1st Edition

Essential Knowledge for the Aspiring Media Professional

By John S. Zaffuto Copyright 2020
    170 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    170 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Essential Knowledge for the Aspiring Media Professional provides readers with the skillset needed to produce professional, high-quality video content in today’s competitive media landscape.

    The author draws on over two decades of industry experience to offer strategies for how to develop a sense of design, adopt a holistic approach to the media production process, and craft a distinct idea for a project’s intent and form. In five in-depth chapters, the book delves into topics ranging from pre-production and planning processes to technical considerations and post-production methods. It concludes with an overview of career opportunities for aspiring media-makers. 

    This book is an invaluable resource for students and professionals alike looking to hone creative production techniques within a broad range of formats and environments, particularly those requiring effective marketing and advertising-oriented content.



    1. Pre-Production and Planning

    Part One: Assessing the Project

    Part Two: Notes on the Creative Process

    Part Three: Determining the Project Aesthetic

    Historical/Cultural Influences

    Film Influences

    Popular Music

    Design as Influenced by Technology

    Detail, Design, Direction

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    2. Technical Considerations

    Frame Size

    Frame Dimension

    Frame Rates

    Frame Characteristics

    The Nature of Video Files

    The Nature of Audio Files

    The Nature of Still Images

    Orders of Magnitude for Data

    Scopes and Reference Devices

    Storage Considerations

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    3. Location ProductionSituational Awareness

    Mechanical Competence


    Organization and Responsibility

    Preparing for Location Production

    Cameras and Camera Support Equipment


    Studio-Based Lighting

    Location Audio

    “Care and Feeding” of the Microphone

    Showtime! Or, What Should Occur During and

    Immediately Before Location Production

    Location Selection and Preparation

    Proximity to Civilization

    Official Permissions and Courtesies

    Working With What You Have

    Location Hierarchy: Who’s in Charge?


    Lights, Camera, and Other Stuff

    After the Shoot

    Notes on Studio Production

    The Nature of Studio Production

    Studio Elements and Personnel

    Control Room Elements and Personnel


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    4. Post-Production Procedures

      Part One: The Pre-Edit

      A Note About Music

      Part Two: Planning the Edit

      Part Three: The Editing Process

      Leftovers: Saving the Edit for Later

      Presentation and Evaluation

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    5. Now What? Career Opportunities and Considerations

    Final Thoughts

    The Television Affiliate

    The Film IndustryProduction Houses

    Creative Boutiques and Agencies

    Corporate Environments

    Government and Education


    Houses of Worship

    Event Production

    Hybrid and Hyperlocal Media


    Emerging Technologies

    Marketability: You Are Your Own Product

    Make Getting a Job Your Job

    Demo “Reels,” Social Media, and Online Promotion

    Social Media and Maintaining an Online Presence

    “Analog” Materials

    Suggested Order of Resume Components

    Maintaining a Career

    Final Thoughts

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    John Stephen Zaffuto has worked in the motion media creation industry for over twenty-five years. In that time he has served in many roles, including broadcast production manager, chief editor, and post-production supervisor. He currently is both an instructor and television facility operations manager at Southeastern Louisiana University. He is also the recipient of three Suncoast Emmy awards as well as numerous other regional and national awards and recognitions.