Reply To: Spoofing a live audience?


I shot a live show for a band in a theatre, and being honest, it was a disaster. A catalogue of errors. Some preventable, but others just sad accidents.

3 proper cameras, two current with recording to cards, one a previous similar camera recording to tape, plus 4 gopros, one for each member of the band. All the sources on stage recorded to 23 tracks in total, direct from the desk. One of the cameras carefully setup in the audience got blocked by a huge wheelchair that was wheeled into the only space it would fit. One of the go pros on the stage edge was prodded by a child before the show started and pointed into the wings. One of the others was started by two people – a miscommunication, so it started, then the second person directed to press the button, did so, switching it off again.The plan was for quick reframing to be done but the two closer cameras with the rear camera on a wide shot covering the movement.We lost one of the front cameras with the wheelchair and it really limited what shots we go. The edit was horrible – just not enough decent shots. The theatre gave us the stage again one day for free, so we did 7 of the numbers again, singing to the recording we made the first show. We made sure we included the audience chat, and intros, and the endings. We then used the sound recorded by the drum overheads to generate applause, but in a couple of songs, the drummer played long and complex end fills, which spoiled the audience cheering and clapping. These we recovered from a sound only recording made a year before in a different theatre. `for cutaways, I shot covert images of the audience at a totally different show from the wings, looking into the auditorium. Mainly moving and clapping shapes, but difficult to spot individual faces – but they are there if anyone actually examined them. We also used some on stage go pros looking from upstage towards the audience, and these back views are usable as cutaways as you cannot see the guitar and bass player’s mouths and fingers, and again there is an audience silhouetted against light beams. A couple of songs had very average clapping, so I pinched better ones from other songs.the last thing we did was re-record some of the audio tracks, fixing a guitar solo that was a bit sub standard and repairing a really bad wrong note from the bass player. drums were key to the sync, so we left those completely alone. The lighting in the re-shoot was also much, much better.A few people noticed they could hear five voices from the four they could see, but Queen got away with two guitarists for many years yet only Brian May was visible, we figured that a few musicians would notice but the public wouldn’t, and they haven’t so far.

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