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

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Old March 8th, 2005, 09:36 AM   #1
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I will be doing a live recording of a band on march 18th. I have never done a shoot on this scale before so I wanted to see about picking all your brains for suggestions. First off, we will be using an XL2 and 2 dvx100a. Their will be a fairly large proffesional light show to go along as they are a grateful dead band.

My plan so far, and feel free to suggest otherwise, is to shoot in 24p 16:9. We will be getting there about 6 hours before hand to setup so I should have time to use monitors and get color as close as possible to matching between cameras.

Below is a link to the venues seating chart to give you an idea of stage setup. The area in orange is second level and everything in front of the stage will be opened up for standing room only.

For now I want to have the XL2 on a wide shot and the two dvxs on the sides of the stage. One question is would you all leave the XL2 were it is or use it to zoom in for close ups? ie, teh drummer.. that or would you suggest a fourth camera to be off tripod and handle those kinda of shots. We will occasional turn stage cameras to the crowd to get crowd shots and will have a pyscodelic video that they project behind them to use for cut aways.

Also with focusing, I will be going manual. On the wide cam if I zoom, does locking focus on the back wall really alow for a sort of infinit focus from there forward?

We will be taking the audio off of the board, I have an audio engenier handleing the mix, as well as using mics for the crowd to give it a fuller, live sound. Sound right?

What I would love is for anyone who has done this before to tell me how they would set it up based on what my resources are. I have a degree in film and have done alot of doc and short film work but not much live band stuff so any suggestions are welcome. Thanks!
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Old March 8th, 2005, 10:16 AM   #2
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Live music audio...

Sounds like fun!

I won't address the 24p because that's not something I have experience with, but I have to warn you about the audio. If possible, see if you can use "splitters" -- I forget what the actual device is called -- so you can create your own mix and record it instead of a a "board mix." Why? Because the sound tech is balancing amplified sound with unamplified sound to best suit that room's acoustics. So, for example, if you're shooting a rock band in a small club, only the bass drum and vocals might be run through the PA. The result? You get a nearly a-capella version of a rock concert that you'll painstakingly have to mix with the room sound in order to clearly hear the guitars, snare drum, and every other instrument not run through the PA.

Stereo room sound is helpful, but you don't want to have to rely on it because it tends to unnaturally "color" the sound and add unwanted reverberation -- giving you a mild case of Tin Can Syndrome.

I'm not trying to be an alarmist, just to point out some pitfalls. The more control you have over the sound you get on tape, the happier you'll be doing the post work.

Have fun!
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Old March 8th, 2005, 10:25 AM   #3
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Thanks for the suggestion. They have used this method for recording live show cds in the past that have sounded pretty good. Im not an audio guy so ill probally have to talk to there guy to see what he does for it. Is there a differest term for this than "off the board"? thanks agian
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Old March 8th, 2005, 06:01 PM   #4
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I went to a Grateful Dead show once. Okay 50 times. :)

Don't forget to work on your comm system and signals so you aren't all panning the audience at once. Make sure it won't interfere with venue or band electronics.

Don't forget to get some B-roll out in the tunnels, people dancing, stuff like typical dead-head concerts.
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Old March 9th, 2005, 12:55 PM   #5
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I've done concerts before and I strongly believe that they are the most enjoyable events to film

That being said, unless its only one person wth an accoustic guitar, they are the hardest events ever to do sound for. Tim is correct to suggest using a separate board for the video mix, this is the only way to do it. However its almost impossible to hear your mix because of the concert (get a GOOD paid of headphones). So when you think that you have the right ammount of guitar in your video, make sure its the video mix and not the house mix. If you have the budget (Im not sure how big this is) pipe audio and a stationary camera feed to someplace else (even the greenroom) and do your audio mixing there.

Also, one more small note-depending on the venues size, make sure that all of the instruments are mic'd--in small clubs its not uncommon to not mic the bass or even guitar. and don't forget the audience mic!
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Old March 9th, 2005, 01:26 PM   #6
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It turns out that the band has audio enginers multitracking the audio which will then be taken into a studio for retouching. I figure Ill edit with a rough cut and then lay in the finished product after the studio work is done. Yeah for that.

Has anyone had any experience matching dvx with xl2? can it be easily done. we will be doing test on the day before and should have plenty of setup time. Any suggestions?

Also, as far as sinking the cameras, Iv heard a camera flash filmed by all the cams is a good way to go. Anyone use a better method?

As it stands now I have three dvx and one xl2. Where would you all place the camera based on the above floor plan. Would you put two on the stage, one wide, and one roaming for close ups?


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