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Event filming etiquette

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Megan WelhamEvent filming etiquette
by on Feb 8, 2013 at 7:45:00 am

Hello!

I'm fairly new to event videography but I've filmed a few events and have struggled with some etiquette-oriented issues. I was wondering if people have techniques/advice/experiences/etc. regarding these issues.

I realize not everyone is comfortable in front of the camera, but is there a way/technique to prevent the subjects' awkwardly stopping conversation and looking into the camera?

Also, I've been shooting with a mark ii, which everyone assumes is for photography. People constantly stop to the side, expecting me to take my picture before they pass through the shot. I have to awkwardly wave them by. Of course I don't want them to ruin the shot, but for candid event videos, people passing through can be worked around. Is there a way to get by this?

Finally, I always feel like I'm barging in on people. I set up my shot and hold it for a while, occasionally changing lengths/etc. Is this a normal initial feeling that I will eventually just overcome with experience? Or am I perhaps actually not positioning myself right and, in fact, getting up in their faces too much?


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David EaksRe: Event filming etiquette
by on Feb 8, 2013 at 9:56:14 am

If you walk up to an unsuspecting group of people who are in conversation and point a camera at them, they are bound to look at you. If you setup on a tripod across the room and zoom in on them from afar they aren't so likely to notice, great for candid broll shots of people. It also helps give a shallower depth of field, if you want that.

If you just want people to walk by without worrying about your shot, try to use your body language to let passers-by know that it is ok to pass, like frame the shot then look around and pretend is not recording, mess with your phone etc. leaving the camera apparently "unattended".


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Mark SuszkoRe: Event filming etiquette
by on Feb 8, 2013 at 4:50:29 pm

When you are shooting video on a DSLR, to the guests you look like a still photog, so naturally they strike a pose for you. If your camera looked like a video camera, the reaction would be different.

People not wanting to spoil your shot may awkwardly pause or try to duck. You need a deprecating nod and smile, and a hand waving gesture that says, "no, please, it's okay; go right ahead".

If you're getting a lot of this awkwardness, it may be that you're working too close to the guests and spooking them: use more sneaky telephoto shots, as has been suggested. You want a good mix of focal lengths for the edit, anyway, don't be afraid of a few long shots.


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Juan CoronaRe: Event filming etiquette
by on Feb 19, 2013 at 5:04:20 am

David, I am glad to hear that a professional such as yourself uses the technique of pretending like your not recording. As someone who is a couple years new to videography this trick has worked a lot of times for me. Ill set up the shot, notice my subjects are looking at me filming them, so I then begin to act like im not recording, and they go back to acting normal...thus a great shot.

Megan, I too recommend, setting your camera on a tripod from a distance and zooming in, you can catch some beautiful candid moments without anyone knowing, then your cliens will love it when they see the video.


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Brent DunnRe: Event filming etiquette
by on Feb 19, 2013 at 4:49:19 pm

Sometimes, I too have to tell people, it's video. Not as much now, but it's not a big deal.

I try to use lenses that I can zoom and that way I can be in the background getting my shots. This allows people to be more natural and not "pose" for the shot. I never pose people for video, even when I set up shots.

It's a live event, so you'll never have every shot be perfect. With experience, you anticipate the action and position yourself for the right shot. Ask questions, Where will they come in? Where are they standing? What is going to happen and when is it happening?

If you're guessing, then you will always be behind the shot or missing that cool angle. If you can scout your location before the event, that helps too.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro
with Final Cut Studio Adobe CS6 Production






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grinner hesterRe: Event filming etiquette
by on Feb 25, 2013 at 6:11:40 pm

people skills are half the gig. You have to be able to sense personalities from afar. Never worry about being intrusive. What we do is so. maintaining eye contact helps lots when shooting people who are not use to being on camera. Also... pave the way before hand. Meet as many people as you can before you get started. It opens lots of doors



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Lisa TalleyRe: Event filming etiquette
by on Feb 28, 2013 at 3:31:45 am

I have to agree with this whole heartedly. Video Production is just as much about having people skills as it is technical know how. I tell people who are just starting out all the time that having great interpersonal communication skills is just as valuable as the imagination to your vision. This is how crew and talent remember you.

However, if it isn't your strong suit, just tell people the truth. Say (politely) "Oh, don't worry I'm not taking any pictures" If you're shooting on a DSLR that's what they're assuming you're doing. They tend to relax since they think you're not working yet.


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Brent DunnRe: Event filming etiquette
by on Feb 28, 2013 at 6:45:43 pm

Grinner said it, use your people skills. I have a great 2nd shooter who gets to know the family and guests. He has a great memory and remembers everyone's name. I on the other hand can't remember most people's names I meet for the first time.

On one event, we received a $100 tip. Personality gets you everywhere.


Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro
with Final Cut Studio Adobe CS6 Production






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