Some businesses may assume that producing or filming a live event requires there to be a concert or performance, and recording or streaming any other kind of event would be out of the question or unimportant. This is not actually the case, which is fortunate! Producing live events is beneficial for any company looking to gain a wide audience, and reach those who were unable to attend the event.
Skillman Video Group has produced dozens of live events. Everything from meetings, conferences and lectures to concerts, and performances, we’ve shot it all. Anything is possible when it comes to producing a live event, whether it be outside or inside, in a small venue or large.
Recording or streaming a live event is beneficial for a number of reasons:
- Online streaming allows those who weren’t in attendance to experience the performance as if they were there.
- Your performance can live on past the event by reaching a wider audience through online streaming.
- Attendees will be able to go back and review the event whether it be a lecture, meeting, or conference.
Every company should keep in mind that recording a live event allows the footage to be continuously used; whether it be for promotional services, online video content, generating more traffic onto their website or reshowing the event to staffers. Unlike brand videos, commercials, educational videos, and testimonials, recording live events shows the prospective clients and audience what a company or performance is capable of in that moment. It shows what is happening without a script or numerous takes. In other words, there is no pause button or room for error.
Preparing, Communication, and Planning
Recording a live event can be done either for online streaming purposes or edited in post-production and then sent to the client. Regardless, filming a live event takes preparation, communication, and planning. Both the producers and the clients must prepare for filming ahead of time that way when the videographer presses “record” there will be no confusion, and the event will go on efficiently and seamlessly. Communication between the client and SVG is always important, for it allows the crew to know exactly what the client is looking to capture. It also lets the client know where the crew will be setting up so there are no surprises. Because there is no turning back once the show starts and the cameras start rolling, SVG plans out every step with our clients by using the “SVG Approach:”
- Consultation – we talk to the client (that’s you)
- Planning- the best means of getting the material, and the most affective format for doing so (that’s your video)
- Personnel – based on planning, we get a group of experts together to handle the event (that’s our staff)
- Day Of – get there early, meet with client, and set up for the big event (that’s the production part)
- The Event – you don’t have to worry, because our producers know exactly how to get the best content out of every shot
- Post Production – we polish it to capture the essence of the event
- Your Content – we deliver a professionally done top notch video into your hands.
Though planning a live event is meticulous, setting up is just as detailed. However, depending on where the event is taking place, meaning outside or inside, in a large venue or small, set-up and the amount of equipment needed varies. Nevertheless, for any live event there is not a lot of control over the proceedings so the professional videographer as well as the rest of the crew must always be ready to capture the best moments and best content.
Live Events Outside
At times, outside events can be tricky to shoot especially when you have no control over the weather.
SVG has produced a number of live events outside, including one for Tropicana, and another for the Boston Japanese Festival. Although both were festivals, Tropicana took place at Faneuil Hall and was full of carnival games and a live band, while the Boston Japanese Hall was a live concert.
Both had different challenges when it came to set-up. The Tropicana live event called for one videographer, a sound crew, and a GoPro. Unfortunately for the SVG crew, it was raining for part of the event, but it didn’t stop them from capturing the best moments of the day. The GoPro captured a time lapse of the entire day, and the crew walked around to different stations recording visuals and audio. One very important component when shooting live events outside and filming individuals, families, and children is to always make sure to obtain a waiver from them, which allows the use and distribution of the footage. And in this case the footage would be used for a corporate promotional video.
As for the Boston Japanese festival, it was shot very similar to an indoor concert, except two cameras were used instead of three. One camera was continuously moved around to get personal shots of the band, the audience, and the audiences reactions to the band. The second camera was set-up to consistently stream the performance both visually and audibly.
Recording sound is always a difficulty when it comes to live events. Though mixing boards provide some audio adjustment, most of the sounds can’t be used in post-production because the volume is too loud and doesn’t fluctuate between performances. In other words, sound from each performance or each person is different from the next and requires different treatment; and mixing boards don’t allow that when trying to record audio.
Using the microphone on the main camera captures static audio, and ambient and directional audio is captured from the second camera giving the right sound bits for post-production. In this case microphones on the cameras were used to capture audio, but most of the time digital recordings and communication equipment to coordinate recordings as they come out live are used.
Live event set-ups and equipment varies and most decisions are made beforehand. However one thing that the videographers and crew are not able to control very often is the lighting. Whether inside or out, the videographers must adjust the cameras for the best footage. Yes, indoor lighting can be adjusted at times, but not in a way that affects the performance, or lecture. You can’t have a client trying to give a lecture staring into a bright light or in a half dark room. The producers and videographers need to be able to adjust.
There will always be challenges when producing a live event, including working in a tight area where you can’t get in the way of the audience or performers. There is also the challenge of producing a live streaming event where there is no room for error.
Take for instance, SVG producing the live webcast for the Country Music Association. The event took place inside but because it was live online streaming, SVG wanted the audience watching through their computers or tablets to feel as if they were there. Three cameras were set up. One took constant footage of the entire event through an extreme wide shot, which also included the crowd. A second camera was set up to take a wide shot of the stage, and a third camera sat at the foot of the stage to get a medium shot of the performers.
A similar set-up was also done for a lecture series at MIT. A company should always keep in mind that it doesn’t matter the topic or type of event. Producing live events are done for a companies benefit and will only help them reach their audience and more.
Whether a lecture series or a concert, producing a live event will have its challenges but a great video production company like SVG will never show there to be any difficulties. Outside or inside, small or large, SVG is there to capture your live event.