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How I Did It: The Sportsmanship Award Video

How I Did It: The Sportsmanship Award Video

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I thought for today’s post I’d share a video I just completed that recaps a recent award presentation for local high school athletes, hosted by the organization for which I work. I’ve embedded the video at the bottom, but I thought I’d take this opportunity to explain a few basics for those of you who are video production novices and might benefit from a little insight into my thought process while recording the piece.

Background on the Event
The orthopaedic service institution that’s part of the greater hospital system decided to create an award for local high school athletes who, according to their principal and/or athletic director, exemplify true sportsmanship – not because they’re gifted athletes, but because they are great team players and make a point to participate in their respective sports in an ethical and admirable way. The event was a breakfast ceremony and we were able to procure a local sportscaster to say a few words, present the awards, and pose for photos.

Some Tips/Thoughts About My Thought Process

  • If you’re making a video about an event, get an itinerary in advance if you can. I received one a few day prior, so I knew what was going on throughout the morning and could anticipate what I needed to record and when.
  • When shooting b-roll, get overview perspectives, as well as highlights. Let me explain – You need to establish the environment of the event. That was the purpose of the wide shots of the room and the close-ups of the students watching the presentations. Then I focused on the highlights – the speakers, the award presentations, the photo ops, etc. It’s a good mix that gives the audience a total picture of the event.
  • Anticipate doing interviews by participants. Since the event was about the students, I knew that their perspective would be the most interesting part of the video. I also knew I would need to interview the physician who was hosting the event to get his thoughts on why the award was established. But just shooting b-roll would not make for an effective video. You need an on-the-field report from the players.
  • Designate a spot to record interviews/testimonials. About an hour before the event started, I established a spot that had good lighting and was out of the way of the activity (so that there wasn’t a lot of distraction in the background). I set up my tripod and was able to systematically get the students in, record a quick interview, and get them out quickly so I could record the next one.
  • Have a plan to get your victims – I mean interviewees – on camera. We had a registration table where the students had to sign in. I used that opportunity to ask, and have my coworkers ask, students if they wanted to participate in the video. Make it easy on yourself. Stake out a place you know where potential subjects will be instead of trying to hunt them down and interrupt them during the event.
  • Make the interview subjects comfortable. Most of the kids were nervous to be interviewed. So I did what I could to make them feel at ease. I told them what I would ask and stressed that it would be easy and they don’t need to worry. Don’t be robotic. Be personable. Make it seem like they’re speaking with you and not talking at a camera.
  • Make mental notes about who did well and who didn’t. I got about ten student interviews that day, but knew I could only use about six or so. The others were not the most articulate speakers. That’s fine. They were nervous and didn’t know what to say. But make a note to yourself that when you see that video clip later in editing, you probably don’t need to waste your time picking out the best sentences because… frankly… there are none.

For the sake of not going too long, I won’t get into editing tips. I think if you can get anything out of the thoughts behind the shooting process, you’re on your way to creating great videos!

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