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FightFest 2021 & me

Let the robots clash!

On Saturday, 10th July FightFest happened. Sixteen teams and 16 robots were battling to death (of the robots, the teams were still very much alive at the end of the tournament) inside a steel arena. We all know how this goes down: there can only be one! The event was months (or even years) in planning, and guess who jumped in last minute with an elaborate media production plan? Yup, me!

FightFest

FightFest 2021 trailer

[Video Spoiler Alert!]

In case this isn’t obvious, the main video will spoil the tournament for you. There was no way to include every fight and every team without turning this into 3h feature film or a season-long web show. I wanted to focus on the teams behind the robot and give you a taste of what’s like taking part in a tournament like this. As a pro, and as a beginner! I hope I managed to pull it off and make the competition interesting not just to hardcore roboteers!

If you want to watch the fights in more chronological order (tournament style), these have been also edited and displayed as traditional and 360 videos. Please visit the FightFest page for a complete list of the fights.

I would like to thank all teams for taking the part, putting on the hell of a show and agreeing to countless interviews! Although not everyone made the final cut, I had a blast talking to you after each fight, hearing about the fights (I often missed myself) from the team’s perspective and watch your emotions rise as you progress through often challenging and terrifying fights.

Making of…

Media Team – from left: (me), Katie, Jenn, John

If you watched the credits, you know it’s not an effort of a single person, but a pretty well-organised team. I was responsible for directing, editing, interviews and coordinating during the event.

Fightfest lasted over 12h people on the media team, which they subsequently committed extra hours to help me with assets, editing and various production tasks. In short, we shot over 400GB of footage (mostly 1080p60)! Sorting the files alone took 3 days (footage had to be watched by me to find moments that suit my story arc) and I spent an extra 80h editing the main video and the individual fights (would be more if not for help from Katie). All of which was done in my spare time.

Considering the usual videos I make for NotEnoughTech, this was a monumental challenge. I have learned a lot, as mistakes were made. The main takeaway from an event like this is:

  • everything takes longer than you expect
  • micro SD cards fail more often than you think
  • dedicated person to organise the footage as you shoot is a MUST
  • you can’t have enough b-roll
  • delegate, delegate, delegate (if you have a team to work with)

It was a challenging day, and if I could change one thing, is to have more time to film my parts. I jumped on board very late in the planning stage where the schedule was very much set in stone, so I had really tight time windows to work with. These were subsequently made shorter to prevent the event from rolling over the planned schedule and I ended up improvising quite a bit on the day.

I’m very pleased that I was given a chance to film Fightfest. it gave me an insight into filming an event of this size. It’s an experience I always wanted to have behind my belt, and it gave me a reason to play a little bit more with editing. With new skills, ideas and energy, I’m looking forward to my next big media production.

Lastly, I would like to thank everyone on the media team, which was pretty much behind every idea I came up with and helped me with the execution. Without you guys, it would never happen. And thanks to every single person involved in FightFest in one way or another! You all know who you are!

Got comments? Leave it in this Reddit thread.

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