USC Annenberg Media Resources

How to shoot highlights videos for sports

Sports Shooting Tips

1) Goal is to mimic what viewers would see as if they were watching a live sports broadcast

2) Typical shooting clip: Action /Hero Shot/Isolation Shot / Scoreboard

MARK highlight plays with another clip of the scoreboard

3) Follow the ball (Your viewers should always see the ball. It’s part of the action)

-The only exception to this rule is Baseball and Softball

4) Cutaways can be substituted for or briefly follow hero shots (Crowd reactions, coach ISOs, bench reactions, random fans, cheerleaders, the mascot, etc.)

5) Tripods should always be used for elevated shots. Typically, tripods are not used on ground level due to safety concerns/rules. Sometimes you can get away with using the tripod as a monopod. Either way, find a way to stabilize your shot. Don’t give your viewers shaky shots!

6) AVOID JUMP CUTS!! That’s why you should use ISO/Hero shots or cutaways

7) Always keep in mind the story of the game. Your final highlight should summarize the game for those who couldn’t watch in person. Sports reporting is still storytelling.

Football shooting guide:

Typical Raw Clip: Scoreboard -> Snap -> Action -> Hero -> Scoreboard (good highlights marked with something OTHER than scoreboard. Can be grass, hand, etc.)

Ground Level:

-Follow the ball

-Action should come towards you (You’ll probably be moving a lot)

Elevated Level:

-Follow the ball from Snap to Catch

-Try to position at center field

Typical Football highlights: TD’s, interceptions, OMG tackles, sick catches, huge gains key plays.

Soccer shooting guide:

Typical Raw Clip: Action -> Hero -> Scoreboard (good highlights marked)

-Soccer is best shot elevated. Only shoot from ground level if that’s your only option.

-Try to position at center field

-Highlight should include the assist on goals (if applicable)

Typical Soccer highlights: Goals, cool saves, almost goals, PKs, fouls leading to PK

Volleyball shooting guide:

Typical Raw Clip: Serve -> Action -> Hero -> Scoreboard (good highlights marked)

-Volleyball is best shot elevated.

-Action is typically the bump-set-spike

-Try to position at center court

-If you shoot from ground level, position near the corner of the court, behind the team and well behind the area of play

Typical Volleyball Highlights: Kills, sweet digs leading to points, set points, match points

Water polo shooting guide:

Typical Raw  Clip: Action -> Hero -> Scoreboard (good highlights marked)

-Water Polo is best shot elevated near center of the pool

Typical Water Polo highlights: Goals, saves

Basketball shooting guide:

Typical Raw Clip: Action -> Hero -> Scoreboard (good highlights marked)

-Basketball is a sport that looks great shot ground level or elevated

Ground Level:

-Shoot near one of the corners of the court

-Follow the ball (from pass to shot to rebound or made basket)

Elevated Level:

-Try to position near center court

-Shoot wide enough to get the whole half-court of action

-Slight pans/zooms to basket as shots go up

-Key is to mimic what you would see on a typical NBA or NCAAB Broadcast

Typical Basketball highlights: baskets, blocks, fast breaks, dunks, sweet passes, key plays

-Don’t do free throws unless they’re game winning FTs.

Tennis shooting guide

Typical Raw Clip: Action -> Hero -> Scoreboard (good highlights marked)

-Tennis is best shot elevated, behind one of the players

-If ground level, best shot from the corner in a spot that doesn’t interfere with action

Typical Tennis Highlight: Set point, match point, sweet returns

Baseball shooting guide

Typical Raw Clip: Pitch -> Action -> Scoreboard (good highlights marked)

If the Action is a:

-Ground out: follow the ball to fielder, then follow the throw to the base(s). Hero shot on the last basemen or umpire giving the “out” signal (Hero shot on hitter if it’s an infield single/reach on Error)

-Fly out: Locate ball, THEN pan/tilt/zoom camera to WHERE you think the ball will land. (Usually balls hit to outfield leave the frame too quickly for you to follow. That’s why it’s easier just to shift camera to anticipated landing spot. The Fielder’s movement will give you idea of ball’s trajectory)

-Web Gem: Follow ball to fielder, then hero shot on fielder

-Strikeout: Record the K, then hero shot on the pitcher

-Homerun: Locate where ball is going, shift camera, then hero shot on hitter

-Single/Double/Triple: Follow ball till fielder fields ball, then hero shot on hitter

-RBI: Follow ball till it lands, then hero shot on runner scoring (be mindful of plays at the plate)

-Baseball is best shot elevated and behind home plate

-Try to avoid shooting baseball from the side. It’s doable, but it should only be done as the third option. It’s harder to follow the ball.

Typical Baseball highlight: Defensive plays are priority, homeruns, RBI, pitcher’s performance, key plays.

Notes: Baseball and Softball is one of the more difficult sports to shoot because the action can go from nothing to everything happening at the same time. Shoot every pitch. You never know what’s going to happen. It could be a home run. It could be a web gem. Don’t miss it.

Video Highlight Timeline

-Establishing shot (No longer than four seconds)

-Highlight 1

-Highlight 2

-Highlight 3

-Highlight 4 (include as many highlights as you think necessary to tell the story of the game)

-Post/SOTs

-Closing Slate

Try to keep it under 1:15

Highlight guidelines

Football Highlight: Should start from the snap

Baseball/Softball Highlight: Should start from the pitch

Basketball Highlight: Typically starts from 2-3 passes from the basket. Feel it out

Soccer highlight: At least one pass should be shown before the goal. PK’s should show the player’s steps before the shot. Saves should include the shot.

 

Volleyball Highlight: Bump, Set, Spike.

Water Polo: We should see at least one pass

USC VOLLEYBALL VS MICHIGAN SAMPLE SCRIPT

USC LOOKING TO UPSET 16TH RANKED MICHIGAN AT HOME

SET ONE …. SC ON SET POINT …. RENI MEYER-WHALLEY SETS IT UP FOR THE HIT BY ALYSE FORD …. BUT IT’S TIPPED OUT OF BOUNDS …. THE TROJANS TAKE THE FIRST SET 25-22

SET 2 …. SC UP ONE … CINDY MARINA WITH THE BUMP …. KHALIA LANIER PUTS IT AWAY …. ONE OF HER TEAM BEST 19 KILLS ON THE NIGHT … SC TAKES SET 2 25-19

SET 3 WAS A SEE-SAW BATTLE …. JACQUELINE DISANTO GETS THE ACE SERVE … MICHIGAN TAKES SET 3 30-28

BUT THE WOMEN OF TROY BOUNCE BACK IN SET 4 …. AS THE MICHIGAN HIT SAILS OUT OF BOUNDS ON MATCH POINT

USC COMPLETES THE UPSET WITH THE 3-1 WIN

SCRIPT BREAK DOWN BY COLUMN

ESTABLISHING SHOT: USC LOOKING TO UPSET 16TH RANKED MICHIGAN AT HOME

PLAY NUMBER SITUATION ACTION RESULT
HIGHLIGHT #1 SET ONE …. SC ON SET POINT RENI MEYER-WHALLEY SETS IT UP FOR THE HIT BY ALYSE FORD …. BUT IT’S TIPPED OUT OF BOUNDS THE TROJANS TAKE THE FIRST SET 25-22
HIGHLIGHT #2 SET 2 …. SC UP ONE CINDY MARINA WITH THE BUMP …. KHALIA LANIER PUTS IT AWAY ONE OF HER TEAM BEST 19 KILLS ON THE NIGHT … SC TAKES SET 2 25-19
HIGHLIGHT #3 SET 3 WAS A SEE-SAW BATTLE JACQUELINE DISANTO GETS THE ACE SERVE MICHIGAN TAKES SET 3 30-28

 

HIGHLIGHT #4 BUT THE WOMEN OF TROY BOUNCE BACK IN SET 4 AS THE MICHIGAN HIT SAILS OUT OF BOUNDS ON MATCH POINT

 

USC COMPLETES THE UPSET WITH THE 3-1 WIN (final score)

 

Highlight reference links:

 

Most importantly: HAVE FUN! Sports is about having fun! All sports reporters start out as fans first. We all have a love for sports. So never forget to HAVE FUN!

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