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Old November 2nd, 2006, 11:29 AM   #1
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Filming the President

I don't know if this will get bumped from the wedding threads or not, because it doesn't have anything to do with weddings, but here goes...

President Bush will be speaking at a rally in my town tomorrow and the man who will be giving the invocation is chancellor at a college. The college is having me film the whole event as an archive video for them. So, here I am, fairly new to this videography game, filming the President of the Untied States!

Becuase I work in radio as well as my video company, I will permitted to shoot as a member of the media. Basically, here's the set-up info I've gotten:
Main Camera Platform
Indoor TV Quality Lighting
50' Throw
400 ft. Cable Run
Audio Mult-Box
Power Available

I'm assuming 50' throw means the camera platform will be 50 feet from the speakers' platform. As far as the audio mult-box, I don't know what kind of output jacks it will have, but I'll need to be prepared to have some adapters on hand if they are not XLR outputs.

I'll be shooting with two PD170's, and I'll probably place them side by side, one for a wider shot of the entire platform, and one for tight shots.

I really don't want to blow this event, so if anybody has any sugestions for shooting, set-up, audio, etc... I would really appreciate it!

-Thanks
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 12:24 PM   #2
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Any chance you can hide an mp3 recorder with a windscreen on the podium?
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 12:29 PM   #3
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Any chance you can hide an mp3 recorder with a windscreen on the podium?

Secret Service wont allow that. You'll have to plug into the mult box for audio which has xlr inputs, make sure you find out if it's mic, or line feed. It may also have 1/4 in inputs, but bring adapters just in case.
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 03:39 PM   #4
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I would think the 'audio multi box' is what is commonly referred to as a 'press box' meaning it has generally 2 XLR inputs for the podium mics and up to 12 XLR ouputs that the various newsstations can run back to their cameras so you don't have a bunch of mics on the podium. So an XLR cable of appropriate length would be in order. Connect to one of the outputs and run it to one of your cameras plug it in and now you've got audio. A 50 ft throw sounds like the platform would be 50 feet back from the podium. I done a few policital rallys and it gets kind of crowded with cameras so prepared to possibly get bumped a bit but it sounds like a decent way to shoot the job.

Good luck

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Old November 2nd, 2006, 07:20 PM   #5
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Guess you've now got a hell of an addition to your reel! ;-)

Maybe afterward you can see if he'll re-enact parts of the speech while you get behind him for a high shot with your fisheye lens?
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 10:35 PM   #6
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Hopefully it won't be too traumatic an experience. At least you can string together a good blooper reel. Good luck!
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 08:06 AM   #7
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Well, I went this morning and set up with all the news crews. Then the Secret Service had us leave the area so they could make a security sweep. I wasn't entirely thrilled about leaving all my gear there. I'm supposed go back in an hour.

Don, you were exactly right in how you described the mult box. Very simple set up. And yes, I'm anticipating getting bumped a bit in the crowd.

James, I'll talk to the prez and see if he'd be willing to accommodate me on re-enacting some of the speech. Maybe I'll offer to cut him a deal on one of his daughters' wedding video!

Michelle...Do I detect a bit of displeasure with "The Chief"?

I'll be heading over there in a few minutes. I'll report on how it went later on. Thanks for all the comments, folks!
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 03:13 PM   #8
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Cool - can't wait to hear how it goes.
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Old November 5th, 2006, 09:56 PM   #9
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How did it go?
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Old November 6th, 2006, 08:04 AM   #10
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Sorry, folks, for the delay on an update. I was away from my computer all weekend. (I almost forgot what that felt like!)

The Presidential event went really well. Security was extremely tight. Once I got back to the venue after the Secret Service made their security sweep, and after I was filed through metal detectors and "wanded" by a security officer, I was escorted to the "press pit"--three risers in the middle of the arena, gated off from the rest of the crowd. I was told by a Secret Service agent that I was not permitted to leave the press area unescorted. So if I had to pee, an agent would escort me to the john. (I was afraid they would stand there and observe me doing my business, so I just held it! But I felt pretty important that my bodily functions were suddenly a matter of national security!)

Anyway, once the rally started, everything went exceptionally well with the taping. The audio from the mult box sounded very good. Lighting was great. I didn't get too crowded on the press platform. The only problem with the risers was that they weren't as sturdy as I would have liked. So when people walked on them, my cameras shook just a bit. Oh well.

I kept a tight shot on the Prez with one camera and used my other camera (sitting side by side) for a wider shot. I haven't done much editing on the tape because I'm backed up with other projects. But hopefully I can post a clip when I get it ready.

Overall, it was a lot of fun. Whether you're a "Dubya" supporter or not, it's not very often that the President of the United States comes to town, and it's pretty neat to see how the whole thing works. I can't really explain it, but it really does make you proud of the office of the President and proud of our country.

It will be one of those things I can show my kids when they're older, and I'm glad I got to do it.
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Old November 6th, 2006, 08:08 AM   #11
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Dave, Glad you enjoyed the experience, I did the same thing many times when Clinton was in office. I agree it is a good experience.
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Old November 6th, 2006, 10:48 AM   #12
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not every day is it, that you can say "I shot the President"!
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Old November 6th, 2006, 06:23 PM   #13
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The secret service has got their eye on you now, Richard...a new file has been started with your name on it. ;)
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Old November 7th, 2006, 01:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Wakefield
not every day is it, that you can say "I shot the President"!
Heh...

Now, imagine, if you will, if the title of this thread was "Shooting the President", instead of "Filming the President". =)
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Old November 7th, 2006, 02:10 PM   #15
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Gotta hate the still guys on those risers!
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