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

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Old February 18th, 2016, 12:33 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Eugene Oregon
Posts: 393
Where would you place the cameras?

Here is a clip from a dance recital that I recently produced a video for-

We used a three camera, live switched set up for shooting this. For audio we used both our own mics, feeding into a dedicated audio board for the video, and a feed from the venue's sound system.

Unfortunately, I minor miscommunication caused a couple headaches- Typically we like to have at least three hours to set up the cameras, fly pack, run cables, and test everything before the show. This is stated in my contract. In this case, the client was not aware of that requirement, having only reserved the venue 90 minutes before the show. Even then, the facilities manager for the venue had something else going on across town, so we had less than an hour to set everything up. There was no time to run checks, or play around with positioning of cameras. It was a scramble to get everything in place before the show started.

Considering all this, I'm pretty pleased still with how things turned out. I wish we had more time to figure out the placement of the third camera, the one near the stage. From its location the corner of the safety barrier on the walk leading to the stage is a bit visible in almost every shot. There was no other place readily obvious to place the camera without blocking foot traffic. Additionally, the wide shot camera I think could of been a bit tighter and still have been okay. If we had more time, I think we could have set things up a bit better.

So, my question is, if you were doing a show like this where would you place the cameras and how would you organize the shots. I should note that I only work with two camera operators and I handle the live switching/audio mixing. If you were to add in a fourth camera, where would you put it?
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