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Home Education Safely taking video at sporting events just got a whole lot easier with this simple trick

Safely taking video at sporting events just got a whole lot easier with this simple trick

Safely taking video at sporting events is hard for many reasons:

  • The subject is constantly in motion with no pre-determined path
  • We must avoid flying over people
  • We need to avoid obstacles such as trees and flood lights which can be very inconveniently placed

If you are watching where you are flying then you really can’t keep an eye on the action and tend to lose sight of the ball. This does not make for interesting footage.

The alternative is to hover in place and hope that the action comes to you.  Murphy’s Law is very clear on this last option.  “Only once you move from a location will the action on the field move to the location you were just at.”  I can personally attest to the validity of this law.

This has meant that taking video of sports is a two person job and requires a drone with dual controls.  Until now…

Working with Laurence Seberini of the Phantom Filmschool we created a technique called the Sports Railcam.  This amazing shot means you can be 100% certain that your drone will stay on a pre-defined rail, avoiding obstacles, people etc.  while still allowing you full control of the camera direction and angle.

Finally, a single operator is now able to safely take shots of any sporting event safely while still getting great shots!

Learn more at the Phantom Filmschool and get a 10% discount on the courses by clicking on this link.


3 Responsesso far.

  1. […] few weeks ago I used the technique called the “rail cam” to take video of a moving train.  When I posted the video online a fellow enthusiast […]

  2. Rob Bushman says:

    Thank you for the wonderful instructions for filming field events like soccer. I am a high school video production teacher and I have I spent the last few days at my school practicing and fine tuning some routes for soccer and football.

    Is there a way to make my route be one continuous route? In other words, after waypoint 6, is there a way to have it go to waypoint 1 without going backwards through the route (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)? This would be for filming track events such as relay races where contestants go around the track several times.

    Is it as simple as choosing “Back to 1” instead of reverse?

    Nope. Just tried it. When it goes from the last waypoint “back to 1” it ends the route and I have to start it all over again. This won’t work if I’m filming a multiple lap relay race.

    Any suggestions?

    • Barry says:


      Thanks for reaching out.

      I don’t know of a way to have the software go back to point #1 and start again, but I can offer two methods that might do what you want.

      Option #1 Creating a loop is an option if you are using Autopilot, which is a competitor to Litchi. This would mean buying and learning another system. I’ve been playing with it recently but, so far, I have found the UI confusing so I need to spend a lot more time with it to become proficient.

      Option #2 While you cannot get Litchi to create a loop, you can create a mission with lots of waypoints that would basically give you (say) 5 (or more) times around the field at which point you could then stop the mission, re-upload and start again. There are two ways to do this:

      a. Set it up manually by using the app or mission planner. Easiest method.
      b. Set up the mission (I think you already have one). Then download it from the mission hub as a CSV file. Edit the CSV file and copy the rows as many times as you need by just adding to the bottom. Then using import to bring it back in using a new mission name. The advantage to this one is that if you are at home you can create it immediately and it will be an exact copy each time.

      I just tried this out (b) and within a few minutes went from a mission with 5 points (one at each corner and back to the start) to one with 20 points (4 times around the field).

      Here is the before:
      Here is the after:

      Hope that helps!