By Thalia Kemp, Sonic Eye

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5 Tips for Shooting Snowboarding and Winter Sports

 A Guide to shooting better Snowboarding Videos from a Professional Video Editor

We get a lot of snowboarding videos at Sonic Eye because we’ve made it our mission to edit the stuff we love.  The footage varies wildly and we’ve learned a few things about what’s really key to shooting better snowboarding videos from an editor’s POV.

 Here are our 5 top tips for getting the best results this snow season.

1. Planning

If you are going to use multiple cameras, get your friends together and plan it out first.

The guys who sent us footage from Sapporo, Japan did just that.  Mike, Andy, Toby and Sam really thought it out and made sure that they filmed eachother, showing the start of some runs, shots from behind and alongside one another, and then stopping at the end of their trun to turn back and film each other coming down the slopes.

This gave us heaps of great shot/reverse shot options and we were able to link up the different sections of snowboarding footage to create the impression of a professional snowboarding movie with multi-camera shooting.

One thing that would have made their footage even better is using the same model cameras.  We were able to adjust their footage to fit together, but for a really seamless result ideally you want all of your GoPro’s or action cameras set to the same frame rate (for example 25 fps), resolution (height and width of the image, e.g. 1280 x 720) and aspect ratio (which is generally 16:9 or widescreen).

Ideally you’d use all the same model GoPro, later models have vastly improved sound quality and of course the louder the original sound on your camera, the more likely it can be salvages and used.  The picture quality is also much improved on later models from what we have seen.

If that is not possible, a pro editor can adjust adjust your footage to mix together effectively for a great result that looks like it was all shot on the same camera.

2. Leaving Space

The best way to get a great finish on your videos is to leave loads of SPACE in your filming (if you’ve read my ‘How to Edit Better Videos’ blog series, you’ll see I mention this a lot!)

If you cut off your video too quick, it means the editor has to lose sections we could have kept if you’d just let the camera run a little longer.  Our videographer recommends counting to ten while you film, before you stop shooting to make sure you’re keeping enough edit space.

3. Don’t Pre-Edit your Footage

If you’re getting your footage edited professionally, don’t combine your clips in iMovie, send the raw clips to your eidtor instead.

There are two reasons for this.  This first is about leaving space (see tip 2 above).  Cutting together your clips means we loose a tiny bit of footage each time, having to crop the footage to avoid the previous screen (less of an issue with digital non-linear editing, but still there as you’ll tend to drop the camera or stop focusing on what you were shooting just before you stopped filming).

“If you’re getting your footage edited professionally, don’t combine your clips in iMovie, send the raw clips to your editor instead”

In editing, the rule ‘less is more’ just doens’t apply unless you are shooting to a script (and even then, it’s dicey!).  Always get more footage than you think you need, make sure your key footage is shot and then a bit more, especially of incidental footage (called ‘B-roll’).  This extra footage allows your editor to always find that little bit of film they need to tie thigns together, a segue between different shots.

The other, possibly more important reason not to pre-edit is you’ve now compressed your video, and most likely in an amateur format.  If you send us the raw clips we can compress them at the best possible resolution, which means your finished video will look as crisp as your original footage.

If you export from iMovie or another customer-grade program, you’ve already lost a bunch of quality before we’ve even started editing.  What a waste!

4. POV- Point of View

If you’re filming together or alone, try to take footage using different points of view to add interest to the footage.  For example, on your first run use a hand-held to film back at yourself, then on your second run, face the camera out or use a headcam to get the view going down the slope.  Next run, try filming each other (first from behind going down, then from in front coming down the slopes).

If you just did this for a series of runs, you’d have plenty of variety to choose from when you come to edit the footage.

“The louder the original sound on your camera, the more likely it can be salvaged and used”.

5. No Costume Changes!

Our last tip is to WEAR THE SAME GEAR throughout your shoot.  That way the editor can easily intercut footage from different days, without anyone knowing.

Happy snowboarding everyone, we look forward to seeing your awesome footage!

Thalia Kemp is the video and sound editor for Sonic Eye sound and video editing in Syndey, Australia.

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