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Use Your Photography Skills to Master Videography

Lesson 20 of 37

Importance of Great Sound

Jessica Dimmock

Use Your Photography Skills to Master Videography

Jessica Dimmock

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Lesson Info

20. Importance of Great Sound

Lesson Info

Importance of Great Sound

I think that this was a part of the video experience and learning curve that for me was really difficult and I was very resistant to it. I'm this total visual storyteller. I got into visual journalism because I'm a photographer and so I'm really interested by what's happening kind of through the lens, and I wasn't really interested in using my ears at all in that process. And I totally went into it with this belief that, like, if the visuals were strong enough, that that would kind of transcend anything, and that is really not true, and many, many people have said it. Very important documentarians have said it. Michael Moore famously says it, that, you know, absolutely audio trumps visuals. It's so much more important. And this means that if you have this gorgeous set of material and your mic is all messed up or your sound is completely off, you can basically throw that material away. Now, the flip side is that if you have crappy visuals or if you have stuff that's completely not worki...

ng but your audio is super clean, chances are if you needed that material, you could get it in. So there's this real, like, kind of two different scenario situation that goes on. You could have incredible visuals of an important scene to you, and if that audio doesn't work, most likely you won't be able to use it unless it's something totally based on the looks of something that you don't need vis-, that you don't need audio for at all. So, like, a fight, even. You know, like, let's say two people are, get into some fight, and you've got it all on camera, but you don't have the audio for it, even something like that, you think, wow, if I took that audio out of that situation, would the visuals stand up? Now, the flip side is, like, let's say you've got a fight, and you've got all of the audio for it, and the camera's literally on the ground pointing at a soda can, if you have the audio of that, a mother and daughter screaming at each other, saying what the problem is, setting up the fight, all of that, you can use it. You all have probably seen movies, you've seen documentaries where this happens. There's a scarf over a lens because they don't wanna use, you know, they wanna hide the camera, but you still hear it. The camera has tipped over, but you still hear the audio. And no one minds that they're watching literally nothing as long as their ears are kind of engaged. So I definitely learned this the hard way. I didn't take audio as seriously as I should in the beginning, and I would shoot this great stuff and feel like I had these great scenes, and then I would go back and play back and realize that my audio was totally messed up and I would have to kind of throw some of that stuff away. So I want you all to not go through that pain and tragedy and get educated about sound, but also get excited about sound, because sound is this whole other experience in video, and once you start doing video and opening your ears up, it's not only that it's a necessary tool. It's that it can totally change the experience for your audience of what they're seeing and what they're feeling. There's so much emotion that is tied into sound that once you start kind of embracing it, you realize that it will enhance your visuals, it will make your material more powerful, more poignant, you know, more accurate, all of these great things.

Class Description

Just because you’re a photographer doesn’t mean you can’t shoot compelling video. If you have a digital SLR, you have the equipment. If you’re a photographer who loves to tell captivating visual stories, you have the passion and the necessary skills. It doesn’t matter whether you want to create powerful short films about global issues or take videos of your friends on vacation: all it takes to start being a successful videographer is strong photography skills.

Join VII Agency photojournalist Jessica Dimmock for this class, and you’ll learn:

  • How to storyboard to create a strong narrative
  • How to properly capture sound and voiceover while on a shoot
  • How to shoot for an editor and to think with the edit in mind
Jessica has traveled the world in the pursuit of powerful stories. Her work has been published in publications like the New Yorker and Time, and has been exhibited in galleries around the globe. Her skill with a camera allowed her to pivot into videography, where she created music videos, short projects and feature films. Becoming a filmmaker as well as a photographer opened up a new form of media for her stories - and doubled her day rate. Draw in new clientele and start expressing your creativity in new ways!  

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a Creativelive Student

I have been waiting for a course like this. Purchasing it was a no-brainer. Taught by an accomplished professional in the field, with a strong track record of high level work, Jessica Dimmock, I feel, is exactly the type of instructor Creative Live should be giving air time to. I have watched other Videography classes on Creative Live, and this was the first one that I felt was worth purchasing due to how much info was being shared, in a very methodical, easy to follow (but not dumb downed) fashion.

a Creativelive Student

This class has left me feeling very encouraged and inspired about getting into videography. Jessica has made some great work, in her short career with video, and was able to share what she learned through those experiences. She started out as a photographer and has now incorporated video into her skill set and it seems to have expanded the diversity her opportunities and has enriched what she produces and shares with the world. I look forward to doing the same thing in my own way. Thanks CL for another wonderful class.


Simultaneously broad and deep, the information Jessica covers and the way she delivers it really give you the feeling you can jump into video right away. Professionalism in every area, from prep steps to workflow in the field to clean organization and processing, inspires confidence in the value of her methods. She clearly learned most of this in the field over years of work, which means the rest of us now have a huge leg up on our first projects. Thank you so much!