How To Properly Film Football (Side and End)

Things to consider first:

1) Do you have the right equipment?  An HD camera and good tripod can make a HUGE difference. Take a look at our recommendations here, or get everything you need in one fell swoop: VidSwap Filming Kits.

2) Make sure to properly set up your camcorder's record mode.  Take a look at our recommendations here.

Here are a good set of guidelines to follow to shoot great Football video:


Sideline view:

  • Must be filmed from a high, midfield shot.  The higher the better.
  • Must be filmed with a digital Camcorder (Hi-Def hard drive recommended; AVCHD).
  • Must use a tripod to steady the shot.
  • Only film the action.  Begin filming as the players get to the line of scrimmage, and stop a few seconds after the end of the play.  Pause between each play.  If a penalty happens, keep filming and zoom in on the ref as the call is made.
  • Show the scoreboard at the beginning of the game, after each PAT or FG, at the beginning of each quarter, and at the end of the game.
  • If you require filming scoreboard shots every play, keep the scoreboard and play on the same sequence.  Pan down to the field, and don't start and stop the camera. This keeps your camera from creating extra clips of just scoreboard shots. If you do choose to stop and start, creating extra clips, please don't upload the scoreboard clips.
  • For penalties, keep the ref's call on the same sequence as the play.  Please don't create a new scene just for the referee's call. Zoom in and film the ref when the penalty is signaled. Include the scoreboard, play, and ref's call ALL on the same sequence.
  • Make sure the zoom is correct: every player needs to be in the shot from the start of and during the play.  You can slowly zoom in on the tackle at the end of the play (this helps to identify players for statistics).
  • Try to fill the frame with the players and minimize the amount of open field.
  • On kickoffs, punts, and FG's, slowly follow the coverage teams down the field.  During kicks, don't immediately move the camera and focus on the returner.
  • As the play develops, SLOWLY zoom out and/or pan when needed.  Please keep ALL players in the shot.
  • Minimize the amount of fast camera movement - use slow zooming and slow panning.
  • Don't follow the ball (this isn't a TV broadcast) until the ball has been either completed or handed off.
  • Good examples of filming football - sideline video: http://youtu.be/wQhfr2L_t6w

Endzone view:

  • Must be filmed from a high vantage point behind the endzone.  The higher the better.
  • Must be filmed with a digital Camcorder (Hi-Def hard drive recommended; AVCHD).
  • Must use an endzone camera rig or scaffold to get the high shot.
  • Only film the action.  Begin filming as the players get to the line of scrimmage, and stop a few seconds after the end of the play.  Pause between each play.  If a penalty happens, keep filming and zoom in on the ref as the call is made.
  • Show the scoreboard at the beginning of the game, after each PAT or FG, at the beginning of each quarter, and at the end of the game
  • Make sure the zoom is correct: fill the frame with the 'box' or o-line/d-line, RB's and LB's.
  • On kickoffs, punts, and FG's, widen the shot to include every player.
  • As the play develops, SLOWLY zoom out and/or pan in the direction of the play.
  • Minimize the amount of fast camera movement - use slow zooming and slow panning.
  • Don't follow the ball (this isn't a TV broadcast) until the ball has been either completed or handed off.
  • Good examples of filming football - endzone video: http://youtu.be/rErUAFY56VM
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