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Thread: How many hero2s needed to mwke coverage easy

  1. #1

    Default How many hero2s needed to make coverage easy

    I am an experienced stills photographer, just getting into video (with my canon 7D), and need to produce a video in about 6 months for my business, demonstrating a new ice skate performance enhancing product-- esp. capturing the reactions of the athletes at the trials. I've videod earlier trials, and it's notable trying to get coverage, with just me scampering around is reaaaaaalllly difficult.

    I've read quite a few books on video: so understand the concept (and indeed need!) for B-roll footage: and am imagining what I'll do is video the reactions of skaters (by way of interview ...) so I have a lot of sound of them speaking, refelcting, I can use to intercut with video of them skating. Even so... it feels.. difficult.

    I've been eyeing up Hero 2s which seem to give a fantastically involving POV type of shot. Again though: most hero videos suck: as they are really boring for more than 5 seconds, unless there are reaction shots to cut to etc, at which point they stop being like home video, and start being able to tell a story. There seems to be quite a wave of stuff just now: where gopro use say... 10 cameras, so clearly get a huge amount of footage at the time, that keeps options open in editing.

    the thievry coportation live on youtube: where they used about 10 static go pro cams to avoid having cameramen scampering about...

    and the gopro alaska expedition
    GoPro HD: GoPro Alaska Expedition - YouTube
    where most of the footage seems to be from gopros strung roung the neck of every person present at the launch of a balloon-- which avoided them having an explicit videographer present (though I think the editing is duff-- very choppy...)

    I'm thinking that given they are quite cheap (I'm in the UK: 200 if you shop carefully), it is within my budget to get 3 or 4, and leave them running for 2 hours during the trials: perhaps 2 strapped to the chest of skaters, and 2 that I sit on the ice, maybe... strap to a leg etc.. so I can get lots of footage and angles that can be cut between, and as they are all running for the whole trial; inevitably there will be synchronicity in the shots. With my 7D I can be doing the longer / wider shots from the edge of the ice, and indeed some more b roll/ reaction on the faces of people standing at the edge etc...

    I have a zoom H4n, and a couple of lapel radio mics, so imagined i'd stick one on the chieif skater, one on whoever at the edge rink, and so again, gets lots of audio that should be useful to overlay, and help tell the tale of the unfolding test...

    Anyway: has anyone tried "mulitple" hero2s and have a sense of how many gets you to the point of "lots" of (useful) coverage ?

    I'm going to warm up by making some short videos of skiing (again probably 2 skiiers: perhaps 3 cams on one skiier, one on another following...)

    I've found no posts anywhere on the web of anyone talkign about using multiple pov cams like this.. Any expereinces ?

    Also, i f I do, if you have experiences, any "abstract principles" to guide where to put the mutltilple cams to get useful good coverage ? (clealry i need them separated so i wouldn't get "jump cuts"...)


    Last edited by jonnyhifi; 05-06-2012 at 02:28 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    This is a fascinating question, jonnyhifi (welcome to the forum BTW).
    It's much more to do with the approach to making the vid than to the specific camera so I hope you don't mind that I've moved it to the Cinematography section where I suspect you'll get more relevant responses.

    My biggest problem with deciding whether I can help or not is I'm struggling to understand what you are trying to show. From what yo've described I can''t see any need to have several different angles filmed in real time (unlike the band, where it looks a bit odd if you swap drop in a shot of a musician playing a different song - though even this can be faked quite easily if it's the same tempo)

    Do you really need 2 hours of video from each camera? Have you any idea how tedious viewing all that footage is going to be whilst selecting stuff for editing? If you really do need real-time sync, though, then this really is the best way to do it. Switch on and leave the camera rolling. Stick it all on the timeline and sync it up, then delete all the vits where nothing is happening, then start selecting which takes from which camera.

    If you don't need this, then just use one or two go pros. Get a max 5 mins from each skater. If they're keen enough to be involved you might even persuade them to swap the camera from one to another without your involvement.

    Other than that, my suggestion would be to concetrate on getting the reaction shots. I'm guessing this is a one off event so this is your only opportunity.

    If you don't happen to get all the skating footage you want, I would guess this could be much more easily re-shot.

    If you've read all these books, you'll know that one of the pieces of advice is the very simplistic sounding "shoot for the edit". After several years of understanding that advice I still find myself shooting everything, being scared I won't have enough in the edit. But I'm wrong.

    What we should do (and what I think you should do) is
    Plan the video.
    Plan the shots we want.
    Schedule when and how they should be taken. (Avoid realising with 5 mins to go you haven't got this shot or that shot)
    Take each shot several times.

    Then we'll have a much better editing experience - several versions of a shot we want (one or two might be usable)

    .... I'm waffling.

  3. #3


    thank you for your thoughtful repsonse: yes, I do agree trawling thorugh all that footage is clearly going to be staggeringly painful.

    The snag I think is we won't quite know what will happen till we are there, and from what I've seen from before, ice time, (and indeed patience!) is in short supply.

    so: I'm imagining if I can get a fair amount of ooing and arring from the skaters as they come on and off the ice, and then have "nice" shots of them twirling around in the background, if we "stumble upon" some really pretty shots, we can use them to intercut with the commentary, and the overarching few minutes will be the "story" of coming out and trying out the product.
    By having several cameras dotted around, (and indeed on the skaters) I'm hoping we will find as well as close angles, we will inadvertently be caputring medum and long shots from other cameras so we have a choice for cutting say as someone enters a jump... to have an establishing shot, then a close up say of the skates leaving the gorund etc... maybe slowed down a bit if shot at 720p 60fps...

    The plan is to try and produce a video to viraly market the product, hopefully that we can make have enough eye candy, to get people to watch on youtube, both becaue it is "pretty" but also, because the performance improvement we depict is really worth while... there is nothing worse than dry "this is 10% better" presentations... Of course, at this point we are seriously strapped for cash (well I am !) getting to market with the product is costly enough, hence trying to do this myself... I'm also thinking if I can capture someone doing an impressive spin jumping over a camera on the ground, a short loop could be a great thing to have on a big screen at a trade show as an attention grabber... esp if in 3D on lenticular array TV: (not that I've seen one to be fair!) but I'm running before
    I can walk... lol

    ty for moving the post, I didn't really know where to post it myself !


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