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Capturing your event on video

At Shout, we get asked to work on many different types of video projects. One of the most common is to create a highlights package of an event, which bring many challenges. This blog will look at some tips on how to get the most professional result from your event.

We recently worked on a video for Founders Forum (see video below), a private network of the world’s leading digital and technology entrepreneurs. The network organises events around the globe but London is considered their flagship event, so it was crucial the video encapsulated the very best moments.

Our brief was to create a 3 minute highlights package of their two-day event. Since Founders Forum would be attended by hundreds of high profile people in the business world (as well as celebs and royalty!) the organisers also wanted us to interview as many people as possible including 60 must haves! The shoot saw us travelling all over London filming events at 10 Downing Street, Skyloft, Kensington Gardens and The Grove Hotel in Hertfordshire. Therefore, pre-production was key for this project.

Pre-Production

Since we knew how busy the event would be, and how much we were required to capture – our first task was to ensure we has a second camera operator and a runner to help. Having a second camera was extremely important as it enabled one to be concentrating on the cutaways and one to be ready with the producer to film interviews. The runner was also helpful for this shoot as we would be taking extra equipment such as a jib and a slider – far too much for us to carry around London on our own!

Since live events can be unpredictable it can be quite difficult to accurately storyboard. However, it is still a good idea to have a filming plan to ensure the shoot and the edit would run as smoothly as possible. This includes knowing exactly where and when each event will be held, what interviewees will be there and an idea of the kind of cut away shots we can get – including if there are any opportunities to use some gadgets!

Event films are often quick turn-around projects – with clients often requiring the final video just hours after the event has finished! Therefore, while planning the final film’s narrative in advance can help with the edit, it will also help you decide on what questions to ask your interviewees. This helps prevent searching through hours of footage for that perfect soundbite.

Filming

As I mentioned earlier for a big event like Founders Forum, we used two cameras. Not only did it help us logistically, it also enabled to use specialist equipment such as a slider or a jib without the worry of missing out on an important interview.

Less professionally produced films often neglect sound. No matter how good your film looks, if the audience cannot hear properly then they will switch it off! Events are usually loud places, therefore to get the best sound always use a lapel mic and try and film the interviewee away from groups of people. If you are filming speakers on a stage and a lapel mic is not possible then try speaking to the AV person to see if you can plug into their PA system. Never ever use your camera’s internal mic.

With live events there is the temptation to overshoot, but what you may find is that you end up with far too much footage which could scupper your post production schedule.

Editing  

If you have planned the structure and not over-filmed then the post production should be relatively stress free. It is also wise to get the client to approve any music, send over logos and interviewee details in advance of the filming.

If the film’s narrative is based on soundbites, then it is a good idea to lay these down first. It may also be worth getting the client to approve the narrative structure before adding any cutaways.

As I have mentioned, live event filming can be particularly unpredictable and manic, but if you follow these tips then capturing an event can be very fun!

If you would like more information on how we can support you in creating an event film, contact me on rory@shoutcommunications.co.uk

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