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TennisRecruiting.com is a website all about junior tennis players and their careers.  Here is a link to an article that you might find useful before actually starting the recruiting process.  In it they point out that one of the things that you can start at an early age is shooting video of the matches they play.   If you have your own QM-1 Camera Mount, when you get ready to make your own recruiting video, you will have actual footage of actual matches.  Great stuff for college recruiters!

Here’s an example of a tennis recruiting video we did for Max Roder. The entire process took less than 4 hours to do, including shooting and editing. Think what you could do with more time!

 

We filmed a college tennis match the other day using a separate microphone to record the chair umpire, and here’s the result.

I really enjoy having the score called out after every point, and there’s really no reason you couldn’t do this yourself calling out the score and commentating on the match.  The only real trick is to sync the audio and video, but if you take your time it’s not that hard.

No need to use a “clapping” board like they do in the movies.  The trick is to start the camera, then walk over to the net, within view of the camera and raise your hand over your head.   Then quickly lower your hand and start the audio at the same time.  Later on, in the editing process, you can easily sync the two.  If your software will show the audio waveform as a graph, you can also then match up wave form spikes with certain loud sounds.

Equipment Needed:

You probably have all the equipment you need right now.  Assuming you already have purchased a QM-1 Camera Mount, or the K-2 Bundle, you are already half-way there.  The only other piece of equipment you need is an audio recording device. Not sure if you have one?  How about your smartphone?  We’ve used it with great success!

 

modified-qm-1

Custom QM-1 Camera Mount for those “oddball” tennis courts and uniquely special situations.

 

Have a special situation?

An indoor pipe that is larger (or smaller)  than 2 1/16″ diameter?  We can modify the QM-1 Camera Mount for tennis to fit almost any situation.   Just take a picture and provide us with pertinent details – or maybe just give us a call to discuss your particular needs.

Filming a soccer  game?

We’ve modified the QM-1 to accomodate that situation, making the mount fit various fences but also providing a modified ProView Extender up to about as high as you’d like it.   That puts the camera way’ above the fence, and at a much better price than an other camera mount out there.

Before you spend a ton of money on some fancy overhead or aerial camera mount that costs hundreds or thousands, let’s see if we can solve your problem with a custom camera mount for your situation!  Call Mike at 303-960-6946 to discuss your situation.

 

How Does Slow Motion Work?

Let’s say you want to shoot some slow motion video and you have a camera that can shoot 120 frames per second (hey, kind of like the MUVI K-1!) What exactly does that mean? Why do I care about frame rate if I’m after slow motion?

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When you watch a video you’re just watching a lot of individual images flying past your eyes in order to create the illusion of movement. We all know that from early childhood when we could make stick-figure books that when you fanned the pages, it seemed the images move. Each image is called a frame.

Believe it or not, the standard speed for cinematic pictures in the U.S. is only about 24 frames per second. But even this seeming slow rate of frames per second results in a smooth appearing movement, just fast enough to make you think things are moving. The key for this is that the footage must also be shot at 24 frames per second. Let me restate: For normal motion, the frames per second shot must match the frames per second watched.

Here’s the important part, so pay attention! With today’s cameras, you can actually shoot at a higher frame rate than what things are being played back as. So let’s say you shot something at 48 frames per second, but want to play it back at 24 frames per second. This means you are watching it at half the speed that you shot it. It will take two seconds to play back. In other words, the 48 frames per second that you shot only covers a period of time of one second. So if you play back only 24 frames per second on your player, it will take two seconds to show what you had filmed in one second. 48 frames per second divided by 24 frames per second equals two seconds.

On the K-1 if you shoot at 120 frames per second, and then play back at 10% of the original speed, you would only be looking at 12 frames per second. It would take ten seconds to play back that one second of film.

All you need is a player that will allow you to slow down the number of frames per second that is played, and you are in business. Of course, some video players will allow you to advance one frame at a time using the right arrow key. Ultimate slow motion!

 

 

 

Any tennis match  is easy to film and record with the  QM-1 Camera Mount since it mounts from either inside OR outside the court.   As a parent or a coach, you never have to walk on the court!  AND, the QM-1 is so discreet that many players never even know it’s there.  The photo below shows a college match where Denver University has put up six cameras (four of which are visible), all from outside the court.  Denver’s Mens’ and Womens’ teams both use video extensively, and the Denver women have risen to the top 50 in the nation since starting video (ok, they also recruited some talented players).  Additionally, Maureen Slattery and Julia O’Laughlin made All-American as doubles players.

DU-Video-set-up

The fact that you can mount the QM-1 on the fence from outside the court makes it perfect for parents and coaches of juniors, college players or seniors.  If filming juniors – just make sure you have permission from the parents of the opposing player.

Filming a match at the Denver City Open

We have found that in the case of college matches where there is a singles and a doubles “point”, it’s easiest to attach an external battery to your camera.  Even a small “lipstick” battery like the Anker one here will alow the Muvi K-2 to run for at least five hours.

Living in Denver, I often take in their matches when they are playing in town.  So stopping by to check out their match this weekend against Marquette, I was gratified to see that even before the start of the match, they had 6 (six) cameras already set up and running  before the doubles point actually started.   And no one had to even monitor the cameras once they were started.  Does it get any easier?  I don’t think so!

The assistant coach had the cameras ready the night before (i.e. charged the batteries and had the sd cards cleared), and then had the cameras mounted and  running way before the matches began.   And since the cameras (Veho MUVI HD-10) have more than a three hour battery life, there was no danger of missing anything.

No stress, no hassle,  just a little advance planning.   Here’s a photo of five of the poles and cameras, the other one being to my left and behind me.   By the way, DU won 7-0.    I’ll discuss how they edit and distribute the video in a blog post soon to follow.

DU-Video-set-up

 

Filming or Recording a Tennis Match (or multiple matches) – A Few Tips

I just finished filming multiple tennis matches over the last few days at the Denver City Open Tennis Tournament and it was a lot of fun. Mostly because I had my act together, finally, when it came time to film. It’s amazing how enjoyable it can be when the cameras are up and you just watch the matches and talk with your friends. But if you aren’t prepared, it can be a nightmare, trying to find the right SD card or a charged battery.

So, here’s some of the things I’ve learned over the years of filming tournaments.

  1. Even if you only have one tennis match to film, get ready the day before.
  2. Make sure you have enough SD memory cards and that they are formatted, empty, and ready to go. I put them in each camera and format them in the camera just to make sure.
  3. Charge all your batteries the night before, , even if you think they are already charged. Batteries can and will go dead over a period of time.
  4. Get a camera bag that will carry all your gear, with enough pockets to keep every thing separated.
  5. If you are using multiple cameras of the same type, number them and keep track of which court is which camera. I just use a small piece of paper and some scotch tape.
  6. On the morning you are filming, get to the tennis courts a little early and set up your camera(s) before the players even come to warm up. That way, they won’t have any distractions with something new – the cameras will just be part of the court. I even start the camera at the beginning of the warm-up so no one even notices it. Of course, the QM-1 is about as un-obtrusive as you can get, so even though I’ve been known to sneak up on a match and mount my camera, I’d rather have it up there first.
  7. Seriously consider asking for permission to film the tennis. Okay, his can be a sticky subject. Sometimes its easier to ask forgiveness than to ask for permission. When I’m filming the open level tennis players, they are used to it and have never objected or not given permission when I asked. Most other players don’t mind either. Juniors are another story. In this case, I always ask the parents first. And sometimes they do say no. Learn to live with it.
  8. Note the time that you start your camera so that you can keep rough track of when either the battery or the card will run out. In the case of the MUVI K-1, you have about three to three and a half hours of battery time, so for a single match you are probably good and don’t have to worry. Likewise if you have the Pebble Smartstick, you know you have about 7.5 hours of battery life, so you are usually in good shape.
  9. When you are done filming your tennis match, download the video to your hard drive as soon as possible so that you don’t accidentally erase anything later on.  Put the videos in folders with descriptions and  dates so that you know what they are sometime down the road.
  10. Read this blog post on How to Handle Windy Conditions for other thoughts on being prepared (hint:  bring a bungee cord).