Recording soccer highlights with our Veo cameras at State Cup taught us a few lessons about recording tournaments with the soccer cameras. Our son’s team was playing in the tournament and had their own Veo camera so we brought along 3 of ours that weren’t being used that weekend and recorded games.
There’s quite a difference between recording a game or two a day for your kids versus recording games all day for a showcase or tournament. Here are a few things we learned about managing several cameras at once. If you’re thinking of recording an event hopefully these will help. At the bottom we included a highlight video we made of some of the goals we recorded.
1) Camera Setup Time
It took us about 10 minutes per field to setup our 3 Veo cameras. I got out of the car at 1pm and had 3 cameras up and recording by 1:30. Here’s a map of the fields, we recorded mostly on fields 2, 5, 9, and 10, and had a few on field 8 and 11.
Total setup time depends on how far away the fields are, as you can see from the map these fields weren’t too far apart. We planned ahead to record fields that were close together to minimize camera movement. Ideally you’ll record on the same fields back to back. We talk more about planning your recording later on.
The 10 minutes per camera consisted of getting to the field, turning on/connecting to the camera, putting up the tripod, and starting the recording. One thing I tried to save time was turning the camera on as I walked from one field to the next so when I arrived it would be on and I could connect to it right away.
That plan worked but in one instance when I took the camera out of the bag, the sudden change from dark to light really washed out the left lens. I figured it might eventually adjust but I was walking away to record the next game so I couldn’t keep an eye one it. So I took the time to power it down and then back on. The time to turn off, then startup and connect isn’t really that long but when you’re doing several cameras and going from field to field it feels like longer.
The main reason I was looking at time per camera is because that determines how many games you can do at once. At some point, if you have enough cameras you’ll need multiple people to move them between fields and start/stop recording between games. I was able to do this myself with 3 cameras, the shorter the setup time the more games you can do with one person. Of course part of it depends on the distance between fields and time between games. That leads us to the next tip.
2) Plan Your Recording Schedule
Try and plan to record fields that are close together to minimize camera movement. Ideally you would record on the same field back to back but schedules don’t always work out so you can at least try to record on adjoining fields.
I made a backup game plan for each field ahead of time. For example, if you plan on recording field 8 but then that one doesn’t work out, what will you record instead? Who’s playing on fields 7, 9, 12 around the same time? When you’re in the middle of a tournament you won’t have time to look for alternative games so its better to do ahead of time.
Your planning depends on what your goals are. We were trying to record the most high quality games between the cameras we had. If you have certain teams where you need to record all their games that gives you less flexibility in terms of which fields you record and when. So a lot of it has to do with which teams you’re looking to capture, however, planning it out ahead of time still makes the weekend easier.
3) Get a Veo Camera Bag
The Veo camera case protects the camera but it’s hard to carry multiple at once. The more cameras you can carry at once, the faster you can get the cameras setup.
I transported the cameras in the cases to the complex but in the parking lot I transferred them from their cases into a padded laptop backpack. I was able to slide all 3 cameras into one bag, there were enough compartments I probably could have carried 4 or 5 Veo cameras in the bag. Of course, this doesn’t protect them as well as the case so don’t sling your backpack down on the ground.
The camera is only half the transport challenge, the tripods need to make it to the fields as well. I was using the Manfrotto 12 ft tripods so I could carry one in each hand and the cameras in a laptop backpack. That meant I could setup 2 cameras before heading back to the car to get another tripod.
You could pull a cart/wagon with multiple tripods on it, this would slow you down but would save the time of going back to your car. Depends on the layout of the fields and where the parking is. I didn’t have a cart but using one might have sped up my 10 minutes per field timing by avoiding a trip back to the car.
Teams around the country that rent our cameras usually use the Impact 13 ft light stands, we bought one ourselves to try before recommending other teams use it. We took one of these to State Cup, it’s a lot lighter and shorter when collapsed than the Manfrotto so easier to transport from field to field. However, it’s not as sturdy so if you’re going to set it up and walk away we’d recommend securing it with a sandbag as shown in this photo.
4) Make a Camera Cheatsheet
As you can see from this screen grab you’ll have multiple Veo cameras showing up in your Wi-Fi list, some yours and some perhaps belonging to other teams.
You might want to make a cheatsheet you can tape to the back of your phone, carry in your pocket, or just take a photo of where you list out your camera names so you know which are yours. It’s also a good idea to give each camera a number and label it in big font on the bottom. So you can see it while the camera is up on the tripod.
For example, your cheatsheet might be:
VEOCAM-a56 – #1
VEOCAM-60c – #2
VEOCAM-d79 – #3
And on the bottom of camera VEOCAM-a56 you’d have a big #1. You can just use masking tape and a Sharpie
Your camera names might be longer, we bought ours in 2019 when the names were shorter, now they’re longer like VEOCAM-1053F
We’re actually thinking of giving ours names to make it easier to keep track of them.
5) Bring Business Cards
As you’re setting up the camera you’ll probably get questions from parents on both teams asking about the recording. They might want to know about the camera and how they can access the game later on.
When you’re in a hurry to get to the next field to setup, start/stop, move a camera you don’t have time to chit-chat so it’s helpful if you have a card you can give them with info on how they can access the footage and also get in touch with you.
Another option we haven’t tried is to add a QR code to the tripod that fans can scan. We haven’t used this method but we’ve chatted with some folks in other parts of the country that it’s worked out for.
Basically you want some way for fans to be able to easily find out about the recordings without having to spend a lot of time explaining it repeatedly when you’re in a hurry.
6) Save Games with Meaningful Names
Once you upload all the games you’re going to want an easy way to know which game belongs to which team. If you made a list of all the games ahead of time then the simplest thing to do is to just save it with the day, field number, and game time.
For example, you can save it as 6/5-8-16, which is June 5th on Field 8 at 16:00 using the 24 hour clock (or military time) . Then once it’s uploaded you can check your list of games and see which two teams were playing on that field at that date/time. Of course, adjust to your situation. You could do Sat_Fld8_16 if you wanted to be less cryptic. Or if you know the name of the teams you could name it SLSGPremier06vsRealWcCarterBlue06. The trick is when you’re rushing from field to field you might not know all the matchups so if you have a system for naming the game as you save it then you can easily look it up later.
Just avoid calling it Game1, Game2, Game3, etc because with multiple cameras on multiple fields it will take a lot of time after the fact to figure out which game is which.
7) Keeping Track of Your Cameras
After one game at the end of the day I walked to field 11 and our Veo camera was no longer up on the sideline. The parents were still trickling out so I knew the game had ended not long before. In my mind I was chalking up one lost camera to this tournament as we searched the field. It doesn’t really do another person any good to steal a Veo because without the plan and login they can’t access the footage but its still a pain if you’re short a camera. Plus there was a full day of games recorded on the hard drive that I was going to lose.
Luckily I saw a coach on the players sideline taking down his Veo so I went over and asked if he’d seen ours. As we were talking another parent walked up holding our Veo and tripod. He thought it was their team camera and had taken it down to be helpful to the coach.
Two things you can do to help with this are make your camera stand out and also make it easier to find your camera if it isn’t where you expected.
Similarly to how people put something bright or colorful on their suitcase to distinguish it from others in the luggage carousel you can add something noticeable to the tripod so no one mistakes your green Veo camera for their green Veo camera. Earlier I had mentioned putting a QR hang tag on your tripod so people can find out about the games. Add your logo or club crest to the hang tag and that would also help it stand out.
I’ve been looking for a way to keep track of our Veo cameras but haven’t figured out the best way yet. The trouble with Tile is that the range is limited and the cost of the Jiobit after device and annual plan is pretty steep. Now that Apple AirTags have come out I’m going to give them a try and I’ll report back on how they work for our Veo cameras.
At minimum be sure you have your phone number and email on the camera and the case so if you do get separated from a camera it will be easier to find its way back to you.
8) Publicize Your Soccer Recording
Since we took the time to plan out the recordings we also published the game schedule for matches we were available to record. We made it available on our soccer highlight video website but you could also post it on Facebook or some other media platform.
If the event you’re recording has a hashtag on Twitter or an event on Facebook you can let teams know with those methods. Or if you’re recording all games for a certain club you can send the info to the club and ask them to share.
It’s a good idea to do this before the day of the event to line up teams to record but there may be teams that are also interested last minute.
Soccer Tournament Highlights
Here are some of the goals we captured. We did have a first this tournament. Right before one of the goals was scored, a bug flew up to the camera and landed right on the lens, blocking the goal. We added it to the end of the video, never know what the recording will capture.
Hopefully this helps if you’re looking to record an event. For more details on what we’ve learned about recording games for your club, school, or other teams you can checkout our Veo Freelance guide.