This coming Saturday is a big day for me. I will be entering the ranks of disc golf media by filming my first tournament. It is the Weapons of Grass Destruction series New Albany, MS stop. I am fortunate that this tournament is in my hometown, and I live just two miles from the course.
In taking on this challenge, I am apprehensive about being out there filming and taking pictures. Sure, I have a few wallpaper images up on the site, but those were taken with nobody around and fairly quickly one afternoon after work. Being on the course with players will be quite the different not only for myself, but for the players as well. With all the Southern National sanctioned tournaments held in the area in the past, I cannot say how much filming or photography has taken place before my planned effort.
I have played around with some video editing recently by recording a couple of my putting practice sessions. I used my Samsung Galaxy S5 phone to do so, and it made some very good 1080p video. This weekend I will be using a Canon Vixia HF G20 camcorder. It is a very good video camera, and my church uses two of them to record the worship services every Sunday morning.
Here’s one of the videos that I recorded with my phone.
Lights, Camera, Action!!
After a year of blogging, playing, and enjoying disc golf, this will be my first attempt at filming a round. All sorts of thoughts are bouncing around in my head about what to do, how to do it, and a bunch of don’ts. By no means will I be expecting to produce something on the level of Jomez Productions, Central Coast Disc Golf, or The Disc Golf Guy.
I will not be doing commentary, so that’s one aspect that I won’t have to worry about. This will be just a basic video similar to my putting video above, albeit with fewer transitions. Video editing might not be my strong suit, but with the software available today, it is a lot easier than in the past. My relatively high powered desktop will help as well.
For those that wonder about that item, I’ll throw out the specs for you.
- Intel Core i5-4670 Quad-Core 3.4Ghz
- 20 GB DDR3 RAM
- 240GB Samsung 840 Evo SSD
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660
- Windows 7
It is almost three years old at this point, which in computer terms is ancient. I probably won’t do any sort of hardware upgrade for at least another three years. One could probably call the thing overkill since I do not play a lot of computer games. The machine also holds the role of media server in my house. Several extra hard drives live there holding various files. My Dell 24″ widescreen monitor is nice as well, giving me plenty of space to view the open software. I also have a Dell 20″ widescreen monitor as a second screen.
Tips and Tricks
I reached out on Facebook for any tips and tricks for filming my first tournament. Terry Miller, Ian Anderson, and Bobby Brown gave me a few good suggestions that I will share with you if you are interesting in filming disc golf action.
From Ian Anderson of Central Coast Disc Golf –
Don’t over zoom
If you don’t know where the disc is point it in the general direction you think it is.
Don’t pan on putts and upshot when possible.
Don’t film putts from directly behind the player. From the side a touch gives perspective.
Have lots of batteries
From Terry “The Disc Golf Guy” Miller –
Ideally you want an external mic or any mic where you can use some form of wind protection.
And from Bobby Brown, the Dynamic discs Media Manager –
If you have not already, practice filming people throwing a disc. It can be tricky, those discs can disappear quickly in the viewfinder.
Plan your shots way ahead of time. If you are filming the basket shots make sure you are way ahead of the players so you can see where the discs are and plan your shot for every player.
Learn your players habits, do they take a long time or are the quick to drive or putt. You don’t want to miss the action.
Don’t hit record right before the action or right after. Give yourself some editing buffers.
Don’t try to be fancy and zoom in tight on the discs (as Ian mentioned) you can lose the disc in the viewfinder very quickly.
I’ll definitely be taking their advice as much as possible. The mic thing on the camera won’t be an option at the moment, but I am just borrowing a camera to use. I have intentions on purchasing my own in the future, but it will be several months before it happens.
Be on the lookout for the footage of the final round of the Weapons of Grass Destruction series New Albany, MS stop to appear on my Youtube channel. I will post it here on the blog as well. Get out and bang some chains!!