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Old April 19th, 2006, 07:38 AM   #1
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Possible to film live music gig with one camera?

I'm planning on offering this service to bands, where I can film an entire set (forty five minutes at roughly $60 including editing) on a VX2100 using sound recorded straight from the mixing desk or a single track using a pre-recorded song as audio dubbing. Either option outputted to a DVD, a CD with various formats and a Mini-DV tape.

One of my friends wrote to me saying:

Captain Stu has used a company called Full Stop productions for our previous filming and doing most of what you have quoted for including taking sound from the desk etc... we were charged R600 ($120) for the use of 3 cameras for 2 hours of filming at our lanuch and then on top of that an extra R200 ($40) for editing. They also had it done within 2 weeks and we got 8 copies on DVD and other formats for internet etc....so here are some of my thought on if you want to be competative;

I think the filming of one live song and dubbing with a recorded track price is spot on but i think you should look again at your full set prices, then remember that you are using only one camera so when it comes to editing its going to look very different from if you filmed with 3 cameras and have multiple angles...


Should I maybe scrap this entire service altogether? Or is possible to film a good looking video with one camera using lots of cutaways to replace the unusable video between moving from one positition to another?

I could use cutaways of shots of the venue and crowd shots taken before their performance (if I'm filimg a full set)...Crowd shots from other bands even to splice into another band's performance. Is it possible to get crowd shots during the actual performance? If I focused the camera on the crowd, I'd be losing shots of the band and there'd be a break in sync between audio and video, so I think it's best to use earlier crowd shots for cutaways...I think it would be a lot easier to film single songs with a pre-recorded audio track then an entire set...Should I scrap the full set service?

Any advice is appreciated!
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Old April 19th, 2006, 08:15 AM   #2
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You can shoot with one camera and getting earlier or later shots of crowd, venue, etc. is a good idea for cutaways. At the very least, I would advise you to invest in a separate sound recording device which can serve as a continuous audio track during cutaway shots from your 'main angle'. The audio track should be recorded from a tape out stereo pair on the mixing console.

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Old April 19th, 2006, 08:34 AM   #3
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Yeah, I'd be recording straight to my laptop from the mixer. If filming an entire set, is it not advisable to film shots of the crowd during the actual performance? I can imagine that by doing this, there'll be less clean footage of the band to use to edit against the audio track.
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Old April 19th, 2006, 08:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aviv Hallale
If filming an entire set, is it not advisable to film shots of the crowd during the actual performance?
If you do, what will you use for cutaway while you are repositioning the camera to and from the crowd shots?

A pre or post crowd shot would give you a clean cutaway to and from main camera angle because there won't be loss of recording time for camera movement. Another good cutaway shot would be to have a head shot of one of the musicians just playing and not singing. You could throw that over any song as long as the lighting is the same and you won't know what song the facial expression belongs with. Perhaps taping single camera over multiple performances by the same band in the same venue can give you the coverage of alternate angles you need for a clean edit.

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Old April 19th, 2006, 09:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aviv Hallale
...using sound recorded straight from the mixing desk or a single track using a pre-recorded song as audio dubbing.
Most likely they will not be playing the song at EXACTLY the same tempo as the studio track. You'd have to do A LOT of cuts to make it work.

Also, sound engineers are incredibly grumpy, and most won't let you have a line out of their soundboard. You will need the band to specifically instruct them to do it, and guarantee it. Let them know that if you don't get a main mix line, the audio won't sound good.

In a case like that, if you can't multi-track it, what I would do it get some sort of a recorder that has at least two inputs. Put the line out of the board into one channel, and set up an ambient mic for channel two, then do a mix later to make it sound natural.


I've done this quite a bit for the band I do a lot of work for.

Shooting with one camera at a live event is tough. I usually just do it so the band can see and hear themselves, or to gather footage for DVDs. It's tough to make anything useable with one camera.

Imagine if you cut to a scene of the crowd in the middle of the song. What about the lights? They aren't going to match, and it will be quite obvious I think.

I'm not trying to discourage you, just offer a few other things to think about what you're getting into. Working with rock bands is some of the most fun work I do, but it's frustrating at times as well.

Good luck!!
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Old April 19th, 2006, 09:30 AM   #6
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Cool, thanks...What kind of audio recorder would you use? I was going to use my laptop, the realized it doesn't have a line-in and I can't seem to find an external audio adapter for cheap.
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Old April 19th, 2006, 10:51 AM   #7
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I wouldn't do it with fewer than 2 cameras (unless you do like Wade mentioned, just for the band to view)
One camera mounted, set on a wide shot of the band (hung from the ceiling would work best) and one hand held, or on sticks in a good location to get closeups, both cameras running all the time, and the cut together in post.

you could get a board mix to the stationary camera, and use the other for wild sound. I know in my old band, the only things that went thru the board were vocals and my sax, drums were unmiked, guitars, bass and keys used their own amps.

and your price seems very very low. you're not just working during the set, but have set up and break down, and then editing...
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Old April 19th, 2006, 11:12 AM   #8
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At least do one static wide angle for cutaways, and manned camera for closeups.

By the way, all that for $60.00 ? If it is $60 USD, that wouldn't buy gas to get to the gig, and a McDonalds hamburger. When you start enditing 2 cams, I figure 3 to 5 hours of work. Let's see, 1.5 hours travel to and from venue, set up and breakdown, 1.5 conservatively, 1 hour to shoot. Thats about 8 hours-- $ 7.50 per hour... is that a good wage ?
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Old April 19th, 2006, 11:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aviv Hallale
Cool, thanks...What kind of audio recorder would you use? I was going to use my laptop, the realized it doesn't have a line-in and I can't seem to find an external audio adapter for cheap.
I have a Creative Labs USB sound card that has line in, Mic in, optical in and out, and would do the trick. About $60.00 US, as I recall. Could go IRiver or Minidisc for recorder too.
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Old April 19th, 2006, 12:08 PM   #10
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Aviv - you need to multiply your price by at least a factor of 10!!! When you add up all the time you'll spend on the whole project and divide that into $60 or even $100 you're only going to be making minumum wage, less than you'd earn flippinig hamburgers. And cameras, mics, etc don't buy themselves - you gotta pay for their purchase or replacement as well as your own pocket money
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Old April 19th, 2006, 01:04 PM   #11
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Well, this is a small part of the business service I'm offering. I'd like to specialize in full narrative music video production. Also, most of these bands are relatively small and I don't think they'd be able to pay high fees...I am charging almost 50% of a company that uses three camera's fee...

I have a VHS-C camera which I've been using for a long time...Should I use that as my static camera? I'd be using the main camera for hand-held shots though that are more dynamic for a live video than tripod shots...(which would also take time to set up when moving about)
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Old April 19th, 2006, 01:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aviv Hallale
Well, this is a small part of the business service I'm offering. I'd like to specialize in full narrative music video production. Also, most of these bands are relatively small and I don't think they'd be able to pay high fees...I am charging almost 50% of a company that uses three camera's fee...

I have a VHS-C camera which I've been using for a long time...Should I use that as my static camera? I'd be using the main camera for hand-held shots though that are more dynamic for a live video than tripod shots...(which would also take time to set up when moving about)
You could use the VHS but I don't think it would intercut well with the DV - too much difference in the image quality.

You really need to run some numbers. for a 45 minute finished product I don't see how you could do it in less than around 20 hours of total time involved when you take into account planning, setup, prepping the music for playback, shooting, capturing, editing, etc etc etc. Are you really willing to work for $2.00 to $3.00 per hour????
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Old April 19th, 2006, 01:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aviv Hallale
Well, this is a small part of the business service I'm offering. I'd like to specialize in full narrative music video production. Also, most of these bands are relatively small and I don't think they'd be able to pay high fees...I am charging almost 50% of a company that uses three camera's fee...

I have a VHS-C camera which I've been using for a long time...Should I use that as my static camera? I'd be using the main camera for hand-held shots though that are more dynamic for a live video than tripod shots...(which would also take time to set up when moving about)
Just possibly could work if edited and corrected right. Step 1 to capture, then start working on sharpness, contrast, color to see if you can get it close. Obviously wouldn't want it up to long. Maybe use as Picture in Picture.. with other cutaways.
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Old April 19th, 2006, 02:39 PM   #14
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A lot will depend upon the venue.. most are dark or poorly lit, and while the stage may be lit, if they wander off they drop off into never never land.

As other's have said you really need to run some numbers, realistic numbers, the key word you used was "business." when I did production work for others I used to charge an average $1,000 per finished minute of product and that is still the estimate I use. (most of my video production is on my day gig where I am on salary, I do some for myself and Voice overs for others)
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Old April 19th, 2006, 03:42 PM   #15
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Yeah, but I like I said, this is for small (teenage/early 20s) bands...And a company that did a three camera shoot only charged $180. They'll obviously see 3 camera's as getting a better result, and $180 is still affordable. Also, I'm giving you $ conversions, three hundred and fifty rand to a sixteen year has more value than $60 would, if that makes sense. Also, it's more penetrative pricing...When I get more confident and reputable, I'll raise prices.

I've been using that VHS-C cam for 4 years and I really want to get as far away from it as possible, the VX2100 will be the first DV cam I'll be getting and I really don't want to work with a cheap camera again...Ever. Also, simply having such a camera would really lose any professional image I try project, in my opinion.
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