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Creating a Documentary: Part II

By Shelby Luongo

Canton MA--The Steps to Filming of a Sport's Game In my first submission of the steps I have taken thus far, in the process of forming a documentary regarding our Canton High Girl's Tennis team, I detailed four specific steps in relation to planning, interviewing, and filming the clips I will edit in the near future.


Having filmed the very first matches of the season just this past week, I have found even more significant challenges and difficulties of filming a match, asking questions, and creating something meaningful, which I will continue from where I have left off into the near future.


STEP 5: Pre-Game Interview! The purpose of a documentary is essentially to document how something is done, made, or accomplished in film, which is why a pre-game interview is important to the process of filming a sport's game. To film and have an understanding over how a player feels before their game, nervous, excited, ready, maybe unprepared or shaky, provides a sort of view that can enhance the idea of why a player will win or lose in their respective match. A confident player having lost a match perhaps may have been too overconfident, a nervous player having won may have underestimated their abilities, but all of the following ideas are more apparent when a player shares their thoughts before they play.


STEP 6: Adjust your Angles! When filming a match, the focus of the camera is not so much on the bouncing tennis ball between the two players as you might expect, but more so on the players themselves. The way a person serves, how quickly they run and swing, their excited faces when they make a winning shot, all prove more significant than a mere shot of the court in which only the ball can be seen. Both players should be visible however, so that the score of the game can be understood when editing your video becomes necessary. My issue, based on where I was placed for filming on the court, had been trying to fit both players into my shot as they started their game running back and forth across their court. Choosing not to zoom in is crucial here, so that all that is necessary can be seen and later placed into one's documentary however they wish.


"When filming a match, the focus of the camera is not so much on the bouncing tennis ball between the two players as you might expect, but more so on the players, themselves​."

STEP 7: Take Notes! The difficult thing about any given day, as I had stated in my first submission, was the issue of wind and loud noise affecting the sound of the video you are filming. When filming a sports game it is extremely important to take notes of the score of the game after all significant moments, as you may find when uploading and watching your video that the player's speech is inaudible, leaving you unaware of the score of an important game! By taking notes, you can keep track of how a game is played and how to incorporate each score in the development of one's documentary.


STEP 8: Exit Interview The exit interview is the root of the most important questions necessary, for the development of a sports-related documentary. After a person plays a game, the person filming has the opportunity to ask questions along the lines of what went wrong and what went right, what is necessary to improve one's game or perhaps maintain a good record, and how they as a player are feeling after having performed to the best of their ability. True emotions are on display in this interview, as a player may be at their most sad or most happy feelings after a Varsity or JV match, which is exactly what puts the heart and emotion into a soon-to-be completed documentary.

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