Pre-Production for shooting in a theater

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    • #49274

      I kind of got started in (digital) videotaping when our videographer bailed the night before the recital. As a result we bought 2 JVC Everio GZ-MS110 camcorders and had about 3 hrs to learn them. Long story short I ended up with one manned-cam, used for close-ups, with fairly good detail and color balance. The other cam was static, with a high and wide angle. The dancers, on a black stage and against a black curtain, were washed-out and in some cases overexposed. For the second performance we adjusted the lights, which helped, but I still had overexposure on the faces and light costumes.

      Anyone know of a good tutorial, or a starting point on how to fix my problem?

    • #201768

      well Kirk,

      i wouldrecommendthe 3 point lighting in asituationlike yours heres a video tutorial on it an how its done

    • #201769


      Actually, ‘Pre-Production’ is the process of research/planning the acquisition of money, resources and personnel needed to produce a completed film or video.

      You are already in the ‘Production’ stage and though the video Finity posted is great for a controlled setup, your issue on-stage during a live event sounds primarily like you just need to ‘close down’ on your exposure to get a better looking image of the dancers.

      In the detailed user’s manual, there’s a description for the ‘Manual Settings Menu’ items you can pull up on your camera. You want to adjust the Brightness until you cut or raise the light level the camera sees to what works for you. There’s another setting that Adjusts the way your camera sees the light coming into the camera called ‘Metering’ that you can use as a back up. However, the Brightness setting should get you where you need to be.

      If possible, prior to your next session go shoot one of the dress rehearsals and get all the bugs worked out. If you can’t, show up to the theater early as possible to get set up and test out your exposures with the Brightness setting by getting the stage techs to shut down the house lights and turn on the stage lights. Now, remember that white, blue, red, green and yellow will require adjustments to the brightness.

    • #201770

      Thank you both for your responses. The reference to the pre-production was more to illustrate that I will have some time before the next performance to purchase additional equipment if needed, but I take your point about using proper terminology to get the most applicable response.

      My main concern is just getting video close enough so that I can fix in post-production. I was a little apprehensive about my cams as well. I know that in still photography I can out-shoot many of my coworkers with a point-n-pray even if they are using a Canon Mark II – it’s all about technique. I just don’t know how well that applies to video. Are there any good forums/tutorials for WB, metering, and basic newbie video techniques?

    • #201771

      Hi Kirk –

      If you already have the footage (1st show), you can apply some gamma correction in your NLE – This makes the differences between the darks and lights less pronounced. You will also need to work with brightness, contrast and saturation to get an optimal look.

      I find that boosting all four (gamma, brightness, contrast & saturation) helps me in this way.

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