The more prepared you and your film crew are before you begin filming practice or a game, the better your video will be. Preparation, regardless of the level of football you play, will keep things running smoothly. I’ve found that when I’m properly prepared and have prepped my film crew, they take more pride in the video they’re capturing and the job they have to do.
You may have other ways you get your film crew prepped and ready but this is what I’ve found works best for us.
Teaching your Filmers
It’s always easier to understand when it’s visual, so I created a presentation with our own video to help our filmers understand how to film in each situation. Check out the presentation below to see how I break it down:
Tip: After your filmer shoots their first game or practice, spend 10 minutes with them to review what they did well and what they can improve.
Filming tips sheet
It is also helpful to create a print out of tips for the filmers. It would include a lot of the same information from your video, but would be something tangible to reference. Sometimes we get guys helping us who are temporary. This sheet is helpful for us to make sure we don’t forget to include anything.
- Make sure tripod is level.
- Avoid jerking the camera. Slow, smooth movements are always better than fast and jerky.
- Press record when the team gets to the line of scrimmage.
- After the whistle blows count “One Mississippi” and press stop.
- The shorter your video, the faster you can get it into Hudl.
- After an awesome play, zoom in and record the celebration. This stuff makes end-of-season highlight videos great.
- Keep all 22 players in the video as much as possible but not so wide that you have half of the field in the frame.
- Keep the frame as tight as possible but leave a little room for the players to move without leaving the frame.
- After the snap, follow the ball. A good tip is to watch what the lineman do. They will generally surge forward on a run play and stay put on a pass play.
- Zoom out a little as the play develops and comes to an end. Zoom in slowly for a nice clean shot.
- You are generally filming 16 players instead of all 22.
- A lot closer than sideline. It is important because the Linemen, QBs, RBs, TEs, and LBs can really see their footwork, technique, and which running lanes open up with this angle.
- Film down lineman to down lineman, but not so close that you are cropping out the running backs’ or linebackers’ feet.
- Don’t have to do as much zooming as sideline. Just stay steady and centered with the line of scrimmage in your frame.
- Stay with the flow. Being prepared to pan right, left, or zoom depending on where the balls goes.
- As the play comes to an end, slowly zoom in on the ball.
- We upload each angle on a separate computer using Hudl Mercury then intercut online once both angles are online. This speeds up our workflow tremendously and make it so we can break down and watch film sooner.
- If you are breaking down video using the iPhone app, have the person breaking down video sit by the filmer so the plays match up when you upload the video.
The Day Before the Game
Check Our Equipment
- Charge all batteries
- Label tapes
- Format camera cards or camera hard drives
- Check camera settings
- Make sure all switches are working (e.g., focus, white balance, and auto – most video cameras today do a great job on full auto)
Note: if you’re filming in HD 720p and unsure which setting is right, 60 FPS is the sweet spot for filming sports.
Restock the Equipment Bag
It’s important to have an equipment bag with extras of anything you might need:
- SD Cards
- Extension cord
- Power strip
- Battery charger
- Small umbrella
- Hand warmers
- An inexpensive solution for rain gear to keep our equipment dry is a giant ziplock bag. Cut a hole in the front of the bag for the camera to peek out and one on the side so the filmer can put their arm in to operate the camera.
- Duct tape can really save the day. Who knows when a tripod leg is going to break or you need to tape a cord down?
Choosing a Tripod
Having a tripod for your camera crew is the best investment you can make for your video. You can find some good quality, inexpensive tripods that that will do a great job.
These two are a great place to start: