By Myles Herod
Imagine the scene: Your supervisor comes to you with the task of filming an important client event, with the instructions “Use the company’s camera and bring back a video. This is going to be seen by a lot of people.”
A tall order to say the least. Where do you begin? Keep in mind there is more to shooting a competent video than pressing the record button. No worries. Claim your spot as the company Steven Spielberg by remembering these simple steps.
- Know your gear
Come prepared with batteries charged, camera in hand and a steady tripod so you’re not shooting handheld. If possible, test out the camera a day or two before. Turn it on and play with the zoom and record buttons. Remember, leaving it on auto mode will only get you so far.
- See your location first
You’ll want to meet with your clients beforehand to get a solid understanding of their expectations and the event. This can range from what they want you to shoot to how well the venue will be lit. If there is a rehearsal, use it. Locate important wall sockets, test audio, if applicable, and make sure you’re comfortable with the camera.
- Make a shot list and use it
For anyone shooting an event, beginners to pros, it’s imperative to make a list of shots you’ll need in order to tell a story. Be sure when making this list to label times and places that these “must capture” moments will take place.
- Get variety
Collect shots you may or may not need for editing. Regardless of the type of event you’re shooting, it’s always good practice to grab establishing shots (designed to show the audience where the action is taking place), as well as B-roll video (alternate footage intercut with the main shot to add context). If you think it’ll be too busy during the event, grab an establishing shot on a nice day leading up to the event.
- Don’t shoot a three-hour epic
Perhaps the greatest rookie mistake is the false security of shooting more than what’s needed. Keep your shots concise to make editing simple. Be sure to talk with your supervisor to discuss the intention of the video prior to shooting. Do they want a story of the event? Or just a recap? Knowing its purpose is half the battle.
Remember, no one is expecting you to come back with a masterpiece. Be confident in using the camera, come prepared and shoot enough material to piece together a deliverable video.
(Photo courtesy of Unsplash)