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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...

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Old May 1st, 2008, 12:50 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 1,258
Last Minute Advice-Live Concert

This weekend (May 3) there will be an event at my college called "Lutefest," which is basically a huge rock concert with a variety of campus bands playing. As a sophomore, I recently started a student organization called the "Film Production Society," which consists of students interested in the hands on process of making films. As a group event, we plan to do a 3-camera live shoot of the concerts, making DVDs for the bands involved. It should be madness, as most have little experience of doing any event videography, but the whole idea is to have some fun and gain some experience in the process. I just thought that maybe some of you on this forum might have some last minute words of wisdom for a soon to be overwhelmed director!

The event is planned to take place outside with a large stage, but if the weather doesn't cooperate, it will be moved inside to a club-type stage that holds about 1,000 people. The plan is this- set up 3 cameras, one on tripod in the back for establishing shots, a side camera on a crane for medium shots and crowd shots (and to get above the heads of the audience), and a hand-held rover in the front row. All cameras would be hooked up via 100' S-Video cables which would run to a "Control Room" behind the stage, where they would be mixed live using a TriCaster switcher. Output runs to a DVD recorder, and the bands have the DVD when they walk off the stage. A direct audio feed from the board, a backup mic set on the edge of the stage and a crowd noise mic will run to a portable mixer, then the output from the mixer goes into the TriCaster. Titles (hopefully) will be added live, and discs would be pre-labeled. Cameras are Sony PD-150's, FYI.

Individual DVDs for the bands, all for the fair price of $50 a pop (I KNOW!). Actually, the event was originally going to serve my group as a fundraiser, but we'll see if that happens, meaning we'll probably be doing it all for FREE. The experience, as well as the fun I/we will be having will be payment enough (*cringe*). The actual music part should be close to 4 hours, with maybe 20 people switching in and out of production roles. I would think that 3 cameramen, at least two camera assistants, a switcher, an audio mixer and a runner would be sufficient for roles, and myself of course making sure everything runs smoothly. I'd just like to hear some people's thoughts on this crazy idea- any tips or experiences that could help us out. I'll attach a .pdf of the proposed layout of the outdoor shoot. Indoor would have 2 rear cams, a front cam, and the control room also in the rear.

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File Type: pdf Proposed Layout.pdf (37.9 KB, 217 views)
Nate Haustein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 1st, 2008, 01:02 PM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 1,997
The Thing About Live Events....

Communication is key. I just worked with Travis (another DVInfo member) on a massive wedding with a two camera reception that was switched live. The most important factor I noticed was communicating between shooters & director / switcher to make sure someone is standing still at any given time to make the shot while the others are moving, repositioning, etc. Concerts will be loud and as I found out, even headsets on Midland XT800s are not quite loud enough to be heard over crowd noises. Fortunately at a concert you can actually afford to raise your voice more than at a wedding. :-)

So communication. Also very good idea to do some dry runs with the shooters all hooked up so you get used to the switcher, etc. Have them shooting people doing setup. Actually record everything to DVD. Concert time is not a good time to iron out process problems.
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Old May 1st, 2008, 01:05 PM   #3
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 1,258
Thanks, we have some radio communication we're planning to use, and I'm planning to tell the camera positions to do certain things, focus on certain shots. Whole thing will be recorded to hard drive for safety. Good call on shooting the exciting set up time, that will give some much needed experience for the team. Appreciate the response-
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