Shooting an Event Video doesn’t need to be a scary experience. In fact, they can be some of the easiest videos to produce… with the right amount of planning. You can’t possibly prepare for unexpected moments happening in real-time, like those that always happen on live events. So, if you’re a videographer, what’s the next best thing to do? Prepare! Here are 5 practical tips for shooting great event videos.
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
Benjamin Franklin, 1706-1790
1. Know your event
Proactively learn what the event is all about, because the more you know, the better your mind can map out the plan of attack. The first order of business is to ensure you have an open line with the event organizers. Schedule a sit-down and talk about the details of the event, because you need to know and understand what their needs, requirements, and expectations are. While at it, don’t forget to ask for a copy of the detailed program.
- Where to shoot? Visit the location before the actual event. Ask for the layout and inquire about the places and spaces in the venue where you can and can’t shoot. List down electrical outlets, best camera placements, lighting changes, and acoustics.
- When and What? On the day of the event, make sure you get shots of the whole place while it’s still empty. From the architecture and interior decorations to the branding materials, like streamers and logos and interesting objects in the venue, get all your establishing shots in.
- Who? Your copy of the program will tell you the who’s who of the event. Be sure to get quality shots of these esteemed guests and hosts, a.k.a.the VIPs. You also have to know who and what is not supposed to be in the video. Again, work closely with the organizers.
- Why? Remember, you’re a visual storyteller. So, aside from the event name, find out what the event is for. You have to know the purpose and context of the event to clue you in on what subjects or objects to focus on.
2. Know your equipment
There is standard equipment and there are those that you include depending on your site inspection and chat with the organizers. Whatever you do, don’t forget to bring backups or extras like mics, batteries, flash drives, etc. Since the equipment is technical, aside from the organisers, be sure to know who the event’s technical point people are. And, always do a dry-run before the event starts.
3. Watch other event videos
No two events are alike, but there will be similarities between events. For inspiration and techniques, study other event videos. See how certain things are done in others’ events and pick up some pointers. It’s all about continuous discovery and learning.
4. Make a shot list
When storytelling,“You must begin with the end in mind”, as an old adage says. The important thing is to have a vision of the end product. Be as detailed as possible with your shot list – and actually shoot from your list at the event.
5. Be on your toes
Anticipation is a talent as much as a product of, again, preparation. When you know how the program starts, what happens in the middle, and how it’s going to end, you’re already on top of things. So, congratulations! However, as it’s ‘live’, expect the unexpected. So, stay alert as you shoot a variety of shots, and make sure to capture as many moments as possible – greetings, handshakes, light-hearted moments, etc. Lastly, don’t forget to check your audio regularly. Bad audio is something that’s almost impossible to edit out. The Shootsta Easy Wins series on our YouTube channel as a bunch of tips and tricks for ensuring your videos have maximum impact with minimum input! So, there you have it. Five really simple and actionable tips for shooting events. Happy shooting!