Top 10 Event Videography Tips
Plan out the different deliverables you want (Highlight, Full Capture, Live-Stream).
Decide how many cameras you need and how creative or professional you want the video to be.
Make sure the videographers have fluid, heavy duty tripods and won't give you jerky pans & zooms.
Try to get at least two reliable audio sources and connect the AV team with the videographers.
Discuss the lighting of the venue and its size.
Determine if you will have an adequate, separate space for interviews if you want them.
Check to assure where the videographers can and cannot go throughout the event.
Be sure to make a schedule.
Make a list of important people & their names, and shots to get.
Provide any logos or sponsor branding for the editor.
Events are always great for your business and brand. They can be highly profitable, great for connecting & networking, very fun & engaging, and a good way to add value to your audience. Recording videos of these events is almost just as important as the event itself. It allows for upsells to people who missed the event, can show you how you want to improve for the next event, and is also a great marketing tool to grow the event. In this article, we'll discuss ways to assure you get great event coverage. These tips are useful for both event planners and videographers as well.
1. Plan out the different deliverables you want.
Talk with your team or leadership about which video formats will be the most appropriate for your event coverage. If the event is highly educational & high-ticket, it may be good to capture the entire gathering to resell later. If the event is more of a celebratory occasion or part of an extended tour, a highlight may be better. Then, of course, if it has a large, loyal following across the nation or world, a live stream will be beneficial.
2. Decide how many cameras you need and how creative or professional you want the video to be.
This decision varies with budget and the end goal of the video. A smaller event with just a highlight may be able to get away with one camera. However, a larger event will need 2-4 cameras or more to assure quality footage and angles. When possible, you should look to have a camera on a tripod and a camera roaming at the least. Of course, the more cameras you can afford, the better your video will be. Roaming cameras can either be be calm, shoulder rig shots (good for broadcast), or high-motion, creative gimbal shots (good for highlights).
3. Make sure the videographers have fluid, heavy duty tripods and won't give you jerky pans & zooms.
This is key for events. There is a much different skillset required for shooting long-form, tripod shots than there is for shooting promo/highlight videos with lots of cuts. Fluid-head tripods give you the best chance of being able to follow action without stiffness in the shots. In addition to that, camcorders will typically provide smoother zooms in & out when necessary. You don't want the zooms to be so abrupt that they distract the viewer. Lastly, when shooting concerts or events with very loud music, it is key to have a soft platform under your tripod that absorbs sound vibrations. Nobody will enjoy watching vibrating footage.
4. Try to get at least two reliable audio sources and connect the AV team with the videographers.
Prior to the event, it will be good for the video crew and the audio engineers to connect. Both will have their own separate agendas with the same goal: great audio. The audio engineer should be aware that the videographer may want to plug an XLR or RCA cable to the soundboard so that there will be no last minute problems or surprises the day of the event. Occasionally, the engineer is not always the greatest or maybe your recorder malfunctions while pulling audio from the soundboard. You don't want to fall back on bad, noisy camera audio. You want to fall back on some very quality wireless lavalier audio that is connected to the speakers if possible.
5. Discuss the lighting of the venue and its size.
Probably about 75% of events have bad lighting for video unless they are outdoors during the day. This is why great, low-light cameras with larger apertures (f/1-f/2.8) and quality high ISO capabilities are ideal for events. In addition, it is always a good idea to bring a quality wireless light kit for interviews and dark, shadowy areas. As far as venue size, the bigger the venue, the greater the need for large production camcorders which get very expensive with increased range and features. Just to mention, never bring a DSLR to record a full event over 30 minutes. Most DSLRs have 30min recording and automatically pause. This is only possible if you bring an external video recorder with no recording limits.
6. Determine if you will have an adequate, separate space for interviews if you want them.
If you really need interviews, try to pre-plan a place for them that is quiet and as visually appealing as possible. Sometimes these interviews will happen while the event is still going on. That is why multiple videographers can be essential. Make sure there is an assigned interviewer as well.
7. Check to assure where the videographers can and cannot go throughout the event.
All videographers want to know exactly how close they can get to the action, and none of them want to be thrown just anywhere or not have a home within the venue. Also, depending on how high-profile the speakers or performers are, there will be no stage access allowed or it will be limited. Depending on the shots desired, this is good to know early on.
8. Be sure to make a schedule.
Most people having events are operating on some type of schedule. Just don't forget to get your videographer a copy as well. This is important for them to know where to be and when.
9. Make a list of important people, those people's names, and necessary shots to get.
Unless the videographers are in-house or repeat workers, it is unlikely that they'll know exactly who to focus on the most. Help your vision be captured by letting them know important people and shots to get. Also, editing will be much smoother if pictures and names of VIP are provided.
10. Provide any logos or sponsor branding for the editor.
This is almost a no-brainer, but go ahead send full-resolution .png (transparent background) logos and branding to your editors ahead of time so they don't have to fish for low-quality logos on Google and then possibly have to photoshop them.
I hope this was helpful. Show this article to future videographers if you are planning an event and will need to assure they understand these things. Event videography can get expensive when incorporating all of these aspects. The price can range from $3K-$20K+ depending on the needs.
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