Scouting (Outside) Locations
Although there is nothing more important than capturing that specific shot or video that you need from a game or performance, it is nearly just as important finding that perfect spot to capture the shot from!
Scouting locations before a video or photo shoot when outdoors is critical for allowing you (the cameraman) to get that perfect shot. There are a few things we consider on video shoots when determining the best location to shoot from.
For a recruiting video shoot, typically we are trying to find a place with a higher vantage point, so we can see the play of the game develop better than if we were on the same level as the players on the field. For us, if you are following the full action throughout the game, you are able to distinguish different players better at a higher angle so you can get some depth between your players.
For a highlight video, though, we tend to choose locations as close to the field as possible, and on the ground level. Obviously, this is so we can get closer-up shots of the athletes, and these are typically situations where we want to see as much detail of the players as possible.
As a cameraman, you generally want to steer clear of other people if you can. This means that if you can find a location that you can achieve the shot you want, and you will be out of people’s way, that is an optimal place to be. No coach or fan wants to have a cameraman in front of him or her so they miss an exciting moment or critical play during the game. And vice versa. There is no cameraman on earth that wants a fan to jump out in front of the camera during a critical point in the game, thus missing an important shot. It is generally better that you have no one around while shooting, so you don’t have to worry about missing any important moments throughout the game.
In every case, it depends upon what you are trying to accomplish with your shot. Do you want a shot that is high and wide to capture a broad spectrum of the action during the game? Or do you want a close up shot from the sideline right on the players? Assuming you have every focal length you need from your lenses you are using (choosing the right lenses for your shoot will be a future blog article), you need to determine yourself where the best place to shoot will be near the field.