Earlier this year, we were asked to create a four-minute live events video to promote The P&G Surrey Youth Games, a two-day multi-sports competition for 7-16 year old boys and girls. Held every year in June, children from all eleven districts and boroughs in the county enter teams into 15 different sporting events.

Surrey Sports Park in Guildford: the location for the Surrey Youth Games

P&G, which has a site at Egham in Surrey, has previously explained its support for the event. A spokesperson said: “The P&G Surrey Youth Games is an integral part of our strategy to support 300 million children and young people across the globe to ‘live, learn and thrive’. As a global Olympic partner, P&G recognises the value of sport and that the Youth Games’ year-round development work has a long-lasting legacy across Surrey’s communities.”

Opening shot by Ball Kids

The project started when we were contacted by Linda Jacks, who was then Youth Games Officer at Active Surrey, a non-profit organisation hosted by Surrey Council. Linda told us: “Clean Cut Media was recommended to me by someone who had seen the quality of your work.  I met Rob and Jan, saw a demo video, and was impressed.”

Linda liked the look and tone of a short film we’d produced for the Ball Kids, which showed how children are selected to work as ball kids at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in November at the O2 Arena in London.

Our Ball Kids film captured the excitement of attending the ATP World Tour final

The challenges of producing a live events video

Our mission was to produce a short, fast-paced, inspiring film that would:

  • Entice young people to find out more about The Surrey Youth Games.
  • Include key messages delivered by young people.
  • Increase participation for the following year’s event.

Filming would mostly take place during the two days of the games in June 2015, with two full days of pre-competition filming to capture young people in training.

There were more than a few challenges involved in getting everything we needed on film. For a start, we had to cover so many different sports – from football, swimming, boxing, tennis, lacrosse, squash, basketball and badminton to hockey, netball, boccia, cricket, judo, rugby, table tennis and touch tennis.

We also had to make sure we covered all 11 boroughs and districts playing all the sports. We dealt with this challenge by drawing up a massive wall chart that mapped out a timetable of which sports were happening and where.

How do you produce a live events video?

Long lenses, slo mo and a GoPro

Usually, for a professional outside sports broadcast, we’d film from scaffolding that would ensure a perfect view. The set up here was a bit different, though, so we had to improvise.

We deployed three cameramen from a sports background to capture all the key moments, including important elements mentioned in the brief such as cheering crowds, proud parents and trophy lifts. In addition, we used long lenses and super slo mo cameras, as well as a GoPro drone camera to fly over the kids’ heads and film aerial shots.

Tips for interviewing children

Active Surrey was very keen for children to deliver the key messages to camera during the film. Through our work with Ball Kids and others, we have a fair bit of experience of encouraging young people to speak, even if they’re initially a bit shy or giggly. Here’s a quick summary of our approach:

  • Put children at ease by chatting away about anything – their favourite sport or team – so they have time to warm up as the camera is being set up.
  • Crouch or kneel down so you are at their level, rather than expecting them to look up at you.
  • Be patient.
  • Encourage them to look at the interviewer, rather than straight down the camera.
  • Always use ‘open’ questions that require a full reply, rather than ‘closed’ questions that lead to a plain ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

Video game appeal

It was vital for the video to catch the attention of children who might want to participate in the games next year. So we came up with the idea of making the start of the film look like the trailer for a video game – with dramatic shots that fade up and down from black.


“A joy to work with”

We really enjoyed filming the Surrey Youth Games this year. It gave us a great insight into the way that involvement in sport can bring young people together, raise their self-esteem and generate a lasting feeling of pride.

I’ll leave the last word to our client, Linda Jacks.

“Nothing was too much trouble and there was literally nothing I asked for that was impossible.  Everyone was so willing, so “can do”, so positive – you were a joy to work with.  Emails gave a sense of a business who are serious about their work and what they produce, and working flat out to achieve it and I liked that sense of urgency and purposefulness.  Communication went to everyone involved in the project so I had the confidence there were no gaps.”


“I also liked the thoroughness of preparation. Yana asked for as much documentation in advance as possible so she could plan the filming schedule – she didn’t want to leave anything to chance.  This mirrored how I would have approached the task, so I felt reassured.”

“Finally, the finished product was exactly what I was looking for.  The tone of the voiceover was perfect, the narrative spot on, and it looked extremely professional.  Really great job all round, so thanks again.”

Interested in a live events video?

If you’d like to talk about a similar live events video project, do get in touch with us.

Call us on +44 (0)20 8973 0958

Email us at production@cleancutmedia.co.uk