

1. Video Toaster - A/B roll edit suite
2. Fast Edit - NLE SUITE
3. Screen Play - NLE SUITE
4. Adobe Premiere - NLE SUITE

Please refer to the Adobe Premiere links page for specific information on Adobe - each of the NLE
stations available at CAT will have their own page. The following page is a general article on editing.
This will provide you with a basic background.

I maintain that tape to tape editing will never become obsolete, because it is fast and efficient. Not
every program requires multiple audio tracks, transitions, other A/B and NLE editing effects. The tape
to tape editing allows the creation of nice simple programs with basic cuts between scenes.

FIRST, This page will give you the tools to edit with simple home equipment

Editing the footage you shoot will make the difference between an interesting video and a boring one.
As a beginner you will have a lot of unusable footage. You will have times where you for got to turn
the camera off and you have long scenes of your feet or the sky, there will be the out of focus shots, the
embarrassing ones and so on. In editing you will simply get rid of the bad stuff and make a story of the
good stuff.

Were you to review the footage of a professional film camera operator, you would probably see - scene
after scene of the same thing - and - all of the scenes would look really good. But the scene would have
been taken many times just to get the perfect delivery from the talent, or the exact kind of crowd
The Editor, will normally work from a script, and study the footage choosing the best of the scenes.
These scenes are put together and audio and effects are added, titles and credits are created and placed
in the production.

Lets start with the idea that you do not have professional equipment.

What you have is, a video camera, a home VHS VCR and a television. With these basic tools you can
ASSEMBLE a video.


First you have to go through your tape(s) and learn where the scenes are you want to use.
1. Rewind the tape completely you are going to use as the source tape and ZERO the counter. Now
watch the tape, and every place you want to use a scene write the counters number, writes a description
of that scene.
2. Repeat this process with every tape you are using.
3. Your home VCR must be have a flying erase head, this is common with them, This allows the VCR
to record over a section with out a glitch, (snow and static being recorded)
4. You are playing the tape from your camera to your VCR. Make sure you have plugged the wires in
correctly. They are color coded - the yellow plug to the yellow socket - that is video - and - the red and
white audio to the red and white sockets for audio. If your VCR only has one audio it will be white -
simply plug the white to the white.
5. To begin you video it is nice to have a title
You can make a title screen by writing a title on a piece of paper and making a video - have at least a
minute of the title - 6. Record this title on your VCR edit tape
I suggested a minute because you need to record a little on the beginning before you start your edited
...a. record your title
...b. stop the recorder and push play
...c. push pause
...d. push rewind - push pause when you see the picture on your television
...e. push play and be ready to pause when you are ready for the next scene to begin
...f. with the recorder paused, push record, the VCR should be now be in the pause, record mode.
...g. you will have already found the clip you want to record next. Now remember this is on-the-fly
editing, -so- you find the clip using the numbers - then back the tape up before the scene is to start.

now - you start the camera/player and watch being ready to UN-PAUSE the record VCR when you
want the new scene to start.

...f. stop the record VCR when the scene has ended - note - let a little more be recorded than you want
to use - re-cueing the record VCR will be easier.


What you have just read is a simple - but time consuming way to edit your video at home.

                               CUTS ONLY AND A/B ROLL EDITING

Here you move up to professional level editing equipment. This is commonly called tape to tape
editing, and was the only type of editing available until the invention of the NLE (Non Lineal Editor).
The NLE systems are computers and all of the editing is done from the hard-drive. I will go into these
NLE systems following the tape to tape section.

                                WHAT IS RECORDED ON THE TAPE
The tape has 4 to 5 distinct and different signals recorded on it on different places on the tape.
1. the top - has the control track and (time code - if available DV and pro )this is a narrow track
2. a wide area where the video is recorded in tiny diagonal stripes
3. two standard lineal audio tracks are below the video track. One for each track the left and the right
4. If the video has hi-fi audio this signal is recorded in the diagonal tracks, but the signal is slightly
different and is described as being recorded beneath the video.
5. The lineal audio tracks can be edited and changed, the hi-fi track cannot, because the video and
audio are essentially the same recording.


The simplest Tape to tape editor, had one tape player and one record deck, in-between the decks is a
control unit. The control unit allows you to cue both of the decks. With the control unit you set an IN-
POINT on both decks, and the OUT-POINT, on the appropriate deck.
APPROPRIATE DECK?? Now I will introduce - ASSEMBLY EDIT AND INSERT EDIT - the choice
of assemble or insert editing is the feature which allows for really professional editing with these
ASSEMBLE EDIT - Assemble edit is the process I described for the home editing unit, This simply
means you start at the beginning and one scene at a time assemble your video into a program.
INSERT EDIT - Insert editing, is recording over already recorded tape. The advantage here is a
continuous control track has been recorded, this control track allows the editor to be accurate. This can
be an almost foolproof method of editing, here is the process to make it so.
1. Record a tape with no sound and black for video - this will become your edited program -
2. You will choose INSERT EDIT on the edit control, this function gives you the choice of recording
video, channel 1 audio, channel 2 audio, or any combination. 3. to start you will choose all three - and
you will record both the video and audio. 4. You will put your video together one scene at a time. You
will now be able to go back and change both the video and the audio.
For example, you have recorded an after dinner speaker, and have the entire session on your tape, but
want to illustrate his remarks. You don't want to change the audio, just the picture.
5. On your edit control you will choose - video - to record. 6. on your program tape you will set an IN-
POINT and an OUT-POINT where you want the new video to be. 7. on your play deck you will cue up
the scene you want and just set the IN-POINT. 8. You will push PREVIEW, and the deck will run and
you can see if that is what you really want. . 9. Push record, and you will make the insert edit. 10.
AUDIO INSERT - since you have two different tracks for the audio, you can add audio to either or
both of them, exactly where you want it. The process is the same as for the video insert.

One of the most frustrating things which can happen to you is to find a break in the control track, this
results in snow on the television screen when the tape you have edited it played. The following link,
describes how to fix a BREAK IN THE CONTROL TRACK on select editiors.
Videoexpert Article, exact instructions on fixing the break

AB ROLL EDIT - Here we have the next level of editing, and more equipment to control.
1. two play decks
2. one record deck
3. one edit control - this will set the in-points on all the decks and the out-point on the appropriate deck.
4. one switcher - this unit will allow you to choose the type of Transition, used - cut - dissolve - wipe,
and so on -
5. the switcher may be a stand-alone unit or a computer such as the Video Toaster. This unit is
controlled by a GPI trigger, which synchronizes the tape change and the transition.

AB ROLL EDITING can be a very time consuming process, because of the time necessary to find and
cue all of the scenes.
Both decks both must back up, cue and roll at the same time. This process alone is time consuming and
makes the A/B roll editing, slow.
TITLES - all of the editors will have some sort of titler connected with them, this unit will allow you to
make the title and place it over the video or allow you to make a title page.
The titler will have the ability to superimpose the titles over the moving video, or will make a colored
title page, and some of them will capture a frame for a still picture.

AUDIO - Most edit suites will also include an audio board. This board allows you to adjust the volume
and the pitch of the sound. It also gives you the option of playing Cassettes, CD's, for record on your

There are many different companies, which make this type of editor, and a certain amount of practice
will be necessary to learn them. Tape to tape editing is a fast and efficient method of editing a program,
every videographer should learn both cuts only and AB roll editing.

                                    COMPUTER - NLE - EDITING

With the development of the PC, has come the ability to edit video in the computer. This form of
editing will produce the best programs, but is also the most time consuming. With that said will ignore
the time consuming part.
The Advantages
1. Many layers of Video
2. many layers of Audio
3. Better titling
4. Transitions are easy
5. everything can be changed - (in tape to tape if you want to remove a section in the middle - you have
to start over with the edit at that point)
6. the video footage can have the color and quality adjusted.
7. there is no GENERERATION LOSS - (generation loss is the big problem with tape to tape editing -
every time you copy a tape you loose quality)
8. Paint shop programs can be used
9. word processing programs can be used
10. Internet pages can be included.

AUDIO RECORDING SUITES - Here is where our PEG facility falls short.
you will find two types of sound rooms in a professional facility-
1. A small soundproof - sound dead (non-reflective walls) room for the creation of voice over audio. 2.
Sound stages - These rooms are designed for large production of audio, the room is "tuned" to the
audio mixer, this room will also have walls which do not reflect sound and is sound-proofed from the
3. The Theatre sound stage, these rooms are large and the microphones used are selective, the room
sound, and other sounds simply are not heard, or if heard will be accepted - as in a live production - or
the session will be stopped and restarted.
Always keep in mind the audio on your video is at least as important as the picture. Some authorities
say the audio is 80% of every video.

                                  COMPUTER CONSIDERATIONS

NLE Editing - this is such a new field that the bugs are still being worked out. There are dozens of
editing programs available and many entire systems for sale.

Any computer used for NLE must have:
1. 20 to 40 gigs of hard-drive
2. 128 Megs of RAM (memory)
3. A good video capture card (analog - SVHS and VHS)(this card will have I/O in VHS and SVHS so
you can record out of the computer)
4. a DV (ieee-1394) capture card - this card is for the new DV format - there are many individual cards
for analog and DV capture, but only a few that include both.
5. at least a 17" monitor
There are other details but these are the basics to keep in mind if you are going to buy a system.
The off the shelf system I would recommend today is The new Apple G4 video editing system. Apple
has been the leader in graphics for years, and now with the introduction of their newest system. I
believe that they may once again take the lead.

This is such a fast moving field, I do not feel comfortable recommending any given system or
computer other than the Apple, and truthfully I have not used the Apple. Yet, overall Apple has such a
good reputation for dependability and quality in graphic and general operation I feel confident their
video computer will measure up.

I will say this - regardless of the computer - the software is going to change rapidly in the next few
years, and you may soon have to upgrade. It is certain that you will have to keep learning and studying
the programs.


SOFTWARE IS THE EDITING PROGRAM, I will recommend the Adobe Premiere program for
many reasons, this program has been on the market for years now and the problems have been solved,
the program has been continually improved over the year, and many plug in programs have been
written for it. All of the programs in the Adobe software package will work compatibly with the video-
editing program. Plug in programs, are software programs which make the original program able to do

There are many other programs which edit video - they are all similar and all are different. I would say
that no matter what program you have available you should be able to create a good program.

Remember this - you will use cuts more often than any other transition - so it doesn't matter how many
the editing program offers - it is doubtful that you will use them.

Fact - about the only place you use many different types of transition is the creation of commercials.

ON LINE EDITING - On Line Editing, is what is going on when you watch a live news broadcast. I
will loosely describe the process.
This is a major production, with a large crew, you have:
1. A producer who is keeping up with the script and directing the director and the talent,
2. The Director will operate the main switcher, and direct the crew,
the crew will include
3. a staff of camera operators
4. tape operators
5. Character generator operator (Titles)
6. Audio operator.

This is a fast paced process, which cued to the script, reacts second to second, switching from various
input sources, including the cameras, tapes, live feeds from remote locations, satellite feeds from
networks, Still stores from computers, and assorted audio sources. All of these inputs are pre planned
and scripted and the changes called for and executed on an exact to the second rate.

Live News, Sports productions, Theatre, and other events use on line Editing on a daily basis, and all of
the network programs live and taped. This is the most common of all professional production
In practice you will see variations in the crew size, but the stations will be loosely the same.
There will also be a prompter operator, this person is responsible for playing the script, which the talent
This is a studio operation and I will elaborate on this in the studio chapter, other chapters will have
references and descriptions also.
In the Studio, On-Line Editing, you will learn team effort.


It is not hard for you to make your own tape. All through this manual there are tips to help you make
your videos. I really have written all of this as much for you, the parents, as anyone. You need help,
and there are few places which will or can help you. A professionally done Hi-Lite tape will cost at
least a $100 a minute, and you can do as well as they would in all truth. Im saying this because of the
huge number of parents who are trying as hard as they can to give their children a good start. Read this
section and read the Edit page as well, it will help you.

What do coaches want to see on your tape? name, address, phone, personal school and sports statistics,
a series of good shots of each catagory of your skills. Some sports want 1 to 3 uninterupted minutes of
play, so the coaches can see how the player interacts with the team. Basicly keep the tape short - A

Ask the schools/coaches what they want - each coach has a different point of view. Remember a
printed resume will accompany the tape.

The coaches are not going to be impressed by how professional the tape is, they are only interested in
viewing the player.

                                           GETTING STARTED

You have a stack of tapes and you know that you have only 3 or 4 plays on each tape you want to use.
find a nice box that will hold them all and all of the paperwork.

3 -7 MINUTES short and good is all you want.

First - get new labels and clearly title and number them and stick them on the tapes
2. .you will have types of shots you want to use. pitches, tackles, kicks, dunks, touchdowns, free-
throws - strikes - dives - hurdles - jumps - get a sheet of paper for each one - title the type of scene -

3. .the first sheet of paper - title it - name - sport - position-
4. .2n. introduction - statistics -
5. .3rd. players personal statement
6. .4th. first set of action type - in order
.....tape number - number on the counter - brief scene description ...
7. .Now we log the shots - put the frist tape in and re-wind completely - and zero your counter-
8. .play the tape and list the, 1. tape number - 2. counter number - describe scene - two three words-
9. .Go completely thru each tape in turn

                            MAKING SIMPLE TITLES
                         EDITING THE TAPES TOGETHER

this is your master tape - record /copy the first title for 30 seconds or so - now copy each shot (titles -
shot sheets) in turn.
if you cant find a shot - you for got to rewind it for accurate number - or you labled it wrong
the last title is recorded for 30 seconds or a minute.
when you are done you have your master tape






VARIOUS SWITCHES -For you who have your own toaster suite - the configuration of ours at CAT is
a multi-format a/b/c roll edit suite. Two of the source decks are SVHS and one is a mini-DV/Dv-Pro -
more later--- This page is for the mechanical process of editing, and not for asthetic/artistic purposes

The toaster suite has the only set of convetional controls in the PEG facility
The edit control - (thumb-nail, click for a larger view) - is the unit you will use to set the in-points and
out-points for the edits. (thumbnail) or you can clear them here (thumbnail) - a second way to clear
them is to reset the counters here (thumbnail 1 -2)
The fail safe is to always record your entire tape with black, in one continious recording, this will write
some information on your tape called a CONTROL TRACK, The control track is the information the
television uses to determine when to trace a new picture on the screen. (yes i know that is hard to
understand) When the teleision makes a picture on the screen, there are rows traced across the screen
from the top to the bottom, one after the other, and that makes one picture or field, the tube then goes
back to the top of the screen and makes a second set of rows this is the second field. (thumbnails)
The reason this is a fail-safe is following recording black on your entire tape - all of your video will be
done in the insert mode, and the tape will show well on subsequent replays of the tape, because every
vcr that plays it will be able to find the control track.
There are times for the sake of speed you will start with a new tape and assemble the project from start
to finish, It works, but you will have to make continual checks on your edits as you go. The most sure
way is to record more of the clip and back up and choose an inpoint on the already recorded portion.
One of the problems is accidentally having a break in your control track - these breaks show as SNOW
when the tape is shown. If this happens to you, you will have to go back before the break happens and
re-record your program from that point. Always check your edits when making assemble edits.
You will have to choose between insert or assemble edit. What is the difference, Assemble edit first of
all means you are going to put one clip after the other (assembling) the program. This can be done on a
new tape which has never been recorded upon. With insert editing you must use a pre-recorded tape.
You will be inserting the clips into the middle of a already recorded program -
An example would be a lecture, you have a continious recording of the individual, and they are simply
standing at a podium talking, you want to make the tape more interesting so you want to INSERT clips
at the appropriate places in the lecture.
The edit control will give you some choices to insert - V=video, CH1=channel one audio, and
CH2=channel 2 audio. (thumbnail) You will have to make sure you have selected the correct buttons,
or you will also be erasing the video or audio you wish to keep

                                  IN THE SPIRIT OF BEING BROKE

                We are learning, why are you thinking of money, instead of your video?
On the preceding pages you have learned there is a huge number of choices, relating to equipment. I
have not even spoken about the high dollar, compelete systems costing $100,000 or more. Even though
that equipment exists, its not important for the beginner. You should keep in mind prices drop and
quality increases daily with all of the equipment.

You can read the process I am going through to build my own NLE, and read the experiences I am
having with other NLE systems. I am hopeful the system I am building will work as well as the ones at
the CAT. - Actually Im sure, I will succeed, and make the point here (The building the NLE page will
keep you posted). Success there will make the point for low budget.

It may seem really important to get the dough and make the super program. But lets remember we are
just learning to do this stuff. And then again - just what costs - All along remember this is for the
beginner and we have encouraged you to learn to do this yourself. You have your friends or you are
around other access producers, they are your actors and crew. They want to participate, and just like
you they want to learn and do a good job. The whole secret is dont push - relax a bit - take your time do
it right - and do it over as many times as you need. Let these first adventures be a fun growing
experience. Shoot your footage and have screening for you and your group, discuss what you see.
Make it fun to get it perfect, and forget the time involved. You might as well start out enjoying this art,
because you will encounter deadlines and pressure in the future. Yes most of the pressure is capricious
and artifical, and caused by poor planning and too much ANX.

Start simple and do the do-able -

Make your time your major expense!

Make tapes your biggest cost!

Public Access Television will supply all the equipment you need in one situation, and your main
expense should need only be the cost of tape.

For you who simply have a camera and some sort of editing vcr (or better of course) its still time.

Put in the hours to create a script - write really discriptive passages - and once in a while throw in a few
spoken words

Need costumes - use regular clothes

If you have a digital camera great - if not dont worry about it- use the old VHS or other camera.

The page on editing discusses various equipment setups and techniques. Editing again can be a group
activity. You can and will learn from each other with the instant feedback.

OK AUDIO - well hate to say it but you need a little more sophisticate system than just the camera and

I will mention this again - AUDIO IS AT LEAST 75% OF ALL VIDEOS - the audio is your music and
your sound effects and your dialogue.

You may want to do a location shoot, where you, the crew, and techs all are there for the week or so it
takes to tape. Now we are talking of expenses, and those expenses cover everything from
transportation, lodging, food and water, to all of your equipment and technical expenses. For this type
of shoot you will want to list every thing - and i mean everything from notepaper to toliet paper. Your
scripting should be really well developed before you arrive and, you should be making new shot lists -
because the location and the circumstances will suggest new inserts. It will be likely your first scripts
will be far slower paced than you will want your final program. Shooting many many more cutaways
and detail shots than you think you need will benefit you later. You are learning - so just why do you
need to spend a lot of money - of course you dont, and you should'nt. If your are really good enough -
as proved by the type video we just talked about - then maybe you will want to go to film. Why film -
thats almost hard to justify these days - but - you can do things with film which you can't with video.
CONTROL being the keyword. Yet that will change as Digital video improves. Remember to the larger
the film format (35mm compared to 8mm) the better the quality of the image, the video format is a
little tiny area even with the best cameras (chip size range from 1/3 inch to 7/8 inch. ) Back to the
point, you can spend the money when its worth it. The discussion on nonlineal editing and DV cameras
will give you a basis for choosing the equipment. Shooting film should the be the last step in your
producion experience. should you want to learn about raising money and more information on film
course you want to do the best work possible and you may want to progress to fame and wealth, yes
you can, yet you must start somewhere. You can create a brilliant video with little or no budget, and
with that start, gain the funding to create the award winning film. (((as I find more resources - I will
include them here)
This page is an example of the kind of resource Habbycam info page which can be found here on the
internet. This page has good reasons for using film for serious projects. Though, keep in mind the value
of video for training yourself, and remember digital video in improving daily, and someday may reach
and then pass the quality of film (but that time is not yet here).

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