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FILMING NON-LEAGUE MATCHES

HOW WE FILM ‘NON-LEAGUE’ MATCHES

SOME REASONS WHY YOU MIGHT WANT US TO FILM YOUR NON-LEAGUE TEAM

WHAT WE OFFER YOU ON OUR FULLY EDITED NON-LEAGUE MATCH PRODUCTIONS

INFORMATION WE REQUIRE WHEN YOU BOOK US TO FILM YOUR MATCH

VANTAGE POINTS TO FILM FROM AT YOUR GROUND

HAVE WE FILMED YOUR TEAM BEFORE ?

INFORMATION WE REQUIRE ON THE DAY OF THE MATCH

NON-LEAGUE HOME PAGE

PRICING, PAYMENT & DELIVERY

DVD CATALOGUE

HOW WE FILM, EDIT & PRODUCE ‘NON-LEAGUE’ MATCHES

If we are hired to film matches on a regular basis for a particular Non-League club during the course of a season, a signed agreement will be drawn up consisting of various terms and conditions. Normally, the deal is for us to film for a minimum of £120.00 per match (including travel expenses to and from the ground), with an unedited copy of the full match being given to the Team Manager either on DVD or as a download, together with approximately 20-30 minutes’ worth of highlights being edited and uploaded to our You Tube channel (or the club’s channel) within 48 hours of the game finishing.

Payment is made either in cash on the day of the match or online by BACS before the next match is filmed.
Normally the agreement is to film Home matches only, as most clubs at the top levels of Non-League football have their own Club Cameraman. An Away match will only be filmed if permission has been gained from the Home Club Secretary and/or Home Club Cameraman.

We are only able to record an unedited DVD (or computer file) of the game into an external recorder directly from the camera during the match (to be ready on the final whistle) if there is mains power available and we are positioned under cover, so if clubs are unable to provide those facilities, then an unedited DVD will be posted to the Team Manager the following day. In the case of a whole match file being sent to the Team Manager online via Dropbox or a similar file-sharing program, that will be uploaded overnight following the game, ready to be downloaded by the Team Manager via an e-mailed link the following morning.

Further copies of the unedited DVD (or downloaded match file) can be made by the club for use by the opposing Team Manager, the Referee or the Football Association, but copies cannot be sold on to supporters. They are strictly for training, legal and promotional purposes only.

If there is a demand from supporters to buy a minimum of ten copies on DVD of a particular match involving the Non-League clubs we film for, then we will edit the footage and produce Full (Standard Definition) Match DVD's including titles, slow-motion replays and transitions, and sell them to the respective Club Shops for £7.50 per copy (to retail to supporters at £10.00 per copy, thereby making a small profit for the club). Matches that have been edited and produced will then be listed in our Non-League Catalogue on this website. Invariably though, most Non-League matches we film nowadays stay unedited apart from the highlights that are uploaded to You Tube. These highlights are also saved on an external hard-drive with a view to producing an end-of-season Compilation DVD should the club enjoy a successful season and if there is sufficient demand from supporters to buy copies from the Club Shop or via this website. Fully edited full matches from Season 2016-2017 onwards are also now more likely to be in high definition and produced on USB sticks or as a download instead of DVD’s due to the far superior picture quality. (See the end of this section).

If we are filming any Home matches for clubs in the Vanarama National League, invariably we will be asked to send goal highlights in to whichever TV company has the broadcasting rights for that particular season. Our charge for doing that is an extra £50.00 per match on top of our normal match fee, and that will have to be paid by the club if the League have arranged with the TV company that they will receive footage from club cameramen free of charge. (Normally TV companies would pay us directly, but some Leagues unfortunately have other ideas). Should clubs send in our footage to TV companies themselves without us receiving any payment, then they will be in breach of our copyright.

Most Non-League matches are generally filmed in stadiums or 'fenced-in' grounds at which there is normally a reasonable vantage point on or near the half-way line for us to use just the one camera set up on a tripod. Of course some Non-League grounds are not ideal for filming a game of football and some of our recordings are spoilt slightly by pillars obscuring parts of the pitch or by having to film matches at touchline level for various reasons. However, we always ensure that we have a clear view of both goalmouths whenever we are filming, so goals are never missed because of a pillar, a linesman or a spectator's head getting in the way !

For Cup Finals, if our cameraman is allowed on the pitch and can get on there quickly enough from his vantage point, we normally capture the post-match presentations of trophies and medals by taking the camera off the tripod and using it 'shoulder-mounted' at the presentation table to enable good close-up shots of the delight (or misery) on players' faces.

All Non-League matches up until April 2001 were recorded using an S-VHS camera (see picture right) which produced a good quality image, but that was greatly improved when we upgraded to the Mini-DV (Digital) format thereafter. Our cameramen then invariably began to use the Canon XM2 or the Sony PD150 or PD170 range of digital cameras, all of which produced broadcast quality pictures, albeit in the 4:3 ratio format. From Season 2007-2008 onwards though, our cameramen began using even better cameras such as the Canon XHA1, the Sony HVR-Z1E and the JVC GY-HD251E, and these were used to film matches in the 16:9 (widescreen) format for the first time and which is still used today. Since January 2014 we have made further changes to our cameras where the Canon XA20 is now used for us to film in 1080p high definition with a 28Mbps bit-rate, together with a 50 frames per second frame rate which produces excellent slow-motion replays. Some of our freelance cameramen use even better high definition cameras that film matches in full TV broadcast quality.

Matches filmed up until May 2003 were edited & produced by feeding the footage from the camera master tape into a stand-alone non-linear editing suite which was not DV-enabled. This meant that the edited master copies of all matches filmed before that date were in the S-VHS format, which is now obsolete and extremely difficult to transfer onto DVD’s, hence very few of those matches being available in our DVD Catalogues. However, the acquisition of computer-based editing software in July 2003 meant we were then able to produce vastly improved copies of matches filmed from the start of Season 2003-2004, as the source footage and the edited version were both kept in a loss-free digital format of television broadcast quality. Slow-motion replays and titles were then greatly enhanced, and more importantly, copies of all matches filmed from the start of Season 2003-2004 until the end of Season 2015-2016 were edited & produced to be made available on DVD's including menus and chapters whereby the goals could be accessed at the click of a button rather than by rewinding and searching. (Any DVD's of matches that were edited & produced before Season 2003-2004 are straightforward copies from S-VHS master tapes, so they do not include menus and chapters).

The finished (fully-edited) versions of matches filmed between Season 2003-2004 and Season 2015-2016 are kept as Master Copies on DVD for an unlimited period of time, so copies for customers can then be run off at any time in the future (as per those listed in our Catalogues on this website).

All fully-edited & produced Non-League Match DVD's include the full match with Extra-Time & Penalties if necessary, together with all the usual post-match presentations for Cup Finals. We do not include a match commentary or film interviews and dressing-room scenes as a standard service, mainly because the cost of recruiting extra cameramen or a commentator is too expensive for the average Non-League club. However, we have now added commentary as an option on our Price List should teams wish to pay for it.

Up until March 2005, most of our Non-League Match DVD's & videos included a narrated introduction describing both teams' line-ups and current form. However, we no longer do that due to a lack of time to script the narration, although the improved picture and editing quality more than makes up for that. In general, we prefer to use plenty of captions throughout our videos instead of a commentary and/or narrated introduction, and these display the names of goalscorers, substitutions, latest score and players who have been booked or sent off, etc.

All fully edited & produced copies of our Non-League Match DVD's are supplied in presentation boxes with full colour inserts featuring either ground shots or still-frame shots of footage from the actual match.

Since we started filming in 1080p high definition from January 2014 onwards, we have continued to produce standard definition DVD’s only instead of high definition Blu-Ray discs. For customers to purchase high definition footage, we now offer whole matches (including titles, graphics, slow-motion replays and even commentary if required) on USB Flash Drives (otherwise known as ‘USB Sticks’) in full 1080p high definition, thereby providing the picture quality that our customers will be used to when watching HD broadcasts of professional football on TV. We use Hughes Video Services-branded 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drives formatted as ex-FAT, and these play back on PC’s, Apple Mac & Windows laptops, Android & Windows tablets, and also on TV sets via an HDMI lead from PC’s & laptops. The match can be watched directly from the USB Stick or the file can be copied from the drive into your PC or laptop’s own hard drive, and from there into an external hard drive if necessary. (Please note that 90-minute matches in full HD (AVCHD 1080p at 28Mbps) are generally 20GB in size). Although we allow unlimited copying from USB Sticks that we supply to our customers, we are gradually reducing our prices as they are so much quicker, easier and cheaper to produce than DVD’s. That allows us time to film, edit & produce more matches, and we now make money that way rather than relying on DVD production. Other high definition options we are now using are for customers to pay to have whole matches uploaded either to You Tube or to Dropbox (or a similar file sharing program) for them to download from there. The You Tube & Dropbox options are uploaded as MP4 720p 7-10Mbps files, which are of a lesser quality than that which we provide on our USB Sticks, but they are still a much higher quality than the standard definition DVD’s that we are now looking to gradually phase out.


SOME REASONS WHY YOU MIGHT WANT US TO FILM YOUR NON-LEAGUE TEAM

  • You might be playing in a top-of-the-table match, a local derby or against a team from a higher level and want the game filmed because it is a momentous occasion for your club.
  • Your club is playing their last-ever game at their old stadium before moving into a new one (or playing in their first-ever game in their new stadium).
  • We can edit and upload a highlights package to You Tube which can then be made viewable from your Club Website. This will encourage sponsors to pay for advertising hoardings around the ground or to sponsor the You Tube highlights with a logo or a 5-10 second bumper ad.
  • If your match is captured on film, it will allow your Team Manager & Coaching Staff to analyse the play and correct any mistakes they or their players may have made tactically.
  • Referees can also book us to film matches. Our filming of matches have helped quite a few referees to progress into the Football League after studying and then correcting their positioning (for example) when making decisions in matches.


WHAT WE OFFER YOU ON OUR FULLY EDITED NON-LEAGUE MATCH PRODUCTIONS

  • FILMING OF THE WHOLE MATCH (including Extra-Time & Penalties if necessary)
  • FILMING OF POST-MATCH PRESENTATIONS OF CUPS & MEDALS (For Cup Finals)
  • SLOW-MOTION REPLAYS OF GOALS & MAJOR INCIDENTS
  • TITLES & CAPTIONS including BOTH TEAMS LINE-UPS & FORMATIONS, GOALSCORERS NAMES, SUBSTITUTIONS, LATEST SCORE, etc.
  • STEADY CAMERAWORK WITH GOOD CLOSE-UPS AND EXCELLENT SOUND & PICTURE QUALITY
  • COLOUR INSERTS FOR EACH COPY OF THE DVD INCLUDING STILL-FRAME PICTURES TAKEN FROM THE ACTUAL MATCH FOOTAGE
  • WE CAN FILM MATCHES ON ANY DAY OF THE WEEK (Evening Matches included)
  • FULL MATCH COMMENTARY BY PROFESSIONAL COMMENTATORS (Optional service provided by commentaryservices.co.uk)

In recent years, a number of other video companies have started up and followed our lead in filming Non-League football matches. Some have access to expensive aerial mast filming equipment which allows them to gain a high vantage point at smaller Non-League grounds and on parks pitches where there are no main stands or purpose-built TV gantries, while others have access to top-of-the-range broadcast-quality titling & graphics programs to enhance their productions. These are things that we are currently unable to do because of the costs involved. These rival companies also manage to provide those services for cheaper prices than we would be able to because they invariably have links with Universities & Colleges whereby they use work experience students to carry out much of the filming, editing and even commentary for little or no payment. They also quite often use cheap hand-held palmcorders with built-in microphones and no wind-shield whereas we use cameras and external microphones that are perfectly suited for filming football matches outdooors in all sorts of conditions. Although the use of aerial mast filming is something we may consider in the near future (subject to sponsorship), it is only beneficial if matches are being studied for player performance & tactical analysis, as it is very difficult to film the action close-up when using that equipment as the camera operator is not actually behind the camera where they then have more control. There are also risks in using work experience students to carry out the filming and editing as they are not used to filming a fast-moving sport, and as such, the steadiness of the camerawork suffers and the matches can be frustrating to watch, especially when viewers are used to seeing professional matches on TV that are all filmed properly. The editing can also be very random and careless due to inexperience in knowing what to include and when to cut and fade between scenes, so even though the titles and graphics can look a lot more impressive than we have on our productions, the end product can often be disappointing in comparison. Unlike some of our competitors, we will only use work experience students and/or new freelancers once they have been trained up properly by practising on matches that we have not been paid to cover and have proved that they can film, and if necessary edit, matches to the high standards that we require. We much prefer to ensure that the quality and steadiness of camerawork, good close-ups of the action (e.g. goalscorers) and the right choice of action to include in our highlights packages is far more important than using extreme heights for performance analysis, cheap inexperienced labour and flashy titles, graphics & music that only appeal to the younger generation. In addition, if a commentary option is chosen, we use talkSPORT’s excellent commentator Barry Swain and others from his company commentaryservices.co.uk. An example of one of our productions with Barry as commentator can be found HERE.

We are very aware of how football is covered on TV and we make every effort to transfer their filming & editing ideas to our coverage of Amateur & Semi-Professional Football. This includes when to cut away to the crowd or the Team Managers, when to zoom in on the referee (after he has made a contentious decision), when to put in a slow-motion replay, having the current score displayed in the top left-hand corner of the screen, and displaying accurate team formations before the kick-off with the players warming up in the background. Obviously, we cannot reproduce the sort of coverage that they manage on Sky (with 20 cameras dotted around the ground and hi-tech graphics in abundance), but for Amateur & Semi-Professional footballers the most important thing is getting the match filmed properly for an affordable price and we manage to do that rather well, as you will see from these testimonials we have received over the years !

We do not film pre-match build-ups such as coach journeys to the venue as anybody could do that. Our expertise is in actually filming the match, as that is what unpaid and un-trained volunteers find extremely difficult. We can film Pre-match or post-match interviews with players and managers if it is practical to do so, but invariably we would require a volunteer from the club to hold the microphone and ask the questions. The reason for that is the lack of additional personnel available to carry out such jobs, together with the extra editing work it involves. Ultimately, it would result in clubs waiting twice as long for their finished product, while we also have to charge them twice or even three times as much as normal to pay for the extra cameramen, interviewers and possible hire of equipment. We prefer to offer a basic and affordable service whereby only one cameraman is used to film the match (and the presentation ceremony for Cup Finals) only. By doing this, we can cover more matches for more clubs.

Our cameramen film all matches as a complete neutral and show no favouritism towards any one side (such as refusing to zoom in on a goalscorer because he is playing for a team who have not initially booked us to film the match). This is because the team who have not booked us may decide after the match that they would like to share the filming fee and access the footage afterwards.


INFORMATION WE REQUIRE WHEN YOU BOOK US TO FILM YOUR MATCH

  • WHICH OPTION YOU REQUIRE FROM OUR PRICE LIST
  • YOUR NAME, POSITION WITH THE CLUB (e.g. Secretary, Manager, etc.) ADDRESS (for invoicing & delivery), PHONE NUMBERS & E-MAIL ADDRESS
  • YOUR TEAM'S NAME
  • THE OPPOSING TEAM'S NAME
  • THE NAME OF THE LEAGUE (including sponsors) & DIVISION or CUP COMPETITION & WHICH ROUND
  • THE VENUE FOR THE MATCH (including address & postcode)
  • THE DATE OF THE MATCH
  • TIME OF KICK-OFF
  • WHERE CAN WE PARK AT THE GROUND ?
  • WHICH ENTRANCE DO WE GO IN ?
  • WILL THERE BE A 'PRESS PASS' ON THE GATE FOR US ?
  • IS THERE A PARTICULAR CLUB OFFICIAL OR STEWARD TO ASK FOR WHO WILL SHOW US WHERE TO FILM THE MATCH FROM ?
  • (The above questions are all for Home Teams who book us for filming)
  • Whether you have contacted your opponents to find out if they are interested in booking us as well (and sharing the cost).

Once we have all the above information, we then check on the availability of a cameraman and once that is confirmed, we will then send you a Confirmation of Booking letter by e-mail which will give you all the necessary details.

The Confirmation of Booking letter will also give you instructions on whether you can pay the cameraman on the day or whether you will need to pay in advance. This is because some of our cameramen are freelance operators who we prefer to pay ourselves once they have given us their footage of the match.

TO BOOK US FOR FILMING YOUR MATCH, PLEASE COMPLETE OUR BOOKING FORM or CONTACT US HERE


VANTAGE POINTS TO FILM FROM AT YOUR GROUND

Finding a good vantage point to film a match from at a Non-League ground is often very difficult for our cameramen as only a small minority of clubs have either an unobstructed view from the back of a large main stand, a safe flat roof on a clubhouse, or a purpose-built platform/television gantry, and not all of these are situated on or near the half-way line. Most clubs have main stands that we cannot get to the back of to film matches because there are too many pillars obscuring our view of the pitch, while others have one small stand with only three rows of seats and a corrugated iron (or sloping) roof which we cannot get on top of for safety reasons.

At other times we are told to move our camera/tripod 'at the last minute' by club safety officers or stewards because we are in the way of spectators and we therefore sometimes end up filming at ground level near the corner flag somewhere !

All Non-League clubs who book us to film matches at their grounds are therefore advised to look into constructing a decent vantage point for us if they have not got a suitable position already. The size of the platform needs to be at least 6 ft. x 6 ft. (2 metres x 2 metres) square for our cameraman and his tripod and other equipment to fit on comfortably. Our full match productions and/or You Tube highlights will be much more appealing to your supporters if they include a good clear view of the pitch from a decent height (e.g. 5 feet minimum and as near to the half-way line as possible).


ARE YOU THE AWAY TEAM ?

Please be aware that if you are the Away Team and you want us to film your Non-League match, you MUST obtain the Home Team's permission in advance, otherwise they may not let us inside the ground.

A growing number of clubs at all levels of Non-League Football now have all their Home games filmed by a resident cameraman, whether it be a volunteer using a hand-held palmcorder or a professional video company, so we prefer to do Home matches only.

If you are playing Away to a club who do not have their Home matches filmed, they may demand that we provide them with a free unedited copy of the game (for their Team Manager) in return for letting us film the match in their stadium. This will invariably mean that you will have to pay the full Filming, Editing & Production costs unless the Home Team agree to share that with you and obtain fully edited & produced footage of the match themselves.

Please also be aware that if your club have been drawn away to a Football League (or Premier League !) club in the F.A. Cup, it is highly unlikely that we will be allowed to film, particularly as TV companies have cameras present for all F.A. Cup matches from the First Round Proper onwards.


INFORMATION WE REQUIRE ON THE DAY OF THE MATCH

Your cameraman for the match will normally arrive at the venue at least an hour before the kick-off.  On doing so, they will enter the ground as per the Home Team's instructions (i.e. which entrance to go in, whether to pick up a ground/press pass, which steward or club official to see regarding where to video the game from, etc.). 

If you are the Home Team, please ensure that our cameraman is given a printed team-sheet and/or a free match-day programme before the kick-off, as we will require the players names and shirt numbers (and the Team Managers’ names) in order to do the opening titles on the You Tube highlights and on any fully-edited production that may have been ordered. 

If you are a small club without such things as a P.A. system, printed team-sheets for the press or even a match-day programme, it is essential that as soon as possible after the final whistle one of your club officials provides our cameraman with the following information regarding both teams, so that we can produce You Tube highlights and/or full match productions of the quality that we advertise:

  • THE PLAYERS’ FULL NAMES (no initials or middle names) and CORRECT NUMBERS OF SHIRTS WORN ON THE DAY.
  • YOUR TEAM’S (& YOUR OPPONENTS’) COLOURS PLAYED IN ON THE DAY.
  • CAPTAIN’S NAMES
  • Confirmation of GOALSCORERS (for both sides)
  • SUBSTITUTIONS MADE (who came on for who and at roughly what time in the match...this is especially important if any half-time substitutions are made)
  • BOOKINGS or SENDING-OFFS (if any)
  • TEAM MANAGER’S NAMES
  • REFEREE & ASSISTANT REFEREE'S NAMES

At most of the Cup Finals we film for clubs at parks' and A.F.A. level, we find that the Team Manager is normally (and understandably) too busy to write out all the above details for us, so we strongly advise clubs to appoint another club member as being responsible for providing this information for our cameraman. It is always best if a club can find somebody to write things down as the match goes on, especially for details such as the correct shirt numbers for players, substitutions made and the goalscoring order, as these can all be easily forgotten after a match and it is extremely difficult for us to guess which player is which if we do not have the correct shirt numbers available when we are editing the footage. This is also extremely important if you have chosen the option to have professional commentary added to your match.
If our cameraman has already left the ground after the match without being given the above details regarding team line-ups, etc, please e-mail them to laurence_hughes@yahoo.co.uk


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HOW WE FILMED BACK IN THE 1990’s !