Filming a play?

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    • #39048

      I have been asked to film a play and I was wondering if anyone could give me some tips for filming it? I have a Panasonic pvgs250 and also an older panasonic camcorder. Because of a limited budget i was thinking about getting a Sony stereo mic and puting it near the center of the stage. One camera would be used for close ups and the the other for a wider shot. would this set up work? Does anyone have any other sugestions?

    • #169406

      I agree with compusolver. I just finished a whole high school play project. I just used a two cam shoot for this one and I did it on their full dress rehearsal.

      Hear are a couple of tips anyway:

      – The best results on multi-cam shoots come with using the same brand of camera. While not knowing how much you already know… not every vid camera shoots the same. Colors, contrast, brightness will always very slightly. You’ll see the big diference in final edit. If you are using two different cams, try and make sure that the white balance or the AE settings on both cams or at least are set the same. It will help somewhat.

      – Remember that if the auditorium is dark and the talent on stage is well lit by stage lighting, watch your settings on the cameras so that you don’t end up with burned out (hot spots) on things like faces and what have you. Because the brunt of action in your lens frame will be darker, your camera will want to open the F’stop to allow more light in to balance out the frame but that has a tendancy to create a slight over exposure on faces and anything else that may be white or bright. If you use the auto AE settings on cameras, set them for something like “portrait” or whatever your manufacture calls it.

      – I set both cameras about midway back and kind of towards the sides of the room. This gives you two angle options to use. I’m assuming you are using tripods. Don’t even think of doing this without them. I had both cameras manned as well. You want the cameras to follow the action and zoom in and out once in a while. The cameras can get in there pretty tight so you don’t need to be on the stage with it. Don’t use digital zoom. Stay with optical. Don’t just set up a camera and leave it sit on a tripod zoomed out the whole time either. It will be very boring.

      – It’s good to tape the audio on both cameras because I find it easier to match up the clips in editing by the audio wave on the timelines. I use Premiere Pro and all I do is expand both audio timelines and match up the wave signals. You can sync two clips pretty fast that way. When you do your final edit, you will of course only use one audio track. Usually the best one you have.

      – Audio can be tricky. Especially if you don’t have a duel wireless setup. I guess it depends on what you’re dealing with. If the stage is using a staggered mic setup and pumping sound out over the PA system, I would draw my sound from their. You have a better chance of catching everything versus just putting a mic in the middle up front. To me, a single mic with built in stereo is somewhat useless only because both pickups are right next to each other. That’s why I say just use it in from or close to one of their theartre speakers. The BEST way is using a duel channel wireless mic system and setting up both mic’s on the outside thirds of the stage and record to one camera.

      Hopefully this will help out a little bit. There are more little things but I just wanted to cover the big things. Besides I’m already at a novel length.

      Happy Shooting!


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