What does it take to make sure that your video production goes well?
Among the worst words you ever want to hear are, ‘I should have thought of that before’. Of course those words lead to other words that are best left off this blog! But that’s another story. This blog is about how not to have to say those words. Since there are many types of video shoots, I’ll focus on event videography and shooting a scripted production.
- Event Videography
An event is to some extent ‘cinéma vérité’ or filming whatever happens to happen. Even though you know what is supposed to happen, event videography is not as controllable as a scripted production where you generally have an opportunity to redo a shot. The good news is that even during an event where you don’t know exactly what will be said or done, you have a good idea about where the action will be taking place. Whether it’s a corporate presentation, party, or performance, you can certainly make preparations so that you get the shot.
- Audio Considerations
The audio portion of a video is never given a second thought by a viewer of your video, unless it’s bad. So this is one area that you definitely need to troubleshoot. For instance, ideally, you always want to put a wireless microphone on the speaker or patch into the venue’s sound system and get a feed directly to your camera. You never want to use your onboard camera mic to capture the audio unless you have no other choice. Always test your audio before the event and make sure that you have fresh batteries installed in the transmitter.
- Let There be Good Lighting!
Another vital area of video production is lighting. No matter how good your HD camera is, it’s impossible to get around an extremely low light situation. That’s why we always inquire about this important area before we get to the shoot. It’s always great if we can get a photo of the lighting in the room or see some existing video someone else has shot in the same location with the venue’s lighting. If the lighting isn’t sufficient for good video, you have some choices. Make sure that the venue has the ability, will and authorization to turn up the lighting. This generally requires the person paying for the venue to communicate with the manager of the venue beforehand to make sure that this will be done. Another option is to bring your own lighting. But remember, in order to light a large area, you need large lights! You may need to hire an audio video company for this, as an on-board camera light will not do the trick.
- Where to Position the Video Camera
While the position of the subject of your shoot may not be in question, the vantage point from which you film them is always a decision that needs to be made. Of course the nature of the event, the client, or the venue may dictate that this is where you’ll be positioned and that’s that! But if you have a choice in the matter, consider what you’ll want in the background. Do you want the background to be in focus or out of focus. Your options will be determined by the type of camera you use. For instance, we use the Canon Mark II or III and the C100 that allows us to have the subject crystal clear in the foreground, while making the background diffused or out of focus. Here’s an example of that look in our interview demo.
- Video Background
Who or what will be in the background? Make sure that the background of the subject is not cluttered or otherwise unprofessional or unsightly if you have any control over it. If you don’t have control over the background or you’re not happy with it for some reason, you can try to tighten up the shot and eliminate as much of it as possible. More foreground, less background is one way to clean up the shot.
During my next blog, I’ll discuss more about how to make sure your event shoot goes well. Then after that, I’ll discuss how to make sure that your scripted production is a success too.
If you would like help with any aspect of video, production or video editing, click here!