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Old March 27th, 2006, 03:26 PM   #1
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Filming school musicals. Any suggestions?

I have a school musical to film on Thursday. I have never done this so I was wondering on what ideas or suggestions you guys can help with. Like as far as camera angles ect. Do you just set up in the back and say the hell with it or should I utilize two cameras with one in the back and me getting closeup shots. Thanks.
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Old March 27th, 2006, 03:43 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Brickner Jr
I have a school musical to film on Thursday. I have never done this so I was wondering on what ideas or suggestions you guys can help with. Like as far as camera angles ect. Do you just set up in the back and say the hell with it or should I utilize two cameras with one in the back and me getting closeup shots. Thanks.
I generally shoot one wide in back and one on the side for closeups and cutaways.
I normally film the last dress reheasal with one or both cameras, then record one of the final performances to get prep shots and additional closeup footage.

Attending the rehearsal is good for 2 reasons:
1. It gives you an idea of the lighting sound and shot selection.
2. Let's you see if you have good footage already, and then just relax and take additional shots for what I like to call sweetening shots, to enhance your final product.
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Old March 27th, 2006, 10:45 PM   #3
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I do it a little more complicated, but you have the right idea. I use a video mixer, 4 cameras and intercom to the camera ops and take an audio feed from the board.

If I were doing a 2 camera shoot like you describe, I would assign one camera to move between "Stage-Wide and "Action-Wide" meaning either covering the entire stage if there are a lot of performers or wild action, dancing etc or if there are 1-4 performers interacting on one part of the stage, frame the shot for full body of all the actors and be ready to move. The other camera can get medium to close-up shots. If you have an audio feed or a good microphone, link it to the close up camera - since it will be important to have good lip sync.

Be sure to get a few audience shots - listening attentitively, clapping, laughing - those shots can cover a lot of sins if you have to cover awkward camera movement.

Shoot the dress rehearsal, then review your tapes immediately so you can go back during one of the performance nights and get an important shot you missed the first time. (I once did West Side Story and didn't switch cameras in time to see Tony get shot! We heard the shot, but didn't see Chico (the shooter) or see Tony fall! Since my daughter was Maria, I wanted it to be perfect - so I went back the next night, got Chico climbing on the fire escape, and shooting Tony. Edited in using the gunshot as the sinc point and no one knew!

Good luck with it - I have now done about 8 or 9 shows for the highschool and really enjoy it. I don't charge, but because I have a Switcher, I can show a near finished product during the cast party. The look on the kid's faces when they see themselves on screen for the first time is worth all the effort!
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Old March 28th, 2006, 05:18 AM   #4
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Lots of good ideas in our "sticky thread" here:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=60275
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Old March 28th, 2006, 01:21 PM   #5
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Thanks guys. Thursday is parents night so its a closed performance. I was going to get most of the necessary shot that night and get any follow up shots on the Sat performance.
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