Fun free film I created over this past weekend.

We went up to Laramie Wyoming to visit family last weekend and my two nieces were playing volleyball so I thought it would be fun to create a somewhat loud action packed promo video for the players. I did it totally free because it is good practice for me and I just love to shoot anyway. My business also donated money to the team and they gave me a nice note, a poster and even a hat.

Song from Premiumbeat:

I wanted it be about family, the family they have created by playing together so long. 8 seniors were graduating so I wanted to do interviews with them. I wanted to ask silly questions and then the all important question of what volleyball means to them, where I hope they would mention all their friends and how they are family.

I love volleyball, I used to play 3 days a week when I lived in Kansas City for 10 years. I feel like I know the game but I have never filmed it.

Laramie High School Volleyball

I love the GoPro Hero 3 video with the music by Overwerk, can’t tell you how many times I watched it, it so epic and I love how it builds at the beginning. I liked it so much I created a GoPro style opening bumper for the video.

Laramie High School Volleyball

I learned a lot on this video, as I always do when I try to do something I’ve never done before.

  • White balance: even though I custom white balanced I found the floor and what it reflected made everything too yellow. On this project I just stayed in Premiere and only played with the curves, which I have some success at cleaning up the shots but I still need to get better.
  • The 5D3 does awesome at low light, I was shooting from 1600 up to 6400 and I applied no noise reduction and it looks pretty good. However I would have like to have used the Blackmagic Pocket camera on the wide shots because I as shooting at 720 for the slow motion and the 5D3 just breaks apart in terms of detail on the wide shots were the pocket camera would have kept all that nice detail.
  • If you want to practice shooting at f2.8 this is a great place to do it.
  • I just kept moving around the gym to get a many angles as I could.
  • Record all the audio you can, try to get clean ball hits and hand claps because of the slow motion. You can hear I added them back it which I think is a nice finishing touch.
  • I had fun getting to know the girls in the interviews we did, they are a lot of fun and said stuff on camera that surprised me. But I really didn’t phrase the questions right and couldn’t use the interviews.

Laramie High School Volleyball

They ended up losing both of the matches, the first game the didn’t play well at all as you can see here. But you wouldn’t know that from my video, would you?

Laramie High School Volleyball

Can you make money from this type of video? I think you can, but not from the school, the money would have to come from the parents. You could do it on speculation that you would get some parents to buy the video after you completed it.

Laramie High School Volleyball

So what did you think of the video?

Laramie High School Volleyball

Laramie High School Volleyball

Laramie High School Volleyball

Laramie High School Volleyball

Laramie High School Volleyball

Snow on the way up to Laramie

Snow on pass

Royalty free music by

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5D Mark3
5D Mark III


  • Really solid video. Nicely composed shots, and well paced with the editing.

    I think one or two shots of the other team scoring might have helped to give it a sense of struggle or competitiveness.

    Was there any issue with getting permission or release forms for both teams since players are identifiable and under 18? I have found this to be an issue sometimes when filming HS sports events previously.

    Thanks for sharing what you learned as well. Always insightful!

  • Hi!
    Really helpful video Dave!
    I’m curious why you want to shoot at a high ISO? I knew already that the 5D is a noise monster and that its fully possible to do so but what is the reason? Do get more dynamic range?
    And if you dont mind im kind of eager to find out why RED cameras almost always are shoot at ISO 800-1500? Is it because of the high fps possibilities? Im trying to understand the ISO hype? 😉

  • I loved it. Did you ever try using XML to round trip between resolve and premiere Pro It’s great I use it all the time.

  • F&V LED Lighting link not working-error message occurs when clicking on it Dave. I will try again on a different browser-using Google Chrome.


  • Andreas ISO has nothing to do with fps just to increase the sensitivity of the sensor to get a brighter image. But when using 60p you need to have your shutter at 120 to get proper motion blur. Higher shutter speed les light hitting sensor. So Dave might of not had enough light to get proper exposure so he had to increase the ISO.

  • thanks, Dave. I am getting to shoot my niece’s last volleyball game and had not really thought about video. I will now, probably try to do an abbreviated video (30 secs or so) for my niece.

  • Hey Dave!

    Great work – I do a lot of similar work for drum and bugle corps throughout the US.

    I’ve found that when interviewing high school to college age students, if you want to get serious answers from them it helps tremendously to interview them one on one. 75% of the time if their friends are present, they tend to be more silly. Guys especially have a harder time complimenting their peers in a sincere way when they are with each other

    Hope that tip helps out in the future!


  • Hi Dave,

    Great video. Very informative. I did something similar to this last year for a handball team and I understand the challenges involved.
    I was interested in your comments on asking questions to the players to try and get the right sound bite to add in the video. I have had similar issues. It really isn’t easy.
    However, I went to a presentation at IBC by Philip Bloom on running interviews. He showed some BTS on Portrait of a Boxer. He talked about the challenges he had to get exactly the type of soundbite he was looking for, for the final video. The key message he delivered was to a) don’t be afraid to be persistent (ask the question again and again if needed) and b) if you need to ask the question again, think about asking it differently, or helping the interviewee by suggesting how to respond.
    When I saw his BTS and out takes on the interview, it really surprised me how many times and different angles he had to use, before he got what he was looking for. Takes practice and skill for sure.
    Thanks for the share.
    Cheers Jon

  • Dave,

    I bought my first DSLR 2 months ago (primarily for video use) and have been consistently browsing your website for guidance. My work is all with sports, and there isn’t much out there for help with that, so it was really great to see your volleyball promo video and what all went into it.

    Just wanted to say nice work, loved the song selection, slow motion, and the sound effects! Look forward to your future posts.


  • Nice video! When I shoot interviews, I usually go through my set of questions and some spur of the moment questions the first time around. I mark the questions that had sub-par answers. Then at the end of the interview, I tell the interviewee that I want to ask some of the previous questions again to get a variation on the answer. At times, I’ll ask some of the questions a third time if I’m still not getting the answer I think I should be impactful.

    Sometimes I even coach the interviewee a bit but I never want to put words in their mouth.

  • Dave, awesome video.

    Have you ever used Magic Bullet Looks? I really like it as a user friendly and well rounded color grading plug-in.

    However, I have a problem that it renders really slowly and I hear the same complaints from other people. It was also said by an Adobe rep. on one of the forums that there is not much you can do.

    Let me know if you have used it and what you think.

    I’m looking forward to some Speedgrade stuff!


  • Great job Dave! I’m a former photographer from Laramie and use to photograph in that gym. I can relate to what you mention about the yellowish cast from the floor. It was a tough one to deal with. Your music choice went well with the sports action.

    I think it’s cool how you offer your talents to family members as I have done as well over the years. I look forward to seeing more of your work. Your videos are inspirational. 😉

    – Andrew

  • This was SO helpful, Dave, as I’m doing exclusively action videos (horses), and really just learning. I have 2 questions:
    1. was the entire thing shot 60fps? I’m assuming you conformed 60fps to a 24fps timeline for slo-mo, but wondering how you did the “normal” speed — whether you switched back and forth to shooting 24fps or used your 60fps video, etc. When I use 60fps video at “normal” speed, I can never get it to look right, but I always want a combo of slow motion *and* normal speed…

    2. Were you using a slider in that opening shot from high in the stands? I cannot imagine how you did it without one..

    Thank you again for this and ALL your other videos! So helpful!