Run ‘n Gun Videography eBook
Run ‘n Gun Videography–the Lone Shooter’s Survival Guide was published in January 2105 on Amazon.
It was written primarily for lone shooters and small production companies as well as for those just starting out.
If you are a lone shooter or just a couple of people making up a video company, between you and me you are a ‘run and gunner’. I’m not sure if that moniker will catch on wedely, but it’s an apt description of any professional video production undertaken by a lone shooter or small crew.
A medium to large production company will show up to a venue much like any S.W.A.T. does–as you’ve seen in any number of police dramas. You and I however arrive to that same venue with a 6 shooter on our hips and have to accomplish the same task–and usually in less time. That stands to reason because there’s no vast chain of command, no truckloads of equipment to unload, set up, break down and reload, no large crew to feed, and few if any round-table discussions, meetings or negotiations. And no internal politics.
On the downside, the whole shebang rests firmly on your own shoulders along with full responsibility for it. Worse, the client will want the video to be as good as the one produced by the ‘SWAT team’. Well guess what? You can do it and that’s what this book is about.
As in any field, there are core principles which, when applied, give predictable professional results.
There are good car mechanics and bad ones.
There are good videographers and bad ones.
The difference is an understanding and skillful application of the basics. With that, experience gradually breeds confidence and judgment.
Run ‘n Gun Videography–The Lone Shooter’s Survival Guide gives you the fundamental basics in a simple and easy-to-understand way that is instantly applicable. That is not to say it is not a vast technical and artistic subject that couldn’t as easily be explained in a book ten times its size. But it is to say that this is the distillation of what is important and what all the rest is based upon.
The book doesn’t pretend that you can compete with the ‘cinematic’ look produced by larger crews and the array of equipment they have at hand.
But it doesn’t say that you can’t either.
The dirty little secret is that there are far more important things to videography and cinematography–or the ‘cinematic look’ for that matter–than specialized equipment and techniques. Too often these fancy cinematic productions are poorly done or done for the wrong reasons.
This book will help you get your priorities straight and set you on a positive path toward the ability to produce professional results with a fraction of the crew, equipment, overhead and time. But that’s all it can do–set you on a positive path.
It’s not to say that there is no hard work involved and it’s not to say you won’t make mistakes. I still do. But it is to say that if you understand and apply these fundamentals, you will arrive much sooner to the place you want to be.
I live in Spain and I’m interested in buying your ebook. However, in amazon it’s only possible to buy it if you’re in the U.K. It’s strange, I think. Only a sample of 4 chapters can be downloaded (for free) but it’s not possible to buy the whole book. Do you know other way of purchasing the book? Thanks!!
Hi Jorge, You tried Amazon Spain? I thought the book was available in all countries. Oh, you’re from the UK in Spain and using your UK logon, right? See if you can switch to Amazon Spain and try it then.
If you absolutely can’t download it from the Spanish Amazon site, the only option is that I can send you a PDF. You’d have to send whatever the price is to my wife’s Paypal address: firstname.lastname@example.org
and then I can send you the PDF.
Thank you. I tried both through Amazon Spain and Amazon UK without results. I just sent you the 9.29 euros of the price via Paypal to the address you gave me. Thanks!!
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I just found your YT channel and watched the X70 review. Nice, thinking to get one myself… Have you noticed at the top of your article, it says published 2105?
The book was published in 2015.
That’s ‘cuz it was!
I bought your book. I really like it by the way, thanks for sharing!
I was reading the section on your kit and have a question. Whats in your grip bag. I’m assisting more with teams on multi cam live video shoots mainly for experience and fun. What kind of Grip bag would you suggest and what tools should I have. As of now I carry a basic leatherman wing man multi tool, a black sharpy, a small led flash light, and a roll of blue masking tape for marking settings on audio gear.
I carry these tools because so far I noticed I needed one and didn’t have it so I got it for the next shoot, Because no one seems to have what is needed and I want to be as prepared as possible. (obviously we can’t anticipate everything but within reason) I want to build a complete tool bag (backpack) for video production that I can use as a sole shooter, which is my main gig, but also have tools that are studio/remote productions interface ready, should I build a rainbow marker tape string?. From listening to you describe your career and old school experience I’m hoping not to reinvent the wheel and gain any insight you may have in this area, I’m sure you have found over the years what you needed the same way (by not having it)
Thanks for your response, again Great book and blog (I’m sure there are thousands like me that would agree, you’re appreciated Joe!
Hi Hans, Well, since I got that new 5.11CAMS2.0 case for lighting and stands, etc. I’ve migrated the old grip bag into some of its side pockets.So in addition to what you’ve listed, I have clips of various sorts (clothes pegs and other small clips) for attached gels to lights or hanging black-out cloths, etc. I also have a few hanging-ceiling light mounts (scissors-type for clamping onto a hanging ceiling grid) as well as a pipe clamp type and a large spring clip one (all different ways of hanging lights). In addition to ‘marking tape’ you need some kind of ‘gaffer tape’. The stuff in the industry is great, but it comes only in large 2″ rolls last I knew. Hollywood gaffer tape is the best (duct tape is crap) because of its sticking power and ease of removal. I’ve since found a tape of similar quality made by Guerilla that comes in the 2″ wide rolls and also in 1″ wide rolls which is fantastic–and I use it a LOT. (taping cables, rigging stuff) They say you really only need two things in life: gaffer tape to hold stuff together and WD40 to loosen things up. (but you don’t need WD40 in your kit really). Other than that, it’s important to be able to repair electrical plugs. Your leatherman should have the screw driver bits to be able to take plugs apart. A small adjustable wrench is also in there and is occasionally handy. As mentioned in the book, I carried a single leather glove for handling hot lights, but don’t really need that anymore (thought it’s still in there) because I’m using flouro and LEDs now. That’s about it. And, of course, you add to it the things you find out on shoots that you don’t have and wish you did have.
Thanks for the reply Joe,
Do you carry a dry erase marker and basic slate? I noticed there’s a slate IOS app now. however I’m thinking basic plastic slate with color bars may be useful. Thoughts?
I haven’t used a slate since Hollywood. But that’s a team activity where footage is sent off to an editor who wasn’t there during shooting and needs to make sense of what he’s looking at relative to a script. Since I’m the director and know exactly what I got when I was shooting it, I tend to log and organize my footage after import. By all means, carry one or get a slate if that’s the sort of situation you’ll be working in. But as a run and gunner, it’s just more stuff and more actions to do that aren’t vital because when you see your footage you know exactly what you’re looking at and why you shot it. Carrying a small white card for color temp setting could be handy though.
Do you ever use a go pro in your productions? if so whats your advice on getting the best from it.
Occasionally, but not under the best conditions for GoPro (low light–as in a factory). I have the GoPro 4 Black edition, which was the first one designed for better low light handling, but it’s still mainly a camera for the bright outdoors. Best advice is to use the Pro Tune mode which gives you the most latitude in editing. The image may appear rather flat out of the camera, but all the info is there for bringing out color and contrast in post production.
I’m shooting in a craftsman in a small dusty workshop, I was thinking of using a 4 black with lighting as a slow mo b roll cam. have you ever used one with lights?
Which brings up another question, How do you protect your gear in hostile environments, ?
Well, your 4 Black in it’s waterproof case couldn’t be better protected. Should be perfectly fine with interior lighting for video.
Bought the NX30 after seeing your review. Do you do any training courses?
Thank you. No training courses, but an eBook published this January called ‘Run ‘n Gun Videography-The Lone Shooter’s Survival Guide’ on Amazon. And there are a few video tutorials on the blog on Lighting at the moment. You’ll find a direct link to the book on the Video Whisperer blog. I also have another blog which is a companion to the book called Run and Gun Videography.com that also has a link to the books and easy-to-find links to the tutorials that I have done.