Sports Video Jobs

If you are a videographer who is passionate about golf or basketball or football- sports – then perhaps a career in sports videography is right for you!

More often than not, sports videographers specialize in a particular sport, so passion for, and knowledge of that sport, is crucial. Sports videography jobs includes shooting video of local, national games for personal use or for broadcast on television or online. Because of the drop in the cost of video production, sports videography is going through a period of major expansion and transformation. Shooting sports events on film was never that convenient and it was always expensive, but thanks to digital video technology, it is cheaper and easier to produce a sports video.

Aside from broadcasting live sports events, sports videography has other uses. For example, aspiring athletes may hire sports videographers to create scouting videos. Parents might hire a sports videographer to produce and edit their child’s first soccer game. High schools and colleges hire sports videographers to create video for coaching aides. If you are interested in working in this field, start locally. Start out by producing local video sports highlights or getting a job at your local television station working on the sports beat. If you have an extensive network, find out the locally famous high school or college football and basketball stars and approach them about putting together a video package to send out to recruiters. College and major-league teams are not sending out recruiters like they use to because of industry-wide budget cuts, which means athletes interested in making into major leagues have to be more proactive about getting recruited by hiring sports videographers.

However, it is probably also the dream of every sports videographer to make it into the major leagues, shooting video for live broadcasts and streaming video of major league players. In these jobs, you will likely be working for individual networks to shoot live broadcasts of sports events, while other types of sporting events may be contracted out to sports video production companies or individuals, depending on the size of the event.

Work environment

The work environment for the sports videographer is a frenetic, fast-paced one. Typically, you will arrive an hour or so on the field to scout the best shooting location, the ideal background and lighting for best-quality production. Sports videography is unlike most other videography jobs in that everything is live and that if you do not have the best location right away, you risk missing important plays in the game; blink and you miss something. This is one reason why sports videographers have to keep their camera rolling throughout the duration of the game, while keeping an eye on the scoreboard, the crowd and their general surroundings, just in case something interesting happens. If you are working for a local station or small team, you may also be in charge or setting up, shooting and editing pre- and post-game interviews. Either way, expect to be on your feet for long periods of time with your equipment.

Typical Responsibilities

  • For live broadcasts of sports events, you will often have to make video edits in camera, and then go back and edit final footage for uploading to a website
  • Production of graphic design, effects and treatment
  • Conduct pre-game and post-game interviews
  • Setting up set, lighting, teleprompter
  • Remain involved throughout all three production phases; for small projects, you may be the videographer solely responsible for all of these phases

Skills and Qualifications

  • Three to four years of video production and editing experience
  • Familiarity with the latest video production and video editing software
  • Interpersonal skills and good interview skills; although you are often behind the camera during the game, you will be talking with and/or taping players, crowd members, mascots, cheerleaders, coaches, etc.
  • Strong editing skills: The video-editing that you do of a game can make or break your reputation as a sports videographer. Get well-versed in doing in-camera edits and learn what events and plays make for the best video highlights
  • Sports knowledge

Getting Started

A bachelor’s degree in this field is not necessary at all, but a training certificate in video production and editing will be helpful. The best way to get started is to intern or apprentice at a local sports video production company and turn that into a job as an assistant. You can also work with small elementary or high-school teams making personal mementos for players and parents. It will be imperative to learn from those working in the field, the workflow and process of shooting sports professionally.

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