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Valuable Video
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We are all here to improve our events or performances.  Being able to step back and watch your own show has always been valuable, sometimes more valuable than having someone else critique it. After all who knows what you intended it to look like than you do.  In the past getting video could be difficult; your scoreboard isn't always exactly shooting what you need and other video sources can be expensive or cumbersome.

As video technology gets cheaper and better, simple solutions now exist for teams and performers at all technology levels at very low costs.  I wanted to share one possible solution for game directors, entertainment teams and mascots: The Flip Video Camcorder.

The Flip Video product line offers simple, one-touch recording and compact size make it the ideal choice for shooting video.  Their line of products record from 30 minutes to 2 hours of TV quality video (including HD models) that can quickly and simply be upload to video services like YouTube. 

The new Flip Video Ultra Series line produces video that rivals that of more expensive camcorders. With 2GB of memory, a high-quality microphone and no-glare display, now anyone can make impressive videos.

After you shoot the video FlipShare, Flip Video's new video-sharing solution, comes built-in FlipShare Software. FlipShare of lets you:

  • Save and Organize: Watch your videos on your computer whenever you want, and create your own folders to organize your videos, or simply use the automatic date-stamp system.
  • Publish Online: Upload your videos instantly to YouTube, MySpace, AOL Video and many other websites, all with the click of a button.
  • Email Videos: Send your videos privately to friends and family, and select from a wide assortment of included greeting cards to personalize your message.
  • Edit and Create Movies: Edit individual clips and create custom movies--complete with your favorite music. FlipShare even allows you to capture snapshots from your videos. 

What this means for Game Operations Professionals is they can simply push one button and record their show. Then they can review the show, seeing it as a fan would see it.  They can review their own show after the game to find ways to improve, enhance or celebrate their efforts.

How much for one of these powerful tools?  At the time of this writing (and I assume prices will drop over time) you can land a 30 minute Flip Ultra Series for under $75.  Versions with more video time or higher resolution are more expensive.

Here are a few uses for your new (inexpensive tool):

  • Review:  Record and watch your promotions, introductions, or  contests.  Any part of your presentation can be captured for your review. 
  • Fan View:  See it how your fans see it.  You may sit courtside, but now you can see how someone in row 30 see's your show.
  • Entertainment and Dance Teams: See your formations from the stands, see who is on....and who is off.  Do your costumes look as good in action as they do in the locker room?
  • Mascots:  Nothing can be more valuable than seeing yourself in action. Do your gestures match your intent.  Does your walk make you look sad?  Did your timing in a skit match what you had done in rehearsals?  Seeing your own performance on video has always been incredibly helpful, now it's easy and inexpensive too.
  • Highlights:  Was your skit or promotion perfect?  After watching the video perhaps it's something you want to share.  These cameras make that one-click simple.  Share your Best Skits and Promotions on YouTube, your blogs, or social networks.  YouTube is full of great clips from mascots, dance teams, scoreboard and contests...many taken from camera phones and simple camcorders....now you can add your best work for the world to see.
  • Event Wrap-ups:  Capture video of your off-site event, concourse entertainment or mascot appearances.  The Flipshare software allows simple edits, so you can compile a simple edit of the show and create a video in minutes.  Powerful content for your site, blog or Facebook posts.
  • Capture your Mascot: Many mascots have access to on-court video, but now you can capture in-crowd interaction for careful review of your antics, bits and crowd feedback
  • Show and Tell:The ability to capture your contests also gives you the option of capturing them as a teaching tool.  Keep a copy on a laptop and you could show your current contestants how the contest looks, and there is no better way to prep a contestant than to actually show them what the contest is supposed to look like. (also see Briefing 101: The Art of Briefing Your Contestants Essay)

 There are several options for the Flip Camera, here are some from Amazon.com.

CDnet also has the product review on the Flip Camcorders.  It should be noted that the review was posted before some of the newer models were introduced.  One of their only complaints with the camcorders was memory and size, both have been addressed with newer models.  The video is very helpful showcasing the product and it's capabilities.

See thousands of categorized videos featuring game operations, mascots, scoreboards and contests on Gameops.com YouTube Pages

Summary:  For under $100 even the least tech savvy game operations staff or mascot can add a valuable video element to help them see their own presentation, improve on it, or share it with others.

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