Maybe your buddies just started their band and need some footage to upload to youtube. They sure can’t do it themselves while they’re playing up on stage. You’ve got a great video camera and a free evening and well, they offer to buy all your drinks…what are you going to do?
You know how important it is to your friends because this video might actually help them to market their band and launch them into the lifestyles of the rich and famous. This is not something that you should take lightly and you don’t want to produce something that looks cheesy or second rate. Not only will it help to promote your friends but this could also go a long way to help your own budding career.
Let’s look at a few things you’ll want to consider besides what kind of beer they’ll need to spring for when you get there. First of all, remember if you have an extra camera bring it and it’s even better if they’re very similar to save you some work in post-production editing. You can set one up on a tripod and take moving shots with the other and then stitch the film together in editing. Call around if you need to find one and rent if you have to – I’m sure if you ask your friends they’ll help you cover that cost as well.
If you have time to scout the venue, get down there and do it. Meet the manager, tell him what you’ll be doing and get him on your side. Find out what kind of lighting will be there so you’ll know what else you might need to bring in terms of lighting equipment and do some test shots with the proposed lighting if possible. If there is a sound engineer employed by the venue, get his number and give him a call – he is essential to the success of your production. Get an assessment of the equipment on site (i.e. mics, patch cords, mixers) and what you’ll have access to use.
Get there early to set up and make sure you get some b-roll footage of the venue empty, the stage, the exterior, the area and the crowd as they begin to filter in. These will be extremely helpful in the editing process as well and with all this footage you’ll be able to put together a really polished production.
Set up where you think you’ll be safe from being bumped and where you have a clear view of the stage and if you have protective gear for your equipment to make sure it doesn’t fall victim to spillage, use it. Make sure that your tripod set up is protected from the crowd, in the engineer or DJ booth if there is one. Record some of the band’s prep for the b-roll that makes for great footage. Once the band begins, make sure you grab some shots of the crowd’s response to their gig. Classic MTV stuff, right there.
When you’re done and editng, take your time. Aligning the audio might be the toughest and yet most significant aspect of this. When cutting from wide shots from one camera to tight shots with the other, you’ll need to make sure that everything lines up. Check it once, check it twice and make sure you get some fresh eyes on it as well. Let your friends see the production and save all the footage so you can switch something out if you don’t like it. All in all, you might want to produce something that lasts no longer than 10 minutes with the first three minutes being the most compelling. They’ll have to catch the viewer’s attention quickly so make it work!