OT: Lecture/Demo videotaping Advice needed.

bjtap wrote on 5/11/2003, 9:39 AM
I am about to video a lecture/demo (involving audience participation) event with only one camera. Would you suggest just leaving the camcorder on a tripod and shooting all from one angle. (Possibly up to two hours), or hand holding the camera (Canon GL-1) and moving around, or keeping the cam on the tripod and moving it around that way or ????. I do have a steady tracker but I believe 2 hours of that would be out of line. Not sure if the 'action' will all be on a stage or out in the audience. In any case I will want some audience reaciton shots.


mikkie wrote on 5/11/2003, 10:01 AM
Talk to whomever is presenting the lecture for tips from past lectures given.

Have someone stand on stage and warm up the audience before the lecture and get shots from on stage.

Shoot from towards the rear, where you can go close, wide, and pan.

Pay, beg, con someone to shoot the audience from the front, stage area, with whatever quality camera's available.

As you shoot, break it up a bit with close and wide shots timed so you can edit out the actual zooming... Can do as well in edit, though this will hurt quality a bit, but don't want viewers falling asleep.
TorS wrote on 5/11/2003, 12:55 PM
Your question is welcome, but please don't post two identical questions. And if you did so by mistake, please delete one of them.
bjtap wrote on 5/11/2003, 5:58 PM
Thanks for the input.
I deleted two of my other posts. My computer gave me absolutely no indication that my post even made it to the board. The blue line would go half way across and the screen just froze there. Sorry.
DaveF wrote on 5/12/2003, 11:48 AM
In similar situations, I ask the presenter to ask the audience to hang around for a few minutes after the presentation. Then we'll take the camera up to the stage and get cut aways of the audience.

Usually, the presenters are happy to comply when you explain it'll help them come across better. And the audiences like the few extra minutes with the presenter to exchange war stories.
bjtap wrote on 5/13/2003, 10:11 PM
To all those who replied here and on my 'other' unintended thread a great big thank you. I have taken notes that will travel with me and will incorporate many of our ideas. As it turns out I will have an Hi8 doing audience shots.
PeterWright wrote on 5/13/2003, 10:20 PM
If you have a Hi 8 camera there, it won't need to spend the whole time getting audience shots, so ask the op. to get some close-ups of the presenter - it always helps to vary the shot, particularly during long discourses.
bjtap wrote on 5/13/2003, 10:33 PM
I absolutely agree with your assessment. I will have the other camera getting the lecturer at different angles as well as some audience shots.
TorS wrote on 5/14/2003, 4:46 AM
A British woman who trains camera people and has a very good website was asked for advise by someone rather new to the game, so she wrote a page and called it "What your mum would have told you, if she'd been a camerawoman". It may not hit right at your spot on the learning curve, but it does contain a lot of sensible, useful information.
Open it here

A personal tip from me: Experienced people always tell you to gather extra shots of audience etc to fill in, cover zooms, tape changes and for plain variation. They're right of course but do remember that when you cut away from someone who is saying something you also take away some intesisty from what is being said. Don't cut if you don't have to.