Live events are like a rush, you are off the script and anything (literally anything) can happen. So if you find yourself behind a camera or a live broadcast setup at an event or interview, here are some tips to shoot a live video program like a pro.
How to Shoot LIVE Videos Professionally?
The More the Merrier
Always, and I mean always try to get as many cameras as possible. Besides interviews, every other recording has so many things going on in the surroundings that project a story of their own. This holds more weight in a case where you are shooting a live event like a concert or a party. Remember, the more cameras you have, the more you will be able to cover. Let the editor worry about which camera to broadcast at what moment.
Yes! You read that right. DSLRs are bad for live events? Why? Because they heat up pretty quickly. Even the most expensive DSLR can shoot upto a maximum of 30 minutes consecutively and then needs some time to cool down. Your best bet is to get a setup of professional cameras to cover a live event that is to go over a time limit of 15 minutes. Even phone cameras are better than DSLRs for live programs because they take more time to heat up and less time to cool down.
Get a Good Audio Recorder
I cannot stress enough on getting a good audio recorder whether you are shooting live or offline. A professional audio recorder is a must when you are shooting live because it will give you complete control over what sound you want to record primarily. Also, do not forget to constantly monitor your sound. Add a sound guy in your crew for the same.
Pick Your Style Before the Recording
Its very important to set the tone of your program via your camera setup. They way you shoot something, represents the idea behind the content. If its a formal interview, keep your camera on a tripod and choose a fix angle (two angles, if you have multiple cameras). But if its a concert or a performance, you should get a stabiliser and get some handheld footage that could transmit the energy of the performance through the footage on screen.
Remember, when you are shooting live, everything must be on a manual setting. No Auto White Balance, No Auto Focus, and no Auto exposure. Every setting, must be fed into the camera manually, and changed whenever needed. When shooting live, Auto = Bad !
Yes, I know zooming in sounds like a good idea, but trust me, its not a good thing to do constantly. You maybe tempted to zoom in and out when you are shooting a stage, but try to avoid it as much as possible. Its much better to zoom in or out digitally on the editing screen instead of the optical zoom. But again, depends on your style. So if you feel like its the right thing to do, go ahead.
Watch Video: Should you use zoom lenses for DSLR filming?
Get a Sound and Mixing Board
Technology will not only make your job easier, but it will also make your videos look and sound great. Instead of
feeding the direct audio into the live feed, try to get a sound board and control it. Same goes for the video where you can have a complete control on your footage before it goes out to the world.
Do Not Stop Recording
Do Not Stop Recording. You never know what you may miss, thinking, hey lets give the camera (and myself) a little break. If you are tired (or think your camera is), get somebody to replace you before you go out.
Bring Backup For Everything
Beware of the good ole’ rule of Murphy and have a contingency plan. Get at least one spare camera and everything that is required; spare batteries, spare microphones, space technician and a space assistant. You never know when the real thing gets into some trouble.
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Be the Early Bird
Arrive early and observe the location. Think of where you or your crew can stand with the setup. Make sure you get friendly with the performers/Emcees if possible and make yourself familiar with the surroundings. Talk to the organisers and make sure your shooting and recording locations are reserved only for you, without any hindrance. This will be good for your recording and equipment. Take necessary precautions as to tape down the cables to the floor, hiding your gear under or behind the stage and make sure you are not in a spot where general public comes and goes frequently. You have to get a good angle, but its also important to consider the convenience of other people and security of your equipment. The last thing you want it for somebody to trip and fall over your expensive rented camera.
How to shoot and Edit Live Videos? – The Technique
Step 1: Choose how you would want to broadcast your video feed. There are several options from free to paid. You can either use a social media platform like Facebook or Youtube to broadcast live, or can get a premium account with a live streaming platform (like livestream, ustream, younow or liveu) that could help broadcast your video live on your website or the url or media of your choice. Most people these days prefer going live in Youtube, because its free and more accessible.
Step 2: Get a solid and reliable high speed internet connection. And NO! Your mobile data plan isn’t going to cut it if you are trying to do something professional. Either get in touch with the organisers to know about the internet connectivity at the venue or invest in more than one 4G wifi routers. Remember, always keep a backup of the backup when it comes to the internet.
Step 3: After you get your broadcasting platform and internet connection sorted, its time to setup the cameras. If you are shooting with a professional camera, you will need a broadcasting device (something like this). But if you are doing it via your phone or an android base camera, you can directly use the Facebook Live or Youtube Live app. But if you dont have a broadcaster or simply cant afford one, you will need a laptop (or computer) with good specs, and a mini recorder (or a capture device).
Step 4: After you have your camera connected to your broadcasting device or laptop, you need to start streaming. For this, you can either use the service from Step 1 or go to this link to stream live through youtube. Remember, you can connect multiple cameras into your laptop (depending how many USB ports your laptop has), however you will need a separate broadcasting device for each camera.
Step 5: You are all set for your live broadcast. Go crazy !!
Featured Image by: Airtime.Pro