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Old April 27th, 2012, 07:03 PM   #1
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One song, One take, One camera.

Hi. I'm pretty new to this forum so please be gentle.
I've always been a huge music fan and have just started taking footage of bands in pubs. I'm just getting my head around the editing using FCPX. I have the option to use a $5,000 Canon 5D or a $500 Panasonic Lumix FT1 ( yes an FT1. I find that being beer proof is a good feature ).
It's a real tradeoff between the 2. OK the quality of the 5D much better but with the FT1 you can get shots without the bulk, without the big fanfare of 'out of the way everyone, I need to section off 1/2 of the dance floor for my tripod', and without getting in the bands face.

With pub work, you only get one chance for a song though. One take, one camera. Which raises some real editing headaches. To get an interesting clip together that's 1/2 decent with just 1 camera is a challenge. Does anyone out there do similar stuff that can give me some hints or point me to a previous thread that discusses these issues.

Here is something I put together last weekend to help explain.

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Old May 13th, 2012, 02:23 AM   #2
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Re: One song, One take, One camera.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russ Reynolds View Post
Hi. I'm pretty new to this forum so please be gentle.
I've always been a huge music fan and have just started taking footage of bands in pubs. I'm just getting my head around the editing using FCPX. I have the option to use a $5,000 Canon 5D or a $500 Panasonic Lumix FT1 ( yes an FT1. I find that being beer proof is a good feature ).
It's a real tradeoff between the 2. OK the quality of the 5D much better but with the FT1 you can get shots without the bulk, without the big fanfare of 'out of the way everyone, I need to section off 1/2 of the dance floor for my tripod', and without getting in the bands face.

With pub work, you only get one chance for a song though. One take, one camera. Which raises some real editing headaches. To get an interesting clip together that's 1/2 decent with just 1 camera is a challenge. Does anyone out there do similar stuff that can give me some hints or point me to a previous thread that discusses these issues.

Here is something I put together last weekend to help explain.

Craven Aye - YouTube
Okay, I don't know what you're smoking, but if a 5D is too bulky for you, you need to find a different hobby and in the video you posted, you were pretty close to the band, so how is on a tripod "In thier face"? Also, A tripod doesn't take up that much space, your dance floor is clearly the issue here if a single tripod take up half of it.
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Old May 15th, 2012, 06:37 AM   #3
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Re: One song, One take, One camera.

Covering a single track in one shot is an interesting challenge.
You seem to have cut in a bit of B roll and use some effects to cover up any unwanted transitions which works OK.
I did something similar last year. Inspired partly by an excellent Nine Inch Nails video that I am sure you can find easily enough via Google. That is one take, with a 5D, filmed by one of their crew on the stage. It works well, partly because you are seeing the reaction of a huge audience from the POV of the band. It gives it a huge atmosphere that you aren't going to get in a pub!
I considered getting on stage for the piece below. But there wasn't enough room and the results could have been a disaster for me, the band and the audience.
Luckily the stage was close to ground level and I could get close the band. Which I think you need to do in order for the advantages of the impact that you get from 'being with the band' to override the disadvantages of shooting a continuous shot ie it's a bit messy at times.
In order to be able to do this you need to get the trust of the band. I had done some documentary style filming with them earlier in the day and I think they had decided that I was OK.
This was shot on a 5D with an old Nikon 50mm 1.4 lens and a very basic shoulder brace. You can't get much more minimal than that.
The pull focuses were done simply by twisting the focus ring by hand.
BTW I could show you another film of a band shot with the 5D on a tripod. But there's no point. The result is predictable. You are stuck in one position and can't do anything in a crowded room with a fixed focal length lens and one camera. It's boring.
That's why I tried this out.
Hope it's of interest:
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Old May 15th, 2012, 06:46 AM   #4
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Re: One song, One take, One camera.

Assuming you know which song you want to record just get that with your camera as best you can. Then get b roll shots while they are singing other songs and get close ups of the band playing instruments, over the shoulder shots from the band, and audience shots. You can get away with the close ups so long a you don't hold them for too long (in which case musical people might notice the instruments and audio don't match).

Alternatively you can ask the band to play the song twice, in which case you get your b roll for real.
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Old May 15th, 2012, 12:41 PM   #5
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Re: One song, One take, One camera.

Russ, this may not be related, but here is a channel of one take, one camera music videos I've done over the last three years. Mobility and angles are what it's all about. I shot all 85 of these on a monopod. NEVER NEVER NEVER handhold a DSLR. The videos seem to get shakier as the weeks go along. Stand out, be steady :)
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Old May 17th, 2012, 05:30 AM   #6
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Re: One song, One take, One camera.

Russ, i would use the 5d. Ilike the latitude of the Canon chip. But use the camera with the most lenses.

I try to practice very steady hand holding, when forced to. Pan from the waist, not the arms, which should be locked. Pan slowly, whip pans take a lot of practice to do right. They usually are, how to say this, done poorly. Iam not a fan of fast zooms, it again is a atter of taste and needs careful practice to look good. Follow the main focal point, the one who is singing, playing, etc. unless you seesomething really worth leaving them for, or know they are up next in rotation. Remember to get a few establishing shots, even if you end up not using them, orputting them in later, as i did. There are ways to cutaway, as long as the sound continues to roll, shooting from above, behind, etc, if the sound continues to roll. So you might want to get a recorder off the board, if possible.it can make a huge difference in audio quality. Sound is The Most. Important Thing. Make sure you get it right.

I would not show my clients work as shakey as Richard's, (sorry Richard, no slam intended) and agree with Bill that a monopod is your friend.

Having said that, here is a sampler for Blues in the Clubs, shot last summer, all handheld, one camera, multiple lenses. No tripod or monopod. I used a 7d, with a shotgun mic on top. I sometimes, have to shoot locked down, but i prefer one camera on a tripod, as the establishing shot, and one to roam with. I would do somethings differently if I do it this year, but, there you have it.


A variety of successes and failures of my one and two camera work are on my Youtube site, 8stringthing, or my Vimeo spot, under my name.
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Old May 18th, 2012, 06:22 AM   #7
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Re: One song, One take, One camera.

You also need to think about audio - the tonal balance shifts as you change position. With a small venue/band, then you probably have the vocals through the PA and everything else live. In small venues the band back line is loud enough (probably too loud) so the PA just lifts quiet sources. So as you move about we hear the loudest and closest. The sound balance needs to remain static - so a separate recorder with mic (or the internal mics) at a place where the balance is best is vital. For single camera stuff, you need to develop the knack of framing and focusing quickly, so you have minimal dead material to cover. The ideas for B roll above are great, but seeing fingers and drum sticks doing the wrong things, even to non-musicians, is pretty obvious. So for B roll, collect shots that don't show fingers or arms - so rear shots of the bass player from song 3, will work fine to cover the missing footage from song 1. Drummers can look good from the front showing the tom toms in shot and face behind. You won't see their arms, so no give-away. Same angle works with keyboard players. For the guitarist, a wider shot with fingers just out of shot will work displaced in time. A few shots of the singer in the guitar/keys breaks just nodding away works well too.

As for getting in the way - you're the cameraman so you're expected to! People in the audience usually either shy away from the lens, or act up to it - so that's an easy source of additional B roll. I can't speak about the DSLRs - just something I'm personally not into, but I don't find problems with a full size shoulder mounted camera. My current 'trick' is a Gopro on the end of a sound boom. I give it to my No.2 and he uses it overhead and gets great POV shots. With one of these you can also hide it on stage too. Works quite well - and they're not expensive.
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