If you want to promote your band or your friend’s group, or you decide you want to film footage of a concert as part of a movie or a short, how do you get started? What do you need to do to set up the shoot, and how can you guarantee its success? How can you plan your shoot to make sure that it goes smoothly? Live events are notoriously difficult to film and live music is even more problematic – the sound is a big part of the overall package and you also need to contend with lighting that may not always be optimum for video. But get it right and you gain an exciting, vibrant addition to your video portfolio.
1. Get Permission
Let’s make it clear that when we talk about filming concerts we are not talking about getting bootleg footage by aiming a camcorder or phone at the stage and posting it on YouTube. You need to secure permission from the band in order to film. If you are not already known for your videos then it can be difficult to get permission, and you will normally have to work for free a few times – once the bands have seen your work (send them a copy) then they may hire you for future (paid) gigs. Of course, even if you are working for free you still need to get the band’s permission to film, and the permission of the venue.
2. Get a Team Together
You will not be able to successfully film a concert on your own. It is simply not possible. When shooting any live event you need to have someone monitoring multiple cameras, someone monitoring sound, others scoping shots. Filming a live concert is difficult and requires extensive energy and expertise. If all this sounds like too much to handle, ensure success by hiring a professional video production company like rawproductions.tv. A professional video of your band is much more effective than blurry footage taken with a substandard camera, which you tried to edit but couldn’t quite get right.
3. Scope Out the Venue
Take a look at the venue and see if it will work for filming. You need some elevation so you can get the cameras over the heads of the audience, and a room that minimizes the sound reflections from the walls. High ceilings are best, and air conditioning is a definite plus. Also look to see if the venue has a good quality in-house recording system.
4. Plan Your Camera and Mic Placement
Scoping the venue should also include planning where to put your cameras and your microphones. The number of cameras you are using will affect the placement but you generally need some at the stage for close-ups, with others elevated and further back for the wide shots. Microphones pick up most sound from directly in front and having mics high up help to get a clearer sound effect.