VIDEO SHOOTING techniques loved by pro broadcast filmmakers
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VIDEO SHOOTING techniques loved by pro broadcast filmmakers

Creative video. Learn what pro broadcast camera ops do to grab and excite an audience. Taught by a pro broadcaster
4.4 (354 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
2,408 students enrolled
Last updated 6/2017
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Current price: $10 Original price: $200 Discount: 95% off
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  • 3 hours on-demand video
  • 6 Articles
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Shoot compelling video and capture your audience
  • Understand clearly, with every shoot you do, what footage is needed to edit fantastic video
  • Be an outstanding camera operator that producers love to use because they always deliver great, editor-friendly footage
  • Fix the problem of being frustrated at the edit stage.
  • Be in touch with a broadcast professional. I do my best to answer EVERY question posted to help you in your journey to learn great video storytelling.
View Curriculum
  • You will need video camera, or still camera with video capability.
  • Your camera can be any HD camera. It can be basic, or high-end. It does not matter, because, like the best stove doesn't make a great chef, a great camera does not make a great filmmaker
  • You should have some video shooting experience. This course is intermediate.
  • Ideally, you should also have some basic understanding of video editing using computers.

Do you want to understand the creative techniques broadcast pros use when shooting for a TV show?

Would you like to be taught by a genuine TV broadcast professional?

Do you want to improve the quality of your videos, to the point where your audience can't get enough?

Are you moving from still photography to video, and are not finding it easy?

Are your videos just not getting noticed and shared on your YouTube channel?

As a professional video cameraperson, are you not getting noticed because your work is technically fine, but not creatively outstanding?

Then you have come to the right place.

Making great video is not some great secret that no one is willing to share. The trouble is, most video courses on the net are presented by filmmakers making wedding videos and low budget music videos or their own YouTube channel. Very few are broadcast professionals. The proof is that most courses focus primarily on equipment, which requires limited creative insight.

This course is different

I've beeb a broadcast professional for 37 years. And I've won international awards for my work. And I will now teach you the creative elements needed to make great videos. So, if you want to improve your videos to the point where they enrapture the audience and have them begging for more, know this: It is NOT about getting better equipment!

Because . . .


  • Professionals worry about money,
  • Artists worry about light and sound,
  • Amateurs worry about equipment.

If you spend a lot of time worrying about equipment, is it not the time you stepped up to being an artist?

Even if you understand codecs, and cameras and sensors sizes and lenses, it is not enough. Knowledge without skills can never create a masterpiece.

And that is why this course is about honing your creative video skills. I do this in two parts. This course covers easy to understand shooting techniques that are used by broadcast professionals being paid upward of $1000 per day. The second course, is the creative editing: Video Editing -  Inspire your audience with creative flair. (That's a different course)

Cameras and gear

When you enjoy a great meal, do you congratulate the chef by saying, "You must have a great stove?" Of course you don't. It's the same with filmmakers. A great film is not created by a great camera. It's created by talented, creative people. And those people use tools (cameras and lenses) to do it.

So this course is not about the tools. It is about why a tool might be used in a particular way. So if you are in need of creative inspiration, then these courses are right for you.

We teach the creative part of video filmmaking.

We teach filmmaking skills at a level that can be understood by the lay-person or amateur filmmaker, from techniques used by broadcast professionals.

During this course you will learn what is needed to tell a story on video, while informing and entertaining the viewer, no matter who they are. You will learn the important elements that go to make up a story, the affect of the visual elements and the importance and affect of the audio track. You will learn to prioritise when shooting, to enable the editing process to be easy and intensely creative. By using the techniques taught here, you can become a great video storyteller.

There are 42 lectures and 7 quizzes. Most instruction is by video, with examples and samples.

  • Part 1. Identify what kind of programs do you want to make?
  • Part 2. The five most important element of video storytelling. The importance of audio.
  • Part 3. From still photography to videography, information versus emotion. The effect that audio has on an image.
  • Part 4. Shooting techniques: The 4-second rule is the secret to delivering footage for the edit. I also teach editing-in-camera versus shooting for the edit, and more.
  • Part 5. Shooting techniques: Perspective, zooms, lenses, light, composition, perspective, shooting interviews and much more.
  • Part 6. Equipment ideas.
  • Part 7. Conclusion and introduction to the editing course

Your lecturer

Andrew St Pierre White has 37 years as a broadcast professional, with international awards to his credit. He understands what it takes to capture great footage and audio to make compelling videos— even as a low-budget indie producer. And, wether it be a documentary series, a 30-second commercial or a YouTube product review, he has done them all. His YouTube channel boasts over six million views a year and his commercials and TV shows have been broadcast all over the world.

Latest testimonial on Udemy:

This is an excellent course for videographers who want to learn from a professional with over 30 years experience. BEST COURSE ON UDEMY. 10/10 Richard Butler, 1 hr 21 mins ago ·

Testimonials from our seminar attendees:

"Even though I used to shoot still photos for a national news organization, I had no idea how different the video story-telling process is from still photography. In just one class with Andrew, I learned more about making a great video than I had in all my other classes combined. Andrew's practical focus comes from 30 plus years of being a doer, not just a teacher. And make no mistake, Andrew is a GREAT, humble and respectful teacher. Andrew's class opened my eyes (and ears!) to how to tell compelling stories through video, and made me a much better consumer of the art as well. Thanks, Andrew!"

Robert Towry

Monument, CO, United States

" I was fortunate to attend Andrews' class in Flagstaff, Arizona this year. A still photographer at heart, I wanted to make the leap into video making. With Andrews class I have learned so much and was so motivated that I want to become the next Spielberg! The course was informative and fun, from theory to fascinating clips that kept us all wanting more! There are many teachers who teach, but Andrew inspires and knows how to tell a story! "

Connie Blaeser

Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada

Who is the target audience?
  • This video course is meant for those who desire to shoot compelling video. It ensures that your footage is ready for the edit.
  • This course is essential learning for any still photographer wanting to get into video.
  • We focus on creating great content. We believe that far to much emphasis is given to equipment in most courses available today.
  • This course may be too advanced for you if you have never shot stills or video before.
  • While we discuss the pros and cons of various camera tyres, if you want to know what specific camera, what lens, what codec, what lens hood to choose, this course may not fulfil all your needs.
  • At the end of my course, students will have a clear understanding of what is required to shoot for the edit. Their footage will not only be better, but better suited to great storytelling and audience retention.
Students Who Viewed This Course Also Viewed
Curriculum For This Course
42 Lectures
6 Lectures 19:29

We believe our course is different to most other video courses, and its important that you know what you are about to learn is different too, and why.


Get ready to understand the creative process that makes all the difference.

Preview 02:23

Professionals worry about money. Artists worry about light and sound. Amateurs worry about equipment.

At the end of this course are a series of videos about equipment. But they are placed at the end of the course for a good reason . . . They are the least important of all.

Most of all, avoid the trap of thinking that you need the best, most expensive equipment. An iPhone, in the hands of a true artist, will make a more entertaining movie than one made by someone who thinks equipment is vital and has a 4K Sony F5 and a set of Canon primes in his or her nice black Pelican case.


Learning the skills required to tell a great story with video means learning how to:

  • Capture images and audio;
  • Use sound effects and music;
  • Get the most out of your subjects, the light, the ambiance, and the story.

It does not mean spending loads of time on the equipment we use to do it.

On this course, we do talk about equipment, but more about rigs and shooting, and how some pieces of equipment help the process, while others hinder it.

We don’t talk about brand names, specific cameras, lenses, or makes of tripod. We leave that to the amateurs.

So, before we get into the videos, my advice is stop worrying about equipment. Rather worry about things that really matter - light and sound.

That doesn't mean that you should not spend some time finding out what equipment would best suit your filmmaking desires, but do not let it get in the way of creativity.

Most of all, avoid the trap of thinking that you need the best, most expensive equipment. An iPhone, in the hands of a true artist, will make a more entertaining movie than one made by someone who thinks equipment is vital and has a 4K Sony F5 and a set of Canon primes in his or her nice black Pelican case.

Personally, when I want to make a movie, I first come up with an idea, then I plan how to achieve and finance it, next I organize the support network. Only when all of that is in place do I ask myself how and with what am I going to shoot it.

Preview 01:37

What kind of videos do you want to make. Having this clearly defined, will help you get the most from what is taught.

Be clear as to what kind of video you want to make

This task will help you identify what you consider good filmmaking, and what will make you a good filmmaker.

More about the kind of films do you want to make. A task to help.

Are you ready to learn how to make great videos?
1 question
The five keys to great storytelling
5 Lectures 16:30

This is without doubt the single most important thing taught in this course. Watch this video, BEFORE going any further.

The single more important thing taught in this course. Watch this first.

Now you have been told the key to great filmmaking, let's understand why this is true.

The five keys to great storytelling.

Why is audio so important?

Capturing audio when shooting a documentary film is as important, and in some ways more so, than capturing video. The reason is that without an audio track, a film is lifeless, has no emotion, and will never inspire its audience.

Have you ever watched an entire TV show with the sound off? Probably not. But have you ever listened to a story on the radio? Sound is more powerful than imagery when expressing emotion.

And, as you learned last week by looking at programming you enjoy, every great story creates emotion in the hearts of its audience.

Why audio is so important to storytelling

Images provides the information. Audio creates the emotion. A video with no emotion is dead. So this means that audio is the key to making great videos.

Audio versus images.

This task will assists you in understanding the power of audio to paint a picture and create emotion.

Understanding the power of audio.

The Keys to great storytelling
2 questions
Still Photography and Videography.
7 Lectures 24:30

In this lesson, we discuss shooting for the edit, both as a still photographer coming into movies, and as a dedicated videographer.

The first two videos are aimed mostly at still photographers transitioning to movies. However, if this does not apply to you, I still recommend that you watch them, as there is valuable instruction in them for anyone holding a video camera.

Making the leap from stills to movies

This leap can be a challenge even for professional still photographers, and many fail because:

  • they do not make the necessary changes to how they capture their images. A visual for a video is not very different from a still image, but the way it is captured is very different.
  • they seem stuck on the fact that beautiful images are ‘everything’. With stills, of course it is. But with video it is not. Still photographers who make storytelling, and not perfect images, their priority quickly learn to balance great images with content, and thus tell great stories.
Why some photographers become great filmmakers, and others don't. Video.

From still photographer to creative video filmmaker

Making the change easy.

The main difference between a still photo and a video is not the moving images. Its the audio. Because its the audio that creates the emotion, not the video.


  • The wide shot is the establishing shot. It instantly tells us where we are, what the place looks like, what the weather's doing, and time of day. Two, maximum three wide shots will usually suffice to establish all of this.
  • Close ups are used to capture detail and emotion. These shots answer the following story questions: who is there? how are they feeling? did anyone get hurt? has anything been broken? who has the beers? are they happy to be there? Get lots of variations to keep the editor happy.
  • Sound creates emotion by providing even more information. Without pictures, sound answers questions like: how fast is the river running? are the people stressed? it is peaceful? are there other people about? The story comes from what the subjects say and how they say it. Capture additional ambient sound effects so the editor can create the right atmosphere.
A still photo, plus emotion through audio, is a video.

The 4-second Rule and Audio is King are without question the most important tools in this shooting-for-storytelling course. Remember them, and always use them.

As you now know, providing the editor with as many variations of shots as possible is the aim of any good camera operator. The 4-second Rule is your key to achieving this. By following the guidelines I teach in the video above, you will easily double, treble, or even quadruple the number of variations from the same shot. After that, the editing will be a breeze on a hot day.

Okay, to recap on the video:

  • Once you have your shot properly framed, hit the record button and count to four. I suggest an actual count in the head until this becomes natural, because four seconds is longer than you think.
  • Hold the camera still. STILL! MOTIONLESS! Only pan if you are following a subject that is moving.
  • Once you have your four seconds, move the camera, and do the whole process again.
The 4-Second Rule. The key to getting lots of options for the edit.

Shooting video so the edit is easy and intensely creative.

Shooting for the edit

A task to increase your awareness of the need to shoot for the edit.

How are stories told on video? TASK

A task to assist you with making the 4-second rule a habit— one of the most valuable parts of this course.

4-second rule - TASK

The Four Second Rule
2 questions
Shooting Techniques for the edit.
6 Lectures 44:29

How to shoot is one thing. What to shoot is the other. Lets talk about getting footage that makes editors love what they do.

What do editors want? Part-1.

Telling stories with the camera

What do editors want? Part-2.

What kind of detail to shoot to enhance and help tell the story

Detail inspires the audience

Good and bad habits when shooting for the edit.

Editing in-camera versus shooting for the edit

I’ve shot so much of my work in situations where I’ve had little time to set up a tripod and light the scene. So much has been, as I put it, shot from the hip.

But shooting from the hip doesn’t excuse sloppy camera work. By that, I mean, bad composition and a shaky camera when there is nothing to shake about.

It does mean being creative and inspired at the very moment when something happens. This is the great reward of camera operating ‘from the hip’. And I love it!

In the following video, I show a sequence 'shot from the hip' to illustrate this point. Please watch it now.

Gun and Run shooting for the edit

In this sequence in the previous video, you may have noticed some rather odd camera angles – alternative shots to the ordinary. I have often been frustrated with hired camera operators who shoot everything from eye level and never think to seek the interesting angle. Even when they set up a tripod, it always at eye height so they don’t have to bend down to look through the viewfinder. I call it laziness and laziness makes for uninteresting storytelling. Challenge yourself to find the alternatives to the eye-level perspective, because it makes for far more interesting viewing.

Even in low light, a still photographer usually only has to hold the camera steady for a couple of seconds. When filming with video, those seconds quickly roll into double figures. It is therefore important – vital– that you discipline yourself to hold the camera steady. Use your body to help you steady the shot when it isn't possible to set up a tripod.

Holding the camera steady. Video presentation.

A useful little quiz
4 questions
Composition, light and amateur traps
8 Lectures 32:09

This week we look at the common camera techniques that shout, ‘I am an amateur’.

Beware the zoom lens

Most video cameras are equipped with zoom lenses, but, contrary to the view of most amateurs, the zoom function should be regarded only as a tool for instantly changing the framing of a shot. It should not be used to zoom while filming, because nothing screams amateur more than a randomly zooming camera.

On rare occasions, you can perhaps use it where a fast zoom into a subject is done to highlight attention. But use this technique sparingly because zooming is unnatural to the human eye, and therefore should be avoided. In the accompanying video, I explain more on this and other the exceptions where a zoom can be hidden by a pan or a tilt.

Image composition

Getting an image properly framed and composed is another minefield for the amateur. To solve this challenge, use the 4-second Rule, and avoid excessive camera movements.

If you are going to pan (side to side) or tilt (up and down) do it with purpose, from one fixed, still composition to another. Every pan and tilt must begin from a well composed shot and end with an equally nicely composed shot, with a four second still frame at both ends. Panning and tilting when following a moving object does not need to be composed or static at each end.

Avoid the Amateur traps

Any direct sunlight on a person's face will be harsh and unkind, no matter the time of day. Direct sunlight shows every blemish and wrinkle, a problem easily solved by placing the subject in the shade, if possible.

As a rule, using soft front light on the face, with sharp, brilliant light on an out-of-focus background is always desirable.

Shooting an interview

Shooting formal interviews when inside is mostly easy.

  • Move the subject close to a window.
  • Keep the background clutter kept to a minimum and darker than the subject.
  • The background should be out of focus, especially if the items in the background have no relevance to the story.
  • The light should be flat, angled straight into the person’s face.
  • Avoid deep shadows on one side of the face, as was fashionable in the ‘80s. It's not cool.

Outside interviews can be more challenging.

  • Your subject must be in deep shade, the deeper the better. The trouble with this is, that the light on the background is almost always brighter than on the face. This is particularly bad with dark skinned people, where the exposure has to be increased to provide skin detail. The solution is to find a background that is as dark as possible, or move into a room, hut or stall.
Shooting Interviews

Lenses and their affect on the image

Lenses and their affect on composition

Auto-white-balance is a no-no if you want your footage to look good.

  • Auto-white-balance should only be used when multiple light sources are present.
  • When outdoors, never use auto-white-balance. It tends to remove any ambiance from the picture and gives all the images the same tonal value. This often makes things boring.
  • As an easy to remember rule, when inside (with artificial light) use auto white balance, and when outdoors in natural light, set the white balance on whatever conditions prevail (cloudy, sunny, snow, etc.)
White Balance. Video presentation.

Exceptional light can turn an ordinary scene into one that is extraordinary.

You will find that amateur filmmakers often do most of their filming in harsh sunlight. It is always best to shoot during the 'magic hours' – late afternoon and early morning – when the shadows are long and the light is sharp.

  • Back light is great for ambiance and feeling. So, if it is more important that the subject be given a quality by the light, back light will very often be the better choice
  • Front light is better for detail and information. If the subject's details and content are important (what the subject looks like) then front light of flat light is preferable.
Light is Everything

Ideas on image creation and perspective to tell a story


The important ingredients that a presenter needs to be loved by their audience.

Being a presenter

More ideas as to how to present to camera.

Presenting part-2

Another useful little quiz
6 questions
Camera equipment ideas
9 Lectures 44:23

Camcorders, their advantages and disadvantages for filmmakers.


DSLR cameras and their advantages and disadvantages for filmmakers.​

Mirrorless still cameras and their advantages and disadvantages for filmmakers.

Mirrorless stills cameras for video

Microphones and advice for indie filmmakers


Action cameras like GoPros are not just about getting great footage.

Action cameras

Uses for action cameras that are a little unusual.

Filters like polarizer and color graduated are discussed and their uses are discussed.

Filters are needed to improve an image's look

Technical information for indie filmmakers

Bitrates and Frame rates

Tips on capturing great audio for indie filmmakers

Recording audio

What camera should I use?
1 question
Conclusion and summary.
1 Lecture 09:41

Thank you for your participation in this course. I hope you have gained insight into making better videos. This video concludes this course, and introduces the follow-on course, which is all about creative editing. It takes what you have just learnt to the next level - to grab our audience, hold on to them, and have then wanting more.

Conclusion and introduction to the editing course
About the Instructor
Andrew St.Pierre White
4.4 Average rating
803 Reviews
3,562 Students
4 Courses
TV Broadcast Professional

Andrew St Pierre White is a broadcaster, writer and presenter, with 38 years in TV, film and publishing. He is also a published author with over 16 book titles and his YouTube channel has over 12 million views and over 59 000 subscribers.

  • Included in his resume as director and photographer are over 80 TV documentaries, many of which have been on major TV networks. He's edited hundred of TV commercials and won several top international editing awards.
  • He's an award winning author, married to a NY Times bestselling author.
  • He's also a passionate and involved teacher.