Expert Video Technique for Beginners by Bryan Weaver & David Rountree (2011)


Published


Expert Video Technique for Beginners

Bryan Weaver & David Rountree

Introduction: My name is Mary Anne Gerzanick-Leibowitz. I’m a member of the ASCA Board and I’m also the assistant women’s swimming coach at Oregon State University. This afternoon I have the pleasure of welcoming you to speakers Bryan Weaver and David Rountree.

Brian Weaver, has coached all levels of swimming, diving and water polo for 40 plus years. He is currently coaching at the Brentwood School in L.A. He has coached several top level swimmers and water polo players. He is a master swimmer and a master polo water player. He is also the founder and the Chair of USA Water Polo and he is a member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame selection committee.

David Rountree is a former collegiate swimmer. He got involved in some Hollywood film in the film industry and he was producing, directing and did some feature films and some commercials as well as some music videos. He is a former Olympic Trial qualifier and I’m sure as everyone in this room knows, once you have swimming in your blood, it always come back to you. It’s something that you always miss and you end up doing it in some way, shape or form. He has had 17 years of coaching experience and he has produced national qualifiers and two Olympic Trials swimmers and he is currently, along with Brian, the head coach of the Brentwood school.

So, would you please help me and give a warm welcome to Brian Weaver and David Rountree. [Applause] Okay. Good luck. [Laughter]

Brian Weaver: In more ways than one. I’m a little apprehensive here. Can you hear me?

Okay, as you heard, my background is water polo and you’re not here for water polo and I was asked to do a session about swimming and although I’ve been a swimming coach and I was an Olympic qualifier myself and swimming has been in my blood, over the last five years, I’ve been the assistant coach to David Rountree and there gets to be a point in your swimming/coaching career that it’s time to let the young blood come in and for me, it was the best thing I ever did by introducing him to our aquatic program. I continue to coach the water polo at the high school in all levels, but he brings things that are absolutely fanstastic in the realm of video and we’re really, really blessed to have someone like him.

Brentwood school is very, very close to Hollywood and we have a lot of celebrities, famous people. We have, I mean, incredible relays that we could put together that would put TMZ–keep TMZ in the money for a long time. So, I don’t want to bore you with myself. I want to turn it over to David as quickly as possible. I mean you will be amazed by what he has done here. Thank you.

David Rountree: I’m going to get–all right, so with this wireless mike making all this noise, that’s ideally what we don’t want to do in film production. So if you hear all that popping, that’s what we try to avoid, but they’re recording the session, so as most of you guys are coaches, you could yell across the pool deck without any problems and that would be a lot easier, but we’re going to roll with this. Figure out all these cords.

So, like you said, I’ve been involved with swimming for a long time, my entire life and it’s really kind of, as most of you guys have been, consumed most of your life with everything you do in some capacity. I’ve been coaching actually 19 years now. When I did my bio, I actually tallied the years up wrong. I did go back and recount and I grew up in North Carolina.

Now as swimmers growing up, we grew up in a different era where there really wasn’t a lot of video, where there wasn’t a lot of resources other than just listening to your coach tell you, this is what’s going on with your stroke and kind of taking their word for it which is kind of interesting. Now, as a film maker, which I’ve become over the years, there’re several things that I tell anyone I’m teaching film: What the eyes see and what the ears hear, the mind believes.

I mean look at the special effects you see in Hollywood. You see a big explosion, you see people’s body parts flying all over the place. It’s not real, but if your eyes see it, your ears hear it, your mind believes it. Swimming is the same thing and we’ll get into a little bit more of that later.

As a swimmer, I swam division 1, we never did video. I made more improvements in high school with my coach who was adamant about reviewing video after our races. I was coached by a guy named Billy Thorn. Billy coached me when I was little and he coached me again in high school. I had a really good relationship with Billy because he would take my individual races and it may not be right there on the pool deck, but the next day, go down and say, okay this is what we’re talking about in your breaststroke. This is how we need to get better. And now that I could see what he was talking about, it made such a big difference because as a kid that’s what helped me learn.

A coach can tell you the entire time when you’re swimming freestyle, you’re bending that elbow underneath the water or your strokes are coming out really wide. And as a kid, you’re like, okay, I got it, then you keep doing the same thing over and over again. When you can actually see it, it makes such a big difference. I mean obviously video is important. It makes a huge difference in what you’re doing and how you’re teaching.

After my career ended, I got into coaching. I started coaching this kid whose girlfriend worked at an acting school in North Carolina. She said, you’ve got to try acting. So, I thought, why not, let’s try it. So, I started acting, I ended up on a TV series in North Carolina. I worked for an entire year as an actor on this series and I’m watching the way all this stuff works. They have all this equipment, all this thousands of dollars of expensive equipment, big cranes and big moving dollies and all of this stuff and I’m watching these directors work and I’m thinking like, I would do things so much different than what they’re doing out there.

It’s creative license in the entertainment industry to do things the way you want to do it and the way one person does it may not be wrong, the way I do it may not be right, but it’s the way that I saw it. So I said, I want to start making movies. I want to start putting my own vision out there, but I don’t have the equipment to do it. I don’t have a million dollar budget sitting in my wallet and as swim coaches, we don’t have millions of dollars lying around, but I had this creative side that I really wanted to put out there.

So, I looked at all the equipment they were using; these big cranes and these big dollies, I said, how can I make these? I’m a college student. I just finished my college career. How do I have money to do anything? How am I going to make this work? So, I started finding real cheap ways to make the same equipment they had and I started making my movies and with these movies, people would watch these movies and say, it looks pretty professional. The quality looks pretty good.

I wanted to transfer that and keep getting bigger and bigger and bigger, but my love was still with swimming, so I wanted to keep coaching. So I got into coaching and I’m sort of watching these kids and I’m talking to them about their strokes and they’re getting it, but they’re not fully getting it because I’ll tell somebody, okay, when you’re swimming in freestyle and you reach out there with your arm out here, you’re not really coming over that barrel anymore. You’re dropping it, you’re bending that elbow or on full high, you’re taking that stroke and you’re leaving that head up too long and when the head’s up, it pinches back here. Put your head down, do your arms in a circle, they go over easy. Your head’s up it pinches. Okay, I got it and then keeps swimming fly like this.

So I said how can I incorporate what I know from the film business and teach my swimmers how to do it? I don’t have a lot of equipment. How many of you guys remember the coach scope? Have you ever seen that, the underwater like periscope costs about $2000, $3000 big bulky heavy thing? Well, that’s pretty cool. You get to see kids underwater but a lot of programs don’t have something like that. And if you do, the time and effort to pull it out and set it up takes forever. And at the end of the day, you’ve coached three different groups, you’ve been in the pool deck for four hours, the last thing you want to do is pick up this 200-pound thing and drag it off to some closet, so if you have one and you’re lucky enough to have one, it stays in the closet. You never use it.

So, I wanted to show my kids underwater, so I started thinking well how can I do this? Because as swim coaches, we can only see so much from the top of the deck, we can only relay that message so much from the top of the deck. So, I had to figure out how to show my kids underwater what they’re doing, so I talked to my dad. He goes, remember when you were kids and we built you that little periscope out of cardboard? Anybody ever do that? You get a cardboard box, you put mirrors at 45 degree angles and you can see around walls and everything like that, it’s kind of cool. So he said, why don’t you try to make one of those out of like a PVC pipe or something.

Sure. I went to Home Depot, bought a PVC pipe, $3, cut the ends out, put my mirrors in there, stuck it in the water, I could look down, I could see under the water. That’s pretty cool. So, I had a little tiny camera, one of the $200 little cameras and now, I could put the camera in there and I could film my kids.

So, I’m showing these kids what to do but they’re still not quite getting it, so I decided I’m going to film myself and use myself as a demonstrator. I could point out on my stroke. See where I’m doing this, this is what I’m trying to get you to do, look at the comparison. And I film myself with this underwater periscope and I was so excited to show the kids like yeah, look how good my forearm is and all I saw were mistakes, one after another.

And in college, I was a decent swimmer. I was 57 in a 100 breaststroke, not bad. I had retired, took about a year off and now, I’m showing the kids and I find all these flaws in my breaststroke. I do my pull down, my elbows are out, I’m creating extra drag, I’m lifting up, my head’s coming up, I’m creating extra drag. My feet, when I’m doing my kick, my thighs are coming down, they’re catching water. I picked up all these looking at video for about 10 seconds.

I got excited. I wanted to start training again. Within a year, I was going 54 in a 100-breaststroke, just like that, but what I saw underwater that no other coach had ever seen because they hadn’t taken the time to go underwater and I’m using a little PVC pipe periscope that I made for about $5 and it was insane.

So, I started talking to my kids and say, well, let’s look at your stroke. Let’s really break this thing down. Let’s see what you can do and then we started working with the kids little by little and they started seeing it because what the eyes see, now they can see their vision matches what I’m telling them as a coach. And as a coach, I can look out and I can see what you’re doing on top of the water but you miss all the little subtle things underneath the water and that’s where it became important and I started really trying to develop ways to make it easier to relay this message to your athletes and it works in all levels.

And like you said, at our school, we are in a very fortunate area in Los Angeles. We deal a lot with the Hollywood industry in our school and our All-Star relay we could put together would include Oliver Stone’s kid, Jack Nicholson’s kid, Arnold Swarzenegger’s kid, Harrison Ford’s kids up and coming.

Brian Weaver: Don’t forget Mark Spitz’s kid.

David Rountree: I was getting there.

Brian Weaver: Okay.

David Rountree: And these are the celebrity kids that come through who have a basis in this industry and then his junior year, we have the son of Mark Spitz walk on the pool deck who hasn’t swum since he was what like eight, eight years old. Now that’s pressure. You’ve got Mark Spitz’s kid out there swimming, saying coach me. The dad saying, you know what I could never get him interested in swimming. I don’t know what’s going on. I’m so happy he’s even willing to try it.

And he got into it because of friends he had that had good experiences in our program because they were improving because they could see themselves with all this video work we were doing. So, he comes in and starts swimming and when he first hopped in, he was maybe 26, 27 in the 50 free, maybe, open turns as a junior.

And we’re like, okay, he’s a project, we’ll keep working on him, but we started videotaping and he was very, very hard on himself and he would sit there and watch and Mark stayed off of a distance and let Justin do his thing and he kept working and he kept working. By the end of his junior year, he was going 22 in a 50 free, by the end of the senior year, he was going 21 low and now, he’s swimming at Stanford.

This is because of the video training we were trying to do. It wasn’t that we did anything that was so amazing as a coach to get these guys where they are. We’re just trying to give them the tools they could see and we could see as coaches how to correct this stuff. That’s what I’m going to do with you guys today is try to show you guys some of the easy ways to do this, make it fun for your swimmers because they love to see themselves on tape. They absolutely love it now with everything going on like Facebook and that.

Our relays won the CIF Championships in California two years ago and before they even got their medals, their relay was posted on Facebook. So, everybody could see it, their family could see, everybody in the world could see it and they were so proud of it, walking around with their gold medal saying, look what we did. It was up online before I even got a chance to see the video.

So, the kids with technology today, they’re all into this and they are begging to learn more and the more information you can give them, other than just being on the pool deck walking back and forth, telling them, come on, pick it up, pick it up or on backstroke, you’re dropping your hips, your head is way out of the water like that, relax, lie back. When you can show them and it makes sense, that’s the important part.

So, I’m going to show you guys a little clip here. I’ve got a few little clips here just kind of fun, but kind of play with this a little bit.

[Start of video clip 1]

Female Speaker 1: And speaking of waiting, the world has been waiting on the decision made on the ruling for the water polo team?

Coop: Let’s go to our field reporter down at the pool deck.

Male Speaker 2: As you can see, here’s some of the original footage from the game which aired last year. [Music] Now, an anonymous source has turned over such shocking footage of a possible illegal play.

As you can see, the Brentwood player was quite high out of the water, now we know why.

David Rountree: It’s hard to see, but there’re some underwater mermaid swimmers down there pushing the player up.

Male Speaker 2: The player celebrates after the victorious goal, but is it legal? Let’s take one more look. You be the judge. If you disagree with the goal, text SCAM to 2559. Standard text rates apply.

Wait, wait, here comes the coach. Coach, coach, any comments on the shocking footage?

David Rountree: I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Male Speaker 2: Come on, coach. What are your-?

David Rountree: Shocking. Get that camera out of my face. What are you? Get that camera out of my face. Stop. Go. Get out of here. I have no comment.

Coop: I’m shocked.

Female Speaker 1: That’s why I don’t want to keep electronics in the water, Coop.

Coop: Surely, you can’t be serious.

Female Speaker 1: I am and don’t call me Shirley.

Coop: No, I mean. No, I mean. I don’t really know what to say.
[End of video clip 1]

David Rountree: That was a clip from a short film that our film class did using some underwater footage.

[Start of video clip 2]
[Music]
[End of video clip 2]

David Rountree: Okay, that’s just a couple quick little clips there. I’m going to show you one more clip from our league championships last year and what we did that we tried to make it like an Olympic event.

[Start of video clip 3]

David Rountree: And they’re up in this final here, the boys 200 yard medley relay. We got Debby coming in the backstroke in the middle of the pool, lanes 4, 5, and 6 out first. Looks like lane number 4. Lane number 4 is Viewpoint followed closely by Buckley and Crossroads. And they’re all pretty close all across and lane number 4, Viewpoint, 26.69.

And the breaststroke leg is still too close to tell if it’s one, two and three. We’ve got Viewpoint in lane number 4 still out to a lead with Buckley closing hard. Crossroads out in lane number 6, still in the running and, Brooklyn and Milky 2 and 3. Halfway through, we still have the lead from Viewpoint in lane number 4 out in 55.30.

[Indiscernible] [0:19:08] butterfly, still looks like Viewpoint in lane number 4 followed by Buckley in lane number 5 with 50 yards to go into the water it is, Viewpoint in lane number 4. With 25 yards to go, the leading team is Viewpoint and lane number 4 coming in strong followed by Buckley in lane number 5.

We got a close race for third place over here. It looks like number 6 and lane number 3. The Crossroads are coming in and the winner is lane number 4 with the winning time of 1:43.36, Viewpoint.

[End of video clip 3]

David Rountree: Now, granted I’m never going to hear the end of that because Viewpoint’s our big rival and although they won the relay, it was probably one of the most creative ones out there.

But what we did is we videotaped this with three different cameras. The cameras we used cost no more than $150 and that was it, but we wanted to get really creative with the way that we showed them.

And when we did this and we gave this DVD back to the coaches, they started asking, “Do you have the entire race from the underwater view?”

“Yeah.”

“Can we get that from you?”

And I was sending out all the underwater footage and I have all these E-mails from coaches coming back on it. It’s amazing. I’ve been telling my breaststroker something was wrong with the stroke the entire time, we couldn’t figure it out and as soon as we saw the video, we realized that he’s snow plowing. He’s taking the stroke and as he’s coming out with his hands, he’s kicking and as his kick comes together, he’s already into his next stroke, he’s creating all this water in front of him. He’s not getting that glide all the way down. We couldn’t pinpoint it, but there it is. We saw it at our league champs. We’ll work on that for next year.

Now, one of the questions is how do we film underwater? How do we get that done? Because a $3000-coach scope which is so heavy to lug around, nobody wants to do that, so that’s what we want to do. We want to find ways to make that happen.

Now, you may have noticed on there, we had one shot up that was really, really tall. That is from what we call in film, a jib, J-I-B, a camera jib, a crane. Now, camera cranes on film sets are thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars, okay? I’m going to show online you can buy one for about $200 that will work for what you guys are doing. That’s it.

The shot on the side, it’s like the Olympic competition. The camera follows right along with your athletes. It’s very smooth. It’s on a dolly. Again, thousands of dollars if you get a professional one, but I’m going to show you in a minute, we made one there for about 100 bucks.

When you’re videotaping, if you have the camera on a tripod as you’re panning back and forth with the tripod still, you’re missing a lot of stuff. If you can take that camera and it follows smooth right along with your athlete, you can keep on them almost like they’re in a flume. When they’re in the flume swimming, you can put the camera and record them, so that’s what we did here.

We took this–let me see if I can work this cord here, get a little bit of room. Let’s see how this works. Cool, thanks.

So we made this camera dolly, right here. Anybody know what kind of wheels those are? Skateboard. Get them at a skate shop. Skateboard wheels that’s it. Put in a little metal frame, weld it together at Home Depot, the metal materials for the frame, I don’t know 10, 15 bucks. Skateboard wheels take it off, wooden pretty easy, carpet on top to keep your tripod still. Laze in the frame and I brought a sample of the track we made out of straight up PVC pipe. PVC pipe $1.39 for one of these long pieces, that’s it.

We cut the ends, we made it match and now, when you put your camera in your tripod, beautifully smooth all the way along, you can follow your swimmer. You can buy PVC pipe up to 18 feet long, run it along your whole pool deck. We did that there. We ran from a backstroke flag to backstroke flag. We had several sections, you can combine them with a little connector piece to your entire pool deck and at practice, you can sit there and video back and forth and your kids can see that, so you’re not losing those angles coming back and forth.

And this thing is amazing. We pull that all the time. It weighs nothing. It weighs nothing and then PVC pipe, I stuck it in my car and drove over here this morning, okay? It’s a piece of cake. Now that gets you on top of the water. The jib gets you up high.

How do we get underneath the water? That’s the trick. Now in today, there are lots of cameras that go underwater. The one here is the flip camera. Has anybody had a flip or ever used a flip? Okay. The flip is pretty easy, right? Point, shoot, hit record.

This is an underwater casing for the flip. Just on screws, here’s your camera, completely water tight. Now, with the flip camera, you can have one of your swimmers underneath filming, pretty easy. There are other cameras made by Kodak and other brands like that which have a tripod attachment to it and you can get just a little screw from Home Depot. Put it on a wooden pole, screw into your camera, stick it underneath the water and there you go and you can film underneath the water.

Now, the flip cameras are really cheap right now because they quit making them, so you can find them on Amazon.com for next to nothing. You can find them on Craig’s List for next to nothing. You can find them on eBay for next to nothing.

Now, I used this for many years because it’s the only technology I had. Recently, there’ve been other things that have come out, okay? The GoPro. Has anybody seen the GoPro? Okay, cool. GoPro is amazing. I just shot a commercial for a Brazilian beer and in that commercial, we had to get a great shot of the hand coming in the cooler and grabbing the beer out. We snuck our GoPro at the bottom of the cooler. Hand came in, picked up the beer, there we go, we got our shot.

Male Speaker 1: Do you know it has an upside down video mode?

David Rountree: On the GoPro? No.

Male Speaker 1: I just screwed on the end of a monopod.

David Rountree: And stick it down?

Male Speaker 1: Hang it upside down and put it in its upside down record mode, so you don’t have to flip it or do anything, just take it out, put in your [Indiscernible] [0:25:27].

David Rountree: That’s cool. With our edit–I just did that in my editing program because I knew I had to do that.

Male Speaker 1: Right. I’m not buying any editing programming, yeah.

David Rountree: Just do it in the right in the camera.

Male Speaker 1: It’s done as it’s recording, it’s in the [Indiscernible] [0:25:37].

David Rountree: That’s good. That’s good. It makes it even easier. That’s even more of a sell for it. And I’m not trying to sell this. I don’t get any money if you buy GoPro. I wish I did. I’d probably sell a lot of them, but this thing is really cool because it’s got a nice stand. It can sit right on the bottom of your pool and just sit there.

When we did our league champs, those underwater shots, we put our camera about 12 yards out right in the middle of the pool, set it there. We put a 32-gig card inside. We recorded the entire swim meet, four hours swim meet. We stopped it after the break. After the 50 free, hit record again, got the entire meet. Everything was underwater. It carried all eight lanes. You could see everything.

This right now? I got this off Craig’s List for $150. The guy was selling them. They were a little over $200 brand new, 150 bucks.

Male Speaker 2: Would it be enough to [Indiscernible] [0:26:23].

David Rountree: Now, here’s what we did. If you put it on the bottom, it’s not going to move if your pool is deep enough. If you got a really shallow pool, it might move. What we did just to ensure it at our pool, our pool’s 7 feet deep, it was not moving, but just to be safe with all the swimmers in there, we put some diving bricks on it, just to hold it. Because when kids are warming up, they see a camera at the bottom, they want to go play with it and it was also a visual marker for us to know where to put the camera on, so the diving bricks held it.

The GoPro, it’s so easy. You hit record. You just leave it down there. You have one of your swimmers swim down there and hit record on it and you’re all set.

Male Speaker 2: Where did you think was the best place to put it in, like how far from the start?

David Rountree: Now, you’ll have to test it and figure out what it is you’re trying to see. Okay for us, for me as a filmmaker and as a coach, I thought the most powerful image would be right when they hit the water to see that tight streamline and see the dolphin kick come off or see the pull downs and breaststroke, things like that. So, we were about 12, right about the middle of our pool about 12 yards out, 12-1/2 yards out and we covered all eight lanes that way. Any further back, you pick it up a little later in the race.

If you have a 50-meter pool, you can experiment with it, put it wherever. You can take two GoPros, cover the first four lanes, the last four lanes or three lanes and three lanes, whatever you want. This thing is amazing. This thing has helped our swimmers improve so much. At our league champs, we had a 98% lifetime best time ratio and a lot of it was because they could see the videos all the way through and they kept getting better and better and better and that’s our goal as coaches is to make your kids better in what they’re doing and that’s what we want to do.

Now, you make not have access to this, you may not want to get it. There’s something that’s even more simple than this; what’s one thing you guys all have that has video these days?

Male Speaker 3: Cell phone.

David Rountree: Phones, iPhone. How many iPhone users do we have in the world? 185 million? How many in this room? A lot, a lot. The iPhone has a video function. Now, here’s the cool thing. How many of you guys coach club swimming? The little ones, 8 years old. They’re sitting on the pool deck between events playing on the iPad. They’ve all got iPads. They’ve all got iPhones. This has an amazing function. You can video your swimmers and as the race is over within 5 seconds, E-mail that race out to them.

So what we were doing, we were having people video their underwater, which I’ll talk to you about how we do that. You can always video on top and E-mail it to them, came right up on their iPad and then during the first break we got, we could sit there and critique their strokes. Okay, remember when I said you were doing this and this and this? Let’s look at it. I didn’t even see that you were doing this. You have finals tonight. We can make that change right there. You can drop another half second just on this alone.

Eight-year-old kids are playing with iPods. A lot of parents use–or iPads. A lot of parents use the iPads as babysitters these days. They’ve all got them or at least kids on your team do. You can have an iPad as a coach, E-mail yourself, pull up the video right there and in between those events when they’re doing the 400-IM and you don’t have a swimmer to hit 12, line your swimmers up and watch all your events. It’s an amazing tool and a lot of video cameras have amazing footage.

The iPhone itself, the quality on this video is so good that they are feature film directors now directing feature films with iPhones. The first one came out last year. They made a film that was a 30-minute film. I think they spent $12,000. It looks just like you’re watching a Michael Bay for a $200,000 million production. They sell stuff for this now and I’ve got all the websites, so if you guys are interested, I can pass those on to you later, all the accessories for the iPhone to help you stabilize them to give you that not so shaky look.

They’ve got an attachment now. You can attach your Canon and Nikon lenses to this thing, your thousand dollar lenses, which is what the filmmakers are doing. They’re attaching to this to get these beautiful shots. Now, that’s more cinematic than need for coaching purposes, but if you want to be creative, you can do it. Now, iPhone underwater, how do you do it?

Male Speaker 4: [Inaudible] [0:30:30].

David Rountree: That’s one way to do it, to do underwater housing for the iPhone slim.

Male Speaker 5: The guy does swim down, so we’re going to look at it.

David Rountree: Oh, over there, yeah. And it’s good you guys are here because you can see all the technology and actually play with it. One thing that I found, I went back to what I did when I first started coaching. I made the PVC periscope and I wanted to make something like that and have it set up with little housing on it where I could put my phone on it and video underneath the water.

And as I was doing research on that, my buddy who lives in North Carolina said, “I just got this toy for my kid, man, check it out.” So, I thought I would share this with you guys. I think you’ll kind of enjoy it. I think this one’s it. It’s a commercial.

[Start of commercial]
Female Speaker: THE BACKYARD SAFARI OUTFITTERS LAND AND WATER MEGAVIEW PERISCOPE, A VIEW TO A THRILL. This full-view periscope allows stealth viewing over boulders, high bushes, backyard fences, and around corners. Three rugged, light-weight sections telescope for a reach over 4 feet high to let you see all those out-of-reach views EXCLUSIVE WATER FEATURE! Flip the Mega View Periscope upside down and a full 16 inches is submersible for underwater viewing—on docks, poolside, lakes or beaches. A fish eye view…but without all that water in your ears. Gear up! Visit us at backyardsafari.com for all your essential field gear.
[End of commercial]

David Rountree: See how much it is? Can you guys read that? $19.99 that’s it, 20 bucks, kids toy. My friend says, my kids have it, they love it. They sit there in the little hot tub they have and they stick it underneath the water and they just look at things. They put little toys on the bottom and just look at it. Like well, that’s easier than trying to rig something off from Home Depot where I’ve got to do all the work. I’ll pay 20 bucks for that.

Put a little shelf on it, you have your iPhone right there at practice. You can stick your iPhone on there, videotape your kid doing a start, videotape them doing a turn, videotape them doing strokes. As soon as they’re done, you E-mail it to the iPad right there on the pool deck. You can watch them and say, okay, on this turn you’re wafting your arms. You’re not just throwing them back there.

Male Speaker 6: Did you buy one of them? Did you try it?

David Rountree: I have not tried that yet, but he’s tried it. He sent me this two days ago. I was going to bring in the actual old periscope which is all beat up now anyway, but I was going to bring that and he goes, no, look at this thing, this is amazing and it’s got a year warranty on it, which is great, but something as simple as that, you can take your iPhone, everything else and make it work.

Now, the dolly, let’s go back to that for a second. You can take your underwater housing, your periscope, you can mount it to your dolly, go along the pool deck and follow underwater with your kid, too. It just takes a few little parts from Home Depot to string it together. The bulkier it is, the more waves, you’re going to create. The more thin, the easier it is.

Now, there are other websites where I order a lot of my film equipment these days and again, none of this stuff, I don’t get cuts out of any of this. I’m not saying go to this particular site if you find it somewhere cheaper, go to it, but there’s a website called tommyjib and when I wanted to buy my first jib, I went to this website tommyjib.com and they sell all different kinds, 200 bucks, 300 bucks, whatever, but they also sell accessories like this which is a little tripod dolly. It opens up, screw your tripod legs in here, attaches a PVC pipe, rolls right along a side area pole, so instead of having to make a platform and weld and that kind of stuff, you have this right here. I think I got this for about $110.

Male Speaker 7: And that fits right on there?

David Rountree: Fits right on there. Now, you’ll have to actually get the size, the width is different than this one, but again, that’s just the side pieces that you cut, rolls very smooth and it will look like you’re watching an Olympic event out there and the kids love it because it makes them feel more professional. It makes them feel like they’re Michael Phelps or Ryan Lochte or Rebecca Soni or any of these swimmers that they watch on TV and they want to be like, so bad. They’re like, wow, this looks so cool. This is amazing.

And the more they can feel like they’re big time, the more they’re going to want to perform for you and they’re going to want to make those improvements. They’re going to want to be the best that they can and they’re going to set those goals and keep wanting to improve which is pretty cool and it all goes back to what I teach in film: What the eyes see and what the ears hear, the mind believes. You can tell a kid all day long, but if they can’t see it, there’s only so much they’re going to be able to get.

Okay, does anybody have any questions on any of this stuff? I know it’s a lot of information I’ve thrown at you guys today.

Male Speaker 8: Just the skateboard wheels?

David Rountree: Skateboard wheels, got them at the surf shop down the street, Val Surf.

Male Speaker 9: [Inaudible] [0:35:26]

David Rountree: The wheels are just skateboard wheels. They’re just basic skateboard wheels. Now, I brought in some pictures here. They make smaller dollies already ready to go. In fact I think I might have it on here, I might be able to show you. It may be easier to pull it up here, okay?

Basic dolly right there, it’s a smaller one. Skateboard wheels on the bottom. Put your camera right on it, it goes in the track that rolls right next to the pool. That’s a smaller one than this, but I think that was like $89 and you can find all this stuff on the Internet.

I’ve got links to anything. I’d be happy to E-mail you guys out after and share this information, but it’s amazing that for just a couple of hundred dollars, you can make your event look so high tech and your kids can learn from it so much then why not do it and the big thing with coaching, you want to make it as easy for yourselves as possible to still get the same message across. Yes?

Male Speaker 10: Question, I’ve used–we’ve used those [Indiscernible] [0:36:30].

David Rountree: The poles and everything, right.

Male Speaker 10: [Indiscernible] [0:36:34], right and I played around with catching another camera on the pool, though I don’t use that anymore, but my difficulty, I wanted to play back for the kids.

David Rountree: Kind of like one of these things here. It’s a little dark, but its-

Male Speaker 10: Yeah, yeah, but I want to play back to the kids at the same time the same video of their over water and underwater together at the same time, so you have one view of their top, one view of the bottom, so they’re selling [Indiscernible] [0:57:04] this software that-

David Rountree: There is?

Male Speaker 10: len-

David Rountree: And it’s-

Male Speaker 10: You know what I think because if you can take two video cards because it would be filmed on two video cards.

David Rountree: It’s very similar to what we did with the movie here. Let me get this here with the underwater water polo with the girls. Okay, so we have the underwater and then the last shot of the whole thing, right there, so if you look at that. It’s so dark, it’s hard to see. We have the water polo player going the back end and the girls pushing him up from underneath. We filmed that on two separate occasions. We had our girls recreate that moment, put people in the same thing.

We basically did a split screen and ran those videos together. The actual footage is from a real game that we had, but we blended them together. Now, we used a more advanced editing program. We used Final Cut Pro to blend those together. You can get Final Cut Express which is, I don’t know, 150 bucks, 200 bucks at the most and it’s just basic editing tools. You can do any YouTube Search and then ask how to do it, but basically what you want to do is take your two videos and then shrink the size enough, so you can put them on the same screen and sync them up, so they’re at the same time and then put them side by side.

That’s the easiest way that I know how to do it being a filmmaker and the main thing is to get that sync, so you need something common in between both videos, above and below to get that sync point. That’s why they use the slate board in film, the clapper; scene one take one and they clap it down. They use that clap to sync up both cameras. Yes?

Female Speaker 1: There’s an iPad app for that.

David Rountree: There is. There’s an iPad that will–will it put them together?

Female Speaker 1: Yeah, side by side.

David Rountree: There you go. There you go. There’re apps for everything. It’s amazing. You just got to search for them. Yes?

Male Speaker 11: If you’re doing–you want to have–show the kids stuff during practice, so you want to show them technique stuff. In your opinion, which is better there doing the Go Pro or having your camera kind of scope to the side? It seems like the Go Pro, you can film it but then you’re going to have to have someone go down get it, you’re going to have to bring it up and download it and show it.

David Rountree: Well with the Go Pro as well as the other cameras, you can literally take them out, plug them right into your TV and show them if you have a TV access, so it’s really personal preference on what you’re trying to show. If you take a camera and go on the side, you’re going to get the nice side view of everything. The Go Pro, you can have some right over, you’d get this shot of them coming this way.

They’re both relatively easy depending on what you’re trying to show them. If you’re trying to show them on the computer or if you’re trying to show them on a TV, but they all have attachments, you can just plug right in and hit play, so it’s really–if you’re here with it, you pull it up, you’re in control. If the Go Pro is down at the bottom, swimmers got to swim it up to you.

Male Speaker 12: Are you able to pull that off easily?

David Rountree: With the Go Pro?

Male Speaker 12: Yeah.

David Rountree: Oh yeah, yeah. In fact for league champs, we had–at the 50 free break, we had a 10-minute break. We had our swimmer go down and get the camera. We took the card out, started importing right in the computer right away. We had kids watching the 50 free before the next event started, so they could actually see what was going on before finals later, but it’s really personal preference and what kind of camera angles you’re trying to get.

Male Speaker 13: You know I use a [Inaudible] [0:40:23] I have three of them that I could take in and take out from the water and the screen flips right away, so I’ll stop it, so that they can see exactly what they’re doing from the little screen.

David Rountree: And that’s good because those screens do–they do have that ability to pop right on, play it right there on the camera. The flip, you can play on the camera, too. It’s got a screen on the back, but that camera’s a–I think the camera developed there earlier was the one you have on the pole.

Male Speaker 13: Yeah. I like that [Indiscernible] [0:40:49] with them, too. I mean I’ve gone from film to [Inaudible] [0:40:52].

David Rountree: Yeah, I’ve never used that one, that particular camera, but they’re all good. They’re all working. They’re all cheap and that’s the main thing. You can buy any of this stuff online, but you can find them at Amazon.com. You can find them at Craig’s List for almost half the price than buying something brand new, which is good. Yes?

Male Speaker 14: Where did you get to film all this? Like on a jib and on the [Indiscernible] [0:41:13]?

David Rountree: It could be anything, anybody. We have our managers do it. It’s so simple. We have our managers just right there walking along with the camera.

Male Speaker 14: Are they students working?

David Rountree: We have student managers, yes.

Male Speaker 14: All right then.

David Rountree: And then for, I teach 7th and 8th grade filmmaking, so I have my film kids come out and help them, too. It’s part of their projects because they come to a swim meet and learn how to film and then learn how to edit. We’d run two or three cameras together. They’d cut them together and they’d have a blast doing it and then my kids get to watch it the next day, cutting multiple angles back and forth.

And like you said, syncing them up where you could see side by side or just watching one and then watching the other. If you put two or three at the same time, a lot of times your kids’ attention will be divided and they won’t know where to go, so we did it mostly just one after the other, but it’s personal preference, but you can find anybody to film it. It’s so easy to do it.

In fact, even at the league champs, as this was going on, you may have heard, I was the one commentating on it, so I had my microphone going as I was watching the races and the same thing, you can literally film while you’re watching the race and do it yourself which is another easy way to do it.

Any other questions, yes?

Male Speaker 15: Actually, I was just going to kind of [Inaudible] [0:42:19] question. I used Go Pro almost everyday, but I was going to do it secretively on the kids because, of course, once they see a camera, they start changing everything [Indiscernible] [0:42:28]. Moving with the Go Pros, it comes with so many different accessories you can attach it to any body part and so usually what I try to do is find one athlete, attach it them and put it on their chest and this happens [Indiscernible] [0:42:40].

You get so many good angles [Indiscernible] [0:42:45], so you’re filming someone else, you could also see what they’re doing, too, especially it has [Indiscernible] [0:42:50] good angle, so even with all the motion, all the craziness, you can get [Indiscernible] [0:42:55] put them on the wrist, their ankles, their chest, the back of your head. The boys love it at the back of their head, but the Go Pro, especially from any specific way, you can get a lot accomplished with that.

David Rountree: It’s amazing. It’s–and like you said, it’s got the huge angle. I’m going to show you a clip of the angle here. Look at this angle right here, you can see it. This is 12 yards out and you can see all eight lanes; 12 yards out that’s me to you right there. That’s it and it’s get-

Female Speaker 2: And it’s center of the pool.

David Rountree: Center of the pool, right in the center of the pool. It’s actually in between lane 4 and 5, just sitting right there and it’s amazing. But you did make a good point about as soon as the kids see a camera, they start trying to do something. Well now, I really need to be perfect with this. I need to this exactly the right way and it can change stuff because we’ll film them in practice and go over it, they’ll make the corrections, but then we’ll show them in a meet and they go back to old habits.

Male Speaker 15: So, just be putting the camera in all the time and not even record them, so they’ll swim right over it.

[Laughter]

David Rountree: We could. One thing we did, we put it in for warm up and busted a lot of our kids for not warming up the right way. We pulled them all out and made them watch the tape and they’re like, oh, okay and they did a lot of pushups after that, so it was fun. But you do make a good point, if they know a camera is there, sometimes it will change it.

But we take cameras and we film everybody if I was teaching swim lessons. One of the coolest events I’ve ever had, I was videotaping Harrison Ford’s kid, which is really interesting because we’re in an amazing position to be with some of these celebrity kids and the kid was watching his video and he was really enjoying it and he’s like, yeah, yeah, but he was 10 years old, so there’s only so much you can get.

After it was over, Daddy came to pick him up, wanted to see the video. He sat there on the floor of my office, on the concrete floor, and watched this video for 30, 40 minutes just asking questions. So when he says, he’s doing this, is that what that means, is that this, is that this, is that this? And he was fascinated by the underwater camera. And it’s just an amazing experience to be able to show something and now the parents, they can make sense of them as well.

Any other questions, yes?

Male Speaker 16: Are you getting it back to them, back to the kids home full time, take it–take some time apart in practice to say, let’s cover the meet we just did yesterday [Inaudible] [0:45:05]?

David Rountree: We can. One of the things that we do a lot is we will videotape and bring them in sections. Because if you bring your entire team in, I mean if you look at your teams, some club teams, 100, 200, 300 kids. Are you going to be coaching a group with 40 kids? You don’t want to have 40 kids in there, in the room watching videos because the first two or three are fascinating and you rewind it and they swim backwards and they’re like, oh, this is so much fun, but 10 kids in, they start to lose focus.

So, we’ll bring them in groups. We’ll bring in the group of breaststrokers and just watch the breaststroke and then we’ll go back to practice and everyone else will practice and then the next day, we’ll bring in the kids swimming butterfly or whatever and kind of break it apart. You have to find that balance because they will lose interest or you could talk to them. You could critique and make some notes and then E-mail the video out and say, okay watch for this, this, this and have them see it for themselves and then you could come in and break it down as well, so there’s lots of ways, but they do lose interest if you’re watching a bunch of kids in a row. As soon as they see themselves, they’re done. Yes?

Male Speaker 17: Are you putting it, I missed something here. Are you putting it from the camera into your computer, show it or on a TV screen, [Inaudible] [0:46:09]?

David Rountree: You can do it either way. For me if I’m doing any editing, I just go right to the computer.

Male Speaker 17: Or use a recorder?

David Rountree: Or you can do, just like the computer here today is hooked up to the projector, it’s the same way. We have–and we’re very fortunate, we have a room that’s got this big screening television in there, 42 inches or whatever it is and it’s so easy because we’ll videotape and I can pop it on my computer watch it and then just plug right to the TV or you can just go straight to the TV with it. I like having it in the computer because I can work the controls a little easier and it’s just what I’m more comfortable doing. Yes?

Brian Weaver: We run summer camps, too and Dave does a really good job. We take kids–he takes kids through an entire week and they all have abilities and he gives them a video, a CD of their underwater experience and gives it to them, so you might want to talk about that.

David Rountree: That’s a–that’s a good point. We videotape the very first day before we talk about anything. We just want to see what they can do. Lap a freestyle, go and we video them. And then each day through a progression, we keep working all the technique and then we videotape them on the fourth day, Thursday and Friday when they come to camp, I give them the DVD and it is incredible to look at the difference between day 1 and day 4 because we video everyday and after only four days, you won’t even recognize these kids.

And we always get comments back from the parents, oh, it’s amazing. I thought my kid swam great before, but now looking at this, there’s so many differences. This just made such a big difference or my kid could barely float and now, they’re actually swimming all the way across the pool and they can see the little things.

And we do voiceovers, where I can actually talk about it, so when the parents are watching the DVDs, they can actually get the critique along the way, too which helps, but it’s really whatever you have time for, whatever you’re willing to put in, but they benefit so much and the underwater is so important.

And my coach when I was in high school made me watch all that video, we didn’t have access to under the water, but what I gained from him using all the video was tremendous and took me to the next level and then in college, I really didn’t have that experience again and I plateaued, big time. And then when I got back to seeing myself again underwater then I started making those big jumps again. Chris?

Chris: Just a comment that if you guys didn’t know about it like a co-swim just started offering a $99-subscription to all their videos online. You can watch any of it anytime, so part of showing a kid their swimming is also showing them how it’s supposed to look. So having that as a comparison, that’s kind of an inexpensive way to have access to every video they make and has all kinds of Olympic swimmers and stuff, so you can show them the differences [Inaudible] [0:48:46].

David Rountree: That’s good and we have a collection of DVDs I think put on by Stanford University that we used and it’s the same principle. This is what it’s supposed to look like. This is where you are at this stage in your career. We want to keep advancing to get you to this point and if they can see it, it makes sense. So, that’s a great point.

Male Speaker 18: So, you’re using an Apple laptop, is that your preference computer base [Inaudible] [0:49:09]?

David Rountree: I use it because being in film I do a lot of editing. I’ve directed two feature films and I’ve produced three, and dealing with editors along the way, it’s my vision for what they were doing, kept–just–we kept butting heads, so I wanted to learn how to edit and for editing purposes, it does so much better than a PC. It works just fine on a PC for something like this though.

Male Speaker 19: What program is that?

David Rountree: This right here?

Male Speaker 19: Is it just an Apple editor or the-?

David Rountree: This is just a DVD playing right now, but I do-

Male Speaker 20: What program do you use to?

David Rountree: I use Final Cut Pro, but iMovie, things like that are out there and they’re so simple to use.

Female Speaker 3: So when that comes on the Mac, it really affects the light.

David Rountree: That’s iMovie.

[overlapping conversation]

David Rountree: Yeah, it’s a piece of cake. I have-

Female Speaker 3: I use it and I’m not by any means good.

David Rountree: Kids that are like 7 or 8 come in and say, I made this movie on iMovie over the summer, take a look and it’s just a matter of getting over the fact that when we were kids growing up, we didn’t have access to any of these. I made my first edit videotaping off the television and stopping the camera and then putting it back up and filming the television again. These kids today have iMovie. They’ve got moviemaker which is a PC program. They’ve got access to all this stuff and it’s easy for them. Yes?

Male Speaker 21: We have about two more minutes, so you want to get your questions right away, let’s go for it.

David Rountree: Yeah. Yes?

Male Speaker 22: Do you have any problems like when you film at the league championships with parents or people from other teams having a problem with you filming their kids?

David Rountree: Nobody said anything and we put the word out early on to all the coaches that we will be videotaping and offering the DVD if anyone wanted to buy it and if anybody were to have a problem with leaving their name out of lane 1, lane 8, whatever lane, to express that to the coaches before and we would leave that out and there wasn’t a single person who had a problem with it.

Because we’re not giving this–we’re not putting it online, we’re not doing anything, it’s just given out to the kids, but it would be something to check on and we have that problem at our school because we have some of the celebrity kids that go there and when we report scores for the football team, they don’t want to know that our quarterback is the son of Joe famous guy, so they’ll do his first name and last initial and that’s just parent preference. So if you’re going to do something like that where you’re going to put it out to a mass audience, check on that.

Brian Weaver: I just want to be clear that the parents are given an option, that’s not across the board of the school, but it’s surprising how many of them go with just the last initial and that’s up to the parents.

David Rountree: Yeah, that happens a lot at our school. We’ll do little films like the one where you saw with the newscasters, things like that and there was a famous kid in there and in the credits that we showed to the school, we put his last name.

On the one we made for the DVD that went out where the kids could put it online, we took his last name off and just put the initial and that’s what the parents wanted. Because it is a safety issue at that point because they don’t want people to know that’s where their kid goes to school, some of them anyway.

Other questions? Cool. I hope you guys learned a little bit today and had some fun in here. If anybody’s interested, I’d give you my business card. It’s got my E-mail on it. Feel free to stay in contact. I will give you advice anytime and offer suggestions, things like that and I have a bunch of websites I can pass on for some of this information if you want to figure out where to-

[END]

Sponsorship & Partnerships

Official Sponsors and Partners of the American Swimming Coaches Association

Join Our Mailing List

Subscribe and get the latest Swimming Coach news