Tips on shooting theater performances.

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    • #37123

      I am working with a community theater to record their performances.

      Needless to say, that theater lighting and sound don’t really lend themselves to good video conditions. I am looking for any tips or resources on how to get the best production out of this that I can. Good ways to record the audio or deal with the lighting, etc.

      Are there any resources (books or web) that I should look into?

    • #164539

      Use Manual Iris and Manual Focus so that your camera doesn’t go crazy with lighting changes. The lighting should be pretty even throughout the show. If possible, attend the full fax rehearsal so you know where there are major changes that you may need to adjust for.

    • #164540

      Also, it might be a good idea to manually white balance your camera. When they "blackout" all the lights, it throws (at least the GL2’s) auto white balance off.

      as tonsofpcs said, it would be a very good idea to attend a dress rehearsal, so you can be more prepared.

      Now for audio, I’m not the most experienced, but here’s my two cents.
      There must be a audio mixer working on the set. He/She would probably be there at the dress rehearsal (and other rehearsals), and you want to talk to them about how its going to be done.
      From my perspective, there’s at least two ways:

      1. You can record the audio from the mixer separately and sync it to your video in post.
      2. Find a long XLR cable and connect it from the audio mixer to your camera. (You might need an XLR to 1/8th inch adapter)

      You’ll also want to record the audience as well, which you can do from your camcorder. Use an external mike.
      Remember (even though this is somewhat obvious) – Don’t stop recording!

      Goodluck, I hope this helps

    • #164541

      Absolutely everything manual:white balance, iris, focus, audio.

    • #164542

      My 2 cents worth = Leave iris on auto- Unless you’re as quick as quicksilver, you won’t react in time – ever.
      Manual WB and focus.
      Don’t trust the sound guys!
      I’ve yet to work with one who can do the biz and they have their own nightmares with radio mics that aren’t working and CD tracks that won’t play. Use your own radio mic high up on stage, or get a cam near the front and this you can really rely on. If th sound desk goes down, you’re gonna still have great sound.

    • #164543

      I have to agree with camcam about the audio. I’ve been shooting the choir concerts and musicals at my local high school and I can tell you from experience that the sound students make mistakes. Lots of them. Like forgetting to turn on a mic to the wrong volume level.

      I use the cam mics but I’m going to get a wireless mic to place on stage. I also provide the school with a flash card to record straight from the mixer. Then betweenboth (soon to be 3)audio recordings, I can usually fix the dead spots.

      As for the video, well I’m a total amateur. I use consumer cams (Sony D8 and Panasonic G85) and I leave everything on auto. I havethe Sonycam set to spotlight and I almost always have equal video. But I don’t recommend it as I often have focus hunts to deal with. But in my case I don’t have time to focus 2 cams. I work alone and only started doing this as a fundraiser idea for the performing arts department.

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