I am a relative newcomer t


I am a relative newcomer to this business so take this information and do with it what you will. At the rate I am going I am beginning to believe that I will still be saying that ten years from today. At any rate, here are my two pennies. I just shot my first real theatrical production a few days ago and have learned some valuable lessons. I use Sony 2100’s as my main cams and a couple of others as fills etc. Since I am new to the bus, my equipment levels are slim. Thankfully I was able to work out a nice mutually beneficial agreement with my mentor who you will recognize as "Compusolver" on these boards (he lives a couple of hours from me and is invaluable to me in learning the ropes). From him I obtained two of the four cams I shot the production with. Here are a couple of things I learned: 1. the more cams and videographers the better (4 cams & 2 videographers for me). Because the whole thing is so fluid throughout the event, you are going to screw something up sometime before the thing ends. Some of the time your partner is going to be screwing up at the same time you are (hello third cam). The fourth cam I used as a static cam shooting crowd reactions. 2. Exposures are a nightmare and not for the faint of heart. My second videographer is less experienced that I and I had hoped to use her wider angle cam on full auto. Forget that…the auto overexposed almost everything. We didn’t use the spotlight setting because I was unsure of its ability and had no experience with it. My mentor has preached manual controls for the best end product from the day I first contacted him. Thankfully I had taken his advice and gotten good at that otherwise this whole event would have been a trash canner. The event required constant change. The auto settings set the cam at fully open and 12db of gain. The best pic came at around F4 and zero gain though this was in a CONSTANT state of flux as the dancers moved around the stage. I had to open mine wide and walk to her in the middle of a dance and tell her to go to manual. (Oh yeah make sure you have rubber soled QUIET shoes before you do one of these deals). As far as white balance, Mr Castello recommended the tungsten setting and it seems to have worked nicely. The way I looked at it, it probably gives the most accurate rendering of what the audience saw on the stage at the time they were looking at it. I would do that again the next time. I shoot another one of these in May and I will be listening to any additional input from you folks. Good Luck.

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