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How to Shoot Graduation Video that Doesn’t Suck, Part 1

The big day is almost here.  Your little boy/girl is about to take that first big step into the real world and graduate from Grad School/College/High School/Middle School/6th Grade/Kindergarten/Preschool.

Graduation, the event that used to happen only once or twice in a lifetime now seems to happen every time you turn around.  It’s become a much-celebrated family Event.  That’s “event” with a capital “E”, which means you have to be there, and you have to have your video camera.

Here’s how to make Graduation videos that work:

1)  Plan a little “when” and “where”:  Pre-school graduation is kind of free form, but by the time you get to the big leagues, you’ll probably get a program when you walk in.  Think of the program as your shot list. It tells you when you’ll get your best shots.  Once you’re inside, look around.  Where do you need to be to get your best shots?   From where do the Graduates enter?  Where will they sit?  Where does the diploma get handed out?

Thinking a little about your vantage points helps you be in the right place at the right time.

2)  Stay Close to the Action:  The closer you are to the graduate, the better.  Faces tell us everything about human emotion.  If you can’t see them, you lose the feel of the event.  And as your little one grows up, it’s her face at age whatever that you’ll want to keep coming back to.

3)  Don’t be Shy:  You don’t want to cause fistfights in the elementary school auditorium by blocking somebody’s grandma’s line of sight, but neither do you need to sit in your seat and hope to shoot around her hat.  Be as polite as possible, but go where the shot is going to be.  Get close to your graduate, and your shots will be something to remember.

Next: More tips in Graduation Video, Part 2.


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About The Author

Steve Stockman

Steve Stockman, president of LA-based Custom Productions, Inc., is a prolific producer, writer, and director, known for over 200 diverse media projects. He is also the author of the best-selling book "How to Shoot Video that Doesn’t Suck," taught globally from middle school to graduate level, and available in 9 languages.

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