Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › Looking for specific advice on starting a sports highlight video business
August 2, 2017 at 1:09 AM #95123
I’m someone with zero experience in filming, I have no idea what to look for in a camera, I have no idea what equipment I need to capture the footage I have in mind to the desired quality. I have very basic editing skills on Sony Vegas, I used to create football compilation videos back in the day and upload them to youtube, and I used to get a lot of views and a lot of great feedback..and that’s it really as far as my experience is concerned.
I’m looking to be a videographer/cinematographer for 2 key reasons.
1) I want to escape the 9-5/rat race, have my own business, be my own boss and do things on my own terms.
2) I enjoy the artistic element of telling a story through video.. picking the music and clips to match. It feels good once the work is done. (A couple of examples of “stories” I made a couple years ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ogi-3K4wrU and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=238tklBESAo)
I thought I’d start by filming football (Soccer for you lovely Americans) matches/players specifically and creating highlight reels of them, because I enjoy football, and I think I’d have a lot of fun making others look awesome. I also think that there may be a market for it where I live, I play a lot of football and I’ve never really seen anyone film at the recreational level. So I’m thinking maybe there’s money to be made here. Ofcourse, this is just to start, but I plan to expand into other events if and when needed to grow my business.
So yea, that’s pretty much it, I guess the 1st thing I’d like to know is, what are the minimum equipment I’d need for high quality footage? I’m allll about the quality, and I have savings I’m willing to invest, but at the same time I have no reference point, I don’t know how expensive filming equipment really can be, so I’m guessing I might have to compromise, but I hope not. I also want to get really cool angles, so I was thinking of investing in a drone, but in speaking to a videographer they didn’t seem too thrilled by the idea and I’m not sure why, maybe someone here can tell me. I mean is it hard to operate a drone? Is it hard to zoom in and out and pan across and back really quickly? But yea, what are the minimum equipment required to capture high quality footage (image and sound) from multiple angles. I’m guessing I’ll need to setup multiple cameras in different locations. And if I’m going to be doing this alone, I won’t be able to capture the same incident from every angle exactly to my liking. Hmmmm……is there any way around this? Can editing help?? And speaking of that, what softwares would I need to learn and what processing hardware would I need? I have a decent enough laptop, but even I dont think it’ll be powerful enough to process high quality footage efficiently. What kind of specs in a laptop/PC should I seek for the kind of work I’m looking to do?
I eagerly await your feedback on all of the above, and any further insights you might have.
August 2, 2017 at 11:52 AM #215929JackWolcottParticipant
A good community college course in video production and post production would be a splendid starting point. Barring that, an apprenticeship with a local videographer/production house.
August 3, 2017 at 8:29 AM #215935
Get the Camera(s) you can afford, watch YouTube videos on the subjects to see how they edited. spend time shoot things and finding out the best angles. This is not Rocket Science, There are Plenty of help on YouTube for every Non Linear Video Editing Program out there.
In the first video you have posted, In think was shot with one camera, multiple takes of the same scene, with camera put at different angles. The star scene, probably done either Photo Shop or GIMP, making the new stars on transparent background, then saving the pictures in XML format and putting them on timeline. That part of the Video, I think the editor of that clip did a terrible job at, it is way to jerky.
You are definitely on the right site here. Between this site and Youtube, you should be able to make it work. The Youtube search engine is very good start. Look at all the articles that might interest you here on the Videomaker site, they have more knowledge in those magazine articles than any any college can teach you.
August 3, 2017 at 11:17 AM #215939
August 3, 2017 at 12:12 PM #215941
August 4, 2017 at 10:35 PM #215944JackWolcottParticipant
I stand by what I first said. You describe yourself as ignorant of the necessary equipment, skills and understanding of this medium, yet you profess to wanting to have your own business, a business which requires an intimate knowledge of all these skills and the artistry associated with the medium.
Ignorance is a condition which is best rectified by learning; the amount of knowledge and artistry you appear to require, by your own admission, is most easily and thoroughly acquired through formal instruction, perhaps in community college classes or as an apprentice to a successful video professional. You certainly can pick up bits and pieces through YouTube and on-line articles, but these will not provide you with the comprehensive knowledge necessary to succeed in the video business.
Today professional videographers are surrounded by amateurs shooting video with iPhones and Pads. To succeed in competition with this mob you must be able to deliver a product better than what they are capable of. In my judgement I don’t think this can be accomplished through pick-me-up bits and pieces on line. Studying and analyzing film is important, no question. Reading Videomaker Magazine and DV and other trade papers, watching on-line webinars and following forums will help you to understand what you’re doing. But none of this will take the place of a systematic course of study or a rigorous apprenticeship.
August 5, 2017 at 10:14 AM #215947
Thanks for your comments Dave and Jack. Both helpful and insightful.
August 7, 2017 at 8:00 AM #215956dive3djMember
Firstly apologies for resurrecting an old(er) thread.
Secondly, good luck – you’ll need it.
I’ve written this in a bit of a hurry in a break at work, so forgive me for spelling errors or anything that feels a bit sharp in tone – it isn’t meant to be, and I really like your enthusiasm!
I think you might have overestimated your market. I shoot for a SPFL (Scottish Professional Football League) team, have done so for the last few years. With the advent of periscope and apps on phones (which basically turns your phone into a broadcast tool) even the “official” coverage of football in the UK is suffering from a downturn in what is being paid for. Going further down the leagues dramatically reduces the income available, and your market suffers. I think the chances of you making a living in such a narrow field are vanishingly small, to be honest, and I think to make video production a career you would need to be skilled in producing a variety of subject and themes expertly, quickly and with the minimum of “issues”. The better trained you are, even if that means commiting to paying for training, the better, and you will need a really good quality showreel to convince anyone to take a chance on you. You need to be able to stand out to make a living, because otherwise your just one of an army of people who want to break into an incredibly competitive market place (and I’d include myself in that bunch!).
Shooting football for highlights is not easy, although those who watch the product (as opposed to those who produce it) seem to think it is. It is time consuming, requiring intense concentration and a thoughtless familiarity with the camera, and the editing software and hardware, that takes a long time to aquire.
My Saturdays in the football season involve a long day. The way you watch football is totally different from the way it is shot. You constantly have to evaluate your composition (to “tell the story” of the moment) whilst ensuring that you are focused, exposed correctly with the right wb. You can’t rely on “auto everything”. Usually (becasue this isn’t the top league) you have “inadequate” camera positions that effect your footage, and because I am a volunteer I’m way down the media pecking order which often means getting the shots is a challenge. I hang around for ages to get the post match stuff, so I’m often one of the last to leave the stadium.
When I get home, the job of scrubbing through 90 minutes of footage begins. Shot selection, the right transitions to keep the narrative flowing, the overlays for team sheets, overlays of the sponsors yada yada, it all adds up so that the first complete edit isn’t ready for the render untill 9 or 10pm. Be aware, editing isn’t easy! It has certainly got easier the more I do it, but as a rule of thumb each minute of footage I have cut into a highlight has taken about 15 or 20 minutes to get to, when it’s all averaged out, and that 15 or 20 minutes of intensive effort. So you are talking about 8 or 9 hours of hard work to produce, what, 10 minutes of final produce? Hard going. On the one occassion someone offered to pay me for the broadcast rights for some footage, I was offered £12 per minute used. That would have been £18 for a 9 hour day.
Because it *looks* easy, (ie point the camera. follow the ball, how hard is that, then just stick together a few bits) it isn’t, generally, a respected or hugely valued undertaking ( often those who write for the club get much more recognition). That means that getting support from the club is often difficult – not unreasonably, they prioritise their cash for the playing staff, not the media stuff, and I’m not alone in that, remembering this is professional football I’m talking about.. The club initially provided me with a consumer camera, but they aren’t designed for the rigours of shooting in this way (they are designed to film a series of short clips, not to record continuosly for 45 mins) so they break down, overheat or just scramble the footage, and heaven help you if you miss an incident or a goal (touch wood). So now I have my own (old) pro-spec machine that can cope with the task.
Getting the right machine to edit the footage is important, and for this kind of task you need a load of RAM and processing power, multiple cores and threading and ideally an SSD scratch disk to edit from and render to. Editing HD footage (and don’t bother with anything else under HD) is extremely processor intensive and adding the graphics just makes the demands even greater. Where you sit is important because you’ll be there a long time. Cash! You’ll need to have a capacity to invest a significant amount of cash if you haven’t already got the equipment necessary, becasue no-one will buy it for you. You’ll need to have the highlights available as soon as possible (or in my case. as soon as the rules allow) because by Monday or Tuesday your footage is of little interest to anyone except the most ardent fan. You’ll also need to police the frequent copyright infringements if you upload onto a video platform on the web.
Don’t get me wrong, I am appreciated by many associated with the club, and they often thank me for my efforts. I do it because I enjoy it (even though there are frustrations) – I simply wouldn’t do it otherwise.
I’d love to get paid for this, but I don’t see it happening. Football fans in the UK already pay a lot to watch the game, and there is little market for them to pay more, especially with the advent of fans broadcasting (illegally as it happens) from games with their phones, because the consumers of that product don’t care that it is poorly composed, shaky footage that only really provides a “fans-eye” view of the game. They don’t care that the guy with the iphone doesn’t bother with carefully masked zooms through pans, or doesn’t prepare cutaways of the cheering support, or that he hasn’t adjusted the wb as the colour temperature of the daylight changes and the floodlights come on so that the “feel” of the footage stays the same, or that he doesn’t underexpose half a stop to punch up the colours of the strips, or that he doesn’t bother to make sure that there are a few shot of the club sponsor’s pitchside advertising. They just want to see the red cards, the goals, the dirty fouls yada yada.
I don’t want to put you off – and there are people who have made fantastic careers in the industry from the most basic of starts. But I think that you need to re-evaluate your ideas and get the broadest possible experience of both camera operation and editing, along with training and qualification. Thats the route into the business.
I’ve been at a huge number of football stadiums over the years. I’ve met loads of lads like me, who are happy to volunteer to undertake this task becasue they enjoy the technical challenges of shooting and editing football because they (like you) love the sport. But I’ve never met a professional camera operator who is *only* a sports camera operator. They are all multi-talented, multi-experienced individuals who can, and will, shoot absolutley anything they are asked to with skill, expertise and unflappable competence, and then quckly and without any fuss prepare what they have shot for sending back to base. I watched one camera operator compile the rough edit of the first half at half time, and the second half in the 5 minutes after the final whistle, ready to head off for his next job as part of what was, for him, the usual cycle of numerous different camera operator jobs in a 13 or 14 hour day.
Best of luck with your undertaking mate, I hope it works out for you and you are able to force a rewarding career in the media.
All the best
August 7, 2017 at 10:46 AM #215957paulearsParticipant
Drones are wonderful, but take skill to fly, even if they are the types that have loads of navigation facilities. However, if you are using one to make money, be aware the pilot training and the documentation you need to produce to fly them is time consuming and expensive. Regulation of even amateur use is very likely, and you should also be aware that the public are quite negative about them because of the idiots who go out and buy them and then cause havoc. The wedding people started using them and then got complaints about the noise and intrusion. Using them on a football field will produce good images, but they really put people off, and in public spaces expect hassle. Drones that cost £500 upwards produces excellent stable images, but the cost of flying is very high with batteries, replacement parts and the usual crashes to contend with. I’ve thought many times about getting one, but it’s cheaper for me to hire somebody else who gets all the hassle. The document they produce each time to satisfy the CAA is onerous and complex. For every day use, they’re great, but for the odd use here and there it’s too much hassle for me.
August 7, 2017 at 2:25 PM #215961
Dave, well said from a Lad who has been there, done that. I shot probably about 35 weddings before my health took a turn, and even getting to that point took about 15 years, and a book my Parents bought way back in the early 80s when I bought my first Video Camera, it was book from Readers Digest and it was all about Video Cameras, getting the shot right and editing it out.. I did not shoot my first wedding until the 2000s, but I did it with Confidence.
August 3, 2017 at 1:22 AM #215932
Wow, so you’re recommending a formal education just to start. I can’t lie, that’s pretty discouraging. I didn’t think it would take that kind of time/money investment just to nail down the basics.
August 8, 2017 at 3:28 AM #215972
Thanks Paul.. I never even considered the maintenance costs.. I feel like such an idiot.
August 8, 2017 at 3:29 AM #215971
Wow, I couldn’t have hoped for a more comprehensive response. Thanks for bringing me back to earth man 🙁 I don’t even know what “wb” means, you’ve used that often.. A lot of other seemingly basic terminologies of effects and techniques as well.
This will definitely take me a lot longer than I imagined, especially given my full time job, to get to a level of experience where I can produce something of quality that I’d be happy with, let alone trying to market and sell it. Damn.. oh well, maybe this takes some pressure off in a way.. just gonna try to enjoy the process and not worry about how fast i get there.
Thanks a lot for your insight.
August 9, 2017 at 4:28 AM #215984dive3djMember
wb = white balance. Most cameras have an auto white balance setting, but in my experience shooting fitba fools this especially when floodlights come on. getting white balance right is what is required to make sure that all colours are accuratley represented on your footage. In the good old daysd of film, you shot using stock that was the right colour temperature sensitivity for the conditions, but modern digital cameras allow you to adjust the white balance to suit the conditions so they are much more flexible in that regard. A useful tip is to set the white balance using a white card held in front of the lens (thus filing the frame) that is illuminated in the same way as what you are shooting is, and then set the white balance from the card. Most pro cameras also have an absolute wealthof available parameters to set buried deep in the menu, and so I have set my camera the same way the BBC set their cameras so that (most of the time) I can produce footage that has the same “look” and “feel” as the out put of the beeb.
I think you’ve got the right idea at just (to start with at least) doing something that you enjoy, and keep doing it until you get better and better at it until it becomes 2nd nature to “do a good job.” then, later, you might realise that either a) this is it – this is what you want to do etc or b) this is just a hobby but that you need to do other things to keep sane. You need to be really good at editing things you aren’t really interested in, as well as being good at the stuff that exites or interests you. Editing in particular is a lonely business and, if you are working to a deadline, often stressful when things start to go wrong (as they inevitably will).
The very first match I prepared for the youtube channel took about 20 hours of bewildering effort to produce, and it was awful lol.
I’ve also had the laptop crashing and losing 5 hours of work so that I had to completely start again from the beginning on a couple of occassions, and although I’ve bulit in systems where that shouldn’t now happen, it still might!
But, assuming you still like doing this kind of thing after all that (and I do!) and assuming that you can get organised with some good quality professioanl training from a recognised training provider, ther *is* a career out there for you if you have the drive and ambition to achieve it.
Very best of luck!
August 10, 2017 at 1:23 AM #215988
Thanks Dave, your advice is invaluable. Do you have an instagram I can follow?
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