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Filming a stage production with Canon DSLRs

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Matthew Davies
Filming a stage production with Canon DSLRs
on Nov 24, 2012 at 6:23:32 pm

Next week I am going to be filming a stage production with a couple of Canon DSLR's. I have never filmed a stage production before with a DSLR, so I don't exactly know what settings, etc., to use. Does anyone have any general tips?


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Steve Crow
Re: Filming a stage production with Canon DSLRs
on Nov 25, 2012 at 2:55:07 am

In general you would want one camera camera set up for a continuous wide shot to serve as your main camera angle and then have the second camera for closeups. Filming in 1080p will give you some flexibility in creating "fake closeups" while editing from your main wide shot.

However, unless you are filming a tech rehearsal where you can start and stop the action I don't think it is really going to be practical. I see from another post you made that you might also have standard videocameras with you too - better but still there are lots of challenges and if this is your first time things could get dicey pretty darn quick.

First of all, there is a better than average chance with the camera running continuously for an hour plus that you will have overheating issues. You will be limited to clips being around 12 minutes long (depends on the model of Canon) which can be worked around but you are also going to have to be switching out memory cards more than likely. The B camera doing closeups will be very distracting to an audience...filming from the audience seats will not give you good results Unless MAYBE if you are positioned in the first row with a monopod or tripod and aren't having to look up to see the stage. (Filming from a balcony for closeups....maybe but the angle is going to look odd)

How are you going to record sound? Sorry but this sounds risky and the chances for a good outcome are small unless you have a VERY experienced crew and the ability to film on stage while the actors perform...in other words I would never try filming a live performance like this.

Steve Crow
Crow Digital Media
http://www.CrowDigitalMedia.com


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Matthew Davies
Re: Filming a stage production with Canon DSLRs
on Nov 25, 2012 at 5:50:15 am

I am planning on having to secondary panning angles.
I am using Magic Lantern to lower the bitrate, and thus achieve the full 29:59 that the camera can handle. I also did some tests and the 550D overheats after about 3 hours, but doesn't actually shut off. I've never had it shut off.
All of the cameras will be in the balcony with the possibility of one of the three tapings being in the main audience area.
Distractions? This is how it's always been filmed, so I don't think it'll be a distraction. If it is, the people on charge know and are okay with it.
Soundwise...all the speaking actors are miked. I plan to use a Zoom H4n to record the house feed from the main soundboard. I will also have a shotgun mic on the main camera angle for extra audience noises and such....


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Al Bergstein
Re: Filming a stage production with Canon DSLRs
on Nov 25, 2012 at 4:46:22 pm

Are you shooting the actual show or a rehersal? If the show, i would go to a rehersal, and make sure it all works as you think, especially the zoom feed. I usually arrive two hours in advance and validate all cards are formatted, and all is set. I have found that i prefer shooting at 29 rather than 24, due to movement.

Al


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Matthew Davies
Re: Filming a stage production with Canon DSLRs
on Nov 26, 2012 at 12:40:53 am

I am shooting both the dress rehearsal and both of the actual shows.
What is zoom feed? I tried Googling it and I couldn't come up with a definition...


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Al Bergstein
Re: Filming a stage production with Canon DSLRs
on Nov 26, 2012 at 4:31:18 am

Sorry. Meant to say the feed of off the sound board to the Zoom. I always try and get XLR line out from the boards. The new Zoom software upgrades have the pure line in capability. I don't think you should have to pad the incoming signal.

Al


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Matthew Davies
Re: Filming a stage production with Canon DSLRs
on Nov 26, 2012 at 4:46:55 am

Oh no problem. Sorry, I should have looked a little closer...I don't have as much of a problem with sound as I do with the settings for shooting in a theater. I really need some tips on what aperture, shutter speed and ISO settings I should use...I know from hearsay that shooting in a theater is really hard due to the state lights and such...


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