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College Football shooting. Advice?

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Trent WhittingtonCollege Football shooting. Advice?
by on Dec 13, 2009 at 7:51:05 am

Fellow COW Members, I would like your opinion/advice on covering a college football game for a major student project.

I am a 2nd Year Student; next year I am going to choose to do my major project for my digital television course on a college football game here in Australia. Australian gridiron is not broadcasted at all so my first reference goes to NFL and College football games.

As I will have about 8 months to prepare for the shoot I want to emulate exactly a NFL game such as on FOX, only instead of the giants vs. cowboys be two college teams. The gear at our campus doesnt allow me to switch it live as it only has 4 inputs. Not to mention replay, graphics etc.
All graphics and such will be added in post.

MAIN QUESTIONS:
1. How many cameras would you cover this minimum-maximum?
2. Would you ask commentators to do it live or in post?
3. How would you go about adding the line of scrimmage? I understand chroma-keying but it seems very difficult to get a good key on a football field. Any tips?
4. What broadcaster nfl graphics do you prefer? FOX? ESPN? NBC?
5. Can you suggest a place for the best sound effects and jingles for this type of thing

or is this being too ambitious?

Thanks for your time, any comments are greatly welcomed!

Trent Whittington - Currently studying Associate Degree in Digital Television

http://www.trentwhittington.com


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Peter RalphRe: College Football shooting. Advice?
by on Dec 14, 2009 at 3:30:56 pm

Too ambitious and not ambitious enough. For it to have any value you have to broadcast live.

Sports is one of the few bastions of high end production. High-end equipment, very experienced crews.





Peter Ralph

http://www.shootingbynumbers.com


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Mark SuszkoRe: College Football shooting. Advice?
by on Dec 14, 2009 at 5:37:23 pm

4 to 6 or more is what I'd want for cameras. You can google for stadium camera placement diagrams for various sports.

For the line of scrimmage effect, you're going to have to motion-track the footage and then build a composite. To get it to look like whatt he ELVIS truck does, you'd likely have to rotoscope all the players and officials walking or moving over the line. All of the keying soloutions for this have their own strengths and weaknesses.
If you're trying to do this on the cheap, one thing I might try is to export the section that needs this effect as a string of stills, into a folder. Take that folder into photoshop, and witha batch action, use the color selection tool to select just the grass color. Save an identical version of these stills with the grass alone turned golden or red or whatever color the scrimmage line is to be. Re-import the treated stills back itnot he NLE timeline, stacked above the original footage. Use a garbage mask or othe cropping tool to crop out everything but the line, and use blending modes to show this lined area thru the stack of video tracks. In this way, the line looks like it is painted in the grass, and people can move "over" it like they do in the multi-million-dollar FOX version. All this also presupposes that the footage has first been motion tracked and stabilized.

It would make a nice project to learn heavy-duty compositing work on, for sure.


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grinner hesterRe: College Football shooting. Advice?
by on Dec 15, 2009 at 5:33:41 pm

[Trent Whittington] "1. How many cameras would you cover this minimum-maximum?
2. Would you ask commentators to do it live or in post?
3. How would you go about adding the line of scrimmage? I understand chroma-keying but it seems very difficult to get a good key on a football field. Any tips?
4. What broadcaster nfl graphics do you prefer? FOX? ESPN? NBC?
5. Can you suggest a place for the best sound effects and jingles for this type of thing"


I've shot live college and NFL games and I've produced many PBR events that were narrorated in post. Based on that and what your are trying to do,:

1. 3 Minimum.
2. In post.
3. You'll motion track the line to a fixed part of the field.
4. ESPN
5. sounddogs.com and DeWolfMusic.com



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Mark SuszkoRe: College Football shooting. Advice?
by on Dec 15, 2009 at 6:36:24 pm

The play-by-play guy should attend and record something live, it is hard to fake the sense of immediacy and anticipation in post. The color commentary guy can take the time to dig up a lot of specific trivia.
A lot of times taped coverage of parades do all the commenting in post, if they have time for it.


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Barry VedrosRe: College Football shooting. Advice?
by on Dec 15, 2009 at 8:16:54 pm

Trent
I have to say, I do certainly appreciate your interest in American football, being half a world away. It's one of the most challenging and fun productions out there. I do weekly high school, college and some pro football games in different capacities. Each has different budget and technical considerations, but can be well-produced within those limitations. Our high school games are beautifully produced for local cable TV with 4 Ikegami cameras, sports lenses and a moderate graphics/replay system. College games have a higher production value with a couple more cameras, better lenses, graphics, etc. (to go along with the higher budgets). NFL games, which I work in a smaller capacity, have several trucks and a large crew, along with some of the best broadcast equipment on the planet.

Is it a digital television course or a digital post-production course? It seems that the scope of your project would depend on the focus of the class. To answer your last question first, yes this might be too ambitious. Consider what you have to work with and don't try to go overboard. You run the risk of losing sight of your thesis in the process. First of all, your project is to post-produce an event that is typically a live production. Everything on an NFL game is done in real time with super high-end gear. You'll be post-producing for months to edit the cameras; reproduce those shots for slow-mo replays; add graphics; add a scoreboard with all its elements - score, ball possession, running clock, down and yardage, timeouts left, penalty flag, add "tape rolls" that feature certain players, etc. And once you start bogging yourself down with the idea of trying to rotoscope the scrimmage and first down lines, I think you'll truly be sidetracked from your concept.

Post-producing sports is different than other live events, such as theatre or a concert. As someone here said, there's an immediacy to the sports event. I'm not saying to drop your idea, I'm suggesting you try to do as much live as possible. If your school has a 4 input switcher, consider shooting and switching the game live with that. You could cover a game decently with 4 cameras - 2 up (one for wide, one for pushing in on the play), 2 handheld on the sideline for getting those tight action shots (good for replays). You could instead put one of those cams on a man-lift at the corner of one of the goals. Switch it live and run iso record tapes in each camera. Have your "announcers" call the game live, with their mics run to a mixer and into your master record deck.

If your budget allows, you might try renting a Sony Anycast switcher system or a Newtek Tricaster, which is a 6 input switcher with built in graphics. The Tricaster can also stream over the internet. If football is not commonly broadcast there, you could sure create a stir by web-casting your college team. (sounds like the path to an A in that course) That would be more in line with a digital television course.

Best of luck to you
Barry


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Trent WhittingtonRe: College Football shooting. Advice?
by on Dec 16, 2009 at 1:40:06 am

Thankyou very much for all your advice. Certaintly alot to take into consideration. It is a digital television course, I will look into doing it more live. At the campus we have access to 4 broadcast cameras, I beleive they are D9's, they will only shoot 4:3 though.
Barry what a great idea to stream it over the internet. The main reason I want to do something as big as this is to prove myself and others that I can go above and beyond the call of duty. I think the key to this is going to be planning.

Thankyou for everyones input, really appreciate it. Will keep this updated.

Trent Whittington - Currently studying Associate Degree in Digital Television

http://www.trentwhittington.com


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Mike CohenRe: College Football shooting. Advice?
by on Dec 19, 2009 at 4:41:35 am

Since you have some planning time, you might think about doing a dry run, say 10 minutes of some event - even your friends running around on the field - then take the footage into post and figure out how you would want an actual game to look, and figure out what works and what doesn't. You might even post the practice run into final form and present that to your professor as a proof of concept. That would show you take a logical approach rather than jumping into the deep end head first. Once you have your prototype, you will have a better idea of how to plan for the main event.

Check out some of these search results:

http://www.google.com/search?q=monday+night+football+behind+the+scenes&ie=u...

Mike Cohen


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Fred JodryRe: College Football shooting. Advice? also,
by on Jan 9, 2010 at 10:10:05 pm

Why not try game after game until you get a good one? The number of cameras is largely determined by ambient light. If you shoot a daylight game, not much problem, and a dawn or dusk blue fringed one can look nice. Night time is another story. WVVA(?) came to me needing better blue tubes for their 3 Phillips LDK6A cameras. I told them they were already using good tubes. Time to increase to 6 cameras, hand crank in some higher video amplification, install prime lenses instead of zooms on some of them, and get used to the new routine. Your stadium might have fewer lights than a key one. Put more cameras in the action and use the remaining one very busy in the interviews. Run one continuous through the whole game and let the others run their own recorders. Same for the sound. Edit later. MIDI might help the editing.


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