Submitted by admin on 12:30 am
Corporate Video Production Services
Professional Video Recording Instructions
I am glad we have your professionalism for our videotaping. If video recording a speech, it is crucial that our videotaping does not interfere with their presentation. As a video professional, you have to make sure to tape down wires, keep lighting safe and out of the audience members eyes and not interrupt the presentation. One caveat- if the shoot has the potential of being ruined because of an unexpected interruption in sound, use your judgment as what to do. Ask the presenter how comfortable they are if you have to stop them for an unexpected reason. This is not always possible however as you will find out.
Keep in mind as professionals, you and I charge for our services accordingly. This is a significant amount of money for our client to spend. Please do everything you possibly can to make our client comfortable and assure the footage you ship to me is first class.
Here are our requirements, my dream list of details, for this video taping session. Thank you for helping make it a reality. Since I can not be there with you during the taping, please be the director for this production. I will produce it with you from a distance.
Rehearse if at all possible either before they go on or the night before after set up. This would include checking the lighting for nice even consistent lighting, wireless audio microphone radio frequency drop outs or interference and equipment functionality. Test record a 2 or 3 minute section of their presentation and play it back listening to the audio through headphones and viewing from your confidence monitor or viewfinder. Listen carefully for hums or buzzes. Absolutely no hums or buzzes will be acceptable.
You will hear room noise and HVAC systems. Not much you can do about that after all it is a hotel or meeting facility and not a sound stage!
Digital camera with mini dv or dv cam format; Beta sp is also acceptable.
(2) 400-600 watt lights minimum.
(1) Back light as a general wash if necessary. Make sure backlight is not in the A camera shot.
(1) Back up wireless lavaliere to use in case house patch is not acceptable
(1) Audience reaction microphone (more if possible)
(1) Audio mixing board with 2-XLR -10db outputs if necessary, not mandatory
High quality professional camera tripod with fluid head
Oversee or give video friendly input for the set up of the room. Do what you can to make sure it looks good on tape. This may include recommending a stage direction (if kitchen doors and exit signs, windows and mirrors could ruin a look) that will look best on tape. If possible, recommend that they build the room set from the rear forward. Give as much distance from the wall behind the stage if possible. It will then be out of focus. If there is a drape, please make sure client does not blend in with the color.
In the back of the room, try to set up two risers for the main camera. One riser is for the A camera and one for the camera operator. (Avoid footage that is shaky) double this for two cameras.
What does the shot look like in your viewfinder or monitor?
It is my preference to NOT have a center isle. I like to see backs of heads in shots. If this is not possible, place the camera to one side or the other in the rear of the room instead of shooting straight up the middle, center isle. Take into consideration what the camera will see from each back corner location. If you choose the back right corner because there is AC easily available, turn the camera on using your battery to take a quick look at the shot before setting up to stay at that location. What do you see in the viewfinder? If there are undesirable exit signs, thermostats or kitchen doors in the shot, move the camera so they are NOT in the shot. PLEASE, recommend pipe and drape if you are not happy with the back ground look. Black drape sucks out light but looks better than royal blue and maroon.
Do you own an audio mixer and a wireless lavaliere? Bring them as back up just in case. Use the mixer, yours or the house, to get your main audio feed of all microphones used for the presentation. If this includes laptop audio, you may need to filter the laptop audio to remove buzzes. Let’s discuss once we know if our client is using laptop audio. I use a direct box to filter buzzes. If you are not familiar with a direct box, it has several different audio inputs and outputs and allows you to convert jacks and plugs, select your input and output levels and lift grounds. Most all buzzes that will be incurred have grounding origins. This could be a bad cable or inconsistent AC grounding.
Also, when incurring audio buzzes, you can use a three prong AC ground lift to remove the buzz. In other words, lift your ac ground on all your equipment so the third prong on your AC plug is not connected to the house AC ground. Often times light dimmers, coffee services and other hotel service instruments cause buzzes in your delicate audio components.
Having an audio mixer (Mackie or something with balanced XLR outs)if you can for back up. This gives you patching flexibility. It is not absolutely necessary to have the mixer, let’s discuss.
Hopefully the facility will supply a clean audio patch and all this will be unnecessary reading. Just in case, as a back up to the back up, have your own wireless lavaliere to put as a second microphone on our client if all else fails. We must have good clean audio.
A possible scenario using the direct box is to use a Â¼’ mono auxiliary out to the Â¼â€ direct box input. Send an XLR out audio feed using AUX and direct box to your XLR (separate from the audience microphone) audio track on the video tape. Set up an audience microphone on a microphone stand and send that to a second, separate audio channel on the video tape. This will allow mixing the audience reaction (applause, laughter) in the edit as necessary. To reiterate, audience microphone sent to one channel on the camera’s audio in and the other client / speaker microphone for the other camera input so I have mixing flexibility- post shoot in the edit.
You can also use the camera microphone to capture audience reaction/applause and assign to the isolated track or use the B camera to record audience reaction (if we decide on a 2 camera shoot).
Bottom line, I need good room sound of people laughing, applauding and having fun watching this presentation. I need it isolated so I can control it in the edit.
Make sure all audio is digital safe and not distorted or too low. Let’s discuss if you have any questions.
PLEASE do NOT mix audio from client microphone and the audience. They must be separate.
Try to arrange for two side isles instead of one center isle so we see backs of heads and shoulders in the shot some of the time. Speaking of shots, I would like a variety of slow push and pulls throughout. Please shoot as if live all the time. No jerky movements.
You do not have to constantly move in and out…just occasionally. Medium body shot (waist up) a majority of the time.
It is important that we have movement in the video. If the client presenting is moving around a lot while speaking, then do not be concerned with zooming in and out for movement. If you own a separate pistol zoom control, please bring it and use as you follow the speaker or presenter. If their stage movement is enough, then you do not have to do a lot of zooming in and out, perhaps occasionally.
The background of the shot should be abstract and out of focus as well as darker than the lighting of the subject, our client, on the stage. There should be no walls in the background or telephones or fire plugs or other obnoxious items in the shot. Forgive my redundancy.
Hopefully the room is large enough so the video does not look too compressed and busy. I know this may be out of your control however, one out of ten times when I arrive and realize the room is too small, I ask if we can move to a larger room. One out of ten times one is available and we move. The more room the better!
If we are shooting more than one camera, get me a variety of interesting shots with camera two. Some would include larger audience shots, others would be four, three and two people shots. Make sure nobody in your shots is sleeping, looking bored or picking their nose. Find the audience members enjoying their selves and get it on tape.
If you are comfortable and THE CLIENT APPROVES, get some other shots of the speaker including behind them with the audience in front; side angle shots of the speaker presenting and quick pans to the audience and back. Shots we could use for a montage or transition or edit. Wide shots from the rear of the room showing the IMAG (image magnification screens) are also desirable.
Keep your camera in manual iris and focus. Set your iris once for the stage area and adjust only if the speaker walks out in the audience or a dark spot on the stage. If you are not too far back, you will be able to keep your camera in focus manually. We do not want video footage that comes in and out of focus constantly throughout the presentation.
Lighting should be done from far room left and right as close to the stage as possible. Back of the room lighting will cause shadows. Place your lights extremely wide so that the shadows are out of the shot. By placing your lights close to the front of the room and wide, the shadows will be far left and right behind the speaker. When you are shooting, these shadows will be out of your shot because you are not shooting extreme wide shots. I do NOT want any shadows in the shot. If necessary use back lighting to help accent the speaker and remove any shadows.
Place the (2) lights against the walls stage left and right and use sandbags or grip tape so if they are bumped they will not fall over.
If the budget allows, back light a bit for depth near the back extreme side points of the stage so the lights do not get in the shot.
(The room may be big enough for this…can you site inspect before the shoot?)
Please go above and beyond the call of duty and feel free to help our client look their best. Make sure our client has no stray or fly away hair strands before going on stage. How does their lipstick look? Is their tie straight? Their shirt not unbuttoned or spinach in their teeth?
I know this may be uncomfortable but I guarantee they will not mind the feedback. They will greatly appreciate you telling them something is not right. Maybe suggest they take one final look before the shoot.
NO EMPTY SEATS IN THE SHOT!
We are using this footage to produce a promotional video that will get speaking engagements for our client. It is crucial that the footage look exciting and interesting. PLEASE do all you can to avoid empty seats in the audience?
If we are using two cameras, make sure the second camera (if shooting audience faces) does NOT show empty seats.
As a final thought, I prefer DV CAM tape or MINI DV over Beta Sp. Clean audio and well lit footage. You can not ask me too many questions and none are considered stupid.
Hide all lavaliere wireless microphone wires; make sure to use fresh batteries always. Please let the client know if something on her person is not right like fly away hair or lipstick or crooked tie.
Make sure Microphone capsule does not rub.
If the group has hired a photographer, please meet with the photographer, introduce yourself and ask they not get in any of your shots. Of course you can’t help the flash going off. In fact, that looks kind of cool in the video. However, it has to me understood you both stay out of each others way. The polite way of doing this is better than the rude way.
You will be put in the Primeau Productions database once your footage has met our requirements and will be referred future video taping projects. We work with professional speakers throughout the world and your city is often requested for video taping.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Primeau Productions LLC
PO Box 71220
Rochester Hills, Michigan 48307