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Gig filming

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Gig filming case study

With many years experience of working as a freelance video producer gig filming is something that I always look forward to. I recently produced, filmed and edited a live performance video from Bille Ray Martin’s appearance at The Glory in London.

Arriving on location

We arrived at The Glory at 1000 with a taxi full of filming kit and lighting options. After we unloaded the kit we started preparing the set by blacking out the daylight windows closest to the stage area so that we could control the lighting and lose any daylight. We did not have much flexibility with the lighting as the venue was only fitted with a half-length ceiling mounted lighting rail towards the front of the small stage. There were no other secure points for heavy lights available that were suitable. No floor stands could be used as the venue was so small. Lighting designer Sundeep Malhotra helped ensure we could get the best mix of the tungsten lights available for Billie and for the filming.

Stage dressing

The stage set was initially dressed during the morning with a new set of silver flitter. Before rehearsals, we checked the framing on camera and could see that the light reflections from the silver flitter were too dominant in the shot especially comparison to lit skin tones. Luckily The Glory had some new black flitter so we removed the silver and added the black flitter to the black of the stage wall. This really helped us ensure we capture some great images from the evening’s performance.

Soundcheck

Sound engineer Steve Honest arrived before rehearsals to help make sure everything was in order and worked with Billie and her fellow artists for the afternoon sound check. The rehearsals and sound check gave all the filming crew an opportunity to check their camera positions, angles and exposure.

Live gig filming

The evenings live performance was filmed by one cameraman sitting on the actual pub bar with a camera on a floor mounted monopod stage right (house left). Another camera was filming from the narrow window ledge on a monopod (stage left). I filmed using a monopod (centre stage behind the sound desk). There was also a locked off camera mounted on the lighting rail under my control from an iPhone application. It was quite a small venue and we knew it was sold out so there was no room for a fluid head tripod for any of us. There were no other suitable points to fix additional support grip for the cameras either, unfortunately.

Filming and recording Billie Ray Martin

Billie and her fellow artists were on stage for 1 hour 15 minutes in total. As it was such a packed out small venue it got incredibly hot for everybody there. I remember the sweat running down stinging my eyes. It was a great performance from Billie and her guests. For the performance of Your Loving Arms Billie was joined on Stage by Clifford Slapper on keyboards. To capture the sound from the evening performance I recorded a feed from the sound desk into my Tascam DR-60. I also recorded The Glory atmos sound from several of the cameras.

This performance was recorded on July 6th, 2015. If you would like any help with your video production please get in touch.