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  • Writer's pictureJed Villareal

Filming Advice for Live Events

No script was written, no retakes were allowed, and the shooting timetable was not necessarily set in stone. Filming a live event requires flexibility that might be taxing if you're not ready for the unexpected.

With at least two manned cameras, our most successful live shooting projects have been conferences and music events. Unfortunately, we failed to seize opportunities and committed blunders but ultimately emerged victorious. In this piece, I'd like to discuss some things we've learned that have improved our ability to plan and carry out a live shot.

Although these suggestions may seem apparent, they are essential if you want to have a stress-free session and be able to put all of your energy into being creative and making each photo flawless.

In Which Place:

After a survey on the venue in advance, you should position yourself to get as close as possible to the action and get the best possible sound and visuals. The best coverage would include wide shots from a distance and close-ups of the move. Since the spectator will be presented more directly with the expressions of the participants, a close image carries more emotional weight.

Yet, a wide shot provides more information about the event, such as how many people are present, where it is located, etc. The wide shot is often known as the establishing shot since it establishes where the action will occur. You should bring two cameras, one to place at the room's rear on a lock off while you film with your hands-free up front.

The Target:

Filming a live event requires careful planning to ensure viewers receive the most informative footage possible. These are some potential photos to take at the function. Modify it to meet your requirements.

Take close-ups of the event's speakers, performers, and hosts from a steady vantage point.

Supporting your narrative with visuals (B-roll) can be effective. Shoot various shots and get as much b-roll footage as possible from the live event. These improvised sequences of images will "cover" any pauses in action or dialogue in the final cut without feeling forced or out of place.

In vox-pops, a reporter and cameraperson approach a random person on the street and ask for their opinion on a topic of current interest. You can interrogate them briefly about the event and their attendance, as well as anything more privately related to their support for the cause.

Light and color temperature:

Find out what lighting the venue offers; if you need more, you'll need to see if you can bring in your own. First, see how it appears in the camera's viewfinder; our eyes can't adjust to different lighting conditions as well as a camera can. You'll also want to check that your camera is appropriately capturing color. If you're using more than one camera, you may adjust the white balance by placing a piece of white card or paper in front of each lens to ensure they all see the same color.

See the Timetable Here:

Speak with whoever is in charge of the event to find out as much information as possible about the set times/schedule. Even if they only have a rough idea, some things are set in stone. For example, at a wedding, the bride & groom are expected to be at the church and the reception/after party at certain times. Knowing these times lets you plan how long certain parts of the day will take and how best to utilize your tapes or card space.

By speaking to the client, you can discuss what you expect from each other. For example, the client may want you to capture certain aspects of the event, and you will need to tell the client what you require and how you plan to operate. From this discussion, you can formulate and alter a schedule to fit both parties' requirements.

Make a Checklist:

The last thing you want is to turn up at a venue and realize you need to remember a vital piece of kit (like the base plate for a tripod!. it happens!). So ensure you have everything prepared:

  • Cameras/lights/tripods/sound kit in working order

  • Enough blank tapes/cards + spares

  • Charged batteries + spares

More important than anything, BE OBSERVANT, look around, watch people, and anticipate what they may do next. Being on the ball and observing your surroundings will aid you in the success of your shoot and may nail you that magnificent shot that no one else saw! These tips on live event filming prove useful and help relieve some of the day's stress so you have more room to focus on creativity.

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