Live Event Production Tips
Preparing for the unexpected is the name-of-the-game when it comes to live event production. Whether it is an electrical shortage, an issue with the lighting, or a problem with the sound, issue can – and do – arise. The proper skills, equipment, and experience is necessary to pull off any live event: with or without technical hiccups. At Adrenaline Broadcasting, we have decades of experience in the live event field capturing video, so we are always prepared for the unpredictable and wild nature of live events. Over the years, we’ve learned how to debrief teams effectively, deal with issues in a quick and efficient manner, and capture the highest quality footage possible. Here are some live event production tips that we’ve curated over our years of experience.
Know the Venue
We always scope out the venue, often days to weeks before the actual event takes place. There are limitations to each venue and knowing the power capabilities, the weight capacity of the stage and the ceiling, the limits of smoke alarm systems (when using fog), city ordinance codes, and the acoustics of the venue can go a long way when preparing for a live event. Checking out a venue can also give you an idea of where the cameramen, mixing boards, lighting, sound guys, and sound systems will be placed. Checking out a venue beforehand also allows the production team to decide on the best positions and angles for the cameras.
One of the top priorities of any live event is the safety of the audience, your crew, the venue staff, and the artists. Proper crowd safety can be attained by placing the necessary barriers between the audience and off-limit areas, such as the stage and artist dressing rooms. The proper amount of law enforcement and security staff must also be determined before the live event. If the event is an outdoor production, precautions must be taken in the event of inclement weather, through the use of covering for the stage, equipment, personnel, and audience. Sudden thunderstorms do happen, so make sure you have an evacuation plan, a refund system, or a rescheduled date in place.
Match the Audio and Visual
During post-production of live video, certain events require perfect synchronization of the audio and visual elements. This is especially true for live concerts, as you want absolutely no delay between the audio of the singer and the movement of their lips. This is also true for post-game interviews, sports commentators, referees, etc.
Feed Your Crew
Live event setup and production takes time: a lot of time. The worst thing you can do to your crew is not feed them. We recommend not skimping on the catering budget, as peanut butter jelly sandwiches and stale coffee are not appreciated by working professionals. Hire a great catering company and set a time for lunch. The lunch hour gives your crew the opportunity to socialize, take some time off of work, and re-fuel their bodies for the rest of the day’s hard work.
Bring the Right Equipment
Are you going to be taking video of the crowd? How many mics are you going to need? How many cameras and camera operators does the event call for? Is there a possibility of a light drizzle at an outdoor venue? All of the answers to this question are generally uncovered when a professional live event production company scopes out the venue prior to the live event. Being over-prepared is a necessity in live production; have a few backup mics, batteries, and electrical cords ready-to-go. Equipment malfunctions do happen! It is better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.
Taking the Shot
Decide how many cameras and operators you need. Then, decide on the types of shots that will be utilized throughout the event. Generally, the combined use of sliders, cranes, tripods, and shoulder rigs will create a fantastic choice for video-editing in post-production. A mixed-camera shoot adds variety to the finished product, as one stationary camera for a live event will inevitably make the event boring to watch on the TV. Remember to ask the client what types of shots they need and whether or not they want the entire event recorded or just the highlights.
Generally, automatic settings for focus and white balance want to be avoided. Cameras often have difficulty zooming and focusing on a subject under bright stage lights, so most live events require a skilled and experienced video operator to capture the best footage. When using manual exposure, look to your subject, not the waveforms, when capturing the shot. This avoids blown-out images.
Live Event Production New Orleans
Remember that while live event production can be complicated, it is also a pleasure to watch a finished product shot by the right team. Experienced production companies know what the venue’s limitations are, what the proper safety plans are, and know how to pull off the perfect shot with the right equipment. After the event, post-production technique is an equally important skill; bad post-production can often lead to a sub-par product, so a professional video editing service is just as important as the live crew. We hope you’ve found our live event production tips useful.
Adrenaline Broadcasting is a full-service video production company based in New Orleans, Louisiana.