Event video, lots of people

  • This topic has 9 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 12 years ago by Anonymous.
Viewing 9 reply threads
  • Author
    • #40557

      I am shooting an event video in a few months and was wondering about some issues. It is a very large theater http://www.inbpac.com/promoters-guide.php. The event is a large dance recital covering a years worth of routines by several groups. My questions are as follows:

      1. If I place a camera in the back of the theater, will I be able to reasonably zoom in enough to have a static camera angle and retain image quality?
      2. Do you think three cameras is enough to cover it?
      3. Is is acceptable to take pre-orders for dvd’s
      4. What should be my turnaround time to work for
      5. How do I go about collecting talent releases for every dancer?

      Thank you all in advance for your help. I look forward to reading your suggestions.

    • #174051
    • #174052


      Check out this post on the topic and definitely watch the video.


    • #174053

      1. Depends on your camera – but you knew that

      2. Yes

      3. Yes – provided you have been given permission from the Hall Admin. to sell
      on site. If you are not a partner of the organizer, you are a private
      vendor and you’ll most likely have to have a contract to sell on site.

      4. Whatever your schedule permits and whatever makes business sense.

      5a. From whomever asked you to record the event

      5b. Before you invest the time and energy of setting up

      5c. Any polite way you can before the recording

    • #174054

      1. Yes

      2. Yes

      3. Yes

      4. Four weeks max – quick(er) turnaround is optimum for referrals, renewable business and growth

      5. I provide the studio/choreographer/owner/representative with simple, basic releases to pass out to the students and/or parents. It is included as part of the order form and returned with check or cash payments. I also provide releases prior to the event in case order forms are late or get lost. I note that editing and delivery will not begin until all releases are signed and returned with/without orders.

      I shoot three cameras but one is a Lockdown Larry wide CYA shot and rarely, if ever, used. The other two cameras have operators and are side-by-side shooting stereo visuals – one with stage framed tight, the other mid to close and follow. The stage frame wide shot is the base.

    • #174055

      Just a couple of thoughts: in all of the theater productions I have done (mostly musicals) I have always accepted preorders. I find that I get far more orders if viewers are able to order right there the night of the show. With reference to turnaround time, I usually estimate how long it will take me to produce the final product, and then double that. It will depend on your workflow and speed – different for all of us I’m sure. Totally agree with the above comments on releases.

    • #174056

      Wow, thank you all for your help.

      A quick question for Earl, do you mean you have two manned cameras next to each other, as in you could talk to the other operator?

      A question for film814, I assume you take money for each order. How much do you usually sell a disc for. Also, do you charge the people running of the event, or do you make your money from only the sales of the discs.

    • #174057

      Because of legal issues surrounding the production material used by my clients, I usually can’t charge them my ordinary rates (such as shooting a school’s production of a Disney musical; Disney limits my ability to charge the school, and what I can sell DVDs for.)

      I usually charge $20 per DVD, with discounts for multiple copies purchased. Some people have thought this price is high. My rationale for the price is that there are some people who will never buy more than one because they will try to make copies for themself. Those who do buy more than one I have found to be willing to pay the price, especially when they feel they are “saving” by buying more than one. It’s also worth noting that I’ve found that is leaves a great impression if you give show directors, owners, etc. a complimentary copy (i.e. if I’m shooting for a school I give the show director and the school principle each a free copy.)

    • #174058

      Evan, yes, side-by-side manned. Rarely need to talk though. Been doing it so long…and with defined responsibilities for both operators, not much chance for problems.

      To get in the door at a new event sponsor we offer a “get acquainted” production where they sell direct to students, parents, etc. and guarantee a minimum number of orders of 20 at $25 – no production charges to the facility. These have always been advanced sales, and we advise that if the minimum is not met, no video will be edited/delivered.

      We’ve NEVER had only minimums, usually averaging double (40) sales or more. Sales are ALWAYS better when advance notice/order form is distributed. Sometimes the facility collects and pays, sometimes orders are mailed direct to us. Mileage varies.

      Good money to be made in this, but too many operators I know of put too much effort into it, trying to do a LOT of cuts back and forth like “Dancing with the Stars” that simply does not translate the same for local events. Parents want to see their kids and the kids faces; kids want to see themselves head-to-foot and their friends and the whole ensemble; choreographers/instructors want to see the entire group head-to-foot.

      We’ve been able to satisfy all these by shooting predominately stage wide to medium (depending on the number of performers in any routine) with a couple of passes left-to-right, then later right-to-left to get CUs (close ups) of faces in the groups. This offers the choreographers strong representation of the routine while giving parents a look or two of their kids darling faces, expressions and smiles.

      Mostly though, it’s all about the dancing, with focus on the routine and not a bunch of fancy 15-frame cuts and angles. The entertainment is the routine and performers, not the fancy camera work IMHO. At least for non-Hollywood style event coverage.

      Our best sales come when we do the following:

      Advance orders, direct to parents, etc.

      Order table at event with assistant or volunteer (depending on situation).

      Monitor at order table showing live performance for casual people, or others who are outside the main stage area, or in the dressing room where others are waiting their turn and want to see what’s happening, This ALWAYS stimulates MORE sales for us, often doubling the number we’ve received in advance orders.

      During intermissions/breaks or whatever, we’ll show (if we have one) last year’s performance, or something representative, or a special “rehearsal” highlight if the opportunity to produce one presents itself.

      Others bring in a multitude of monitors, way too many cameras, mix on-site and spend a LOT of time running cables, auxiliary audio acquisition and more. This is overkill, and with the cost of more staff, more time consumed setting up and breaking down, even though it might be conceivably faster to clean up in post, or even sell on-site with DVD duplication, etc. the bottom line will often come out very close without all the production setup headaches.

      Keeping it simple, clean and with the close-up passes cut into the base from the stage-wide footage, makes post editing a breeze.

      For performances of two hours or less we usually have two people shooting, one person doing essentially clean-up editing, and rarely put in more than 12 hours total for shooting, editing, graphics design, duplication, packaging and delivery. The vast majority of my productions (and video is ALL we do, ALL the time – full time) are shot one afternoon or evening, edited that night or next day and delivered the following day. People also make a mistake by previewing their footage “to see what we got” when it would be better (if you have to digitize or get your footage into your system first) to do so and make notes WHILE you are looking at the tapes. Then, it’s fresh, you have notes and you’re ready to rock and roll. Drink something that will give you a mental kick, bite the bullet and get ‘er done.

      Time is money. There’s simply NO excuse for sitting on a project when you could be getting it done, delivered and moving on to the next work once, sell many gig. Don’t let your backlog shelf stack up on you – it is counter productive. Nothing keeps you stimulated better than getting it done, that sense of satisfaction of having finished a job in a timely manner, and moving on to something else.

    • #174059

      Wow, thank you for your incredibly detailed and prompt reply. I will take all of these things into consideration in this and future video projects. Thank you again,


Viewing 9 reply threads
  • The forum ‘Video and Film Discussion’ is closed to new topics and replies.


Panasonic LUMIX GH5s w/ Leica lens

Given away to one lucky winner

Competition is open worldwide