The Missouri Southern State University men’s and women’s basketball teams have “pump up videos” that run before the player introductions in pre-game. These videos are intended to get the adrenaline pumping for the players and crowd. Traditionally, these include highlight clips from the previous season and some kind of new themed footage.

This year, MSSU was short a video staff member at the time of planned production for these videos, so Athletics needed to pull in outside support.


With less than two weeks before the first game, time was not on our side. Elaborate creative concepts that would take a lot of planning and logistics weren’t an option. We needed an approach that would be easy to coordinate but lead to a killer finished product. We finally settled on an evening when we would film both the men’s and women’s teams at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center on MSSU’s campus. Using just the court, we needed to capture something that could be edited together with highlight footage and blow last year’s videos out of the water.

To provide a visual contrast, we decided that we would kill the lights in the gym and use our own lighting to accent and dramatize scenes. We planned on three cameras, two on gimbals and one in the air, filming 60 frames per second for slow-motion options in editing, shooting a variety of “badass moves” that the players would perform. We also brought a ring-light to film static scenes with players, giving us another tool to use during editing.

Not knowing exactly what our scene was going to look like (Would anyone else be in the gym? Will the players play along? What angles do we have available and what lighting will look best?) we had to experiment a bit to find the shots that tickled our fancy, but we got there, and we think the players had even more fun with it than we did.

NOTE: If you ever want to distract a women’s basketball team, turn on a ring light, and walk away.


Footage from three cameras needed to be colored and clipped for each squad. During this process, we adjust the look of each clip to achieve the desired effect, we get rid of any shots that aren’t good enough to use, and we mark the shots that are definite winners.

Next, we needed to find music that conveyed the desired vibe for the video. For this type of video, music is everything. There’s no on-camera speaking and very little background noise. The music HAS to drive the flow of the video. This required some brainstorming with Markie McCoy at MSSU Athletics, but we finally had our two winning audio tracks. Like most music for video, we had to slice it into segments and recreate a custom track that fit our length and vibe requirements.

At that point, we let the music guide our edit. We listened to the music as a whole and identified what movements existed. What story was our music trying to tell, and what shots best aligned with those movements? This was our chance to experiment. In a different order, the shots tell a completely different story to the same music. We had to determine what version best fit MSSU’s desired end result.

Once we thought we had it down, we exported “rough cuts” for MSSU to review, and after a few tweaks (including experimenting with different music tracks), we had our finished videos!


MSSU Men’s Basketball “pump up” video to be aired at home games.

MSSU Women’s Basketball “pump up” video to be aired at home games.

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