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White balance when shooting live theater

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Michael West
White balance when shooting live theater
on Jul 3, 2013 at 3:56:20 pm

Good morning:
I am using 3-4 Canon HG20's to shoot live theater performances.
The lighting can change from scene to scene, so my question is how best to white balance each camera to make sure each scene looks the same (or as close as possible) color-wise.
I shoot in Cine Mode with PF24.
I have had situations where the color come out reddish from one angle and blueish from another.
Lots o' time with color correction!
I turn on the cameras about 10 minutes before the show starts and let them run until curtain (one-man band).
Thanks for any help.

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Craig Alan
Re: White balance when shooting live theater
on Jul 4, 2013 at 5:18:04 pm

Each scene or each camera?

Are you using auto white balance? If so switch to manual.

If they choose to light each scene with a certain color why not reflect that in the video? Otherwise you'd need to manually white balance each cam for each change of light.

If you just want each cam to match each other then light the stage with the stage lights without filters (no house lights) and manually white balance each cam.

Have someone hold the white balance card toward each cam and zoom in to fill the screen.

Because the cams are at different angles you will get different levels of lights but that can be more or less balanced in post.

You should find camera operators for the different cams so you can get close ups and wide shots as needed and adjust the exposure manually.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.

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