How To Film Like An Olympian

A successful and productive shoot day is kind of like being an Olympic athlete: in order to stick the landing, you need thorough preparation and a consistent system in place so you can get the best result every time.

This year’s Winter Olympics got us feeling nostalgic and reminded us of the time we got to work with Jakub Voracek, a former Flyer and professional NHL hockey player.

Philly Mag brought us in to collaborate on Delaware Valley Honda Dealers’ Dream Big campaign ahead of the Philadelphia Auto Show.

The catch? His schedule only allowed him 1 day to work with us. That meant he had to shoot:

  • Video interviews with Jacob
  • B-Roll or detail shots
  • All while another team captured Photography

All on the same day.

If you don’t work in video, you may be thinking “Well photo and video are pretty much the same thing, aren’t they? Can’t you shoot them at the same time?”

That’s actually not the case, as you’ll find out in our new vlog.

In order for a shoot like this to run smoothly, we need to clearly communicate our objectives to all parties involved; in this case, the parties involved were the client, the photographers, and Jakub Voracek.

The 1st objective – The photo team had to get a great photo for the cover of the magazine, the brochures, and the artwork that was associated with the project.

The 2nd objective – our team had to interview Jakub in a way that allowed us to get good, quality content and quality sound. This meant we had to schedule time with him outside the photoshoot so the sounds of the arena and the photographers’ shutter didn’t affect our audio.

The 3rd objective – capture behind the scenes b-roll and detail shots of Jacob on the ice and the photography session.

Being able to define a plan that accommodated the production scope and allow the photographers to do their job, and our team to do ours, was key to the success of the project.

Ultimately the shoot was a success; the video turned out great as you can see below, and we got to play on the ice with a professional NHL hockey player. It goes to show that having a solid project management system in place is essential when going for the gold.

Do you need help planning your next video project? We can help you coordinate the logistics. Contact us today to get started.

Transcript:

Jamaica may have a bobsled team, the Winter Olympics are here. Skiing, snowboarding, bobsledding, ice hockey, whatever that sport is. And it’s getting us really excited about the video logistics. Let’s talk about it.

So the Olympics got us excited about logistics because the Winter Olympics have hockey, and we did a video that required a lot of logistics with former Philadelphia flier Jacob Forecheck.

We had one day to shoot photography, an interview and B-roll. But we got to work with Philadelphia Magazine to produce some spots for Delaware Valley Honda dealers ahead of the auto show. And they were featuring professionals in different spaces that had achieved their dreams. Well one of them was Jacob Forecheck.

I want to talk about what happens when you need to do photo and video at the same time. See, Jacob Voracek as a professional player is not going to have time to come back for a photo shoot in a separate video shoot. And so I want to talk about those differences so that if you’re ever trying to book someone that’s high profile or just achieve two objectives photo and video that we can set expectations on what that day might look like.

OK, so here are the different objectives. Number one, we need to get a great photo for the cover of the magazine and for all of the artwork and brochures that are coming out.

So the photo team had a staged area they were tethered. At the same time we needed to get an interview with Jacob Voracek. Number one when you’re shooting an interview. The biggest thing you need to worry about is the sound. We want to make sure that we’re getting good quality sound that’s not going to have distracting other sounds.

And one of the other things that really overlaps with photography is that pesky shutter. That sound of the shutter, clicking and clicking and clicking is going to be getting into your video, establishing time to say, “Hey, we really need our own space in our own time with the talent” is very important.

Now you might say, Well, I watched the Oscars where you’re hearing the shutter, clicking all the time in the background, and that’s OK. And my answer to that would be, well, you have context. Give you an example. We’ve shot videos in the trade show floor for years, and a lot of times when you’re filming in a booth you could theoretically frame everything out and it could look like a stage set. The problem is you have the ambient sound of the show behind it, and that’s going to feel like a mistake to your audience unless you provide context back that camera up a little bit.

Give me an angle that shows that, hey, I’m at a show, then the audience understands, OK, they’re in a public forum, and that’s why this sounds that way. So that’s not the case when you’re in a controlled environment like we were in a locker room.

We made sure that we scheduled that time with Jacob while the photo team was setting up. Our next objective was to capture two things behind the scenes look at the photography session, right? Showing the photographer coaching the talent, seeing Jacob pose, doing the slap shot, all of those different things.

But it’s also important to note from a directing perspective, right? We’re interviewing, we’re asking the questions, we’re directing that interview when we’re shooting behind the scenes. We need to be out of the way so that the photography team so that the talent and everybody involved can sort of be themselves right.

And we’re not coaching directing. We are really trying to stay out of the way but capture the most dynamic and interesting angles possible within that context. This is an area on your shoot if you’re thinking logistically or photography and video can absolutely play in the sandbox together.

We’re not worried about the sound or the shutter. The context there, if that flash ripples through our lens, that’s OK. We know that there’s somebody there contextually that’s taking photos. After the photo shoot, we were able to move into the B-roll phase where we were doing structured B-roll or detailed shots of Jacob.

If you remember, we interviewed him first and then we shot the B-roll. We were able to hear things that Jacob said, stepping onto the ice for the first time, skating in a professional hockey game and being like, Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I’m here.
The Flyers were not affiliated with this production, right? So their logo, their branding could not be in the video. Problem is, we were in the Flyers practice arena, so guess what? They had everywhere. You guessed it logos. Logos everywhere.

So our team, after the fact, had to mask out those logos in post-production. Now when you’re doing a production like this, you always want to try to avoid those things because as you can imagine, animation and masking and those types of post-production tasks are going to do this for your budget.

So another logistical thing to think about, especially when you’re working with somebody with an IP value or celebrity value or things like that is really think about all the brands and logos that might appear in that video because you might end up having to take them out later.

And so that’s why the Winter Olympics made us nostalgic for logistics and why we made this video. One wish: Team USA all the best of luck. Go win the gold and shout out to John Candy. Some people, you know, they can’t believe Jamaica.

We got a bobsled team. See you guys.

All right, so I’m going to end this video saying, Go Team USA, bring home the gold. Jamaica may have a bobsled team now that we’re not going to go with that. I do want to do that. Jamaican bobsled team. Go in the gold. Something about what’s the word? What’s that song with Jamaica, Jamaica? We have a bobsled team.

About The Author

Jon Sherman

Creative Director