Shooting Awesome Video

Shooting Awesome Video


(Reliable internet connection required.) has been known as the world leader in Final Cut Pro training since the day Final Cut Pro 1.0 was released.

Shooting Awesome Video is the world’s best complete beginning course on shooting high quality video.

If your video footage looks like “Blair Witch” or “Cloverfield”, and you wish it looked more like “Amelie” or “Hero”Shooting Awesome Video is the perfect learning experience. It is like a complete “consumer film school” for anyone who wants to dramatically improve the quality of the video footage they shoot.

Shooting Awesome Video is not meant for professionals. It was created for novices who wish to learn Hollywood secrets of camera operation, composition, lighting and location sound in a fun, family-friendly, fast-paced course. However, Shooting Awesome Video is such an excellent complete introduction to production it is the perfect prerequisite to more professional-level courses such as our DV Enlightenment lighting course.

Shooting Awesome Video was originally released on CD-ROM, and has already helped thousands of hobbyists, teachers, students, and budding filmmakers learn the essentials of shooting great-looking and great-sounding footage. The American Film Institute chose Shooting Awesome Video as the world’s best beginning production course for a program to teach Los Angeles District high school teachers about shooting digital video.

No one should learn alone. Each screen includes an ”Ask a Question” button that will post your question on our forums for us and thousands of other digital video creators to answer. You are always welcome to join us to ask questions, offer advice, and share tips with other students and your instructor.

What will I learn in this course?


This section covers tips on planning your project.

  • brainstorming
  • choosing a “model”
  • outline
  • script
  • storyboard

Camera Operation

This section focuses on setting up your camcorder to get the best results in a variety of situations.

  • zoom
  • auto/manual modes
  • focus
  • exposure
  • shutter speed
  • progressive scan
  • white balance
  • filters
  • preroll/postroll
  • timecode

Camera Aesthetics

This section focuses on the art of shooting awesome looking video.

  • rule of thirds
  • face space
  • high, low and dutch angles
  • background considerations
  • getting coverage of a scene
  • shooting for the web
  • shooting tips
  • accessories


This section focuses on using existing lighting, professional lights and ideas for low cost, high quality lights available from a local home improvement store to create magically beautiful footage.

  • 3 point lighting
  • key light
  • fill
  • backlight
  • background light
  • the final lighting setup
  • shooting outside
  • making your own light kit
  • using foamcore
  • making a backdrop

Location Sound

In Hollywood, they say “sound is half the picture”. Yet poor sound is the hallmark of hobbyist video footage. This section covers ways to capture quality location sound, from effective ways to use the built-in mic to showing the use of inexpensive lavalier, wireless lavalier, and shotgun mics.

  • using the built-in mic
  • lapel mics
  • shotgun mics
  • handheld mics
  • audio examples for all mics

The Shoot

This section shows a “behind-the-scenes” shoot that demonstrates the techniques shown in the rest of the course.

You’ll see a complete shoot for a short comedic film, watch the director direct the actors, show shots being captured in location order, see a disappearing special effect being shot two different ways, with cool picture-in-picture views of the main camera, and the finished edit of the shoot.

Price: $19.95
Click here to ask a question about this course or production in general.

Available for Mac OS X, Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7


  1. Jeff 14 years ago

    I have an older copy of this, love the information but is broken and doesn’t want to auto play. Takes forever to manually click .mov file and it actually play.

    Has it been updated or is it just my PC? Replacement copy available?

    • Josh 14 years ago

      We will get you all fixed up Monday!

  2. Darren 14 years ago

    I use a copy of this in my teaching and it doesn’t seem to work on the new iMacs or MacBook. It will run when I double-click it, but the menus are missing. Is this a version of QuickTime issue?

    • Josh 14 years ago

      Yes, the good news is, we can fix you up with a free upgrade to our DVCU version. We will email you.

  3. ron kahn 11 years ago

    I have been using my old os9 version for years. That machine just gave out and the dvd won’t work on my newer osx 10.6 machine. Is there an upgrade available online or do I need to buy the latest version?

    • Josh Mellicker 11 years ago

      Hi Ron, sorry I missed this. Message me and we’ll get you fixed up for free.

  4. Jana Halle 11 years ago

    I have used this video for many years with my video production class but it does not run on my new mac – can you help me resolve that? It is so good for my students and they learn so much –

    Thanks –

    • Josh Mellicker 11 years ago

      Sure, message me and we’ll get you fixed up!

      • Jana Halle 11 years ago

        I am a bit late in responding but hope I can still get a working version of Shooting Awesome Video. It is a main introduction to my Media Class. Please let me know how I can accomplish this.

        Thank you in advance.

  5. P Burrell 11 years ago

    I tried to use the CD-ROMs of the Shooting Awesome Video and Creating Awesome iMovies and I had trouble with QuickTime playing it. Is there a way we can fix this? Thanks.

  6. a masuda 11 years ago


    I wonder if you ll have a copy of Shooting Awesome Video on CD/DVD. I have purchased a downloaded version earlier this year. I find the learning material very useful, and now plan to send a copy to a friend who currently live and work in a remote corner of South East Asia. I have tried Amazon and Ebay with no luck. Thank you for reading this message.

    • Amanda 11 years ago

      Does your friend have access to the internet? If so, then all they’d need to do is download the course from DVcreators University!

  7. Kurt Priebe 11 years ago

    I have enjoyed using both your “Making Awesome iMovies” and “Shooting Awesome Video” instructional DVD’s for several years in our Communications/Media program for digital video and filmmaking classes here. I have found these very helpful, beneficial and great overviews of the production process.

    With the most recent Apple OS system updates, I can no longer use these… Are there updated units available which will work on current Apple systems? If so, how do I get these? Thanks for making a great product and I hope I can use tem again in the future!

  8. Amanda 11 years ago

    Absolutely! We can get you set up with the digital versions. Can you private message me your email address? I’ll send over some more information.

  9. Craig Contardi 10 years ago

    Hello there. I see you’re generously offering to upgrade users from the CD-ROM to the DVCU version of Shooting Awesome Video. Please let me know how I can make the switch. Thanks!

  10. Kurt Priebe 4 years ago

    I had written a few years back (SEE ABOVE) regarding updated DVD versions (or electronic downloads) of this series. I used the original for many years in college courses and would like to use it again. How can I get a copy of the digital version? Thanks!

Leave a reply to Josh Mellicker Click here to cancel the reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *