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Advice? Shooting HDV of a CEO in community theater with slide projection

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Kevin Collins
Advice? Shooting HDV of a CEO in community theater with slide projection
on Jun 14, 2009 at 8:26:57 pm

In a few days, I will use a Canon XH A1 to shoot my company's CEO giving a 1-hour speech in a community theater and I could use your suggestions for lighting and sound.

He will tell a 180 employee audience the story of the company and present a visual history using lots of stills front projected on a massive screen next to and behind him. This is a family owned and run extreme sports apparel company that got started in the 60's with the growth of Motocross so I expect it will be rich with nostalgia. (I don't know yet if they will have me or someone else edit this or if they just want me to shoot the whole thing and archive it.)

The Marketing group will use a consumer Sony HD camcorder when the CEO presents this again in our SoCal office but I thought the big movie screen filling the stage and the community theater venue near our NorCal office would be an opportunity not to be I volunteered.

The theater has a sound and light board up in the control area behind and above the audience and some basic overhead stage lighting.
The theater also has a huge movie screen that can deploy to fill the stage for a front projected slide show from the control area (about 75 feet up and back using a typical office projector and a laptop.

All of the theater's available lighting is over head other than what ever spills from the projection when the slides are going. They may also have some short clips projecting, and may even want sound from that, I have to find out.

We'll use a wireless lavaliere for the CEO and I guess we'll need a another mic for the hostess who introduces him.

I've never used a sound or light board but they seem pretty straight forward with regard to the audience in the theater but shooting all of this seems to present some options and problems to solve.

Things that sound problematic so far:
- I guess I'll need some form of lower, front fill light for the CEO, especially his face, as he'll only be lit with stage lights above and slightly side lit from projection color spill.

- Should I use a second camera for audience reaction shots to keep it interesting or at least to have this footage as an option?
- Should I use a second camera just for a separate angle on the CEO to help the editor keep it interesting? I don't have another nice camera so it may be a pointless question... or maybe you guys think it's an absolute requirement and I have to find another camera.
- Not sure whether to shoot all of this from the control area behind the audience or somewhere closer, mid-theater or even closer.
- Whomever edits will have access to the slides being presented do these could possibly be inserted or even composited.
- Not sure whether to make the slide projection just big enough for everyone in the audience to see but not dwarf the CEO or maybe I should fill the entire stage with the projection..

Not sure how to approach much of this but I'm sure the trade show and classroom videographers can tell me just what to expect and how to address it.

Also, should I shoot this at HD 60i, 30F, or 24F (all 2:3 pulldown-converted) What would you do?

What else comes to mind?

All thoughts or advice will be greatly appreciated.


Kevin Collins
Campbell, CA

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Walter Soyka
Re: Advice? Shooting HDV of a CEO in community theater with slide projection
on Jun 16, 2009 at 2:57:20 pm

Hi Kevin,

You might have better luck with this question in the Event Videography forum here on the Cow. I'm not a camera op, but here are a couple other issues I'd urge you to consider.

A "typical office projector" will not be suitable for this venue. You will need a larger, professional projector. The house may have one available for you to rent.

The existing stage lighting may or may not be sufficient for you needs. You might consider a site survey, and shoot some test footage under the lights with a stand-in. Any low front-fill lighting you place will splash onto the projection screen, which is especially undesirable with front projection, as it will reflect and wash out the image. Try to fill from the sides as much as possible.

Check the color temperature of the stage lighting. If it's tungsten-balanced, projection will appear very cold on video. Ideally, your lighting and projection will have the same color temperature.

Be careful with the staging of your CEO -- you'll need to keep him out of the projection cone. You can spike where he can stand with tape on the stage floor.

Good luck,

Walter Soyka, Principal
Keen Live, Inc.
Presentation, Motion Graphics & Widescreen Design
RenderBreak: A Blog on Innovation in Production

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Kevin Collins
Re: Advice? Shooting HDV of a CEO in community theater with slide projection
on Jun 17, 2009 at 5:21:17 am

Thanks a million Walter!

I'll cross post my questions to the Event Videography forum.

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Lee Hopper
Re: Advice? Shooting HDV of a CEO in community theater with slide projection
on Aug 27, 2009 at 6:53:09 pm

Hi Kevin,

I did something very similiar just a few months ago.

first, you will need lighting to iluminate the CEO, your house lights will be turned down ofr off so people can see the slide show, I used a tricaster to incorporate the slides into the video.
it turned out to be
two cameras two operators
tricaster one operator
one audio person with audio system, wireless (2)
one lighting person
and me the director.

cost aprox $2500.00

I provided cameras, and audio mics and cables, everything else was rented.

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Andy Stinton
Re: Advice? Shooting HDV of a CEO in community theater with slide projection
on Aug 28, 2009 at 3:15:35 pm

The easy way to do this is to shoot the President live. Then insert the slides into the video, that way you can be assured that the viewer sees the information clearly and in detail. Big plus it's also the cheapest.

Andy Stinton
Corporate Video
Live & Stage Events
Business Practices

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