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


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Old January 27th, 2014, 07:13 PM   #1
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Good examples of Event Videpgraphy

Hi everyone

I am hunting around to find a really good example of event videography, such as a dance contest or school production..

Does anyone have any they could suggest?

Many thanks!!!
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Old January 27th, 2014, 07:54 PM   #2
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Re: Good examples of Event Videpgraphy

I don't quite understand. Are you looking for someone else's "good example" of their work? Maybe a bit of explanation here would help.
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Old January 27th, 2014, 09:31 PM   #3
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Re: Good examples of Event Videpgraphy

Yes please, someone's own work or something they have seen. I am trying to find a good example but am struggling to find any that are half decent :)
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Old January 27th, 2014, 09:43 PM   #4
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Re: Good examples of Event Videpgraphy

I'm sorry. I guess I'm stuck at "why?" Event videography varies greatly with the event being filmed. Are you just wanting to learn by watching how others handle certain events? Is this for comparison with your footage? Is this to show someone else? How long of a clip do you want/need? The plays/musicals I have filmed are usually 2-3 hours long. We might be able to help with more information. Just flip through television stations and you will find plenty of samples for things that fit the "event videography" category.
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Old January 27th, 2014, 09:51 PM   #5
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Re: Good examples of Event Videpgraphy

Hi Diana

Just to add to the mix, your gear will also affect something like a dance recital! What are you shooting (or considering shooting) on ?
The dance recitals I have done I have been sent right to the back of the theatre with both cameras but they do give you an audio feed which is nice as music, live stage mics etc are all mixed for you.

As Byron says ...why ?? Do you want to see what angles are covered as they vary from recital to recital too

I did a two camera dance recital with one cam covering the stage and then use the 2nd cam to do closer shots of each performer and the dance teacher freaked! She only wanted a wide shot so she could evaluate the group as a whole.

Some specifics would be nice ..eg: I want to see some school plays/dance recitals/concerts so I can see how other people handle them. Event videography is a HUGE gendre!

Chris
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Old January 27th, 2014, 11:26 PM   #6
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Re: Good examples of Event Videpgraphy

Chris,

I did the exact same thing. Dance teachers want something different than the
parents who buy the DVDs. Dance teachers want a boring wide shot for
the entire 1 hour performance....they want to see all the dancers and how they
interact and so in. As a video producer and shooter, I can't think of many things
more boring than the same exact shot for a whole hour. And I figured parents
would think the same....I thought they would want to see close ups of their kids
as well. So I did a two camera shoot just like you described, and the dance
instructor freaked. Since I was making my money from DVD sales and the dance
company wasn't paying me, I nicely explained that parents didn't want a boring 1 hour
wide shot of the stage. So now I give the dance company an 'iso' of camera 1 and
give the parents the edited version. Dance instructor is happy and parents are too,
They MUCH prefer my version over the dance instructors version.
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Old January 28th, 2014, 12:30 AM   #7
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Re: Good examples of Event Videpgraphy

Hi Gabe

Yeah I had to give the teachers just a boring DVD with camera 1 only and they were happy! The Mums and Dads of course want to see their darlings perform so you also have to be very careful to share the close ups so each dancer gets roughly the same exposure throughout the performance! It's hard work actually! Ours was a part 1 and 2 for juniors (1 hour each) and then the same for seniors so excluding the 20 minute interval it was 4 hours of footage! I think weddings are easier as you are only doing fairly short clips!

Chris
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Old January 28th, 2014, 10:14 AM   #8
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Re: Good examples of Event Videography

When I started taping dance recitals over 20 years ago, I used one camera and started with a wide shot, then smoothly zoomed in to frame performers head to toe (never closer) and slowly panned across the group so everyone had their moment and could be identified, then back out to the wide group shot. The teacher complained they wanted to see the choreography, and parents complained that THEIR child was off screen for part of the segment. Fair enough, points taken.

So I started using two cameras. One always covered ALL performers in frame, and the second camera was used for the slow pans, OR if the kids were split up into 2 or 3 "groups", that close cam would hold a shot of each group for a bit. Then in post, I would create a Picture in Picture effect with the wide shot below and the close up in the space above that would otherwise be "empty background". I also used a split-screen effect as well, the "chorus line" of kids at the bottom, and the head-to-toe pan across the top two-thirds of the screen.

I've done it that way for many, many years now with nothing but compliments. However, the move to 16:9 shooting and delivery changed things a bit. With 4:3 framing, there was always plenty of space above the wide group shot to place the PIP. With 16:9, not so much, so no PIP anymore, just split-screen which suits the widescreen layout better. Also, as the dance studio evolved and the kids got older, they were no longer standing in a line across the stage for many numbers - they began running back and forth all over the place!! Modern dance techniques I guess. So for a good number of acts, I have to use the wide shot only with NO close-ups at all (makes editing easier!). The older kids will still do some tap or Irish numbers in line and they do of course always have some younger kids performing - the ones that just line up across the stage and dance in place. Those of course get the split-screen treatment always, gotta see those little faces!!

Note that these techniques require a LOT more work and discipline during the actual shoot, in order to get the shots right to facilitate the editing work. I actually run both cameras myself usually, close and wide. The two cameras are side by side. I'm always "shooting for the edit", always having that in mind. For any act that I know I will be combining both cameras, the kids on the wide shot are framed lower, keeping them in the bottom third of the screen so that the upper two-thirds of the frame are "empty" background - the curtain basically. For the close-ups, rather than filling the frame, I'll shoot them head to toe while using only the top two-thirds of the screen, keeping the kids' feet just above the lower third line. Then I can easily do a split screen in editing without having to move or scale the overlay. A simple CROP will do, assuming the scenes were framed properly while shooting. There are many info overlays on the camera LCDs and I use them as guides, "keep heads of wide shot below this word and feet of other camera above that word", meaning the lower-third line of screen basically.

I did work with another videographer on his recital shoot and we actually set up a Newtek TriCaster and did the split-screen LIVE through the switcher and recorded it, pretty much eliminating the edit work. Added some titles later and we were done. I ran a camera AND the switcher, and do not recommend that, but we were short-handed. It worked out though - my camera had a remote zoom on the tripod handle, so I could pan and zoom with left hand while operating the switcher with my right.

Just for the record, I did borrow the split-screen and PIP techniques from a magazine article about a guy who taped cheer competitions and I decided that would be ideal for the dance recitals as well.

I'm at work right now, but might be able to post a screen grab later for reference

Thanks
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Old January 28th, 2014, 12:52 PM   #9
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Re: Good examples of Event Videpgraphy

Ahhh dance recitals. So glad I don't do those anymore! Haha

At one time, I was doing several dance studios that had 300+ students, and recital times were in the 5 hour range and they were over the course of a weekend.

Originally, we were doing full production with 4 cameras and doing the whole thing fully edited.

Then we got the parents complaining about their kid not being in the shot and all that. Then the instructors wanted wide only to see the choreography.

So finally, we ended up just doing 1 camera wide the whole time.

It made life much easier and we still charged the same amount, so that worked out quite well because there was no editing involved.
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Old February 2nd, 2014, 06:08 AM   #10
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Re: Good examples of Event Videpgraphy

Haha you are all mind readers!!

Everything I have done in the past has been for parents or companies - not individual specific. The problem I have had is a dance competition and a dance teacher wanting mainly broad shots. This has thrown me right off because the examples she booked me off have lots of close ups and pans but when it came to editing it she wasn't happy.

I am now doing a second edit with a list of timecode changes.. very gruelling and lesson learnt as I hadn't stipulated any extra costs to my extra editing.

I am glad to hear it isn't just me!

:)
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Old February 2nd, 2014, 06:26 AM   #11
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Re: Good examples of Event Videpgraphy

Hi Diana

The main reason to always shoot wide for dance teachers is that they have no interest in individual dancers within a group. They purely want to see how they perform as they were taught and whether they performers have kept to the instructors instructions... nothing more. Shoot the whole group start to end as a whole and teacher will be delighted even if it looks boring to you. 2 cameras of course helps here as the "teacher's copy" will just be from camera 1 and the mummy's copies will have both.

If you did use two cameras then simply delete all the closeups and teacher will be satisfied!

Yeah, I try not to take on dance recitals either ..much too boring!!

Chris
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Old February 2nd, 2014, 10:54 AM   #12
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Re: Good examples of Event Videpgraphy

Same problem arises when doing shoots for colleges/education, where they want the video as evidence - so it has to show everyone, all of the time. Oddly, it matters little if their faces are then indistinct - because the teacher knows which one is which and that's all that matters. Very odd!
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Old February 2nd, 2014, 06:07 PM   #13
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Re: Good examples of Event Videpgraphy

As noted, you may be looking at two "edits" - one that's just a "boring" wide safety shot, and another that has your close ups, pans, etc. I think this is why so many of us have "too many" cameras - we know that for live events, you need several angle options at capture time to get the most watchable end result in the edit.

One possible solution would be to include both "versions" on one disk, or have separate disks. Sort of a "teachers (un) cut" and a "director's cut" editions!

I know there are some features with alternative views and such, but those require user intervention while watching, and are probably too much trouble...
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