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Filming an event with 4 DV cameras

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Viking Jonsson
Filming an event with 4 DV cameras
on Aug 1, 2010 at 5:40:57 pm

Hello,

I need some tips about filming an event.

There will be a stage with a interviewer, a guest (poets, writer etc.) and a musician. On the opposite side there will be an audience. The people on the stage and the people and the audience will together decide what is going to happen during the interview and what the interview will be about. They going to try to make live poetry with each others help and this will go on for about an hour.

I'm supposed to film this and it's going to be more like a tv-show then a documentary.

Now I need your help to get the most out of it.
My plan is like this.

4 cameras (Panasonic DVX 100) with tripods, microphones etc.

I will be using one camera to get a wide shot of the stage and one to get close-ups and I will do the same on the audience.

I'm planning to use the wide-shot-stage-camera to connect to the sound mixer station.

Now I have some problems I have some thought about, but I thin it would be good to hear how the more experienced people would to in the cases down below:

What should I do to best sync this cameras?
What should I think of when changing tapes, so I don't miss out on the action?
If the camera connected to the sound mixer need a tape change how should I do to don't miss out on the sound?

Thank You

Regards
Viking

Named after Viking Eggeling


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Gary Hazen
Re: Filming an event with 4 DV cameras
on Aug 1, 2010 at 7:29:54 pm

What should I do to best sync this cameras?
Here's an article from another site that covers sync:
http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/sync/

What should I think of when changing tapes, so I don't miss out on the action?
This is plain common sense, stagger your tape changes.

If the camera connected to the sound mixer need a tape change how should I do to don't miss out on the sound?
I rarely take a feed from the front of house. Unfortunately sometimes there's no other alternative. Run a feed from board to 2 of your camera's for redundancy and run your own clean mic (not a camera mic) to at least one of the cameras for back up. So when a buzz mysteriously appears from the house feed you have something else to fall back on. Hire an sound man to handle the audio. Four cameras are worthless if the audio is bad.

Will you have a monitoring position at the back of the room so you can see what all four cameras are shooting?
Will you have an intercom system so you can communicate with the camera operators?
Will you provide additional lighting or will the staging company handle all the lighting?


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Viking Jonsson
Re: Filming an event with 4 DV cameras
on Aug 1, 2010 at 8:05:54 pm

This is a (very) low budget shooting. The result most come out acceptable and watchable.
We are a two manpower team, and we're going to operate the close-up cameras our selfs, there are no money to hire a sound man i'm afraid. My plan is to connect the two wide-shot-cams to the sound mixer's booth.

As I understand from your contribution the sound will be bad, is that correct?

Named after Viking Eggeling


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Gary Hazen
Re: Filming an event with 4 DV cameras
on Aug 2, 2010 at 12:00:25 am

I'm saying that audio is the weak point in the chain. You don't have complete control. If the PA system has a ground loop you'll have a nice buzz in your audio that will sound a lot louder in post than it did the day you were recording. Again, I'm not saying the audio will be bad. I'm saying there's a potential for problems with the audio. Give yourself plenty of set up time to troubleshoot problems and you should be fine. Throw a little salt over your shoulder just in case.

A four camera shoot with 2 crew members, that's definitely a low budget shoot. If your audio is bad tell the client that you get what you pay for.


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Viking Jonsson
Re: Filming an event with 4 DV cameras
on Aug 2, 2010 at 12:15:08 am

Thank you alot Gary, sorry for misunderstanding before. English is not my mother tongue, that's might be why..

Best regards
Viking

Named after Viking Eggeling


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Mark Suszko
Re: Filming an event with 4 DV cameras
on Aug 2, 2010 at 6:46:08 pm

Definitely run additional back-up audio, place some of your own mics where the house mics are.

You can use the external time code output of one camera to jam-synch all four cams. On these kind of low-dollar gigs I won't always bother jam synching: once all cameras are rolling, a single hand clap in view of all of them gives you a reference point to align them all in editing later.Any drift I've seen has been minimal. Run time of day, free-run time code, if you're not jam-syching, amkes it easier to relate each tape to each master shot. Start some of the cameras a couple minutes before the others, so that no two cameras run out of tape exactly at the same moment.


I take it two of the cameras will be unmanned wide shots? Then you and your partner on the manned cameras need to have a planned understanding of who will always shoot what, and you might want to coordinate some hand signals for simple things like "I am shooting tight," " I am Wide" "I am on a 2-shot". etc. This way you will have better coverage in editing.

Your audiece suggestions for participation need to have a dedicated mic, at least a shotgun aimed by a live helper. preferably, have participants be required to step up to a defined area with a planted mic stand and lighting adn camera angle all pre-set. if they just pass a handpheld wireless around, that will be chaos. If you HAVE to pass a wireless around, it should be conveyed by a helper, who will control how it is held.


Shoot a lot of audience reaction b-roll shots, esecially just before the start, when the crowd is big and active.


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