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Better Video Production: Introduction

My first full-time job in the video production business was in 1979. I was a news cameraman and editor in the central Wisconsin town of Wausau. The camera we used in the field was an RCA-TK76 which cost about 10 years of my salary; and I almost let a freight train run it over!

Andy as cameraman at WSAU-TV in 1979.

Today almost everyone has a camera better than the TK-76 in their pocket or purse. (The awful picture above was shot with that 20-lb [without recorder] camera!) So why isn’t everyone producing videos? Sure, my current professional camera is still 10x more expensive than any fancy phone, and video production can be time-consuming, but the biggest difference between us professionals and our clients is the know-how and experience which lets us do a far better job than anyone who has never studied the process.

Still, not all video needs to be great. Sometimes it just has to do a basic job and calling in the professionals would be overkill. In this blog I will try to pass on some of what I’ve learned over the years and I will focus on specific suggestions you can easily implement to make your video productions better. If your own efforts get the job done, great! If it’s more than you can handle, call in the professionals!

But I’ll also have something worth reading for our video professional colleagues. There are always technical challenges I work on and when I solve them, I write myself a set of notes so that I don’t forget the secret sauce. Since it often takes a lot of work, experimentation and research to achieve success, I’m happy to share this information with the video production community. After all, I’ve learned many new tricks by reading other people’s blogs, so it’s time to give a little back.

Let me know what you think and happy reading!