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Old April 15th, 2005, 08:47 AM   #1
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How to shoot a prom??? Please help!!

I was recently called to shoot a prom at a local high school. The prom is next Friday, April 22, 2005. They would like coverage of the event along with some still shots transfered to the final video. The question that I have is what kind of events during the prom to video. I have never done a prom before and was just wondering how to make the final video flow with an artistic flare. Maybe, if someone has done a prom and would like to show me a sample, I could get some idea of what the final project should encompass. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thank in advance,

Jason
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Old April 15th, 2005, 09:16 AM   #2
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Make yourself a shot-list:

Arrival in limos
The prom facility
Reception table/ Greeters
Chaperones
The Band
Dancing
Crowning the King/Queen
The decorations
The pig out table
The spiked punch bowl
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Old April 18th, 2005, 01:53 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick King
Make yourself a shot-list:

Arrival in limos
The prom facility
Reception table/ Greeters
Chaperones
The Band
Dancing
Crowning the King/Queen
The decorations
The pig out table
The spiked punch bowl
Although great list, make sure you have all the right lighting too! Mostly all proms are at night so light is going to be your best friend. If you can get another cameraman that would be perfect. Having 2 camera's always is better in case you miss a shot, you never know when you have a bunch of teenage kids anything can happen :)
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Old April 18th, 2005, 10:59 AM   #4
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Amazing!

I'm surprised a professional videographer has to ask these questions, but here's my tip:

Try to "shadow" three couples throughout the night, shooting their stories in parallel. (Why three? At least one couple will eventually change their minds and stop cooperating with you, or leave early, or break up. You know teenagers...) This leaves you with one story and a backup story (but hopefully two). One camera following each couple would be ideal, but you work with what you have.
Interview the couples (separately and together) at each phase of the event; ask them about their feelings. (What do you think of this DJ/band? How is the food? What will you remember about this prom in ten years? What makes this prom special for you? What's been the best part of the night so far? What are you doing after prom?) In post, you can use their narration to guide the viewer through the prom experience. The end result will be a prom "in their own words." This will go a long way in telling the STORY of the night. Otherwise, the whole video will be more of a random montage instead of an actual story with beginning, middle, and end. More importantly, it brings CHARACTERS and inherent interest to your video.

I'm not saying keep microphones on each couple all night, but make sure they're mic'ed for their interviews. Often you'll want to drop only the audio part of an interview over a certain scene.

My advice aside, what does the client have in mind for length, tone, etc.? What message do they want communicated? If all they want is highlights, you could easily edit together a three- to five-minute music video style piece and drop in sound bites. I can't imagine watching a prom video for more than 15 minutes. Whatever you do, try to have CHARACTERS and a STORY in every video to give viewers a reason to care about what they're watching. Otherwise, you risk losing their interest.

Good luck.
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Old April 21st, 2005, 02:07 AM   #5
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Another sticky issue can arise if you sell these videos:

When the music at the prom shows up on a video that's for sale, even if it's in the background, there can be a potential license problem.

http://www.themusicbridge.com/id38.htm

While it's unlikely a copyright holder would make an issue of their music being heard in the background of something like a prom video, you just never know for sure. And if someone does decide to make an issue of it, there would be very little defense against it.

Just something to be aware of, just in case.
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