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For social videos (family, friends, parties), two practices I try for always (among other things): 1) I attempt to include everyone who was present in the video. 2) I attempt to exclude as much as possible anything which is not a highlight in the distribution version; the mind set is top 10 or top 20 best moments/shots (or greatest hits). This can make for short videos, but its nice when the group asks for encores. When shooting these fun gatherings I am not averse to being a director and asking could you repeat that line and prompting the talent by actually saying the line myself if they dont know what Im talking about. Keep the camera running (the first principle of unscripted doc film making). Often, in the repeat, the line is better, and the resulting drama and people cracking up over it is a natural born highlight.
For informal gatherings and for candids at formal gatherings (e.g., wedding receptions), I get better results (less unwanted attention, less obnoxious showboating — you may want some of that — but not just that) when the red recording light is shut off. About the first thing I do when I pull a cam out of the box is shut off this light. Basically, if you have the cam in you lap sitting down or hanging by your side if standing and you are looking the other way you can shoot away while giving the impression you are not. For example, if a fight breaks out at a wedding reception, keep the cam low with the light off and if you have practiced this angle you should get some good action footage to enjoy later. If the red light is flashing and you are obviously looking in the viewfinder or LCD in that direction, your subjects may be inhibited about rolling around on the floor (this inhibition might not be a bad thing really); or they might want to smash your cam instead of each other.
Some years ago (I was more adventurous then), I shot lot of footage of quite a massive gathering of tanks (not ours) in Beirut using the above techniques. I dont know whether this was O.K. or not. I didnt ask permission. Did get nervous looking at the images later and wondering about it
Also, (once upon a time in China) using the camera in the lap technique with a wide angle, I am prrrrrrrrrrretty sure I inadvertently shot a drug deal going down in a busy central alleyway of a famous guest house in Hong Kong.
REGARDS … TOM 8)