Saturday, October 6, 2007

Shooting video

Hello everyone,

My assignment Friday was to video tape the Football Game of the Week for our newspaper. Getting ready for it is always a challenge because batteries need to be fully charged, need to have new or almost new video tapes (mini DV) and have to make sure the external microphone is nearby. Tapes go bad quickly, and you don't want to end up with a tape that has no game for you. Plus, one has to familiarize one's self with the teams so that we can attempt to follow the action by watching out for the best and key players. Rosters have to be found somewhere (usually MaxPreps) and the coaches have to be located and informed of our intentions to video tape the game and of getting a post-game interview.

The other thing is that high school football is very popular everywhere and so parking is almost always a problem. Getting there early is the key. Prior to the game, I have to do some B-roll of people and players warming up and introductions, so about one hour or a little more is needed before the actual game action. Since the on-camera talent (Fred Robledo, prep sports editor or someone else) talks about the teams matching up, I have to show the players doing something before the game along with general team shot warming up, the fans coming in, the mascots getting crazy, band coming in, whatever.

Once the game begins, carrying a Canon XL2 on your shoulder for the two hours or so along with a backpack with everything you need is tiring but what can you do. Putting yourself on the sidelines is also something to be aware of because many times the players come right at you and if you don't jump out of the way, you'll go down with them.

Half time show action is taped too and some crowd shots. After the game, interviews with the coaches and player of the game come quickly and then back to the office to edit and do the voice over.

It takes some two and a half hours to three hours just ot finish about 8 minutes of action and interviews. Downloading in real time takes about 45 minutes to an hour, according to how much was shot. What sav es me some time is that as the tape is downloading, I am sitting watching like a hawk, noting down video clips and times on the clips of everything I will need for my final cut. I usually end up with some 75 to 100 clips in my final take. Then mixing video with audio, extracting audio and voice over takes some more time. Don't forget to watch your final product first so that anything you find wrong is fixed prior to putting it on air. Once in a while, we'll find wrong last name when the audio was being done, so we just redo it real quick and that's all. So, by the time the finished product in online for the customers, it has taken a full day or about 7.5 to 8 hours of work.

Check out some of my and my colleagues videos at

Until next time, keep shooting.

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