On Friday 19th of November there was a jazz, folk and Poetry evening at the school to which I am going and I decided to go there with the PC7 to get some footage of some of the people I know although I ended up with more than that, in fact I ended up taping quite a lot of the show.
About the room:
What was interesting with this particular show was that the room did not have the conventional seating arangment where you have rows of chairs which all point in the same direction, instead there were several tables with chairs around them in such a way that everyone at the table could see what was going on at the front of the room where the stage was.
Lighting in the room was mixed since every table had a candle on it, thereby leaving little light in the room. The stage was covered by many lights which were set up to make the scene lit evenly therefore making it good to shoot, when they were on stage. This however was not the case since some acts used more space, going in front of the stage where lighting was poor thereby meaning that the images had a lot of static because the gain had to compensate.
Shooting the event was interesting because I did not want to get in the way of the audience restricting the positions which I could use, if I had a tripod and went to the back of the room I would find that I would have quite a few heads and candles which may have contributed to the atmosphere but which would have detracted attention from the main action. I used several positions so that when I would edit the show it would be more interesting.
Shooting a band:
For the first act the angle was not wide enough to encompass all the artists therefore I concentrated on one group of artists and as we heard certain instruments rather than others I used this to guide me on deciding which side would be my center of attention. When people were doing solos I got a close up of the artist while he was playing and when the other instruments joined in I zoomed out to get a wide shot of the scene.
During the show there were some poetry readers therefore I composed my shot in such a way that you would see the book the person was reading near the bottom left of the screen and the person's face in the top right segment of the screen to reduce the amount of wasted space in the shot yet not getting it to cluttered. If I had been able to move to a different position I may have gone directly in front of the reader in such a way that you see the face better, maybe next time.
A play in which someone acts:
When someone did her play there was someone playing the piano so I concentrated on her and zoomed out to expose the actress or talent. This talent whom I used to find a challenge to shoot because I wanted to get the audience to get to see the artist's face. She speaks through her body to convey what she is saying. I spent most of the time with a medium shot most of the time. This allowed the audience to see the person's face and the body language.
Some people also sang and some of them had instruments playing in the background and others did not. I feel that when you have people playing instruments you should show them and show the singer thereby meaning that you have to show a variety of shots and because I have seen many productions on television where you see that it is multi-camera footage I think that you have to keep it dynamic for people to keep paying attention, especially when it's fairly fast moving. Those singers who do not have music in the background and who I find are good looking are interesting to capture since you do not need to keep the camera moving, as was the case last night, instead it remains static.
Action involving several people.
Finally we arrive at productions where there are a few actors present, some with people moving around and doing physical action while with others it is two people speaking. For the first of these when I was speaking to someone who is in the business and is creating a video for the ISG I met him and while watching video of the fashion show he told me that I should select one of the people and keep a tighter shot of that person and then when they came back together to show both people. I was trying to show everyone during that shoot keeping wide shots and throughout the video we could not see the artist. Last night I kept this in mind and concentrated on the person who was more active and then moved onto the other person. When two of my friends were acting I kept the shot wide because one was sitting with his legs going over the stage while the other was standing in the background. I decided ton keep this shot wide because I did not know what actions they would do therefore I would not have known when to switch from one to the other thereby protecting myself from missing a shot.
Although I was not planning on working on making a video I shot most of the event and upon reviewing the material I think that I have enough material for the half hour edit I wanted to make, also there are a few people who want to buy copies therefore during the week-end I'm going to spend time editing the project.
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