Shooting a live event is very much like shooting live video at a sporting event. Let’s talk about your kids dance recital…or a school play. You may think to shooting this type of live event is easy. Think again. If you would like to just have a video that this actually took place is one thing but to have something that you and your family (or even other families if you are feeling generous) will watch years down the road it might take more effort.
First off make sure you receive the directors permission before going into a theater and start shooting live video of her actors/dancers. Most directors will be thrilled you are shooting a live video of the performance and if they aren’t you can maybe even bribe them with giving them a copy of it later.
Our second tip is if you are hiring someone to tape this for you , which might be the easier way to go so you can enjoy just watching, or you are taping it yourself – never the less get many camera angles. This is where hiring someone with two cameras might be a great choice. If you are shooing this yourself you might want to have one camera set up on a tripod and another as a hand held so you can move around a little. If you are on your own using two cameras you can use a switcher. You can edit it on the fly by switching back to the wide shot camera to the more focused camera it will only make things faster when you go to start the editing process.
When you get to the theater you want to shoot a lot of B-roll. B-roll is when you have extra video, things like the audience, the director preparing, or even the actors and dancers getting ready. B-roll is great for end credits or the beginning of your video. If you do not have two cameras I have another option for you. Ask to go see a dress rehearsal. Usually these performances are as good as Opening Night. So you shoot a few different angles on each night and you have so much to work with! The more time you spend on this the better your video will turn out and the more meaningful to whomever is watching it later. You will be able to get a lot of B-roll footage when shooting a rehearsal.
Are you going to be using your camera microphone, stage microphones or body mics for this? If you are shooting a dance recital, you should be fine with your camera mic. If you are shooting a live video of a musical or play you might want to see if the director will let you put body mics on the actors, this way you will be able to have clear sound when you are start editing your footage.
Shooting live events does not need to be difficult but there is a lot to think about when you are getting ready to shoot one. With everything we always talk about on this page planning is key. With this specific topic, live event videos, you want to make sure you are asking permission and you want to make sure you know what you are planning to shoot and how to shoot this specific live event, planning is key!