Had a long day today shooting video for a wee mini-documentary on the squad’s day at the BBL Trophy Final.
Not being overly well set up for shooting large quantities of video meant I was constantly having to offload data to the laptop and I was also having to improvise with methods of holding the camera since I don’t have a proper rig for shooting video.
Digital SLR cameras may be capable of shooting extremely high-quality HD footage but because of how they are designed they are much better suited to locked-off static shots rather than constantly moving around. The best solution for what I was after was to pre-select the focus distance and rely on maintaining a constant distance to the subject. Not always possible but trying to keep a high enough depth-of-field meant that for the most part the majority of what I was shooting remained in focus.
I had a rough shot-list of what I needed so it was a case of trying to get as much suitable footage to go into the editing room with. I started off with some establishing shots of the outside of the Emirates Arena, and then done some test shots of the girls rehearsing their routines. We weren’t planning on using any of the rehearsal clips in the finished video but it was useful for setting up the camera and trying different techniques for hand-holding the camera while trying to keep it as steady as possible.
I found that attaching my monopod to the base of the camera provided some counterweight which helped smooth out the motion of the camera and also allowed me to raise the camera for high-angle shots as well as prop it on the court for steady low-level shots. For walking shots it still wasn’t a substitute for a proper Steadycam™ but it was certainly smoother than trying to just hold the camera.
Since I was using the DSLR for video I decided as a bonus piece of fun to use my film camera to get some stills with the 200ISO film I had bough the other week. Not expecting miracles given the light conditions but with any luck some of the posed shots might turn out OK. Of course being film I have no way of knowing how they look until I finish the film and get it processed – oh how things have changed in the new digital world!
Once it was nearly game-time we had to record an intro for the video so we got Hannah so say a little piece to camera since she done so well for the previous video. We had some unexpected interruptions from the mascot Leroy but it actually added a nice fun feel to the video so I think I’ll use the take with him in it. One problem that I had no answer for was the volume of the background noise, especially the commentator Mark who was almost drowning-out the soft-spoken Hannah. Since I don’t have an external microphone there was nothing I could do so I think I’ll have to look into rerecording the audio.
For the remainder of the game it was pretty much a case of getting different angles of each of the dance routines and a good variety of shots of the girls reacting to the game, crowd shots and a few action shots of the game itself. The more footage I could capture the more options I would have for putting together an interesting video clip. I also had Carole Anne getting some extra footage on my little compact digital camera – the quality isn’t as good but being a Canon it at least had a very similar colour and tonal balance to the main camera so should hopefully drop into the footage without any problems.
To bookend the video we also recorded a little conclusion interview with Hannah to sum up the game and how it was from the girls’ point of view. Thankfully the background noise was a lot less so the audio from these clips should be a lot more useable.
Of course, shooting the footage was the easy bit – the next stage is going to be a lot harder: editing!