Extremely stoked to be part of Film the Hunt’s Graduates Team! I attended the 4-day Outdoor Video Production School last June and learned a ton of information about how to properly and effectively film hunts. It was an incredible four days with great instruction and the opportunity to meet some amazing and incredible people.
The Graduates is a team of cinematographers and field producers who received proper training and are now available to film hunts. Some of their work is featured in the weekly show The Life, which is airing on The Sportsman Channel on Monday nights and several additional times throughout the week. Check it out because the show is very good!
Telling a visual story of each hunt is what it is all about. I look forward to filming and producing hunts as one of The Graduates. I am stoked!
Tom Petry, in his 4-day Video Production School, says, “80% of good video is great audio.” He is absolutely right, too. This quote stuck with me and I certainly do not regret investing in good, quality audio gear.
I am fortunate to have many friends and contacts who are directly involved in sound production. I like to say I know enough to be dangerous, but having expert contacts in the audio field who know all about gear and making quality sound productions is a definite advantage. I know, for example, that the Sennheiser G3 wireless microphones are top notch. They transmit great audio and they are reliable. I also know the Shure SM58 mics are the industry standard among both musicians and public speakers. So when it came time for me to purchase great audio equipment I already had ideas for my wish list.
Here is a brief overview and timeline on how I acquired my audio gear for Outdoor Cameraman and my web show, No Place Like the Mountains. When I purchased my Sony NX3 video camera I knew I wanted great audio equipment to accompany it. I purchased a Rode shotgun mic and the Sennheiser G3 wirless mic right away. Then, just before producing No Place Like the Mountain episodes, I purchased the Shure SM58 mic for voice overs. Then when I wanted to do interviews, I bought the Sennheiser G3 wireless handheld mic, which uses the receiver from my previously purchased lavalier mic. This saved me some money but also complimented the great mic I already was using for my video productions.
Yes, this audio equipment is quite expensive but I am big believer in “you get what you pay for.” I do not regret one of these audio purchases and I am getting great results so far. It is very handy to have the versatility of a shotgun mic for ambient sounds, a lavalier mic for hunter talk and emotion, and the handheld mic for interviews. There are times, like when filming two hunters, that I wish it was easier to use two lavalier mics with the shotgun mic, but so far my current combination is producing excellent results.
My microphones are very necessary and wonderful tools to producing videos. Great audio is not a luxury, it is a necessity!
Thank you to The Life Outdoor Video School! I attended their 4-day Field Production Outdoor Video Course last April and I learned a ton! It was the best four days I could have imagined, too. I met some great people who, like me, hope to work in the hunting industry. We learned how to use our cameras and properly film a hunt from start to finish. Along the way, we had many opportunities to put our learning into practical use.
I created a short film at the Video School and it includes some of the techniques we learned there from Tom and Nick. You can view the short video here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BGpOua2GDrs/
I highly recommend this Video School to anyone who wants to learn how to film hunts. You will learn a lot and meet some incredible people. I cannot say enough about these guys. There are just incredible. Check out their TV show, which airs on Monday nights on The Sportsman Channel.
My web show, There’s No Place Like the Mountains, features short hunting and wildlife films that were inspired by attending this video school. It is a dream that developed over this past year. Without all the information I learned last April at the Video School, this dream would still be wishful thinking. Thanks, guys, I am continuing to learn how to tell a story with film and I am loving each and every frame!
You are a hunter and outdoorsman. The season is now over and winter doldrums are messing with you. Where do you turn for inspiration? Or, you are an outdoor cameraman and field producer. The season is over and the long wait begins for the next hunting season. Plus, you wonder what new story angles there are to tell. Where do you turn for inspiration?
We are all inspired by something. I am inspired by the mountains themselves, for example. Just being out on the mountain is inspiring to me. What inspires you?
In this winter/post-hunting season, there are still some places of inspiration yet to be found. We need to tap into these sources of inspiration. Here are a few ideas:
- Watch or re-watch some of your favorite hunting shows. It is hard to keep up with them in the hunting season, so catch up now. Use these hunting stories to inspire you own.
- Watch a classic movie. My son, James, enjoys movies very much and I enjoy watching his preferred movies with him. This winter we watched The Die Hard, The Terminator, and The Matrix series. Watching a non-hunting movie can still inspire us in a variety of ways. Hunters can enjoy the action of a movie and field producers can gather new ideas for their next project.
- Attend an outdoor or trade show. I will be attending The Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, PA next month and I cannot wait! I enjoy this show because it provides an opportunity to talk and think about hunting in the off season. I also always come away with new ideas and products to consider using.
- Review your past hunting season or seasons. Bring out any hunting photographs you have stored away. Re-read your hunting journal. Talk with your hunting buddies and reminisce together.
- Take a hike. Too many of us become cabin fever recluses, almost as if we are afraid to get out in the cold weather. Hunting clothing and gear today makes this excuse a bad one. You can stay warm, especially if you keep moving, so get out there an enjoy a winter hike.
- Eat some wild game if you were successful this past season. As you savor each bite, recollect how bagging this animal happened. Remember the moment you first saw it, re-live the excitement you felt, and be thankful to God for the food you are eating now.
These are just a few inspirational ideas. What inspires you in the off-season?
This past hunting season was my first attempt at filming the hunt. I attended The Life’s Outdoor Video School back in May of last year and I learned a lot. Taking my equipment out in bear and deer seasons this fall taught me a lot, too.
I did follow a recommendation from the Outdoor Video School just before hunting season, and that was to purchase a Badlands Camera Pro backpack. This pack is specially designed to carry all the camera equipment needed to adequately and successfully film a hunt. The number of pockets and inner pockets are amazing! There is a place to store my main video camera and a DSLR in the main compartment. The design of the backpack is excellent and comfortable with a fully adjustable harness.
My main problem occurred out on the first day of hunting season–I packed way too heavy! We typically hunt more than 2.5 miles from my cabin, so this means a minimum round trip of at least 5 miles. It is where the deer are and we have been successful at bagging bucks over the past decade, but carrying a lot of equipment is not advisable. By the end of that first day I was completely worn out!
My tripod is one that I use for photography but it is not designed for backpacking. The Manfrotto video head is likewise heavy and not easy to pack and carry. Almost as soon as I got home, I ordered two different items: a new Gitzo lightweight tripod and a different, lighter Manfrotto video head. In this one purchase, I cut the weight on these items in half, which will make my pack much more manageable.
Before this purchase, I experimented with some different options, none of which suited me. I like the stability of a tripod rather than a monopod for filming. My goal was to shave weight, be stable, and be portable enough to carry the gear while filming a still hunt. I believe I now have a much better and more efficient system to do this.
I will still use my Muddy camera arm whenever I am up in tree stand, but this new tripod and video head will accompany me on all other hunts, including still hunts and when hunting from a blind or on stand. I can attach my GoPro to the end of one tripod leg to allow from some self-filming, too.
I am learning the important lesson of going light when filming.
The web show premiere episode of No Place Like the Mountains is available to view. This episode follows a black bear hunt in Pennsylvania.
I enjoyed filming my best friend and hunting buddy, Randy Greenly, on this hunt and later the next week during deer season. The first two episodes of No Place Like the Mountains follow Randy in these two big game hunts.
There really is no place like the mountains!
This past week I attended a 4-day Video Production School taught by The Life in Cambridge, Ohio. It was absolutely fantastic! I learned a lot of information on how to plan for and film a hunt from start to finish. The instructors, Tom Petry and Nick Ventura, were incredible teachers. We also had a presentation on the hunting industry by Cragg Fitz.
I am now excited about putting my newly gained knowledge into practical use!
The week was also an opportunity to meet other guys who have goals to film hunts and/or get into the hunting industry in a variety of other ways. There were 20 of us students and all of them were incredible people! It was an awesome week!
I cannot say enough about The Life Video Production School. They rock!