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  1. Budding filmmaker here, very budding.

    So I will be traveling the country filming techniques for BJJ and have no idea what equipment I will need.

    Everything will be inside different dojos, martial arts studios. I will need to film maestros from all angles without them moving. Film them from the front, then the same maneuver from the back or side, etc. Close-ups, far away.

    What lighting equipment will be needed?
    What suggestions do you have for cameras? I'm a novice, but still want a good piece of equipment that I can use and expand on.

    Also, I need an education. I'm not filming movies here, just martial arts. Are there any online video schools that would be sufficient for my purposes? Obviously I don't need to study too much for this limited production.
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  2. A few random thoughts.

    I've only filmed one event in a dojo. The person who hired me was the center of attention because he was graduating to the next level.

    I've looked at a few other dojos and they all seem to have the same problem: space. Many of these places use really small retail spaces. The competitive space in the one I filmed went all the way to the walls and the back, leaving only the front for the spectators and my camera. I might have been able to mount an "action camera" (e.g., GoPro) above or in the rafters, and that actually might have provided an interesting effect. I use a Sony Action Cam because it had less fisheye than the GoPros, back when I bought it five years ago. I've used it for many weddings, discretely tucked away behind the officiant, pointing at the audience.

    So, I did a single-camera shoot, one step up from filming on an iPhone. If I were to do it again, I'd run a second camera, mounted up high on the tallest tripod I own, so I could always cut to a wide shot. In general, you always want to film with at least two cameras so you can cover your mistakes, and also so you can provide more interest to the viewers.

    I got there an hour early and boldly set up my camera in front of all the spectators so I didn't have to shoot over the top of anyone. I obviously asked permission before doing that.

    Even if you can put a second camera on the other side of the floor, cutting to that camera can be very confusing to the viewer. This is why most sporting events don't cut to the other side of the field during live action (why is everyone suddenly running the other way?).

    Most dojos are pretty small, so sound is not too big an issue. However, if your camera is going to be too far away, you could mount a portable audio recorder (I use a Zoom) on an object on a wall nearest the center of the mat.

    As for lighting, for all the reasons just mentioned, I don't think you'll have many options, given the space. Just make sure to do a white card balance before you start because many of these places are still lit with old-fashioned fluorescent bulbs, and that blue-green color is awful.
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