'How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck'

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PHOENIX -- Vacation time means vacation videos.

Author, director and producer Steve Stockman shared some tips to help you shoot vacation videos your friends will actually enjoy watching.

He offers all sorts of advice in a book cheekily titled "How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck."

"Nobody had written a book to help people who just wish their videos weren't terrible," he said. "You don't have to want to be an independent filmmaker. You want to shoot a video that your mother will watch instead of skip."

Stockman shared five of his big tips with Kaley O'Kelley on "Good Morning! Arizona."

1. Keep your shots short; think in shots. When put together, those short shots tell a story. Stockman suggests you practice holding you shots for about 10 seconds, give or take. If you shoot short takes, you won't have to edit later.

2. Get close to your subject. "Don't shoot 'til you see the whites of their eyes -- literally," Stockman said.

3. Focus on what interests you. "If it bores you, it's not going to get magically better in the camera," Stockman joked.

4. Do not zooming in and out, and keep the fidgeting and movements to. Stockman said it's a good idea to treat your video camera like you would a still camera -- point, hold, click and then move on to the next shot.

5. Use better lighting. If the faces you see in your viewfinder or on your LCD screen are look dark to you, find a way to get more light into the shot, whether it's turning on a light or opening a window. Be wary of shooting people right in front of open windows because most cameras automatically adjust for the light, give you a silhouette effect.

Stockman offers even more pointers in his book.

He is appearing today at 7 p.m., at Changing Hands Bookstore, 6428 S. McClintock Drive, Tempe. For more information about the event, call 480-730-0205. For more information about the book, visit www.SteveStockman.com.