As you might know, I spend time working with top cricketers and coaches producing coaching videos for PitchVision Academy. What has amazed me in the years since we started doing it, is how professional productions you can have without the need for professional level gear.
So, as I get ready for a shoot today at a top secret location, I thought I would share what I do to make a multi-camera HD video with just two people and no more than 20kg of kit (to get it on the plane).
We can use up to four cameras.
The main one is a Nikon D3300 DSLR with a 18-55mm lens. The image quality is incredible. It's adaptable enough to be used while running around and also locked off with a small depth of field that makes interview look really good.
The other three cameras are an iPhone 6 Plus (not shown because I took the picture with it), and HTC One M7 android phone and an iPad Air. These offer great options for cutaways and establishing shots because you can keep them in your hand and run around while the main camera is locked off. The iPhone is almost as good a camera as the Nikon, and with the image stabilisation, is actually better at steadicam-style shots.
We can also mount any of the cameras on two large tripods, or one small one using the attachments shown.
This gives enough flexibility to cope with any situation a cricket coach might want us to shoot. Short of drones that is.
We also shoot everything from two angles to make sure we have backups of everything in case something goes wrong.
Most audio is recorded using as high quality digital audio recorder and lavalier microphone worn by the coach. This is easily the best quality audio solution we have found below professional level radio mics. We sync the audio to the video in post-production.
To make sure we get the audio, we also triple record everything. First through the boom mic show attached to the DSLR via the hot shoe. Secondly through the built-in mics on the secondary cameras.
We always take a couple of basic lighting softboxes and a reflector (not shown), but I find we rarely use them because we are either outdoors in very good light or in an indoor school that also has excellent lighting. For me it's there as a backup.
We keep the shooting schedule on hand (on the iPad) throughout the day, and let the coach guide the way based on this. Some coaches are naturally more talkative than others, but all are excellent with their knowledge and so I tend to focus on getting a good shot and letting the coach do their coaching. It's more natural that way.
We usual have a practical element in an outdoor setting (unless it's raining) and a close up interview with a nice backdrop.
The next shoot is happening today, so keep your eyes on PitchVision Academy for who it is when we have edited it together!