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Video Basics 8th Edition

Herbert Zettl

  • Published

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  • MindTap

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Instant Access to the full, mobile-ready textbook combined with superior online learning tools

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Starting at $131.95

Each MindTap product offers the full, mobile-ready textbook combined with superior and proven learning tools at one affordable price. Students who purchase digital access can add a print option at any time when a print option is available for their course.

This Cengage solution can be seamlessly integrated into most Learning Management Systems (Blackboard, Brightspace by D2L, Canvas, Moodle, and more) but does require a different ISBN for access codes. Please work with your Cengage Learning Consultant to ensure the proper course set up and ordering information. For additional information, please visit the LMS Integration site.

Standalone Digital Access — Ultimate Value

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  • ISBN-10: 1337098981
  • ISBN-13: 9781337098984
  • Bookstore Wholesale Price $112.00
  • RETAIL $112.00

Digital Access + Print — Flexible Value

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  • ISBN-10: 1337574317
  • ISBN-13: 9781337574310
  • Bookstore Wholesale Price $99.00
  • RETAIL $131.95

  • ISBN-10: 133758231X
  • ISBN-13: 9781337582315
  • Bookstore Wholesale Price $193.00
  • RETAIL $256.95

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  • ISBN-10: 133764045X
  • ISBN-13: 9781337640459
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  • ISBN-10: 1305950860
  • ISBN-13: 9781305950863
  • Bookstore Wholesale Price $183.00
  • RETAIL $242.95


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, this edition presents thorough 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 and its effects. A more conceptual framework leads students from the idea (what to create) to the image (how to create). Available with MindTap®, a digital learning solution that helps ensure course success.

Herbert Zettl, San Francisco State University (Emeritus)

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 Circle of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Northern California Chapter. 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.

MindTap® is the digital learning solution that powers students from memorization to mastery. It gives you complete control of your course—to provide engaging content, to challenge every individual, and to build their confidence. Empower students to accelerate their progress with MindTap.

  • 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.
  • 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.

Video Basics


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.

Video Basics

Training and Support

At Cengage, our top priority is taking care of you and your students and making sure that you have a successful experience with our products. Your personalized support team will consult with you to help you find the best solution to address your specific course goals, and once you’ve found that solution, will work with you to build your course and design a customized training and development program to ensure you and your students are ready to hit the ground running.

Learn More

Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.


Online Instructor's Manual

ISBN: 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 Learning Testing, powered by Cognero

ISBN: 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.