Either I’m damn good or…

…there’s no competition out there anymore. Who knows, but twice in the past month unapplied for accolades have come the way of this blog.



(Don’t know if I’m at the bottom of the lists due to “V”s place in the alphabet or because I just slid in under the line…)


Whither to aim…

…high?  Low?  In between?

Like I used to tell my students, you gotta know your target audience before you even think about creating a visual story.  Well, the same thing applies to writing a book.  In this case, The Basics of Videojournalism.

Our original demographic was high schools…then we realized there was a wider potential audience, so we have adapted to that.  And we’ve also finally settled on some of the finer points about our audience, including what level of gear they need.

Roughly we’ve broken gear into four basic groups.


1. Point and shoot cameras. Flip type cameras with no zoom or a very short distance zoom (or worse yet, optical digital zoom) and no microphone input.

2. Consumer level camcorders with one smallish chip, a decent zoom and no microphone input.

3. Prosumer/low end professional level camcorders with three chips and either XLR or mini-jack mike inputs.

4. DSLRs.

So we are taking aim at a target audience who fits in levels 2 & 3 – but we don’t plan to forgot those above and below. While the bulk of the learning will cover all levels of gear, most of the technical advice will help out those in the middle. However, we plan to have specific advice targeting the P&S and DSLR crowds.

For instance if you’re doing an interview with your handy dandy three-chipper and a wireless mike, no worries. Good clean audio, on a tripod, great composition. But what if all you have is a burning desire to learn and a P&S? We got ya covered with shooting tips which will work for both you and your gear. DSLR? Different issues completely, but once again, we’ve got ya covered with workarounds to get good audio and more.

This is more than a generic how-to book – I’ve got decades of broadcast news in my past, plus a short gig shooting videos for a newspaper AND I know my way around a lesson plan pretty well. And co-author Larry Nance has the practical technical background balanced with an artist’s heart and soul (and tempered by a very hard business head). So stick with us – teachers, because we WILL have lessons to help your students learn. And students too – cause what could be MORE fun than having fun learning?

Diving deep for a while…

Obviously I haven’t posted in a while…and it’s gonna be a while longer before I can resurface to do much. The Basics of Videojournalism, my not-quite-an-epic is sucking up all my time. It is taking shape from a core workbook, pages and pages of notes and comments, onto something clearer and cleaner.

In organizing, we are adding more material…as Larry and I perused the posting on backpedding, we realized we needed a chapter on camera and personal safety. The material for the teacher’s edition is growing. We plan to shoot many of the illustrations in early November.

Hopefully I’ll be back by Christmas (please let it be sooner).

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