Introducing: Video School with Dean Arnett

How the course works

What does that actually mean?

Well I’ll give you an example. In a professional broadcasting organisation training is usually delivered to support whatever kit they already have in place. For an independent they might not have all that kit. They might be trying to work out what kit they should buy and which elements of that kit to prioritise first. So I created a whole section on ‘what is the right camera’ and another on ‘what is in my kit bag’. Both of these sections are especially useful to independents worried they have made the right camera or kit choice, where as trainees at broadcast networks or at corporations have to work with whatever kit is provided.

As an example of the training style, lets have a quick look at one aspect of this. It’s a question that I’m asked all the time, ‘what is the right camera?’

That’s one unit from a whole section on ‘which is the right camera’. Watching it back I’m not sure I’d had enough coffee that morning!

For independent self-shoot producers, video journalists or lone filmmakers ‘which is the right camera’ seems the most important question of them all. As ‘realtively’ cheap as decent quality cameras are these days, they still represent a sizeable investment.

But the truth is whatever camera you have to hand is the right camera for you to shoot with. It’s so much better to just get on with filming your story than sitting around coming up with reasons why one camera or another would be better for this job. Put it another way, all the films and TV shows that were made pre-2010 don’t suddenly disappear, they’re not suddenly inaccessible because the cameras they were shot on were, by modern standards, of questionable quality. Content is everything.

When I first got into this business, I was working with a camera guy and I naively asked him – once you’re in the film industry does that mean all the magic disappears from watching movies? Only if the movie is bad, he replied.

When it’s crappy film or unengaging story then he would start looking at the lighting, listening out for the sound or watching the camera moves and editing. Put an engaging story in front of an audience and they will be completely consumed and transported away into the narrative. That’s why we watch films.

So, concentrate on your content not on how many pixels your camera has.

However, there are, of course, a whole number of key and important things you need to consider when evaluating which is the right camera for a job. These include: sensor size and sensitivity, battery life, media cards, lens options, sound capabilities, ergonomics, perception and several others.

If you want to know more, sign up for one of the courses at

I’m always online, so always keen to hear thoughts, get questions or engage in discussion.

Dean Arnett will return in our next article when he’ll discuss Directing Action and Story treatments. Audio Video Pro readers can get a special, exclusive 30% discount to all the courses at the Dean Arnett Video School by entering the code AUDIOVIDEOPRO on the enroll page.