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Old February 25th, 2012, 11:56 PM   #1
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camera for live music video

I have a band that wants me to shoot their live performance. I already have good cameras, but this band is willing to pay extra to shoot with very top of the line cameras.

They want a three or four camera production in HD. I'd like to take advantage of this opportunity, if for no other reason but to experiment with a very high end style camera, although probably not DSLR.

Secondly the band is leaving it up to my selection for how to light the stage. This is a smaller three piece band being recorded in a night club environment. The lounge/bar has no lighting already permanently installed.

So not only do I have a choice to rent a very nice camera, but I have the control of lighting fixtures to compliment the camera of choice.

I'll take the raw footage and merge the camera angles together in the editing process. Editing with CS5.

What would be the perfect combination of lighting and acquisition cameras for this recording situation?

Bob
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Old February 26th, 2012, 12:26 AM   #2
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Re: camera for live music video

Before recommending cams, some more information would definitely help...

Is it a night club or more like a lounge/bar? I've done night club shoots where we had enough room to do 2 lockdowns on tripods and then run handhelds down low. If its a lounge kinda environment, and are limited with space, then you might be at the mercy of handholding everything.

I am not a lighting tech so I can't comment at all on that part. Wish I could though!

If I was in your boat and had the chance to rent whatever I want, I would probably see if I could get something like a bunch of PMW-320Ks as the picture quality and codec is just great. F3s are also an option, but then you are left building to building rigs and tripod mounting, so again, it comes down to how many cams you want to run, and how much room you have.
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Old February 26th, 2012, 01:18 PM   #3
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Re: camera for live music video

A smaller area, probably about 20 - 25 feet in front of the band and 15 to 20 feet on each side. This is more of a bar then a club. There could be some fan/crowd in attendance up close and maybe some people dancing.
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Old February 26th, 2012, 01:36 PM   #4
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Re: camera for live music video

I wish someone else would chime in here as well since I only have 3 full length live shoots under my belt, but I think putting 2 PMW-350Ks on tripods (safety/wide and iso or free cam) and putting a DSLR with a fast prime in the pit/down low up front for crowd/flea cam would be a good start. If you have control over lighting, you won't have to deal with the laser/strobe banding issues that DSLRs present and the footage will look great. I say DSLR because it is compact and the op could walk around people standing up front and it won't be as intrusive as having someone running around with a shoulder mount!

Someone else have any suggestions?

Do you plan on recording audio directly into a cam from the mixer?
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Old February 26th, 2012, 03:06 PM   #5
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Re: camera for live music video

Thre is a good audio tech on board for this show. He will supply me with an audio feed directly from the mixer. At least into one of the cameras. Perhaps into two of the camera.
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Old February 26th, 2012, 11:51 PM   #6
 
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Re: camera for live music video

AF100 with Canon FD 55mm 1.4 prime lens I'd go with.
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Old February 27th, 2012, 12:15 PM   #7
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Re: camera for live music video

Time permitting, try to watch as many videos on YouTube that seem to be similar to the venue and genre of the music to the band you'll be shooting.

At first just quickly skim through them and bookmark them to either the "I like the way this looks" pile or "this doesn't look good" pile.

After you've got a few in each category watch the ones that look good and try to guess where the lighting might be and where the cameras might be. Pay attention to angles (high/low, tight/wide) and any moves.

Create little overhead sketches of where you think cameras and lights are positioned.

Equally important, watch the some of the videos you didn't like and try to define what it is that you don't like about them. Then make a do-not-do list.

When you plan out your camera positions and lighting occasionally refer to your do-not-do list to make sure you're not doing those things. You can either learn from the mistakes you make on your shoot, or learn from others mistakes before your shoot.

Regarding the "top of the line cameras," make sure you build in some time to know them well.

Also know the music well enough so that you know when a solo will occur then you can have one cam doing a medium shot of the solo and another camera tight on the fingers on the fretboard, for example. It helps to include the band in the planning of the shots so that they know which way they should be facing at a key moment in the tune so you get the results they want.

Good luck.
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Old February 27th, 2012, 12:33 PM   #8
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Re: camera for live music video

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jordan Hooper View Post
Also know the music well enough so that you know when a solo will occur then you can have one cam doing a medium shot of the solo and another camera tight on the fingers on the fretboard, for example. It helps to include the band in the planning of the shots so that they know which way they should be facing at a key moment in the tune so you get the results they want.

Good luck.
^^This!

Knowing the pacing of the songs and where the solos occur is a huge bonus. When I started shooting events with 2 cams I was the person that HAD to know when the solos occurred because I was iso cam shooting with a 7D and a 200L, the other cam was the wide/safety shot. As long as the band didn't turn their back to the audience I was fine in all instances. Mentally working out where you want the cams to be is a good idea - I usually showed up 3-4 hours early at the venue and scoped out possibilities but all of the venues were relatively easy to shoot in, even if they decided to use tons of strobes (even asking them not to) essentially ruining a lot of the DSLR footage.
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