Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Video Basics, 8th Edition

  • Herbert Zettl
  • ISBN-10: 1305950860
  • ISBN-13: 9781305950863
  • 448 Pages | Paperback
  • Previous Editions: 2013, 2010, 2007
  • COPYRIGHT: 2018 Published
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About the Product

Drawing from Herbert Zettl's vast expertise as an Emmy award–winning producer, director, and innovator, VIDEO BASICS, 8th Edition, delivers the most authoritative, current, and technically accurate student guide to video production available. Meeting the need for a briefer book than the more comprehensive TELEVISION PRODUCTION HANDBOOK, the eighth edition of VIDEO BASICS presents thorough yet streamlined video instruction that can be covered in a single semester. It moves students from video concepts and processes to production tools and techniques, and, ultimately, the production environment (studio and field, indoors and out) and its effects. A more conceptual framework leads students from the idea (what to create) to the image (how to create) on video. In addition, the accompanying MindTap Radio, Television & Film provides an interactive digital experience to help students ensure their course success.


  • Drawing from his vast expertise as an Emmy award–winning producer, director, and innovator in the field of television and video production, Professor Zettl brings students the most technically accurate, current, and authoritative text for the video or television production course.

  • Acknowledging that digital video is now an established medium, VIDEO BASICS, 8e, only includes references to analog to help explain the digital process or the analog equipment that is still in use.

  • To explain some of the often-puzzling terminology of digital television (DTV) and the various scanning systems, chapter 3, Image Formation and Digital Video, explores the major differences between the scanning, sampling, and compression standards of digital television and high-definition television (HDTV).

  • The text's unique production model helps students clarify early on the nature and basic purpose of their productions.

  • To provide students with practical information for real-world practice, chapter 12, Postproduction: Digital Editing, explains major digital recording processes and postproduction procedures.

  • Providing constant visual support to the concepts and applications, the text features more than 250 vibrant photos and diagrams updated to include the latest technology and equipment.

  • Script samples in a variety of formats, as well as scripts that have been marked up by a director, expose students to this essential production step.

  • Up-to-date discussions and illustrations of the latest technologies and innovations include digital capture equipment, new field units, and digital audio equipment. Current lighting instruments (such as LED lights) are discussed in chapter 8, Light, Color, and Lighting. Compositional needs for the various aspect ratios are covered in chapter 6, Looking through the Viewfinder, and Chapter 9, Graphics and Effects.

  • The term video is used throughout the text as a more inclusive term than television to encompass today's productions for nonbroadcast purposes, without distinguishing commercial from noncommercial productions or highly artistic creations from standard programming.

  • Focusing on the convergence of field and studio production, the text provides a more practical introduction to the video industry by covering such key issues as budgeting and scheduling as well as creativity and storytelling. It also presents the production process within a simplified framework.

  • The emphasis on aesthetics, extensively featured throughout the text, helps students understand the why and how of achieving high-quality video and audio effects.

About the Author

Herbert Zettl

Herbert Zettl is a professor emeritus of the Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts Department at San Francisco State University (SFSU), where he led the Institute of International Media Communication and received the California State Legislature Distinguished Teaching Award and the Broadcast Education Association's Distinguished Education Service Award. Prior to joining the SFSU faculty, Zettl worked at KOVR (Stockton-Sacramento) and as a producer-director at KPIX, the CBS affiliate in San Francisco, where he participated in a variety of CBS and NBC network television productions. Because of his outstanding contributions to the television profession, Zettl was elected to the prestigious Silver and Gold Circles of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS), Northern California, and received their highest honor, the Governors’ Award, which includes an Emmy. He is also a member of the Broadcast Legends of the NATAS Northern California Chapter. Lecturing extensively at universities and professional broadcast institutions both in the United States and abroad, Zettl has presented key papers at a variety of national and international communication conventions. He is the author of VIDEO BASICS, TELEVISION PRODUCTION HANDBOOK and SIGHT SOUND MOTION, which are translated into several languages and published internationally. His numerous articles on television production and media aesthetics have appeared in major media journals worldwide, and he also developed an interactive DVD-ROM -- Zettl's VideoLab 4.0 (Cengage Learning). His previous CD-ROM version won several prominent awards, including the Macromedia People's Choice Award, the New Media Invision Gold Medal for Higher Education, and Invision Silver Medals in the categories of Continuing Education and Use of Video.

Table of Contents

1. Production Process.
2. Production Team: Who Does What When?
3. Image Formation and Digital Video.
4. Video Camera.
5. Operating the Camera.
6. Looking through the Viewfinder.
7. Audio and Sound Control.
8. Light, Color, and Lighting.
9. Graphics and Effects.
10. Switcher and Switching.
11. Video Recording.
12. Postproduction: Digital Editing.
13. Editing Principles.
14. Production Environment: Studio.
15. Production Environment: Field and Synthetic.
16. Talent, Clothing, and Makeup.
17. Putting It All Together: Directing.

New to this edition

  • The exciting new Eighth Edition of VIDEO BASICS delivers the most current coverage available. Extremely student friendly, all chapters are completely up to date, concepts are fully clarified, and the text is streamlined so that its content can easily be taught in a single semester.
  • References to high-definition video have been eliminated because HDV has been replaced by true high-definition television (HDTV), even in small consumer camcorders.
  • Some of the content in chapter 3, Image Formation and Digital Video, has been rearranged or eliminated to make this important, information-packed chapter less challenging for readers to work through.
  • Super-HDTV scanning modes, normally used for digital cinema, are introduced.
  • DSLR cameras and some new camera mounts are now discussed, giving students insight into the latest equipment.
  • 3D video is thoroughly explained both in chapter 4, Video Camera, and chapter 6, Looking through the Viewfinder.
  • New coverage of LED lighting equipment and its studio use have been added.
  • Tapeless recording media and digital editing are emphasized throughout the text.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

Instructor Supplements

Online Instructor's Manual  (ISBN-10: 1305951115 | ISBN-13: 9781305951112)

The Online Instructor's Manual for VIDEO BASICS, includes chapter notes with teaching suggestions and activities, multiple-choice questions, essay/discussion questions, and additional teaching resources. The manual also includes the answers to the exercises in the Video Basics Workbook.

Cengage Testing, powered by Cognero® Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 130595114X | ISBN-13: 9781305951143)

Cengage Learning Testing Powered by Cognero® is a flexible, online system that allows you to import, edit, and manipulate content from the text's test bank or elsewhere, including your own favorite test questions; create multiple test versions in an instant; and deliver tests from your LMS, your classroom, or wherever you want.

MindTap Radio, Television & Film, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Zettl's Video Basics  (ISBN-10: 1337098981 | ISBN-13: 9781337098984)

MindTap Radio, Television & Film for Zettl's VIDEO BASICS, 8th Edition is the digital learning solution that helps instructors engage and transform today's students into critical thinkers. Through paths of dynamic assignments and applications that you can personalize, real-time course analytics, and an accessible reader, MindTap helps you turn cookie-cutter into cutting-edge, apathy into engagement, and memorizers into higher-level thinkers.

Student Supplements

MindTap Radio, Television & Film, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Zettl's Video Basics  (ISBN-10: 1337098981 | ISBN-13: 9781337098984)

It's 1 a.m., there are 20 tabs open on your computer, you lost your flashcards for the test, and you're so tired you can't even read. It'd be nice if someone came up with a more efficient way of studying. Luckily, someone did. With a single login for MindTap Radio, Television & Film for Zettl's VIDEO BASICS, 8th Edition, you can connect with your instructor, organize coursework, and have access to a range of study tools, including e-book and apps all in one place! Manage your time and workload without the hassle of heavy books! The MindTap Reader keeps all your notes together, lets you print the material, and will even read text out loud. Need extra practice? Find pre-populated flashcards and the entire eBook in the MindTap Mobile App, as well as quizzes and important course alerts. Want to know where you stand? Use the Progress app to track your performance in relation to other students.