Filming a live event can be a challenging service to successfully procure and with a whole range of offerings out there, it can be tough to know what to focus on to ensure you get the best deal but with high quality results! After all a live event cannot be done again. Once it’s happened, it’s happened so getting it right first time is essential!
Wedding videographers are often looked down on by the corporate and broadcast industry as being a lesser service, but I have a lot of respect for people who film weddings well. As much as we don’t do weddings, we understand and respect the level of skill required to capture a live, emotionally charged, one-off event of a lifetime! You can’t ask the bride to come in and walk down the aisle again. You only get one chance. And the same goes for any other event. We have filmed business events, sporting events, music festival, theatrical shows, comedy shows, political events and most things in between and the same principals apply;
Be on the ball
Be quick and be good!
However if the camera director is experienced then it is like any practised skill; simple and just what they do! The majority of live event filming require capturing a range of action shots and some interview sound-bites. There is sometimes the need to capture live presentations, speeches or performances. In these situations prior knowledge and planning is critical; where are people going to be on stage, how many people are there, how much interaction, what are the audio arrangements, can we get a feed from the sound desk, and dozens of other questions that we know to ask to ensure we capture what happens as it happens and at best quality.
As with most pieces of video you shoot much more than you actually need. A good events highlights video is generally as short as possible, really capturing the essence and atmosphere of what took place. But the more you shoot the more options you have in the edit and the better end piece you will have with more variety. Gone are the days of expensive film or tape costs and so having to restrict footage (we remember those days!) digital recording means that it as long as you have the space on your drive you can keep shooting, so you don’t miss those ‘magic moments’ Of course the more you shoot the longer it takes to edit. But we generally (being a multi disciplinary team) have our camera director who shoots the event, edits it too, as it saves considerable time because they know what they shot, so they don’t have to spend time getting to know the footage from scratch! We can then pass these savings onto you the client, giving you added value and saving time and money.
In summary, if you are investing time, effort and cost in organising an event then make sure you hire the right people to create the events video for you. Here are a couple of questions to help determine whether you are just getting a cheap price with no guarantees or whether you are getting good value:
- How experienced are the team at live events?
- How many cameras will they need – how many do you think is necessary and what is their advice on this?
- How do they manage lighting and sound?
- What do they recommend for the end piece – usually it will be short, dynamic highlights, but every requirement is different – you may need to deliver full learning presentations to people who couldn’t attend or highlights from different break out sessions. It may be for an internal or external audience and so the most appropriate end delivery would take this into account.
- What is their strategy on being unobtrusive? (your event is not about the video crew, they should be able to capture everything successfully without getting in the way!)
- How quickly can they turn around the edit? You want to be able to post about the successes as soon as possible whilst people remember it and it is fresh. Its no good having to wait a month. People expect things much more quickly nowadays.
After you have received your events video (s) then make sure you use it – get maximum value from it, shout about it, share it, post it! Don’t waste the opportunity. And remember, once its out there it is a representation of your organisation or brand. And it stays out there, so it is important to get it right and have a record of the event that you are proud of.