NIght Club Shooting Suggestion
A friend of mines whats me to shoot the inside a night club so they can make a commecial. I checked out the nightclub and it's really no different then any other. My main concern is shooting in this low light atmosphere. There is no main character for the commercial except the people who come to it and have a good time. I will be using a Canon XL1. A friend and co-worker recommend just using an eye light mounted on the camera and that will be all the light I need to get a good exposure. I don't really know if his suggestion will work. I at least think I need a 750 softbox with a good spread so I can do pans of such things like people at a bar or people socializing on a couch or a tables. Just looking for some advice.
Well, the REAL suggestion is that you do NOT do this kind of shoot without getting signed legal talent releases from each and every person in the club (at least for those who end up in the spot).
If you "pan the folks at the bar" and one or two of them decide to sue for showing them in a place where they would NOT want to be shown (happens all the time) you can be named in the suit.
Don't take the, "Its OK, all our customers LOVE us..." line of thinking.
(You never know who is out with the "wrong husband" on any given night.)
Just a thought.
Thanks for the heads up. I do plan to have talent release forms on hand, plus we will post a sign instructing those that do not wish to be in the commercial to reside in an area reserved for them until we are finished. But again I'm more concerned about lighting. I really need some advice on this aspect of the project. I still want the commercial to have a night club feel with not so much dark dungeon look to it. I seen pictures on the internet of stills of club scences and it seems like all they did was light the foreground using the flash on the camera. Well any advice from anyone to help steer me in the right direction will be heplfull.
Use as many lights as you can, you won't go wrong. I am a Commercial Producer for a CBS affialiate and I shoot commercials all the time. The times when I thought I could skimp on lights turned out bad everytime. I chalk it up to experience. Probably the most important thing is to hook up a color monitor to your camera that way you can really judge the light. I've used s-video cables with my XL1s and rented a monitor before. At work I hook up regular video cables to a Betacam. It could be considered art if you use the camera mounted light, but if you really want it to look professional use a lighting system. Just watch the spots on TV for awhile.
I produce a tv show on abcfoxupn in St. Louis. It's a hip-hop show and we pretty much specialize in shooting nightclub scenes and major concerts. Imazingly, we don't use any special lighting and we get great shots. We also shoot a lot of great looking nightclub commercials for tv. Our aim is to stay as true as possible to the club vibe and scene. We don't use a lot of lighting and props because we want the audience to look and feel natuaral in the club setting. Never, never do anything to disrupt the "party", the club owner will hate you for it. Become a part of the party. Also keep in mime that the people in the club paid $10-20 to dance and have a good time, not help you get your commercial done. What we do first is have a talk with the DJ and get him to begin announcing the fact that we will be shooting a commercial about 30 minuits before the actual shooting. The aim is to get the crowd hyped about the idea of being on tv...and give the ladies a few minutes to go the the ladies room to check themselves and get their makeup just right. Now here's on of the most important things that you'll need to do. Go to the lighting tech.operator and have him give you as much strobe, smart light etc. as possible once the cameras began to roll. A little fog aways gives the shots a nice touch. All you'll really need is your camera light and not too much of that in fact. Now here's the most important thing... adjust your exposure manually. Before the actual shoot experiment with your F-stops (shutter speed; iris; gain) until you get the look you're looking for. Remember, you're in a nightclub not the supermarket, so don't put the crowd under a lot of unnatural, un-nightclub lighting. To get the best action and energy from your audience have the DJ to play the absolute "hottest" song in rotation when the shoot begans. This will get nearly everyone in the club up on the dance floor. At the end of the song prior to the shoot and right before the beat drops on the "Hottest" song in rotaions, have the DJ to give a countdown...5,4,3,2,1!!! This always gets the crowd in a frenzy. That's when you and your crew bail into the crowd, cameras rolling and begain shooting as many beautiful ladies as possible. Overhead shots and shots from a low position shooting upwards toward your subject are usually the most interesting shots. Oh, before I forget, to really get the dj eating out of your hand, before you began shooting the crowed, shoot some early footage of the dj doing some of his best dj tricks for the commercial. Ok, I've wasted enough of your time. Have fun, and Good Luck with your project.
Thanks for the advice concerning this matter. Alot of great advice I've gotten so far. I've already began to plan out a variation of everything people have posted. Only thing now is that I'm waiting on this guy to make up his maind if he wants to do the commerical or not. What a drag. Ya get hyped and ready to go, only to be stop dead in your tracks. Anyways thanks for the advice. Hopefully some day I will be able to drop in my two cents that will help some one.