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Building a Professional Video Operations Department: The Equipment

This is the second part of a four-part series from Mikel Riggs detailing how he built a professional video operations department at Foley High School in Alabama. See Part One: Getting Everyone on Board, Part Three: Training the Students, or Part Four: Our Workflow.

After everyone was on board, we started research on our equipment. We made two things a priority when we were choosing:

1. Film Quality

Training your filmers is important, but won’t mean much if the quality of your film isn’t good.

2. Safe and Appropriate Filming Towers

Video Filming Structure

I knew from experience that this was an important aspect of the department. We already had a sideline tower on our practice field, but needed an end-zone tower.

When I was doing research, I came across a blog post about how the University of Colorado achieved their awesome film quality. After contacting their video operations department to discuss what equipment they used, I built a wish list based on their suggestions.

Our Wish List:

  • 2 Panasonic HMC40s
  • 2 Pelican 1500 Cases for Cameras
  • 8 Panasonic Class 10 8GB SD cards
  • 2 Pelican 0915 Cases for SD cards
  • 2 Portabrace Camera Rain Covers
  • 2 Manfrotto 190XDB Tripods
  • 2 VariZoom DVX Zoom Controls
  • 1 GoPro Hero HD2
  • 1 Endzone Video System
  • 2 13’ Macbook Airs

After we got the supplies we built what many consider to be the Taj Mahal of filming towers. We just like to call it Fort Cook.

If you have any questions. Feel free to email me at mikelriggs24@gmail.com.

Part One: Getting Everyone on Board

Part Three: Training the Students

Part Four: Our Workflow

Mikel Riggs is the son of legendary high school football coach Jamie Riggs. From an early age he knew he wanted to be like his dad and coach. He took an interest in technology and the role it plays in football in high school, and upon graduating, attended Huntington College in Montgomery, Ala. to play football. He returned home to coach with his dad for a year, then attended Auburn University the following year and worked for the football team in the video operations department for three seasons. He is the secondary coach and in charge of technology for the Foley High School (Ala.) Lions.

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