By Tracy Breen
Filming a kid’s first deer hunt or tenth deer hunt can be fun. Filming a youth hunt can help preserve the special memories of the hunt so years from now the kid and the adult who filmed the hunt can watch the special moments over and over. The problem is filming kids while they are hunting can be difficult. Kids don’t always want to be filmed. Filming a hunt can decrease the odds of success and even when all goes according to plan and a hunt is filmed properly, interviewing a youth hunter after the kill can be awkward for the parent and the kid.
All of us who hunt with kids want to create a film all our friends and family will want to watch because the film is fun and exciting, not because they feel obligated to watch it. Brodie Swisher, the editor of bowhunting.com spends countless days in the spring and fall filming his kids hunting. He shared a few tips with us.
Use More Than One Camera
He believes filming a hunt should never get in the way of a kid harvesting an animal. “Let’s face it; anyone who has filmed a few hunts knows that sometimes if you want great footage, an animal has to walk without being shot because you couldn’t get the shot on film. If my kids have a good shot at an animal, I let them take the shot regardless if I will get the shot on film or not.” Swisher explained. “However, I do everything I can to get the shot and the experience on film. I think the best thing a person filming can do is have several point of view cameras out and their main camera rolling at all times in an effort to capture the hunt and everything the kid is doing so a moment is never missed.”
Keep The Camera Rolling
Kids can be extremely animated when they are allowed to talk freely and act like kids. For that reason, Swisher keeps the cameras rolling and doesn’t do an Outdoor TV style interview. “I like to have a Gopro in the blind with me pointing at the kid and my main camera rolling at all times. I don’t tell my kids when the camera is rolling so everything they say - all the little moments - are caught on film and they can be relaxed and real. The moment I ask them interview style questions, kids often get strange and rigid and clam up, reducing the quality of the film.” By keeping the camera rolling at all times, I often catch the real and raw emotion kids have after a shot.”
Hunt From A Blind
Regardless if Swisher is filming a youth hunter turkey hunting or deer hunting, he prefers to hunt from a blind. “Hunting from a blind allows me to communicate with my kids before the shot and it allows me to move the camera and gear around without getting busted by critters. Filming a kid in a treestand is more difficult. One great thing about filming a kid in a blind is we can talk freely back and forth and capture a lot of great moments on film. Best of all, Fourth Arrow Camera Arms have a lot of camera arms and accessories that work well for filming out of a blind.”
Last but not least, Swisher says to keep things fun and exciting. “Most kids love filming and being on film if you make it fun. Filming for a hunting show can be stressful. When filming a kid, it is important to keep things lighthearted and fun so they enjoy it. If a kid has to do 20 takes, do a bunch of B-roll and gets in trouble if they don’t say the right things or mention the right sponsor, the film will suffer because they won’t act natural.”
Many hunters don’t keep the cameras rolling at all times when filming. Hunters often don’t like hunting from blinds. Many hunters only bring one camera in the field. For those who want to create a great film with a kid, get a blind, a couple cameras, plenty of extra batteries and go have fun.