Some events, like seminars and public speeches, can be quite dry and as video producers, it is our job to find ways to make them look visually interesting and engaging to the video audience.
Making an event look visually interesting to viewers can be accomplished in a number of ways. For starters, where you choose to put your cameras can be very important.
If you only have one camera, make sure the position is in front of the subject. It may be behind the audience, but the more front and center the better. Although the presenter is predominantly addressing the audience in front of them, a well-positioned camera also enables interaction with the video audience. If the camera is positioned to the side, there is much less engagement with the presenter and the audience feels less engaged with the content.
If possible, it is a good idea to use multiple cameras. If you have the ability to use two cameras, place the second camera at the front of the room facing the audience. Sometimes it is possible to get a backstage position, just to one side of the center, but most likely this position will be to the side of the stage, facing the audience.
Adding an audience shot adds a lot to the production value of the video and makes the viewing more interesting. It is also a must if the presentation includes a question and answer component from the audience at the end of the presentation.
If it is possible to use a third camera, place it next to the first camera facing the subject. This can be used for wider shots, such as covering a guest panel.
Editing a session with multiple cameras can be time consuming, most of which can be avoided by using a video switcher to switch live to tape.
There are now several reasonably priced switches on the market, such as the Blackmagic ATEM series, that allow you to input multiple camera sources.
Audio is an equally important consideration when thinking about your audience. There is nothing more annoying when you watch video of an event and the presenter turns away from the microphone or, worse still, cannot hear what has been said.
Minimizing the chances of this happening just requires good production planning.
The safest way to capture audio is to mic each presenter or speaker individually using wireless lavalier microphones. This allows the presenter to walk around while ensuring good audio for their viewers.
Sometimes it’s best not to rely on patching your existing front-of-house audio system. This can be fraught with a whole new set of problems that will be out of your control.
You can also use the microphone on the lectern with a good quality gooseneck microphone, ask the presenter not to move it! It’s ideal to have wireless microphones if possible, but if not, make sure you have the proper length of mic cable to get from the lectern to your camera.
The use of adequate lighting is also a great consideration. Although most venues will have good stage lighting, it is always helpful to have a lighting kit on standby.
Once you’ve thought through all the technical aspects of things, pay attention to how the presentation environment can be improved.
Although art direction is usually not their concern, some clients will find it helpful to suggest improvements. It is not very interesting to see a presenter speak in front of a white background. Perhaps there are banners or a background that can be used to divide the background.
There are many components to think about when recording an event video. Your customer will certainly be impressed if you make it as visually interesting as possible.