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Shooting concert/Music video

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Josh Munson
Shooting concert/Music video
on Jun 18, 2009 at 1:33:53 am

Hey guys, I could really use some ideas and general tips. A local band has contacted me and wants me to do a music video for them which is pretty exciting for me because it is a pretty well known band with a lot of potential. In a few weeks I'm going to be shooting a live performance of there's to use in part of the music video. I would really really appreciate any advice for shooting on that date. ALSO any ideas for the over all project, story, ideas for anything from lighting, camera angles, to interesting ways to bring it all together. What makes this interesting is this band does GREAT covers of bands like the Beatles and their original music has an old school '60's sort of feel to it. ANY information/advice/ideas would be GREATLY appreciate it. I know this is a very vague and general post but i just would like to get conversations started and ideas flowing. If you could take a listen and look at the bands myspace page http://www.myspace.com/thetamboureens really great guys with a lot of talent.


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Andrew Evans
Re: Shooting concert/Music video
on Jun 18, 2009 at 9:25:52 pm

i would just suggest watching as many music videos/live performances as you can.


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Josh Munson
Re: Shooting concert/Music video
on Jun 18, 2009 at 9:49:41 pm

I've been watching a few trying to get a feel for what I like. Thanks for the advice! I'll be sure to set aside more time for analyzing what I like in different videos.


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Richard Herd
Re: Shooting concert/Music video
on Jun 18, 2009 at 10:05:59 pm

Budget and number of cameras come to mind, first, and from there managing expectations is key.
It's music, so you might ask in the audio forum about how to get sound.
Do you plan to sync later?

The down and dirty (really cheap) thing to do is put your camera close enough to the sound board, and get a feed into the camera. Or can the audio engineer record? That frees you up to run and gun.

The really high end thing to do is have multiple cameras, wires, jibs, stedicam, and operators! All piped into a control room, where it can be switched.

Lighting...what about lighting?


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Josh Munson
Re: Shooting concert/Music video
on Jun 18, 2009 at 11:26:54 pm

The budget is virtually zero. However I'll have basically everything i'm going to need. I'm hoping to get at least 3 other people on cameras to try and cover as much as possible.

Audio isn't an issue because we'll be using studio audio off their album and syncing it up later. I know this can be a big pain if they play live a bit different then on the CD so I'm going to stress to the band that they need to play as closely as possibly to the pre-recorded track. I'm hoping to use B-roll for the stuff that doesn't look to nice as far as syncing goes.

As far as lighting goes that's a big concern of mine. I contacted the venue earlier today to ask about the amount of control I'll have with the over all lighting of the stage. I also have two 500 watt work lights I'm thinking of using as well.

So since audio is not too much of an issue while shooting at this date what do you think my main focus should be to have things run smoothly? Do you think i should spend more time getting equipment together and a crew? Or worry more about lighting and the camera angles I'll be working with?


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Jeff Cadge
Re: Shooting concert/Music video
on Jun 19, 2009 at 12:33:44 am

I haven't shot a music video in years but I can tell you sync will be an issue. I suggest you use playback audio of the recording and shoot as many takes as you can before the live performance perhaps during the sound check. And shoot the live performance with audience shots and combine them in post.

Jeff Cadge
Cadge Productions Inc.



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Josh Munson
Re: Shooting concert/Music video
on Jun 19, 2009 at 12:50:32 am

Alright, thanks I'll be sure to keep that in mind. I planned on having at least two people getting shots of the crowd/audience. I really want as much stuff to work with as possible. Any other suggestions as far as syncing? Right now I'm simply planning on syncing up the live audio and CD audio and nothing to in depth. Mostly depending on other shots and B-roll for when things get out of sync.


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Richard Herd
Re: Shooting concert/Music video
on Jun 19, 2009 at 5:26:39 am

This is just my opinion, and it's free advice, so...do you what you think is best.

I would NOT tell the band, "they need to play as closely as possibly to the pre-recorded track" because that sounds bad, politically, like you can't handle it. It's live. There's always variances. What if the guitarist hits a ripping solo, and you caught it on camera? That's a very good thing. Way more important than the prerecorded track.

Keep in mind, if the whole show lasts 3 hours, like a working band plays, and you shoot with 3 cameras, then that's 9 hours of footage to wade through. What are the expectations? Do they want a yearbook type thing where here's what we did? Or do they want something else? Like one really sweet song? As an example, in order to deal with the variances, I would shoot at least one camera at 48 fps or 60 fps because that'll create very cool slow motion and you can use cool slow mo from song "X" as b-roll for song "Y."

The deliverable is supposed to make the band look good, get them more gigs, and more fans.

I would aim the 500 watt "home depot work lights" at the background.

I would say to the band, "yeah piece of cake. Me and some pals are going to shoot it and I'll get you an assemble edit in two weeks. Just be yourselves and we're there to document it. No problemo."



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Josh Munson
Re: Shooting concert/Music video
on Jun 19, 2009 at 12:00:27 pm

Thanks so much for the advice i really do appreciate it and will keep it in mind. Very interesting idea with shooting at different frame rates and all that, thanks for the tip. As for having to plow through nine hours of footage I'm almost certain it is only going to be a half hour set plus we're only going to be focused on two songs so that should be a major cut back in time in post.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Shooting concert/Music video
on Jun 19, 2009 at 2:28:19 pm

It is getting really hard to think of a completely new way to shoot a music video, especially on a micro budget. You can do strict performance-only, strict narrative-only, (where you never see the band play at all, and they may or may not be actors in the visual "story") and combos in-between.

Does the band have any suggestions for the narrative "wrapper" that goes around their performance footage yet? Or are you only going to worry about a straight documentary coverage of the two songs? Of course, you can always go back and inter-cut that with some narrative film later, but usually it is helpful to have the end in mind when shooting all the elements.

You mention they have an early Beatles-type sound. Do they want to play towards that visually, or shy away from it? If you had money and/or time, it might be fun to digitally mock-up an old Ed Sullivan Show stage in B&W and put them on it. But even that kind of thing has been done more than once over the years.

I'm starting to play with Google Sketch-Up. It might be fun to "build" the band and their instruments in Sketch-Up and animate a performance using the live shot video as a template. The virtual sets they play on could morph and change, as can the virtual camera angles and dolly/jib shots you can't afford in real life. I imagine it as a 2&1/2-D thing, where some or all the elements remain flat but in a 3-d space, but that
s mostly just because I like that sort of thing myself.

Would take a long time to do, though.


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Josh Munson
Re: Shooting concert/Music video
on Jun 19, 2009 at 4:18:42 pm

The animation idea is really great. I'd love to get into that however that's something that i have yet to touch on and don't think i will for this project. The band is leaving the bulk of this up too me and i don't want to do just a live show. I would really rather have a narrative part to it as well. I still have some time before shooting the live show so i'm hoping before then to have at least a general idea of what i want narrative wise so when shooting I'll have a better idea of the type of feel i'm looking for.

If anyone has ideas for the narrative part it would be greatly appreciated. We're doing a video for "song two" and "girl" which you can listen to on their page at myspace.com/thetamboureens. If anyone would like to throw around story ideas for these to songs I would love it.


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John Cummings
Re: Shooting concert/Music video
on Jun 20, 2009 at 12:52:59 am

Forget about trying to sync a live performance to a studio cut...especially when you only get one pass of the song while you're shooting at a real concert.
You might be able to sync a few shots here and there, but to say it will be an editing challenge is an understatement.

You would be better off syncing the studio cut to a "live looking" performance where you can do multiple passes with real playback. Perhaps a shooting session after the real concert with all the fans still there. Then you can get multiple, synced takes.

By all means shoot the whole concert for the energy and fan shots, then do the meat and potatoes band stuff after the show. This way it all matches, the fans won't care about you blocking their view and you'll have all the control you need.

BTW, I'd leave the home depot light in the garage...just add a few whites in cans to the faces and try to keep the color to their backs.

My 2 cents...good luck with the shoot!

J Cummings
Cameralogic/Chicago
cameralogic.tv
HDX-900/HDW-730S/DXC-D50


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Josh Munson
Re: Shooting concert/Music video
on Jun 20, 2009 at 1:34:00 am

Thanks, I'll really keep that in mind and not underestimate the syncing. I think i'll set up a shoot date where i can do possibly and hopefully a "live" shoot of them to the studio music and more narrative shots as well.


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Richard Herd
Re: Shooting concert/Music video
on Jun 21, 2009 at 2:56:24 am

Using home depot lights to light human beings is a bad idea, but luminance is a weird thing. Hence, aiming the home depot lights at the back wall--back stage--will make certain that you can control the black point in post.

How you aim them is a stylistic consideration. For example, place them very low at the edges of the set--behind the band--and aim them up at diagonals to create elliptical splashes.


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Josh Munson
Re: Shooting concert/Music video
on Jun 21, 2009 at 4:23:08 am

Yea, lighting is always very interesting. I don't' want to do anything crazy with lighting here. I'm hearing that using the lights i have would be best used for back lighting of the stage, would anyone else suggest a different lighting idea or in general is this the best idea?


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