Full Length Vex Documentary

I didn’t know exactly where to put this, because it is related with Vex, so it isn’t chit-chat. But I guess it is a product kind of. I would like to know who wants to see a full length Vex Robotics documentary, and who would donate and receive exclusive rewards through Kickstarter, such as a documentary t-shirt, you in the film, and much, much more. We are almost definitely going to try, but we would like to have your’ guys input to see who would like one. We would get a good, powerful HD camera, an editing laptop, and we would maybe fly and interview some winning teams. This documentary would encourage other people to form teams and learn about robotics, which is very important for young minds. What does everyone think?

Such a project would be wonderful but no one single small group will be able to cover it. Instead it would have to be a community effort.

With that said, you have my backing.

I own a 2010 Mac Pro, Adobe CS5, Final Cut, and I’m considered the area animation pro. I also have a studio microphone, Canon DSLR and a Zoom H4N (mobile recorder).

Prime Robotics is the community expert in motion graphics, and Foster is a great go to guy for lots of cool stuff. And Jason Morella is the man to talk to if you need the RECF to do anything for you.

So on to the task at hand. The best thing to do would be to pool footage from the regional events and teams. This means asking them to follow themselves and send us the footage with photo release forms (don’t forget those!).

Then we’d put a group together to cover the world championship.

One of the New Zealand guys told me that if you talk to the right people at the event you can tap in and grab a copy of the footage being recorded at the event. I have no idea how this works, but he seemed to have some kind of recorder box with him.

All food for thought,

Sounds like an amazing project and you have my personal backing all the way.
I personally have had experience in the small budget film area… Don’t know if you want or need any help in that section but I do have some seriously cool video gear!

As for motion graphics, well… you can never have toooooo much! Again happy to help you with that!

Have you thought of a website to promote and allow vex users top upload footage etc? Again I can help with that as I am now a web host.
Have you attempted to talk to some of Vex’s main sponsors? Autodesk may be willing to help… They are always very friendly in NZ!

As for footage of competitions, as you may or not be aware the NZ VEX Nationals was filmed for stratos tv and with their permission(which i’m sure isn’t too hard to get, though don’t hold me on that), would make a great addition to maybe show some of the international competitions presented.

You could do it kinda like Ridley’s Life In A Day?.. “Life In A Day Of VEX” lol :slight_smile:

And finally… There are many great people in the vex community who would all be willing to help out in this amazing opportunity/project! give me a buzz if you are interested in any help from me or NZ!

We will think about making it a community effort… and thanks everyone for the positive feedback! We still aren’t QUITE sure we will do it, but I think we will.

By the way, our team will be at middle school worlds, so maybe we could see you in the high school section?

You beat me too it!!!

I have been working on getting stuff together for years now to do this type… But I would focus on shorter promotional videos, that are professional, and can be aired on everything from TV to websites…

That being said, I will be at Worlds filming with my Nikon… It’s not the best, but I’m gonna see what I can get…

But yes! I am more than willing to help with time and/or equipment… Not sure about monetary, but I’m planning to buy a camera personally, and I’d love to work with some other people on this!

DSLR’s don’t work well unless locked to a tripod (my Canon has rolling shutter issues and stabilization comes up). Not to mention even with my 32Gb SDHC card I still only get 30min of footage, tops before I need to dump.

I’ve been eyeballing this Sony Handycam for a while now. It’s built like a real camera and supports SDXC (hello 128Gb SD cards!). OOh and Sony rules.

Anyway Vacation9 you are not alone in your quest to tell the world Vex’s story, but you should know that such a task will require planning and cooperation from the RECF and several Vex teams.

So heres my proposal, if we really want to do this right we should rally every team that has an HD camcorder and have them film, film and film some more. Then we’ll have them send in their footage and we’ll take it into editing. We’ll allow them to tell their story, all well do is composite it, along with our own footage from the world championship.


Are we playing who’s got the coolest camera now? I win! You’ll see why soon…

If you want to try get other teams to post video, best to settle on a format.
1080p/i is cool but is not necessary. Personally I prefer to downconvert to 720. EditingRendering is an absolute pain in the *** with 1080 and really doesn’t make a difference unless looking at with a massive screen! TVNZ use 720 for their hd broadcasts here in NZ.
Also allowing lower formats such as the much cheaper gopro like cameras that can be mounted onto robots could work, provided there is a cool motion graphic interface. Maybe in the practise fields some people could mount them to robots and get footage?

Allowing a single location such as a privately run website can allow the community to easily upload their own footage. Possibly offering an incentive from a sponsor could help. My hosting company is happy to offer an exclusive package for the project.

As for actual content, I would be happy to help in acquiring special interviews with key “players” in NZ. The kiwibots are always looking for the extra exposure. If your reading this Chris, be ready for requests! :slight_smile:

I have a few more idfeas but they will have to wait.

Oh and…

I was considering a 7D as the next addition for my collection. as you said, provided it is on a tripod(which it will definitely be) it will be great! I have separate video cameras ans steadycams etc for motion work. Wonder if would be ok on the camera crane?
Other than memory(which can be sorted by buying massive storage straight from china!) what issues have you encountered…
bearing in mind it would be attached to a rig with follow focus etc :slight_smile:
DOn’t underestimate them though! Even the cheap 600d etc have their uses, and can be dropped without hurting the bank too badly.

So I am currently saving for the Sony VG-10!!!

You guys are talking what I’ve been trying to do for months and months!

But yes, I am planning on doing some video-taping at Worlds this year, with the ambition of coming completely armed with documentary/promotional videos!


Prime you’ve made me jealous! I’m going to worlds this year as a spectator, screw it lets all bring everything and just go.


Can’t bring everything along, as much as I would want to!
Don’t think Disney would let me in :slight_smile:
I don’t even know if I will take the pelican case.

Think I’ll be confined to bringing one of the main vid cameras and one of the lightweight mic’s.

As for the VG-10 everyone talks about, Is the interchangeable lenses that great? You seem to be very confined with that camera’s available lenses. They also look a little flimsy and seem to be aimed at more photography with their features that actual video. Seems to be an extended NEX 5 doesn’t it?
I would personally go for the Sony HVRZ7P if I wanted to risk dust in the sensor and wanted interchangeable lenses.

Now I know this is not about cameras… So what would you all want to see in a VEX Doco?

oops two pages… :slight_smile:

Oh and I prefer HD tapes over SD any day. If not only for the pure inconvenience! Tapes have never failed me, though sometimes the workflow can go ‘off’. Editing with Vegas Pro is easy with its tool for finding where the cuts are supposed to be, makes file sorting a breeze.

Wow, this is turning out great. I think that we have decided that we want everyone who has an HD video camera to video competitions (especially worlds), and maybe an interview of your team, and then we will edit it all. Yes, its a big task, but we can do it.

So the main reason for the VG-10 is the versatility… The lenses are professional, and they have a very smooth autofocus, designed, in part, for videos.

While that might not be the one to get, Sony just released the professional version, that uses the same lens mount…

And I can assure you, having interchangeable lenses is NOT a limitation. Especially if you are coming from the photography realm, and you already have some lenses… (Like me…)

Ok, From what I can see the NEX S100 is trying hard to be like RED. They howeevr are using a mount only designed for Sony Lenses(E Mount to be exact). That is all great, except… Who actually has a sony dslr camera? They are terrible and only cannon and nikon with a few other exceptions can really be called real dslr’s.
I do have experience with photography, though am a cinematographer foremost.
I do not yet believe in AVCHD and HDV really is more used in todays small production. The HVRZ7U is a much better camera and has been developed with sturdy material. The Sony E mount still looks very weak and the memory module seems odd? Probably WAY overpriced!

Now as for editing, I suggest you get a team of people together and really talk to the VEX teams as to what they want to see. A story has to develop and a theme is needed for a project like this. A bit of organisation will go a long way.



Then again, I might just wait for the yet-unannounced D400, which should hopefully have the same video that is on the new D5100, which looks AMAZING!!!

And me, being a photographer, can use all my Nikon lenses, while still having a COMPLETELY awesome camera… :smiley:

The only problem is that it is a photography camera first, with some video capabilities.
The VG-10 and S100 seems to be one of those cameras that doesn’t know what it wants to be, and thus tries to do both equally amazing. Unfortunately they have the downside that they can not do what their main advertised function is very well.

The Nikon’s have always been well built cameras, with an amazing variety of lenses. However my bet would be on the new rumored 7D (I think it may be a mark series?) as it will learn from what it’s family has had problems with. Canon seem more advanced and capable with their video cameras and have been building upon them for longer than Nikon. Even if Nikon came with video first, I personally see Canon as having more experience.(Not to mention their XL series… amazing cameras!) Canon seem to be far superior in Video Cameras than Nikon.
The D400 could be a game changer though? Depends what the little features they shove in it are, could be too similar to the 60d or 600d possibly.
If you want a hand unclejoe, or anyone else, don’t hesitate to contact me as I love working on independent projects and do have loads of resources at my hands!


Oh and have decided to only bring one of the semi cameras on a bg to save as much weight as possible. Hope to see you all there, and I will personally be going around pits chatting to some of the people I have spoken to.
p.s. I am working on a independent action film based as promotional material for vex robotics in NZ and hopefully around the world. I am looking for a few teams who would be willing to help out. In return you will be mentioned and as a series of these vids will be coming out, the more different the material in each vid… the better! Will obviously be at worlds to discuss if your interested. Have already got 2 NZ teams signed up!

OK, we have the details; our team is bringing a 1080i HD video camera to Orlando for Worlds. We will film worlds and maybe Universal, which would make a cool intro. What are you’re’ guys team numbers, so we can meet you there? :smiley:

If you guys could post your footage of the world championship, then that would be great.

Could everyone post their footage? Thanks!

We have posted our Kickstarter here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tgrfilms/vex-robotics-a-documentary! Hope you like it!