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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old August 26th, 2008, 10:51 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Brisbane, Australia
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Live events - framing and exposure

I am wondering how those more experienced than me go about framing shots for live events? (I am thinking dance and theatre specifically.)

* Do you follow "The Rule of Thirds"?

* Do you just stay centered to allow sufficient room for movement?

* How do you handle things differently for large groups/small groups/solos?

* Regarding the highly variable lighting conditions that can be encountered, do people just resign themselves to "Riding the iris"?

Just trying to find the secret to be quality than I currently feel like I am getting.

Thanks,

marks
Mark Stavar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 28th, 2008, 09:01 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Mark Stavar View Post
I am wondering how those more experienced than me go about framing shots for live events? (I am thinking dance and theatre specifically.)

* Do you follow "The Rule of Thirds"?

* Do you just stay centered to allow sufficient room for movement?

* How do you handle things differently for large groups/small groups/solos?

* Regarding the highly variable lighting conditions that can be encountered, do people just resign themselves to "Riding the iris"?

Just trying to find the secret to be quality than I currently feel like I am getting.

Thanks,



marks
Mark,
I have done a lot of dance recitals and competitions. I always try to use the rule of thirds. That way you fill the screen with action/people. This also means that you have to watch, follow and anticipate movement. So if a lift was to happen you can follow the lift up and not cut off heads. That being said the difference is are you shooting for the choreographer or are you shooting for the general viewer. I also always have a safety wide shot that shows the entire stage so the choreographer can watch and access the the lines, spacing, etc. When I go to my daughter's competitions and buy videos because I can't record at them, I personally get irritated when the shot is just centered or the heads are centered and over exposed. But I also understand why they do it, it's much easier to do and it's easier to train a less expensive camera operator to do.
I tend to say fill the video with action/people. Also if you center people than it helps to block out the audience, but I'm old school. Too much head room drives me nuts. Zoom in on solos, but also know your audience. I tape the Nutcracker performance for a local school every year. My first year I shot it with a lot of close ups of the solos. Well during some of the scenes, there are little ones doing background stuff. They got some complaints that they didn't see the little ones enough, although they weren't doing anything at the time. So now I adjust to my audience and go wider on scenes with a lot of little ones. Stay with the rule of thirds, but go wider. It's really subjective and not one person is right or wrong.
I tend to ride my iris. Some will tell you to set a fixed level and then adjust in post. It really depends on how the lighting is done, which is usually low and a lot of reds. Be prepared.
I'm not sure what you are shooting, SD or HD. Currently I still have a Pany DVC-80. SD in 4:3. I do like to shoot in letterbox for dancing. Why? Because it seems to me that it helps to focus on the action on stage. When you have to go wider, it helps to block out lights and audience. Just my opinion.
Again, these are just some of the things that I do. They are right for me. I would never knock the way others do things. That's their way. As long as your client is happy, that's what really matters.

Good luck and sorry for the long post. I hope it didn't bore you too much.
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