Filming a Live Event
September 5th 2014
One of the many services we offer here at Echo Video is filming a live event. This includes a whole range of events including meetings, conferences, seminars, graduation ceremonies, comedy shows and most commonly, live music performances. These gigs are often some of the most complicated to produce due to the levels of co-ordination required to organise everyone and everything.
It all starts with a meeting and a site recce. It’s vital we get a to see the venue before we have to film there. This gives us a chance to work out the best angles, deal with any potential issues and meet with technical staff who can help resolve any problems. It also allows us time to discuss ideas with the client about how they want the event filmed, how many cameras, the style and substance of the final video.
Despite having checked out the venue before the day of filming we always insist on arriving at a location well in advance of the start of the event. This gives us time to adjust for any last minute changes to the venue or event and also means that our cameras are in place and out of the way before any guests or audience members start to arrive.
An often overlooked aspect of live event filming is the sound. There are a couple of ways to approach this – either we can take a feed from the sound desk into a camera or audio recording device or we can bring in an outside company to solely focus on recording, editing and mixing the sound. This is obviously the preferred option as you will end up with a higher quality and more polished final product, however, either one is miles ahead of simply relying on the onboard camera sound as it will be awful!
At last we get to the fun part. All our camera operators and in position and ready to start filming at least 15 minutes before the start of the event. Each camera operator has their job to do and has a pocketful of back up media and batteries just in case. In some cases it may be necessary for us to have comms units in order that we can communicate with each other during the event.
First order of business is to get the footage off the cameras and make a couple of back-ups (Just in case!) Then, once the footage has been imported into our edit suites, it needs to be synced up so all of the video tracks start and end at the same point and the audio is in line with the video. Then the footage can be multi-cam edited by cutting between the different cameras in real time.
Some clients might just require a highlights reel of the event whereas others will want the full length event either on DVD or as a video file. If they require a DVD then that adds another stage to the process (that I won’t go into now) called DVD authoring. This is when we create menus and design discs with the video on so that it can be sold or given away by the client.
If this isn’t needed then we simply export the file in the required format and digitally deliver it to the client ready for distribution.
And here’s one we did earlier. A 6 camera shoot of Queen tribute act Killer Queen performing “Who wants to live forever”. We filmed the entire 2 hour show in 4K as well as interviews and audience vox pops. From all that footage we then edited all the tracks, created a introductory motion graphics logo and produced a number of different highlights reels to help promote the band in a number of different territories.