Shooting a hip-hop show this Saturday - tips? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 10th, 2006, 01:11 AM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Warren, Michigan, USA
Posts: 96
Shooting a hip-hop show this Saturday - tips?

I've hooked up with a local promoter of rap music shows - in other words, I've sold my soul to the devil. I will be shooting a show at a well-known club in Pontiac, MI this weekend, featuring (hang onto your hats!) someone who once was Kid Rock's DJ, back when Kid Rock was a rapper instead of an ersatz southern rocker. To put it mildly, I'm not a fan of today's hip-hop, but as long as the check clears, I really don't care. Hey, I'm going to meet someone who knows Eminem - that's kinda cool, isn't it? The whole deal was sealed with a handshake - I've known the guy for three years, for what that's worth.

Anyhow, this guy puts out a video magazine on DVD, and I'm assuming the production duties in exchange for a percentage of sales, and I will be paid for all shoots on the spot in cash (yay!). I'll be shooting with the PD-150 as the primary cam, the promoter will have my Panasonic PV-GS120 (and my light) as cam 2, and I'm dredging up my old JVC 1-chip (w/bad audio head) as a stationary cam 3, plus I'll be recording a board feed to my Fostex MR-8. (I may use my Sony Hi-8 relic, model CCD-TRV72, for cam 3 instead.) Yes, I get to bring all my stuff into a somewhat crime-ridden area on a Saturday night and stick around until after 2:00 am - yay me!

So what's the scoop on recording a concert/music show? I'm giving him my Sony twin-lamp light for my Panny because I'm pretty sure I can get by without it, and I'm not all that concerned about cam 3 - the only time I'd need to use a shot from it would be when neither of us has a decent shot. He gets my crappy Best Buy tripod, I'll use either (or both) my tripod/dolly combo or my newly acquired monopod (it's true! You either have a monopod or you need one). I know there's a button marked "spotlight" on the 150 - what exactly does it do? I have a pretty good idea, but I'd like to know if I should really use it.

This arrangement has a lot of potential - he needs a videographer who actually knows what he's doing, and I need another income stream. Yes, the rap/hip-hop world is full of bulls*** promises that never get fulfilled, and I'm treating this as nothing more than an encouraging development. But, once again, if any of y'all have some pointers on how best to handle this first shoot, I'll be eternally in your debt, especially if this thing sells well.
John Harmon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 10th, 2006, 07:13 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 2,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Harmon
But, once again, if any of y'all have some pointers on how best to handle this first shoot, I'll be eternally in your debt, especially if this thing sells well.
The first thing I would do is spend the next however much time you have watching rap videos on MTV or whatever it's called in your area. Watch the angles and such, a lot of what I see in this type of genre is 'in your face' type of stuff. So I'd be asking how much 'in your face' type of shots they want as opposed to wide shots. Many of the sideways and crooked type of stuff can be done in post, but some of the closeups need to be done right there on stage.

The next think I would ask for is a sound track of ever piece of that audio. And if they are lip syncing, well, get that too.

Honestly, if you're comfortable with the risk of not having a contract, then I wouldn't povide one final product until some type of deposit or first earnings are in. But that's just me, I don't even tie my shoes without a collective barganing agreement.

Back on the music side, it might be very helpful to meet all the actors, musicians singers etc, I know this has helped me get comfortable with large groups that you will be around.

And finally, I'd have fun at it. It may not be your taste of music, but it certainly will be a challenge for you to buy into the style to produce the best video that matches what they are projecting.


Steven
__________________
What happens if I push the 'Red' button?
Steven Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 10th, 2006, 08:49 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Jupiter, FL
Posts: 565
My suggestion would be to get half of the money up front the day of the shoot. Also do not hand over a finished product until you get paid. Whether you know the guy or not. This will save you in the end. Many a "friendships" have ended over business. Just watch your back. This is the difference between business and friendships. If you both agree and you are doing the work, you need to make sure you get paid in the end. It's nothing personal it's just business. I also agree to watch a lot of BET, MTV and look at how those video's are shot and edited. MAke notes and it will help you on location. Good Luck

Mark
Mark Bournes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 10th, 2006, 10:16 AM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 2,965
But don't show up in your retro 80's M.C. Hammer balloon pants. That would probably not be hip. :}
__________________
What happens if I push the 'Red' button?
Steven Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 10th, 2006, 12:12 PM   #5
ChorizoSmells
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Osaka, Japan
Posts: 424
You must get there early while they are sound checking and talk to the lighting staff and make sure you have enough light. Clubs tend to have dark lighting, especially on the DJ's. I shot a hip hop show at a club here, Afrika Bambataa was spinning and I just had a camera on him and the video was being projected throughout the club. It was a little on the dark side but I had the gain and shutter adjusted so it was okay. I shoot with a Canon XL-2.

I would have the wide camera from the back of the club on a tripod and the others I would use handheld. Using headphones will also help in making sure the audio from your camera is being isn't peaking, plus, it will be loud up near the stage and it will be better for your ears to be wearing headphones.

Make sure to bring extra shirts, being up under the stage lighting gets pretty hot and after the show you will probably be drenched in sweat, extra socks are nice too, I always carry extra clothing so after the show I can change, especially now that summer is here.

I agree with the money issues, don't give any tapes untill you get paid, even if they say they will pay you tomorrow, then you give them the tapes tomorrow. I know some people who play that game and they always end up getting new people to tape their events. Once they have the tapes, they won't need to pay you, the club/event world is risky for video work unless you are dealing with big companies. I stopped doing club video work a long time ago because most of the organizers kept trying to get something for nothing, now I only do work for a couple of organizers that I know very well and I know they won't try to rip me off. They pay me before the event even happens.

Also get something in writing and so if anything does go wrong, you have something that will hold up in court.

I'm also wary of people who offer me a percentage of sales in exchange for a fee, I'm much rather get paid up front for my work and not have to worry about asking them every couple of weeks how many units were sold and when can I get my check. The old line of sorry, but we haven't sold many units and so I can't pay you right now will surely come up. Having your pay depend on their sales is not a very good thing unless you have another regular day job and can wait awhile on getting paid.

As soon as I hear that line about the percentage I tell them my fee and if they can't pay it then I don't even bother with them, they always tell you it's a good chance for bigger and better things. But if they are serious about business then they will have the money to pay you.

Just remember to get everything in writing so that way there is no chance for miscommunication and you both know how much you will be paid and when. A handshake is a bad way to seal a deal, if something goes wrong it will be his word against yours and in the end, business is business so start off on the right foot. Any businessman will not object to a written contract, it also offers protection for himself, it's the ones who refuse to make one and rely only on a handshake are the ones to look out for.

Lastly, have fun and good luck, I love live event filming, especially live music, even though you see the rehearsal, anything can happen during the live show and I like that unpredictable atmosphere.
__________________
ChorizoSmells Video
Barrio Tamatsukuri, Osaka, JAPAN
Rik Sanchez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 10th, 2006, 03:19 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 419
QUOTE-I'm also wary of people who offer me a percentage of sales in exchange for a fee, I'm much rather get paid up front for my work and not have to worry about asking them every couple of weeks how many units were sold and when can I get my check. The old line of sorry, but we haven't sold many units and so I can't pay you right now will surely come up. Having your pay depend on their sales is not a very good thing unless you have another regular day job and can wait awhile on getting paid.

As soon as I hear that line about the percentage I tell them my fee and if they can't pay it then I don't even bother with them, they always tell you it's a good chance for bigger and better things. But if they are serious about business then they will have the money to pay you.

From Me- this is so true!!!!! A LOT of Hollywood wannabee's and low budget Producers as for help from crew and talent on a deferred payment basis- THIS IS A SCAM!!! I have NEVER heard of anyone getting paid this way...EVER. I work in Television and have declined to work for many who offer this type of payment. It is just a way for the low budget producer to get FREE HELP.
Get payment before handing over the tapes...
Joe Allen Rosenberger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 10th, 2006, 04:02 PM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Elk Grove CA
Posts: 6,838
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Harmon

I know there's a button marked "spotlight" on the 150 - what exactly does it do? I have a pretty good idea, but I'd like to know if I should really use it.
With the PD 150, I'd just shoot manual. The "spotlight" selection just modifies exposure in an automatic mode, if I recall. Use zebras to adjust to save highlights as much as possible.

With the Panny 120, I'm not sure how good your "Buddy" is, but manual exposure is menu driven, and a pain. You might try auto exposure for him, and try the back light approach. I won't be worth much in dim areas, unless your lights are going... might upset some hipsters... :)
__________________
Chris J. Barcellos
Chris Barcellos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 10th, 2006, 11:17 PM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Warren, Michigan, USA
Posts: 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Davis
But don't show up in your retro 80's M.C. Hammer balloon pants. That would probably not be hip. :}
Heck, I never owned a pair! I was a classic rock/oldies guy even in the 80's (I'm 44 now). That entire decade had almost nothing to offer me...but I digress...

The deal we made was that I'd be paid for the shoot at the end of the night, and if not, I'll simply take the tapes home until such time as I am paid. I'm handling the editing anyway, so the tapes will probably go with me no matter what. Believe me, I know how people in the business can be - I've been a DJ for 20 years, which is how I hooked up with this guy in the first place. The bar where I work used to host these live shows, and I handled their "instrumental" tracks and the final mix to the sound system.

I'm not exactly making any money sitting on my a** waiting for June (when I have 5 weddings), so I'll take what I can get. I've already gotten the "this guy is about to break nationwide" spiel, to which I say, nice if it happens, but I'm not planning my future around it. The important thing is, if it works out, this guy can keep me working in the winter/early spring.

Thanks for the tips so far. I'll probably leave the Panny in full auto mode for him, as well as cam 3. The audio quality from these cams isn't too important; it just needs to be good enough to sync the tapes. I'll certainly use the headphones, if nothing else for hearing protection. That deep bass they use wreaks havoc on the audio track - I'm going through some of his old Hi-8 tapes and the sound is atrocious in spots. Among other things, the AGC made the levels "pump" really bad with the bass hits, and it obliterated the vocals. I don't think there's much, if anything, I can do about that. That's not to mention the fact that the date/time is burned into the tapes (why, oh why did he do that?). I'll have to cover that up with his logo.

This weekend ought to be interesting...
John Harmon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 15th, 2006, 03:32 PM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Warren, Michigan, USA
Posts: 96
Had a blast doing this. It was one of those kinds of events with valet parking and bouncers standing outside at the velvet ropes, and you don't get in unless you're on the list. The guy didn't tell me there'd be 20 bikini models there, too! Much of the footage we got was priceless, and I began editing the actual music show portion yesterday. I'm thinking about putting up a clip on YouTube - if I do, I'd better warn y'all that it would contain strong language and scantily-clad women dancing provocatively onstage (at a hip-hop show? Nawww... ;) ).

The camera setup worked great. I went handheld with the Sony, the Panasonic w/light gave my buddy footage that was nearly as good (I'm telling you, that's the best consumer cam you can buy), and the ol' JVC was good enough for what we needed it for. I hadn't even powered that thing on in over a year.

Doing another one a week from Wednesday...
John Harmon is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:52 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network