By Elias, 2009.

The Ball Game is a fun and easy beginners video exercise that can accommodate a small or large group. It involves the participants filming each other catching and throwing a ball in different spaces and seamlessly editing the footage together to create the illusion of a ball being passed around. This simple idea has ample space for creative flourishes and is a strong introduction to filming and minimal editing. It can also serve as a team building exercise for new groups.

Participants

  • Minimum: 3 people
  • Maximum: Infinite

Equipment

  • Video Camera
  • Tripod
  • Ball
  • Editing equipment (optional)

Skills/Techniques

  • Basic video & tripod operation
  • Basic editing

How to make it

Filming

  1. Decide on a location and performer for your shot and setup the camera on a tripod. The focus of your frame should be the performer – the person who will catch and throw the ball.
  2. Begin recording on your video camera. The director or camera operator should say “Camera rolling…Action!”
  3. Off-screen, somebody throws the ball to the performer who then catches it, then throws it in another direction. Keep the camera still during each take, no zooming or panning.
  4. Stop recording once the take is over. Only record what you need.
  5. Repeat these steps with a different performer in a different location until you have filmed at least 10 unique setups. Swap filming and performing duties from setup to setup.
  6. To maintain continuity, keep track of which direction the ball is thrown at the end of a take and start the next setup with the ball coming from that direction.
  7. Be creative and experimental within your environment. Have fun with it!

Editing

  1. Capture your footage to your desired editing software.
  2. Select and trim your good takes and place them on the timeline in order.
  3. Each shot should begin just before the ball enters the frame and end just after the ball leaves.
  4. Play your video back and adjust the beginning and end points of shots that don’t flow until corrected.
  5. Remove the audio from the timeline and replace it with a music track of your choice!

Other things to try

  • You may wish to pass an object around that is other than a ball. Perhaps something fun or an item of significance. Check out this
  • You can reverse your video for fun results! Once your edit is complete simply export your video in full quality, then import the full quality video onto your timeline and reverse it!

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