Filming Conferences, Lectures and other live events

Filming Conferences, Lectures and other live events

Filming live events, limitations
Because the event is live, we will film as best we can under the circumstances, but, we do not get second takes, etc., so some imperfections are unavoidable due to background sounds, poor lighting, limitations on camera placement, etc. Plan a brief pause between speakers for a microphone change, and film (tape) change.

Different rules of etiquette may apply when filming live events. Attendees may not want to be on film for numerous reasons. In general, film only the speaker; don't film the audience without explicit instructions and permission. At the beginning of the event, the Master of Ceremonies should mention that the event is being filmed, and the camera is filming the speaker not the audience. Of course, under certain circumstances, for example, if there is a question and answer session, you will want to film the audience. At any time, the client, or the speaker, may request that the filming be stopped.

Cell phone interference
The M.C. should request attendees turn off their mobile phones (not just silence them) each time they convene. Silenced mobile phones may interfere with audio. Other audio interference, for example, from electronics outside the room, may be unavoidable.

Filming should not interfere with the speaker or distract the participants.

Location scouting
If at all possible, the client and filmmaker should scout the location in advance, at the same time of day that the shoot will take place. Where are the electrical outlets? How is the lighting? Are there windows? Is the sun shining on the speaker from behind? Are there curtains, and can they be shut? Do the lights make noise or flicker? Does the ventilation, or other equipment or activity make noise? Can doors be shut? Murphy's Law applies here.

Giving your filmmaker good direction
Provide the filmmaker with the most detailed schedule possible, and be sure to notify the filmmaker of changes to the schedule. The filmmaker will use his best judgment to get the most useful footage possible. You can help tremendously by giving the filmmaker good direction.

If the video is going to tape, the speaker may want to pause briefly for tape changeover hourly.

Arranging for special footage
If there is an opportunity to get additional footage, such as private interviews during lectures breaks, or Gramma before the wedding, plan ahead and arrange for these.

 "B Roll"
Think ahead to plan what kinds of additional footage you might want, such as shots of all the attendees at the banquet, brief interview with the honorees, exhibitors, etc.

Breakout sessions
If there are concurrent breakout sessions, choose which you most want to be filmed.

Still photos
You may find additional still photos invaluable for your video project. Plan to hire a photographer, or ask a volunteer to get still photos, for instance, of honorees.

Filming PowerPoint presentations
How you want to film a PowerPoint depends on various factors including whether or not the slides convey information not conveyed by the speaker, whether the text is sufficient size to be legible, and whether the room lighting is sufficient to see the speaker, number of slides, and how smooth or fast the pan and zoom from speaker to slides. Most often, video quality is much improved by inserting the PowerPoint images in post-production, though this can be time consuming, i.e., expensive. Be sure to get the PowerPoint presentation on disk for future use.

In general specialty lighting is not required since newer video cams perform very well using just available (ambient) light. However, look out for lights that flicker or buzz.

If you have a sound system, plug directly in to it to minimize background noises. You may need to ask your audio guy's permission. If you don't have a sound system, put a wireless microphone on the speaker.

In some urban settings, a wired microphone is preferable to wireless, since some electronic devices may interfere with wireless transmission, including mobile phones in silent mode, and radio frequencies used by some emergency services.

Meals and Perks
If you will be serving meals, arrange to feed the filmmaker, and to serve the filmmaker early, first, late, or to go, depending on circumstances. Often the filmmaker barely has time to enjoy a meal. Filming a conference is not attending and participating at a conference, so the conference itself is not a 'perk'.

Conference Organizer retains all rights
Make sure your filmmaker will not release any footage without your express written permission.

Permission to release short segments
If you give permission to others to release film segments, be sure to agree in advance to specific wording of on-screen credits.

Delivery of Master DVD's
Be sure to keep a set of "raw" (unedited) master DVD's, for your archives, and for your future use. Check these DVD's immediately for completeness and report any deficiency promptly. Retain the original master tape cassettes for safety.

Post-production editing
Once you have reviewed the raw footage, you will have a clearer idea of what is needed in post-production. Unless post-production is minimal, negotiate post-production separately.

Make the best use of your video once it is live.
For further information, see DanShaw.com

1 comment:

Filmyourevent said...

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