The Shut Up and Shoot Documentary Guide – 2nd Edition (NEW!)

Stop talking about making movies…JUST shut up and shoot! This best-selling filmbook will show you how – step-by-step!

If you want to:

  • Avoid the most common filmmaking mistakes‚
  • Make your videos look and sound more professional‚
  • Get a jump start on the rest of your filmmaking peers‚
  • Learn more practical real-world info in a few hours, than most film classes cover in an entire semester‚
  • Have a full arsenal of proven strategies to help you stretch your film budget and better manage your production

…then you just may wanna cop a copy of the number one film book for amateur filmmakers in the world.  But don’t just take my word for it, peep what some of notable names in filmmaking have said about this book…

“I vouch for this book… extremely helpful for the newborn documentary filmmaker.”
- Albert Maysles, Grey Gardens, Salesman, Gimme Shelter

“Anthony Artis’ book is the best, most informative and entertaining book about making documentaries that I have come across.”
- Lloyd Kaufman, President of Troma Entertainment and creator of The Toxic Avenger

“Artis’ time working with film students has given him a well-honed knack for combining fundamental information on lenses, lighting and cutting with personal anecdotes that exemplify theory put into practice, and his self-effacing method of narration serves two purposes: It makes the book infinitely more readable than most similar volumes; and it puts documentary filmmaking within the reader’s grasp as Artis demystifies the process.”
- Jim Hemphill, American Cinematographer Magazine

“As my teacher, Anthony Artis taught me how to cut production down to the bare essentials to get it done… Without this foundation I would never have been able to keep up at the White House.”
- Arun Chaudhary, First Official White House Videographer and author of First Cameraman

“Anthony Artis’ The Shut Up and Shoot Documentary Guide is a good primer for the entry-level documentary filmmaker, presented in a breezy, down-to-earth vernacular style.”
-Thomas White, Editor of Documentary Magazine, a publication of the International Documentary Association

Although it takes years to master the individual elements of the craft, this book is an effective guide to every major concept you would be exposed to in a classroom setting (without the hefty price tag)! I overwhelmingly recommend this text to any aspiring broadcast journalist, documentary maker or film maker… This book is a 10!
~ Jessica Creech, Reviewer Micro Filmmaker Magazine Review

“A superb addition to the ‘how to’ subsection of your library, Artis’ tome is concise, while containing useful, accessible information on every aspect of documentary filmmaking, all with a doggedly hands-on attitude. Five stars.”
- 5 out of 5 star review from Empire Magazine


In The Shut Up and Shoot Documentary Guide, I spell it all out – lighting, camera, audio, pre and post-production from A-Z and make it plain and simple with useful full-color pictures, valuable tips, and simple terminology that anyone can understand, regardless of your experience level. And it’s all laid out logically by technical and production topics, even color-coded to make it all easy. Now when I say spelled out, I mean I’m giving you easy-to-digest illustrations, diagrams, charts, brand names, prices, and step-by-step procedures, in other words real and useful specifics on…

  • How to hook up a mixer 
  • What colored gels to use and when 
  • When and how to use lighting accessories
  • How to work remotely w/ an editor 
  • What film equipment you need to get started 
  • Which microphone to use in various situations 
  • What to look for when hiring crew 
  • What to look for when buying or renting a camera 
  • Interview preparation and warm-up
  • How to shoot a live event 
  • How to get the most out of shooting on a cellphone
  • How to hustle money back into your budget 
  • When to use camera auto-functions 
  • Which boom position to use and when 
  • How to successfully start a Kickstarter Campaign
  • How to shoot a remote video interview
  • How to shoot handheld 
  • How to avoid getting your equipment ripped off -
  • How and why to adjust video color bars 
  • Interviewing celebrities 
  • Popular camera specs and prices 
  • The most common budgeting mistakes to avoid 
  • How to manipulate your shutter speed and when 
  • How to feed your crew well on a budget 
  • How to get shallow depth of field in 5 different ways 
  • How to work a film festival 
  • How to mount a lav mic 
  • How to steal locations and not get busted 
  • Five different ways to get a film look from video 
  • How to raise the money and approach investors 
  • 8 set-up Lighting Cookbook‚ w/ diagrams and photos 
  • Which type of cables are used for what gear 
  • Who does what on the crew 
  • How to shoot in rough neighborhoods 


Albert Maysles – The Godfather of Doc Director/CinematographerGrey Gardens, Gimme Shelter, etc.
Albert Maysles is a living filmmaking legend. He’s one of the pioneers of the Direct Cinema movement who’s shot docs on such icons as the Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Castro.


Sam Pollard – Academy Award Nominee Producer/Editor4 Little Girls, When the Levees Broke, etc.
Over 30 years Sam has won a Peabody and Emmy Award. He has edited many of the films of director Spike Lee. Sam is also a dedicated production and editing professor at NYU.


John Canemaker – Academy Award Winner AnimatorThe Moon and the Son: An Imagined Coversation
John is an world-renowned animation historian and Executive Director of Animation of NYU’s legendary Tisch School of the Arts. He won an Oscar for Best Animated Short in 2005.


Rose Rosenblatt and Marion Lipschutz Producers/DirectorsThe Education of Shelby Knox
Rose and Marion are long time doc filmmakers whose work has been on PBS and Court TV. Their doc,  The Education of Shelby Knox, won Best Cinematography at the Sundance Film Festival.


Adrian Belic – Academy Award Nominee Co-Producer/Co-Director – Genghis Blues, Beyond the Call, Happy
Adrian and his brother Rocco, shot their documentary, Genghis Blues, on a Hi-8 video camera in the rugged mountains of Tuva. It was as down an dirty as it gets and it was Oscar-nominated.


Cliff CharlesWhen the Levees Broke, Good Hair, Venus and Serena
Cliff Charles is long-time D.P who shot award-winning feature documentaries for the likes of Spike Lee and Sam Pollard as well as music videos for some of the hottest artists out.  He’s a respected and sought after image-maker and talented visual-storyteller with a rep for doing great work on-time and on-budget in a variety of genres including narrative and commercial work as well.


Cybel Martin - Timberland Commercials, Orange Bow,  Sangam

Singled out for her expressive and stylized work, Cybel Martin is the first and only African American woman to receive an MFA in Cinematography from New York University. She served as the Cinematographer for “Pariah” director Dee Rees’ earlier film “Orange Bow” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and for “Sangam” which was recognized for its deeply moody and textured palette and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.  She’s also a regular contributor to Indiewire’s popular Shadow and Act blog.


Meghan O’Hara and Mike Attie - In Country
Meghan and Mike are both film teachers and active documentary filmmakers.  They successfully launched a Kick-Starter campaign to complete their riveting doc, In Country, which was recently named by PBS’ POV as one of as one of “Top 5 Films from Hot Docs 2014″ amongst a rapidly growing list of film festival accolades and awards.



Many of these name-brand indie filmmakers have been nominated for (and even won) Oscars and won more major awards, festivals, and accolades than I could hope to list. Like I said, this book is the real deal. And they all give perfectly candid, concise and practical advice on everything from crowd funding to storytelling to ethics throughout this book. Their hard-earned words-of-wisdom are full of valuable insights and inspiration that will help give you a leg up and learn things the easy way- from someone else’s experience.


Documentary professors and film instructors around the world have found this book to be a clear, practical and simple guide to help them teach the craft of filmmaking in all genres. The number one comment professors from such notable film schools as NYU, Chatman University and others report is that their students actually read and enjoy the book for it’s purely practical, illustrated and humorous approach.  (If you teach, you know what a real rarity this is.)  This partial list includes some of the most prestigious names in film education on either side of the globe and they have adopted this book in the classroom for one reason and one reason only- it’s helps their students to make better films.

  • New York University – Tisch School of the Arts – New York City
  • Chatman University – California
  • DCTV (Downtown Community Television) – New York City
  • S.A.E. (School of Audio Engineering) – London
  • Colorado University – Boulder
  • Judson College – Alabama
  • S.A.E. (School of Audio Engineering) – Amsterdam
  • Fort Lewis College – Colorado
  • Lafayette College – Pennsylvania
  • Morgan State University – Baltimore

And if you are a high school or short workshop teacher or home schooling, I don’t think you’ll find a better resource to teach your students the craft of video from A-Z.  Even if you’ve never done much shooting yourself.  Check out what one fan of the book, teenage filmmaking whizkid Cruce Grammatico and his mom had to say about their experience using the first edition of this book in a home school environment…


If you aren’t 100% completely satisfied with “The Shut Up and Shoot Documentary Guide – 2nd Edition” simply return it within 30 days or less for a FULL REFUND of your purchase price including original shipping costs.  No hassles. No forms. No B.S.

I’m incredibly proud of this product and put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into it to make it a truly helpful resource for filmmakers. Thank you to everyone from all over the globe who have sent me praise and thank you’s for this book. I truly hope you enjoy this product as so many others already have. I know you can buy this book from any bookstore anywhere, but appreciate your support in buying it directly from me, as these book sales help support the many other free resources I provide for filmmakers on this site and elsewhere. Happy Down and Dirty Filmmaking!

Peace, Love, and Video,
Anthony Q. Artis

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If you’re fired up now and want some immediate filmmaking instruction or to get a sense of my teaching, please check out my many online course on such as Foundations of Video: Cameras and Shooting or my popular weekly Pro Video Tips. And just cause you read this far down, why don’t you go ahead and enjoy this 7-day FREE trial of this incredible high-quality resource featuring many great instructors beyond myself on a wide variety of filmmaking, editing, graphics and other topics.

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