It’s the big game of the season, and you’re ready to catch your child and her team on video. What you do next determines if you produce a highlight reel that’s the envy of ESPN or a choppy, fuzzy mess that’s painful to watch.
The best way to shoot sports videos for kids is to look to the professionals. You can’t match the equipment and manpower of a professional sports video team, but the basic techniques they employ can be used by anyone. Here are 10 quick tips for shooting kids’ sports videos:
Have a Plan
Before you get to the game, ask yourself what you want to accomplish with the final video. Do you want to focus on the game plays to help with coaching, the team’s camaraderie, or specific aspects of the game? Knowing what you want in advance will help you choose the best location.
When you watch a professional sports broadcast closely, you’ll notice they rarely, if ever, use the zoom. They jump from camera to camera, but they don’t zoom. There’s a reason for this.
Zooming in and out—especially on a moving target like a kid rounding second base, makes it difficult to keep the action in focus and in frame. The further in you zoom, the shakier the recording is, and if you continuously zoom in and out your viewers may complain of seasickness,
Don’t zoom when taking kids’ sports videos. Instead, act like a pro and move in closer for a closer shot, then away from a wider one.
Follow the Action
It’s tempting to focus only on your child when shooting sports footage, but you’ll have a more interesting video if you follow the action. By all means make your child the center of attention when he’s in play, but try to capture a sense of the larger game as well.
Use a Cover Shot
Cover shots are a standard for recording professional sports, and an excellent way to record the entire game. Choose an elevated spot at midfield, center ice, or the equivalent, and take a medium-wide shot. Follow the play as it develops, and you’ll get video that’s well-suited to coaching and review.
This is hard to do when your child’s team is tearing up the field, but cheering while recording doesn’t transfer well onto the resulting video. Stay focused—you can cheer when you’re not recording.
Experiment with Different Angles and Locations
Unless you’re filming kids’ sports videos to help the coach, chances are you won’t be recording the entire game in one continuous shot. Experiment with different angles and locations to make the video more dynamic.
Shoot the Whole Play
When you shoot a play, shoot the entire play. Showing the entire play gives viewers a natural sense of closure, so keep recording until there’s a pause in the action.
Take Some B-Roll Footage
During pauses in the action, professional sportscasters focus on interesting scenes and images: the bullpen lineup, or a helmet on the ground. Add similar “B-roll” footage to your kids’ sports video for a similar feel. Focus on a close-up shot, and hold the camera for at least five seconds. More is better than less. You can always cut a segment down to size but you can’t add footage you didn’t take.
Use a Tripod
Tripods make your shots much steadier, producing smoother videos. The further away you are from the action, the more you need a tripod. The same goes for close-ups, which need a stable foundation to prevent shakiness.
Use Video Editing Software
Video editing software helps you turn your footage into a story, cutting from the action to kids talking about the game, back to the footage, then to some of those B-roll shots. Most editing software is easy to use with a little practice, and really helps streamline your kids’ sports videos.
After all of your hard work and you’ve perfected the video, the last thing you want happening is to lose your video to a computer crash. Keep your video protected and back it up to your Picture Keeper Pro.