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Old September 28th, 2011, 12:51 PM   #1
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Advise and Questions about low light and audio

I will be filming a simple one man staged reading at a local Theater next month. The performance will be 70 minutes long. I'm a little concern about how the camera will perform in a low light situation. I was told that camera set up would have to be behind the last row. I have no idea what the lighting situation will be and I won't have access to the Theater until the day of the shoot. How much gain should I apply without introducing too much noise? Also how should I setup audio? I have a Rode NTG1 and a Zoom H4n. Place it on stage, leave it on the camera or run a through a mixer? I've never done any theater work before so any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.

cheers,

-kaj
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Old September 29th, 2011, 09:39 PM   #2
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Re: Advise and Questions about low light and audio

It really depends what "too much noise" means to you. Some people go up to 9dB and say there is no visible noise, others see noise even at 0dB in low light situations. If it comes down to seeing or not seeing the talent, you really have no choice, bump up the gain to have an acceptable image, then clean the video in post with something like Neat Video... but you might actually be happy as it comes out. One thing that always helps me in low light is black stretch bumped up to +3.

I would contact the theater to check if they use a mic on the talent; if they do, see if they are willing to give you a feed from their audio board. If not, I would place the shotgun close to the stage, but find out if the talent is moving around or not - with the limited angle of a shotgun, if he moves, the level will change dramatically.

Your best option for audio would be a wireless lapel on one channel and a cardioid on the other channel for the audience.

I would only use the Zoom as backup.
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Old September 29th, 2011, 11:58 PM   #3
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Re: Advise and Questions about low light and audio

thanks Ervin:-)
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Old October 3rd, 2011, 12:53 AM   #4
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Re: Advise and Questions about low light and audio

Here's a thread about cam settings for theater :
Theater performance: which scene file ? (251, stock lens)
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Old January 13th, 2012, 05:39 AM   #5
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Re: Advise and Questions about low light and audio

You can use "Low light" scene file recipe from Tim Dashwood.
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