Sunday, April 13, 2014

5 Things to Remember for Event Recording

It doesn't matter if you record on a smartphone or a dedicated camcorder user, you can improve the quality of your recording by making sure you have what you need to get it right.

I've made okay videos and I've made stinkers. This is a 2006 converted event video from the days of 320x240 web video recording.

This year I want to raise the level in an upward direction. I paid serious cash money to learn how to do better so this is the game plan:

1. Pre-Planning or What Are You Doing?

Are you going to the event to enjoy it and snag a memory or two? Are you going to give the essence of the event? Perhaps you are on a story hunt trying to find the central theme of the event?

You need to think about the kind of recording you want to make and those shots that would best represent your idea. You don't have to locked into a preconceived notions of what you think you will see; we ain't the news media. You do want to record video that capture the feeling of the event.

I'm actually talking about two things. Coverage - the crowds, the vendors, the performers, the sights and sounds. You want to bank those type of recordings to give yourself natural transitions and goof protection.

The other thing is the recording you have to have to make it clear to your viewer what they are seeing and why you think it is important.

2. Charge!

Make sure that your device(s) is charged (powered) and that you have backup power if you need it. If you have a spare USB charger and cord take it along; you never know if you have access to a spare A/C (Mains for UK folk) plug.

3. Got Room on the Card?

Yes, this is a gotcha. You might have a 32GB card in the camera but you only have 6GB of recording space available for recording. Back up your prior recordings and give yourself some recording room.

4. Stabilization

I really hate the jitters in my videos. Sure, I can turn on image stabilization but there are times when I need to use the zoom lens to see someone on stage. Using the zoom lens will amplify the jitters and the shakes.

Here is the thing. I have two heavy tripods. Hardly ever use them because they are a pain to take on public transportation. I use to have a thin travel tripod; I am in search of it but I think it broke a year or two ago.

So I am looking for a compact monopod that I can carry to keep the jitters to a minimum.  There are monopods that sell as low as $16 and as high as $250+.  Find your sweet spot and stick to it.

5. Hold Still

Count out ten seconds, hold your breath for ten seconds do what you have to do. Fight the whiplash. With few exceptions if you press the record button you aim for ten seconds before you move.

Yes, your subject might move out of the shot. Or the poet moves from one part of the stage to the other. Give them ten seconds to move back. Or compose the shot wider so that it doesn't matter where they move you got them.

Bonus Tip - Have Fun.

It is a process. It is a challenge. But in the end of the day you are outside, meeting people, being exposed to new things.

Event recording for a vlog or personal use shouldn't induce pain or cause you to be a jerk.

Take it easy.

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