Inside 3S: How We Make Our Videos
At Third Shot Sports we pride ourselves on making videos that are valuable to our viewers. We want them to be easy to watch, clear, concise and, most importantly, helpful. We recently asked Third Shot Sports coach Mark Renneson to tell us about how he makes his videos.
Step 1: Get an Idea
Sometimes I have an idea for a video and sometimes I don’t. If I don’t have something specific in mind I’ll just watch footage of the pros and see if anything interesting pops out at me. I’ll then consider whether this is something that other people might find interesting too.
In other cases I have a specific concept or skill that I want to make a video about. The idea can occur to me when I’m playing pickleball or tennis myself, or just casually watching others. Often, I get the idea when I’m doing something completely unrelated. My poor wife Laura — who does not play pickleball or tennis and who isn’t really interested in either — is now accustomed to me interrupting whatever we are doing and saying out of the blue: “you know what would be a great video?” and then me not finishing the thought but kind of zoning out as I imagine what it might look like. She is a very patient woman.
Step 2: Find a Clip (if possible)
If video I was watching gave me an idea for a topic, I’ll save that clip and see if I can find others like it. I will hunt through my archive of raw footage and I usually try to find at least a few examples — or counter-examples — of a particular topic so the audience can see the same things in slightly different contexts. It often feels like I’m searching for a needle in a haystack and it is pretty rewarding when I find what I’m looking for. If I don’t already have the footage I need, I will make it myself.
Step 3: Edit to Make Something Watchable
This is the most fun part of the process. I enjoy taking various chunks of footage and putting them together in a way that highlights the point that I’m trying to make. I use iMovie (all of the clips from 2015 were recorded, edited and uploaded 100% from my iPhone) and as I get more adept at using the technology, I can play with how the videos look. I’m beginning to work more with slo-motion, multiple angles, split screens and picture-in-picture. The creative aspect is something I quite enjoy. Once I have the main content edited together, I’ll do the voiceover when I can find some quiet time at home — which is harder to come by than it once was!
Step 4: Intro, Outro and Titles
Once the body of the video is ready I need to introduce it and complete it. Since people make their decisions about what to watch in the first few seconds, this is where I have to try to hook the viewer. Sometimes I use humour (with varying degrees of success) and sometimes I try to get the audience’s attention by being in an unusual location or having cameo appearances from my dog (Lacey) or daughter (Cecily). I try to keep the talking short so that people choose to hang around. Once this is all done — it usually takes several takes — I insert the titles/contact info and any other visuals that will help make the video look good and keep people coming back for more (hopefully).
Step 5: Upload and Share
Once I’m happy with the final product I upload it to YouTube. I can choose when to release it to the public and while it makes sense to space them out over time, I’m often so eager to put new videos out into the world that I publish them right away. I’m not very patient! I try to cross-publish on our Facebook page, any newsletters we are putting out and of course, thirdshotsports.com. Since I’ve done all that work, it makes sense to try to get as many eyeballs on it as possible.
Step 6: Feedback
Viewers often choose to share their thoughts about the videos either by emailing me directly or by posting to the comment section of YouTube. I value the time people take to respond so I make a serious effort to answer each comment personally. It takes time but I like connecting with the people who watch my work.
Step 7: Do It All Again
The time it takes to make a video from start to finish varies depending on how easily I can find the clips I need, how complicated the editing process is and whether or not I need to demonstrate some of the skills myself. In general, I’d estimate that each 3-minute video takes about 2 hours of work. Sometimes more, sometimes less. It is satisfying to see it all come together in a nice, tight package that people might want to watch and share with their friends.