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Need advice: Filming HS Football

AMD_5's picture
Last seen: 4 years 9 months ago
Joined: 02/11/2010 - 11:24pm

Hi all,

I'll give you a brief rundown of my situation:

I have recently started filming my former High School's football games in the hopes that I can make some money. Previously, the game were recorded with some sort of ancient Super8 camera, so the quality was quite bad. I filmed the first game, compiled it and gave it to the coaching staff to review. They, along with the whole team, were completely blown away by the quality of the editing and the actual footage. I gave this game tape to them at no charge. I guess you could call it a sampler.(It was fully watermarked in order to prevent anyone else using it without seeing my copyright all over it)

After having a discussion with the head coach, he essentially told me that he wasnt willing to pay me more than $30 or so per game (apparently he is paying the other person filming $20 /per game). I however, approached some of my friends on the team who were very interested in having me as the regular film guy. They said that they would be willing to pitch in some money to supplement what the coach wanted to pay in order to have this game footage. They would also get their other teammates to pitch in as well. We agreed on $150 per game. In return, I would offer the players on the team a 20% discount on personal highlight/recruiting films.

However, now the majority of the team members are backing out. These are the players who don't really get as much playing time. They, obviously, don't see a need for it. But the "star" players still want the High Def game footage. So now I have films ready from another 2 games that I filmed and they're sitting on my desk, waiting for this to be resolved.

Note: I have watermarked all my films because apparently the teams in my area have a habit of giving the game footage to the players for free, so that they can use it for their highlight films and such. It would be unfair to me for the school to pay 150, and 40 people have the use of my footage at no charge. I also included disclaimers and warning so that theres no way my stuff will end up on youtube without people knowing its my footage.

Now I don't know what to do.

My questions are, what can I sell these "star" players now that the school doesnt want the game film and how much should I charge them?

Any other comments/advice are greatly appreciated. I did not expect this at all and I am completely lost in this situation.

Thanks,

AMD_5


Hogwild's picture
Last seen: 8 years 5 months ago
Joined: 06/05/2006 - 2:28pm

I too, would like to approach this topic a little more seriously than I am currently, and I am guessing that EarlC will chime in here as I think he has written about this type of production.

My background is thus:

I have been filming my son's football games for the last few years (he's in 8th grade now). I do not sit in the bleachers and shoot handheld, I am perched on top of the announcers box (or in it) with tripod and remote control w/lanc. I use a Sony V1U with Manfrotto 501. I have done this at my own expense because in the end, it's my son and I wanted the footage. (I understand that you are not in the same situation). I have made a few dvd copies to some of the parents and after some recent conversations with them, they were not willing to spend $20/game for a dvd, but would be willing to spend more for the entire season. I have just started compiling the first season, broken up to about 3 games per DL DVD's, and will approach the parents in a couple weeks in hopes of the Christmas buying season. I plan to make one master set, and then duplicate the "orders" as necessary (I do have a duplicator).

My feeling is that the best approach might be to talk with the schools Booster Club or parents and try to work out an agreement with them. If you can make it profitable for the school, parents seem more willing to purchase and help out. I don't believe that approaching the students or coach will get you far. Once you have something worked out with the booster club, it could open the door to individual player highlight reels, or something more solid for next year's season.

That;s my .02 :)

Mark


AMD_5's picture
Last seen: 4 years 9 months ago
Joined: 02/11/2010 - 11:24pm

Thanks for that Mark.

My situation is a bit different. First off, I live in Canada and football isnt taken that seriously here as much as it is in the States. So things like booster clubs are unheard of here. Also, I am dealing with the senior team, so dealing with the players themselves is better for me for 2 reasons: I just graduated from the school last year and so many of the team members I know well, and many of the parents don't really care (like I said, not that serious up here).

The core group of players that are interested are the "star" players. These guys are immensely talented and are looking to take their skills to Canadian Universities, or even the NCAA. So it benefits them more. Getting highlight films done is usually taken care of by the students, not the parents. Also, many of them just throw the clips together in Movie Maker. Another friend of mine actually was in the business of compiling highlight films for a little while last year. He made a decent amount of money, but he had other things going on and could not devote as much time for it. Not to brag, but also, the equipment he was using pales in comparison to mine. I gave the team and coaching staff a look at what I can put out, and thats a professional quality product that could have costed them alot of money. I hoped that they would be interested in my lower cost alternative, but alas, they are more penny-pinching than I thought they were haha.

Arsenal: Sony NX5U, Manfrotto 501HDV


D0n
D0n's picture
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 11/09/2007 - 5:28pm

as a multimedia company... we find tying video to photo packages helps...

team photo.... game highlights video.... grad photos...... and individual highlights videos...

small amount to shoot the games, wide angle shots only.... with the team photo... something for everybody...

highlights of individual plays added to a seasons best hits... easy sell to the star players... along with individual player photos.

Season highlights, personal best plays closeups etc.. and grad photo package deal.... to the star players.....

like it or not, there will always be some that will pay more than others.


EarlC's picture
Last seen: 7 months 6 days ago
Joined: 10/15/2008 - 1:15am
Plus Member Moderator

There are a number of GREAT resource articles at Videomaker (Here's One) that can give you some direction, but perhaps not exactly what you're seeking. I will try to address your specific questions here or later when I've had some time to think them over - provided, of course, I have valid knowledge that will help rather than further complicate your situation.

A couple more Videomaker articles are HERE and HERE!

But it isn't shooting or getting the opportunities that you're concerned with, obviously, at this point. In Texas and California (yeah, football from rag-tag to professional is BIG in the U.S.A.) where I have my experience in football, as well as soccer, baseball, basketball, et al, it is really, REALL difficult to get coaches with tight pockets to go much more than what you noted: $20 to $30 per game. That, of course, is ridiculous considering the commitment to a full season for highlights generation, the amount of travel time, shooting time, clean-up editing and more that goes into your productions. Many coaches are so full of themselves it is impossible for them to react objectively, and the younger you are the more obstinate they can become.

You say: "... now the majority of the team members are backing out. These are the players who don't really get as much playing time. They, obviously, don't see a need for it. But the "star" players still want the High Def game footage. So now I have films ready from another 2 games that I filmed and they're sitting on my desk, waiting for this to be resolved.
"Note: I have watermarked all my films because apparently the teams in my area have a habit of giving the game footage to the players for free, so that they can use it for their highlight films and such. It would be unfair to me for the school to pay 150, and 40 people have the use of my footage at no charge. I also included disclaimers and warning so that theres no way (YOU HOPE) my stuff will end up on youtube without people knowing its my footage.
"My questions are, what can I sell these "star" players now that the school doesnt want the game film and how much should I charge them? Any other comments/advice are greatly appreciated. I did not expect this at all and I am completely lost in this situation."

According to your original post you got it to the point where "We agreed on $150 per game. In return, I would offer the players on the team a 20% discount on personal highlight/recruiting films."

My next question would be how many "star" players will sign on the dotted line to commit and perhaps even pay up front for your productions? Five? Ten? Why wouldn't THEY be willing to sign on and agree to pay you $30 or $15 (depending on the number) to generate the $150 per game? Is that possible?

How much would you want to receive per highlights video? I charge $25 US most of the time, but have set up special arrangements for various special circumstances. So, the STARS would then be out $15-to-$30 per game, and an additional $25 for a highlights video. More, if they want you to do an exclusive play tape that ONLY features them - more editing, of course.

My concern at this point would be how much flack are you going to receive from the team-at-large and especially the coach. Seeing as you say there's no support group, then the parents (perhaps other school officials) are the only other source you have to reach out and touch with your offers.

I will say this. Regardless of what you come up with you will ALWAYS put MORE into this particular project than what you're going to be compensated for all your hard work. It will NEVER equal out and will be more a labor of love, way to get experience, get the word out about your abilities, etc.

I've had an advantage because I've pretty much always had an "in" either with the boosters, parents group, school administration, or even the occasional receptive coach who KNEW he/she could garner support for the project. I've even had individual parents who were locked and loaded on their athlete's potential and were willing to fork over $300 a game for a full season of exclusive footage that focused primarily on their son or daughter. Rare, but it does happen.

I will NOT commit to a season of games for a football or soccer, any other sport, team's game videos without a minimum of $250 (depending on travel time, etc.) and that paid in advance, or upon delivery of the first game tape and verification of quality. In addition, that season commitment requires a guarantee of 30 or more highlight videos at $25 each, and commitment for my projection services at the end-of-season awards banquet. This past two seasons I've not attempted to tie myself up to a gaggle of Friday's, but when I DID pitch this I got what I note in this paragraph, or I didn't do it.

What has usually happened is that the support group or individual parent or parents get it kicked off (no pun intended), get me clearance to shoot from the sidelines if I prefer, pave the way with the school officials and coaching staff AND get other parents to come onboard with the project, spreading out the per game costs and usually resulting in my receiving MORE game videos and individual player highlight tapes - provided, of course, the principle parent who hired me is cool with me not being on his/her son/daughter the entire time.

I don't know if any of this helps or gives you some thoughts you can run with. Let me know and I will dig deeper into my aging brain and experiences. Thanks for the NOD hogwild.


AMD_5's picture
Last seen: 4 years 9 months ago
Joined: 02/11/2010 - 11:24pm

Earl,

Thank you so much. I was hoping you would reply to this topic. Everything you said is spot on. And you're right, all I really wanted to accomplish with this is to get my name out there and show people what I can do. It was a way to build my portfolio and at the same time make a little bit of money.

I will definitely keep what you said in mind. Hopefully, I can still get something out of this.

Thanks so much,

AMD_5

Arsenal: Sony NX5U, Manfrotto 501HDV


TxTop's picture
Last seen: 4 years 1 month ago
Joined: 10/20/2010 - 10:44pm

I'm glad I stumbled on this discussion! My suggestion would be to stream the games, insert your own commercials, and take the play by play from the local radio station or the group doing it. You'll make more money AND at the same time can still give the coaches their game videos.

The real reason I'm on here is secondary.

I have a camera question.

I stream multiple teams / programs. In addition to streaming to the internet, we also capture the games on dvd and edit (insert commercials) and run those later on through our local cable company.

Taking a DVD, getting into a file format that I can work with in iMovie and then rendering literally takes 12 or more hours.

I'm looking for a hard drive camera that has firewire capabilities so I can capture and "pass through" to the computer at the same time. The stream would happen live - then later on I can edit an original file before taking to my local cable company for airing.

The only camera that has this capability is the JVC - HD7 - does anyone know if I can stream live and capture to the hard drive? Thus saving HOURS of time and effort on my computer!

Thanks in advance

Brad


Vinny Carchietta's picture
Last seen: 1 week 1 hour ago
Joined: 08/22/2009 - 2:13pm

This is a great thread and imo, a topic that should have its own board; taping of HS Sports. Here in NJ, there are a few companies that will tape a game for coaches, booster clubs, parents and schools. I tape numerous sports, over 150 per HS season (in NJ a football team plays 12 MAX, usually 10 and soccer plays 15-20, field hockey is about 20;

My workflow for FOOTBALL involves:

  1. taping the game (sidelines, booth view & Endzone) - we burn a dvd in booth as we tape;
  2. giving a DVD to the coach immediately after the game - and make copies 3-5 for coaches
  3. Loading the video to HUDL software (www.hudl.com)
  4. providing parents with DVD's - either season package of all games or single game DVD
  5. Personal recruiting videos
  6. End of Season Highlights Video at Banquet
  7. We also do photography so we add in Senior photos, posters etc to packages
  8. for some a 3-minute inspirational video for the pregame dinner

But Even here in NJ taping for $20 a game is out of the question. This thread has a ton of info and situations that we stumble into all the time. I would love to address each and every one, but at 9:30 am on a Saturday I am off to tape and pass out equipment for four football games, A field hockey game and an ice hockey game.

All the best and looking forward to much more discussion.


jmkraft's picture
Last seen: 4 years 1 month ago
Joined: 10/23/2010 - 2:08pm

Here in central Illinois this is what I do for HS Football and Girls/Boys Basketball (only the home games unless in playoffs).

FOOTBALL:

I shoot the football games with 2 cams, 1 on the press box roof (currently also broadcasting the game on the School cable channel because their camera broke and takes forever to get fixed) and 1 cam on the sidelines.

I make a highlight video for the season banquet and sell DVDs (with game footage andseason highlights)to the parents.

I also shoot video of the chearleaders, put highlight video together for banquetand sell DVDs (of raw footage and highlight reel)to parents.

I also shoot the marching band, put highlight video together for banquetand sell DVDs (of raw footage and highlight reel)to parents.

Why not? - I'm there anyway - might as well shoot the chearleaders and band also! :)

I also contract with individual parents for college recruiting videos after the season is over.

I don't give the coaches any copies because they have a volunteer shoot the games on a cheap camera to upload for viewing per IHSA rules.

BASKETBALL: Girls, Boys, Chearleaders - Same as football, but I also add the: last quarter of the JV game - no JV highlights, just raw JV footage (sold on seperate DVD).

EDIT:Football and Basketball - I have approval from local radio station to use their game broadcast audio - so I have a cheap, SMALL, portable radio sending the game audio to my wide-shot camera - makes for a more pleasurableviewing experience to the end-user.


vidman02's picture
Last seen: 11 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 03/11/2010 - 5:35pm

Hey I just retired from filming football for the last 20 years doing high school colloege and professional games.I staretd in 1988 filmming and replauing the games on the local cable for 3 years untill the local cable was sold and the new owners made it most diffuclt to do when the coach saw one of my gaames and said he wanted copys for analysis which is when I made the stwitch to filming for the coach. So if the qualityis better than anything they are getting now you probbly could get the job by I mean can you reed the players numbers on the back of their jersys is it in focus and did you capture a wide shot of the whole team? The coaches need to be able to see all the palyers in every play. as afar as getting extra money form the games I had the head coach include a fee for a highlight tape in the fees that they pay at the first of the year and then when the season is over I make a highlight tape and just deliver a box of tapwes or DVD's as is the case now to the players at the banquit and everybody gets one and the school pays me. by the way I still get former palyers buying game tapes of the past twenty years. right now I am putting a season to gether for two former players that are brothers for the 1993and 1994 season for one and 1998 to 2001 season for the other so the residule income of having contorl of the libiary is a good money maker by the way 12-14 games in a season goes for about $900 if yoiu are interested and most of them were shot on SVHS hopethis helps.

vidman02