How to Record Great Event Video

Congratulations, you are planning an event! You are responsible for booking the venue, planning transportation, hiring a caterer, furnishing the space, possibly even creating the content through a carefully constructed cue to cue. With all these tasks vying for your attention, it’s easy to make stage design and recording an afterthought. That’s why it’s important to bring an experienced production company into the project early; not just to ensure that the presenters you work so hard to bring to the stage can be seen and heard but ensure that the event leaves a memorable impression on the attendees and lives on through live stream and video on demand.

Repertoire is a unique production company in that we focus equally on creating engaging and dynamic stage presentations and recording high-quality videos. It costs a lot of time and money to put together an event.  Well lit, multicam edited HD video will maximize the impact of the past function and help promote future ones. Here are a few things to think about while considering recording your event:

  • Lighting – Good lighting is the single most important element to consider when planning on capturing high quality video.

When lighting an entire stage, you will want a nice even stage wash so that anywhere your presenter walks, they are well lit. This is important not just for the video-it will guide the attendees eyes naturally to the stage and speaker, driving maximum engagement.

If you are not trying to light an entire stage but instead a particular individual, as in the case of a web stream or interview, three point lighting is often your best bet. This consists of setting up a key light to achieve the proper exposure and create a little eye light as well as a fill light to soften shadow and creating modeling. The frame grab below is an example of a far side key, in which your Lighting Designer or Gaffer places the key light on the opposite side of the subject than the camera. This creates a more dramatic image than the flat even lighting of a near side key-these are creative decisions that you should discuss with your LD. Both schools or lighting are greatly enhanced by back or hair lights-these lights are rigged behind your subject and separate them from the background.

Stage Design – The creation of scenic elements and backdrops will give your function an unique look and feel.

Sometimes pipe and drape makes sense. When you have limited budget and time, a clean drape line with some tasteful uplighting is a perfectly acceptable backdrop for an event. Stage wash flown in on truss or freestanding on a light tree will give you good exposure and the drape creates a clean, no frills background. Uplighting can be virtually any color with the use of cheap and widely available LED fixtures.

If you do have the time and budget to do something more customized, you can get a little more creative. When we produced the stage show and live stream for Blizzard, they brought several customized backdrops with them and then gave us specific directions on how to light each piece. The results are visual elements that echo and reinforce the fantasy world that Blizzard strives to create in its games.

Another important to consider when designing the look of your stage in respect to video is depth and vanishing point. If possible you want to place your scenic elements at various distances from the audience and the camera. This will create a more interesting visual and give the feeling of a three dimensional space when viewed in the two dimensional plane of a video.

To Imag or not to Imag – Image magnification, or Imag, is simply switching the projector feed from slides to one or more live cameras covering your presenter or performer.

If you are doing a small breakout, you probably don’t need to Imag your speakers. But if they are talking in front of hundred or thousands of viewers, some of whom may be way in the back of the room, Imag is a useful tool to create connection within a large group.  As an added bonus, the cameras are doing double duty, both recording the event and facilitating communication through visual elements.

  • Delivery and Deployment – Repertoire can help you edit, encode and upload your videos to the right places in the correct formats.

You worked hard on this event. Now is the time to maximize the exposure.  Multi-cam live editing saves tons of time in post production, and gets the videos out quickly to ensure they hit web while people are still talking about what an awesome show you put on.

Now get some rest, the next project is going to be even bigger!

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