Filming hunts is growing all over the world. There is no problem with filming the hunt and calling it a day, but there’s no better way to tell a story, than to SHOW it!! So if you’re one that wants to take your filming to a whole new level… Here are 10 of the most important aspects to filming your hunts.
#1 Steady, smooth video.
Steady and smooth is key to having a great film. So many people just bring out a camera and free hand it, which ends up making the video very shaky, and a headache to watch. A good camera arm and fluid head are KEY!! Yes, you can go to your local hunting store and buy a cheap 30-40 dollar camera arm, and it will do the job. But that arm will only last a couple hunts before the squeaking and stiffness starts and it just becomes a hassle. I prefer Muddy Outdoors camera arms. They are by far the smoothest arms hands down, and with a good fluid head, your hunts will be steady, smooth, and enjoyable to watch!
#2 Learn to be the cameraman before the hunter.
If you want to be able to produce the best video you can, you have to find that balance between cameraman and hunter. It's true with both solo hunting, and being a cameraman. When solo hunting, you have to learn to make certain movements at certain times. Like when that animal is coming in, video first, but once you see the animal is committing, grab the bow, and keep filming. Some people get so caught up in the moment that their brain shuts off from being a cameraman and their hunter senses kick in. That's when it usually creates bad video or no video of the kill at all.
#3 Let it go
Solo hunters really don't have to worry about this since at the time of the shot, their hands are on the weapon and not the camera. But this is crucial for being a cameraman. When the shot is about to happen... Let go of the camera arm or camera. What this prevents is the cameraman shakes at the point of the shot, which can make the impact not clear or even visible. So when the shot is about to happen, think of the movie Frozen, and LET IT GO!!! And once the shot is fired, grab the camera and follow the animal.
#4 Never enough
You can never get enough film. All it can do is make your video better. Which brings us to #5
#5 Be Creative
When taking different shots, think outside the box, and think of different ways you can make a unique shot. Wide view cameras like go pros are really good for different angled shots. DSLR cameras are really good for focus shots with incredible clarity, but for the average guy with the average camera, just find the little things that not a lot of people film and make it your own.
#6 Forget the camera is rolling when you talk. (for both hunter and cameraman)
It takes a while to feel comfortable talking around a camera. But everyone loves to see true personality, especially when adrenaline is flowing and all the emotions come out. Act like there is no camera there and just celebrate. Let whatever you feel come out!
#7 Always be prepared.
Filming can take a lot of equipment, make sure you have extra batteries, extra memory cards, something to cover your camera up if it rain/snows. Maybe even bring an extra camera if your camera malfunctions. You never know when the hunt of a lifetime is going to happen, and there would be nothing worse than missing it, so ALWAYS be prepped.
#8 IGNORE the industry
The hunting industry has commercialized hunting. DON’T do that to yourself. Forget obvious product placement and telling others what type of broadhead is best. At MWP we have relationships with products we use and love, preferably local Michigan relationships. Ignore the slogans and overdone reactions that the pros often show. Your reaction is different – and remember when you kill a whitetail in Michigan on film…celebrate any way you want. Your viewers will enjoy it!
Everyone wants to see your animal! Film all the emotions of following the blood trail, finding the animal, field dressing, and bringing the animal home. It will add a lot of emotion, personality, and sometimes comedy to your video.
#10 (MOST IMPORTANT) Tell a Story.
Just like I said earlier, film everything. Nobody likes a "there's a deer. Boom. Look at him. The end " hunt. We want to see everything that goes on, from deer camp to driving there, everything that happens in the stand, to driving home with a Mack daddy buck in the back of the pick up truck. Talk like there's no camera, just you and your buddy having an awesome time in Gods creation.
- Blake Ledger, MWP Prostaffer