I have been a photographer for several years now …while not an expert when it comes to videography … The Catshack has built a library of some 136 paintball videos to date. Through all of this it can be said we have come a long way since the creation of our very first video. Sooo, we thought we might take a moment to share a few tips and helpful tricks that we’ve learned when it comes to making paintball videos for others to enjoy.
It seems the paintball world has really taken off when it comes to filming these days,Â many paintballers have taken to fixing the GoPro or Contour cam to capture footage of some paintball action. As opposed to straight filming the GoPro or similar cameras, why not take it off the marker or helmet and use it to straight shoot various aspects of the game. For example, place it in a busy bunker and stand back as players pile in, or better yet carefully place it in the snake or another bunker while on the speedball field and leave it running and collect it once the match is finished. Doing so can capture some amazing footage that could not be gotten while physically standing there yourself. Any camera these days should be capable of shooting 1080 HD for best results.
While on the field strictly for the purpose of filming always be aware of your surroundings. To catch the best footage one must go where all the action is. This naturally translates into some amount of dangerous circumstance for an expensive camera. Pay attention 360 degrees around yourself and if paintballs start flying in your general direction, give it your backside and move out of the way as quickly as possible. Further still invest in either a good tripod or monopod when using a straight video camera to keep it from to much shake, some cameras have settings to counter this and some shaky footage can be corrected a bit in the editing program.
It is also important to note that one must film in such a way so as not to disrupt the game, the idea being is to collect media without giving away positions etc etc … So look around constantly and move about as opposed to closing in on a sneaking player making it very obvious that he is there, try to be nonchalant about it.
Another trick would be to pay attention while in the staging area to all of the bright jerseys and teams that are busy busy when they get on the field … attach yourself and tag along to see what can be gotten. Color is something that every photographer/videographer is looking for, ask one of the masters of paintball photography Gary Baum, he’ll tell you the same. Another of Gary’s helpful tips … always try to catch the players eyes. Use levels … meaning film not only at eye level but ground level shooting up and from above using elevated positions or your monopod as a means of getting height and filming players below.
When it comes to editing your video … take time to carefully review each clip and try to slice it and dice it down to action, action, action. No one really wants to look at minutes of camera footage of a player navigating the field, they want firing, dives into the snake, bunkers and a good exchange of paint.Â As well when at an event, try to film different things to get away from the video becoming just another helmet cam video of players on the field. For example, paintballs tumbling on to a table, speed up the film or take it down to a slow mo … this much is up to you and your creativity. Keep in mind a few simple rules from some of the experts we have consulted. According to Kitty Wandel, master video creator with thousands of YouTube subscribers, keep an intro down to 5-7 seconds maximum and the video as a whole kept to an average of 10 minutes, exceeding that can quickly lose your audience. An outro complete with a tag to subscribe to your channel is also a very good thing. Sound tracks are very important, music selection makes or breaks the video … whenever possible try to take the time to find royalty free music that works. Use text to help describe what might be happening on the screen or to introduce yourself or the person you might be speaking with. It also helps if you map out an idea in advance of filming an event as to what you are going to do … a storyline or perhaps some ideas of different things you want to achieve on film for the overall production.
For the advanced videographer, great programs that can be used for editing include AVS4You Video Editor, NCH VideoPad Video Editor and Cyberlink Power Director to name only a few. The programs allow for some awesome transitions, video effects and adjusting color and audio to tweak the film. Take time to learn the program and all of its various functions, the more knowledgeable you are the better the end product video. Don’t be afraid to toy with the effects.
Last but least as it pertains to posting videos on the internet. Remember that there will always be the arm chair critics that love to rip others artistic expression. Let them ….Â simply ignore the haters as responding will only fuel them further. At the end of the day look for the constructive criticisms and watch other videos to get ideas and learn from others and what they have done. Videos are an awesome means of expression and certainly lend to helping build paintball … especially when non players see it and think paintball might just be cool enough to try for themselves.
We hope this helps … got any video questions, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Photos taken from actual Catshack videos