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Preparing a live band shoot for multicam editing

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Cathal Burke
Preparing a live band shoot for multicam editing
on Aug 28, 2013 at 5:05:23 pm

Hey Guys,

I'm preparing shoot a series of live bands in one weekend between two locations. All in all I will be covering about 8 bands and am trying to properly prepare for the serious time constraints that will be on me in the day.

First off I will be shooting on two Sony EX-1's. I also have access to a Canon 550D DSLR which I plan to use for shots of lesser importance ie. the drummer (no offence to drummers!).

I have a dedicated sound engineer who will be handling audio seperately, so I don't have to worry about sound.

Due to the nature of this project I need a fast turn around in editing so I am planning to go with a multicam edit.

I have enough time to get two takes of each song (three songs per band). The performance is strictly for cameras so no audience will be present.

How would you guys approach the shoot with the edit in mind? I was thinking getting a fixed medium and some handheld footage in take 1 and then getting a wide and some good b-roll throughout take 2. However I'm trying to work out what would be the most efficient way to arrange angles, set ups and takes in order to make the multicam edit as straightforward as possible.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance!


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Mark Suszko
Re: Preparing a live band shoot for multicam editing
on Aug 28, 2013 at 6:46:27 pm

Seriously, my first instinct would be to rent a switcher and live-switch this at the venue, while running ISO recordings in each camera. The Iso's are there to use in changing or repairing blown takes in the live switch, but assuming you're a good director, the job is 90 percent done when the band plays the last note.

As far as trusting your sound man, did you go over how you're going to keep time code and sync between the audio recordings and the video? Is the sound guy going to just give you a dry, "board mix", or are you also running backup mics to the Iso recordings to get the actual sound of the room? You sure you don't want iso recordings of the main vocal at least?


If you shoot each band twice, move both cameras to new spots on the second take, thus getting the look of four live cams in the switched edit version. Make sure the shooters know not to imitate the exact same framings and zoom settings they did in the first take, but DO have everybody set white balance and manual iris, once and LEAVE IT for all the shots. And also have them agree which "zone" each is to stay covering, so you don't come back to the edit with three shots of the drummer in the same section and no cut-aways at all.

Set all cameras to the same time of day time code and "free run", this will make match-ups in the edit easier later, as well as logging. Your shot logger can log from anywhere in the room as long as they have a wristwatch, pen and pad of paper. Be sure at least one take has the camera locked off to a wide shot for the "safety". One iso cam needs to stay on the lead singer the whole time.


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Anders Utterstrom
Re: Preparing a live band shoot for multicam editing
on Aug 29, 2013 at 5:00:15 am

Cathal,

If you are using FCPX, check this video out or better buy the training from RT.







I had 4 cameras and audio from the mixer board. The audio from the mixer board turned out to be a disaster. But I recorded audio on all cameras + a separate Zoom (for just in case). That just in case happened! I synced everything to the the audio track (Zoom) and FCP X was real easy to cut with. Learn FCPX's multi cam so you can get an idea of what can do with it. This project was with a local band with over 7 hours of footage (live). I three stationary cameras, one on the drummer at 90 deg., one of the whole stage from the right, and another camera from the left of the singer and base player. A goPro full frontal down below which I had on the guitarist and also moved around to get some shots of the keyboard player and inside the crowd.

It was no room for extra lights, so that turned out to be a disaster too. But, the Zoom saved me and the individual track controls where really helpful.

The sound is the most important thing The video can be manipulated with (transitions, CC, blurs, etc.) but if it doesn't sound good...

Also, think about changing cards before each band starts to play. And get some help for setting up and changing cards. I didn't!

But, it turned out fine at the end.

Anders Utterstrom
Chicago, Illinois


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Mark Suszko
Re: Preparing a live band shoot for multicam editing
on Aug 29, 2013 at 1:48:03 pm

Andes makes a vital point: audiences will tolerate bad shots and lighting but you ccan't pay them to sit still and watch a video with crummy audio


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