View Full Version : Indoor Concert

10-09-2006, 08:26 PM
Hi Folks,

I was fortunate enough to have met a Director for a large non-profit organization in my area. They are putting on a concert and she asked me to film it! Now, I'm really new to the Cinematography world, but this could be a great opportunity to actually start creating a demo reel. I'd like to make some money doing side gigs while in school, but everyone asks to see your work (which is understandable). But it's hard to get yourself in the door when you dont have sample footage that relates to their request. Anyways, she was nice enough to give me a chance.

SO, to my question. Any tips on how I should approach this? Are there any things to be conscious of when filming a concert? I'm sure it's going to be dark with a heavily lit stage, but that's just an assumption. Just curious to see what kind of tips you guys would offer when filming this kind of event.


10-09-2006, 09:27 PM
If it's possible, use more than one camera. Get an audio recorder hooked into the sound system that records the entire concert, directly from the main mixer.

10-09-2006, 10:49 PM
Cool, I was thinking along the same vein. With the additional camera, would I just try and get audience coverage? Or also some of the concert as well? The reason I ask is that the additional camera will probably not be the same quality.

Also, I was thinking about getting the audio directly from the mixer. To do that, what exactly do you need?


10-09-2006, 11:00 PM
I'd want 2 cameras focused on the stage, so I could edit back and forth. I'd probably instruct one operator to do lots of close ups, while the other one would stay wider, but there are lots of ways you could allocate them. I wouldn't try to do the audience simply because the lights are on the stage. A lot of this depends on what sort of concert it is, etc.

Regarding audio; you'd need a good stereo recorder with some kind of line-level input, and a pocket full of adaptors to be sure you can hook up. The most common connections for line-levels would be the 1/4" mono jacks and the RCA style jacks, like the ones on the back of your stereo receiver. You should talk to the band, or the guy in charge of the house sound system. You'll need their cooperation, in any case. If you can't get it, you'll have to rely on microphones. However you do the audio, you don't want any breaks in the dedicated audio track. You can slice and dice the video, as long as the audio runs without a hiccup. If you must record audio on your camera, be sure to change tapes in an intermission, or between songs.

10-09-2006, 11:06 PM
p.s. You'll still need audio on the cameras for synchronization

p.p.s. When I said "slice and dice", I meant you could switch back and forth between cameras as needed, so you can work around a short, single camera, glitch by using video from the other camera, or using video that doesn't require precise sound sync.

10-09-2006, 11:29 PM
I would almost find a nice tall place to plant the wide camera so you can have on consistently good take (don't forget to switch tapes after 45-50 minutes (whether it needs it or not). This way when you go to edit, you can lay down the wide take and splice the closeups over it from the other camera. You will never have a "bad spot" in the concert that you have to coverup with creative editing...My father and I do weddings this way with 3 locked down wide, one on tripod at back of church for locked closeups and a third wild for getting tighter shots, insert shots and audience cutaways.

10-10-2006, 12:15 AM
Thanks Oakstreet and Knightly, I appreciate the help.

So I'm pretty sure I can get my hands on two cameras, but three may be difficult. So if the cameras vary in quality, is that a problem? Like if one is a nice full blown 3 chip deal, but the other is say a 1 chip, is that okay to splice the footage back and forth? If it's okay, which shot would you put the higher quality camera? The wide?


10-10-2006, 08:00 AM
It's a tough call, I would say use the 3-chip on the wide as the image will break down less than the one-chip at that distance. Keep it wide enough to catch all the action, but tight enough to get just the action and nothing else...DV doesn't do well wide. The 1-chip will get you decent footage if you keep it tight (tripod/monopod for stability).

10-10-2006, 09:06 AM
You can probably reconcile most differences in post. I've switched between a 1-CCD S-VHS camera and a 3-CCD DV camera and managed to get it to look pretty good. If both cameras are setup well (exposure, white balance, etc.) matching the footage won't be a show-stopper. A shaky camera, bad exposure (especially over-exposure), bad audio, etc. are all worse things than varying camera quality. If the shots from the camera are very different (e.g. one wide, and one tight, or one from the side of the stage and one from the front), then the change in image quality won't be a huge deal.

You can always use more footage from the better camera and use your other camera for fill/transitions/etc. However, it's really hard to edit a continuous piece with one camera, only.

As Knightly pointed out, a high, semi-wide angle would be great; just enough to cover most of the stage (front and center). You must visit the venue well in advance of the concert with someone who can show you around and tell you where you might be able to setup cameras. If you talk to the right person, he/she may be able to offer suggestions and tell you what others have done that worked.

10-26-2006, 01:40 AM
If you doing one cam then set up in the center behind the audience. Run Line audio to your cam from the Sound Board. Work manual Iris during recording as you will need to adjust it many times especialy in closeups when you zoom in. If you have two cameras have the other cam walk around and grab some inserts. I dont thing that continuity of lighting and/or video image is such a crucial thing in concert event...
I mean ... there is only so much you can do... so you do with what you got. Dont worry and shoot it.
ps. you've mentioned Demo Reel ... check out