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Your new best friend, Specificity

SpecificityLet me introduce you to specificity, your new best friend. You guys want to be buddies because being more specific about what you’re shooting automatically improves almost any video.

Instead of  the random tourist shots of“Our Vacation,” shoot the video “Samantha’s first time out of the country”—which focuses specifically on what it’s like for 15 year-old Samantha to visit France for the first time—dealing with a new language, different money and jet lag.

Instead of “Our Company” how about a video about “How we deliver shoes to your door” or “Roz, the Customer Service Genius”?

If you’re shooting “a birthday party” make it more specific by focusing on “Sarah at her birthday party” or even more specific by zooming all the way into “Sarah’s first piece of birthday cake.”

Whenever you’re about to hit record, ask yourself, “What’s special about this person or place in this exact moment in time?” The more specific your answer, the better your video.


By the way, are you following me on Twitter?  It’s all the rage.

(image by John Finn via Flikr.com)

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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.


  • rune says:

    I got your book yesterday from amazon and i have started reading it.You are a great teacher in video.Thank you for valuable info.

  • Lily says:

    So, speaking of "random tourist shots of 'our vacation'"… we are headed to the Florida Keys in April and after trying to put together a great video from our week in Barcelona and failing miserably due to a lack of interesting footage (really, why was I thinking those shots would be interesting?!) I'm thinking about what I can do better next time. I actually do want "random tourist shots of my vacation", but in an awesome way, like this person's video of their trip to Brazil: http://vimeo.tumblr.com/post/3471001724/hd-channe

    I know you've given a lot of advice on making vacation videos that don't suck already, but I'm going to be greedy and ask if you have any more tips on how to plan / shoot / edit in order to achieve something like Javi Devitt?

    To clarify my intentions – I'm not trying to make a video that gets 5,000+ likes on vimeo, I just want to capture the memories of our vacations in such a way that they are enjoyable for us to watch later.


  • rune says:

    Great advice.Thanks:)

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