Lessons in Filmmaking | SHOOTING LIVE EVENTS

Lessons in Filmmaking | SHOOTING LIVE EVENTS

Shooting live events can be a bitch. Mainly because... they're LIVE. Everything that happens, happens

only once. So if you miss something important... you missed it. No retakes, no second chances. On the

other hand, this uncontrollable, unpredictable environment can make a live event one of the most

exciting things to shoot.

Whichever way you look at, here are some helpful tips to make your next live event shoot a successful


1. CONVINCE YOUR CLIENT TO DO A HIGHLIGHT VIDEO - Some clients will tell you that they want an hour and

a half long video of their event. F*ck all that. No one wants to sit through an hour and a half long video of

anything so there's no value in creating one. On the other hand, pretty much anybody can sit through a

well-made 3 minute highlight video. So convince your client that a highlight video is what they need and


2. USE 2 or 3 CAMERAS - This will help ensure that you don't miss anything important. Have one

person focus on coverage and have the other focus on creative shots. You probably will only use about

15% of the coverage camera footage, but that 15% will be absolutely essential.

3. INTERVIEW PEOPLE - If you can find a few people (or 1 person) to give you a brief overview of the event,

you can use their words as the foundation to edit on top of. This will help give the video structure. Also,

try to interview as many random people as possible in order to get soundbites that you can throw into the

video. One cool thing you can do is have everyone say or do something similar that you can edit

together. (see Santana Row video for an example)

4. HAVE THE MUSIC IN MIND - The live event videos that have turned out best for us were the ones that we

shot with a certain song or beat already in mind. It isn't always easy to figure out the soundtrack

beforehand, but if you're able to, it will allow you to shoot with a clearer focus and a specific rhythm.

Here are some samples of our best live event videos:

1. SF Pride 2016 (shot with music in mind): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPe2VNUnORw

2. Indian Wedding: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqFQ0V2_vWE

3. Santana Row Fashion Show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkS1kz726Io