How we shot the Touchdown collection

How we shot the Touchdown collection

How we shot the Touchdown collection

Highlights

From the start of this production, we all knew we’d have to double down and go all-out to get the results we were looking for.
We were dead-set on making this footage as genuine as it gets, so there are no actors here. Real athletes, real football players, real plays.
There was so much energy on set, from the players right through to the production team. Everyone was there to capture the best-quality footage possible. 
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Touchdown

We love to go all-out on our Artlist Original productions, and Touchdown was no different. We partnered with Brad Day, a film director from Australia, to produce the highest-quality American football footage exclusively for our catalog. And we timed its release ahead of Super Bowl 2024, so you can use the dramatic and highly realistic footage for your next football-themed project.

Check out this behind-the-scenes footage from the shoot:

Working with Brad

Brad’s got about 70 Artlist shoots under his belt, with one of his favorites being Rugby Match from a few years back – he loved how he got to build drama into the footage with “rain, a nighttime shoot, a fandom camera, and lots of slow-motion shots”. The Touchdown shoot comes in at a close second. 

Artlist was the perfect creative partner. They’re always open to bouncing ideas around. When they have an idea, they go all-in and commit to getting the best people on set the best gear, and the highest-quality production possible.” – Brad Day

From the start of this production, we all knew we’d have to double down and go all-out to get the results we were looking for. We wanted the footage to feel massive and to capture the heart-pounding, electric atmosphere of a real-life American football game.

Authenticity is the name of the game

From the start, we knew we couldn’t cut corners or fake production elements indoors. Luckily, Brad secured a filming day at the Queensland Football Stadium. We loaded up with the best gear we could get our hands on and began staging a full-scale production in a real stadium with real players and their coaches.

Filming took place for a full day with real lighting, artificial lighting, and smoke machines — the full kit for achieving smoky, action-packed footage. Having real players and their coaches on set made it possible to run plays and added the extra layer of authenticity we were looking for. 

The gear

 

We had two pieces of gear on set that made all the difference to the final outcome. Brad was particularly excited about the MVP of the day: the helmet cam. We outfitted the helmet cam with the FREEFLY Ember, a fairly new and game-changing slo-mo cam. It was placed at the front of the helmet to capture first-person POV shots of the players. This allows the audience to feel close to the action. 

Take a look at some of the gear we used on set

We also made good use of a smoke machine. In a real game, the stadium would be packed with spectators, so instead of having shots of empty seats, we used the smoke to fill the space and create a more intimate atmosphere. 

We were dead-set on making this footage as genuine as it gets, so there are no actors here. Real athletes, real football players, real plays.
Brad Day
Director

The lighting

 

We had a specific vision in mind for the lighting. It needed to look high-quality, atmospheric, and full of all the exhilarating game-day drama that spectators have come to expect from a big-league football game.

We used a backlight for the slow-motion night scene, shooting at about 500-600 FPS. Since a lot of light was needed, we used 1200D Aputure blasting down for the beautiful dramatic backlight. At times, we also needed to improve and rig up some experimental lighting. We kept making adjustments and moving things around until we felt it was right for the scene. In the end, we were all thrilled with the result. 

 

The atmosphere

 

There was some concern in pre-production that we couldn’t capture the full scale of the atmosphere you’d experience in a live-action game because we were working with athletes, not actors. 

According to Brad, “This concern melted away as soon as we got to the stadium and saw the players gearing up. They were doing these natural movements and actually adding to shots that we wanted to capture”. 

We used lots of close-up shots of players’ faces in order to capture the on- and off-field emotion, and we kept the camera moving as fast as possible so we didn’t miss a thing. 

The camera wasn’t on a tripod even once for the whole shoot. We either had it on a gimbal, handheld, or rigged on the helmets“e broke 14 sets of antennas for wireless transmission systems. Every time a player would catch the football, it would snap off”.

Although the cameras and equipment got knocked around a bit, it helped capture the action as authentically as possible.

There was also so much energy on set, from the players right through to the production team. Everyone was there to capture the best-quality footage possible. 

Overcoming challenges 

“I guess the biggest challenge was the sheer magnitude of the filming day. We had to get 120 shots in 12 hours”. In addition to the time restrictions of the shoot, an American Football League team usually has 16 players a side, and we only had 16 in total. To overcome this and keep the footage looking like the real deal, we used tight lenses and had people crossing back and forth through the frame so it looked busy. 

Another challenge we encountered was capturing the locker room drama. The set was just white walls and a bench, so visually and atmospherically, there was not much to work with. So we decided to shoot wide on anamorphic lenses and top-light the whole scene to get it looking just right.

Wrapping up 

As we gear up for the excitement of the Super Bowl, the Touchdown collection arrives just in time to add the energy and passion of football to your projects. This original football-themed footage is perfect for creators looking to capture the spirit of the game in their videos. 

Whether creating content for a sports blog, motivational video, or Super Bowl party invitation, Touchdown offers dynamic visuals to make your projects stand out. Check out the entire Touchdown collection on Artlist.

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