A Guide To Optimizing Your Event Video Coverage
Let's get straight to it. For the vast majority of event professionals budget for quality video is an expendable expense, meaning that it is one of the first things off of the list. Now I have great arguments against that and why it shouldn't be because of the value that it provides as far as brand building & sales aspect on the long term side of things. BUT, I will pass on the opportunity to protest and shed brief light on making the most out of a smaller budget and some ways to optimize the video that you or a one off videographer shoots.
Video Technicalities | Shaping Video To Be Engaging
Video is one of those things that is so common and absorbed on a daily basis that it seems to all run together, but it is true all video is not created equally. Video runs on three core technicalities and when used properly will bless your audience with a pleasant viewing experience. However when it is not used properly is as cringe worthy as a C-Rated Sci-Fi film. (No offense Sci-fi peeps.) ;)
Audio is by far the biggest aspect outside of quality video. We are so used to hearing great audio through well produced TV shows, and movies that when we hear ambient audio of someone talking in a large room with a ton of background noise we automatically shut it off. Below are some aspects to think about when recording audio solo or when you have a videographer on staff.
Equipment- Having the right equipment is crucial, notice how I said the right equipment. I get told by a lot of people that they either cheeped out on a shotgun microphone or they blew a ton of money on a new camera with no audio solution. Truth is you need quality audio and a good quality video. Different audio solutions are used for different things which I dive into on this blog. Audio works in layers, in the first layer you want the microphone as close as possible to the point of audio you are recording, the second layer can be a recorder, recording the audio coming out of a soundboard or speaker and lastly you can count on a shotgun mic to capture the left over ambient, while this isn't the best it will save you as a fall back incase something happens to the recorder. Equipment that I have in my bag are a 2 pairs of sennheiser G3's, a Rode Videomic Pro, a Zune H6, and a Sennheiser MKE600 Camcorder Shotgun Microphone
Placement of subject- Placement of your subject when trying to record great audio is the most important part. You can't expect to get quality audio if the background is super noisy or if you are in a large gymnasium. Consider your surroundings, place your subject in a dense area where the space is confined and there is lots of material around to keep sound locked in. All situations aren't created equal however, and you will have to adapt. This is where having a handy lapel will save you as your source audio is as close as possible to the speaker. For example in our daily recaps for Lean Start Up Conference there were people around but having a lapel and a shot gun placed just above the subject allowed us to capture quality audio.
Lighting is very subjective to video as there are different points to each video in what mood you are trying to achieve. For the basis of this blog though we will keep it simple and digestible. So to adhere to that I have highlighted a couple ways to get the most out of your lighting.
Placement- Placing your subject Sometimes I literally have no lighting with me and have to make due with what I have because of elements outside of my control. For example, like space, and time. The best way to counteract this? NATURAL LIGHT! Use that universe given magic to your advantage but be careful with it as all light is not created as one which I will touch on next. Having your subject however close to a natural light source is a sure fire way to take your production quality for zero to hero. Can I get an amen?!
Now comes the easy part. Recording video. Well at least in theory it is easy. Below are three things to keep in mind when prepping to shoot a video
Keep your camera steady, no one likes shaky video and will ruin your edit
Content is king, what you are recording and the context behind it is the most important part
Keep Your Footage Organized
Having an organized file structure will save you loads of time and like they always say, time is money. ;) For real though. Setting a structure and abiding by it will keep your efficiency up and will allow you to continue to repurpose your footage which allows your brand to further evolve.
How do we do this though? Well, I'm glad you asked. I have attached some photos along with a download link to how I keep my projects organized.
In the image above we start with the source file "xxxx_Clientname_Projecttype_Date". Youre probably wondering what the xxxx means. It is the place for your client I.D. for instance in all of my client work I started with 1100 no rhyme or reason just the number that I started with. Each project after that continues with 1101, 1102, 1103 etc. This follows across all of my plat forms where I house footage for easy traceability.
In the Image above you will find the assets folder, in this is where I house all of the client provided graphics/logos, graphics that I have made from theirs, music used in the project, and Sound FX.
In the image above you'll see how the footage file structure floats across these are all assets in an organized fashion need to start organizing.
In the image above you'll see "Project" highlighted. This is where your project file will live. Doesn't matter if this is for premiere, final cut or any other editing software.
As I said before staying organized will save you the most time and keep you being able to produce consistent content!
Recognize the timing of your videos and the purpose they serve
Keeping your videos short and full of context will allow your viewer to fully engage in the video that you are showing them.
Keep It Short- Content creation is meant to be engaging, get the point across and provide some sort of value. By keeping your videos to the point and allowing your audience to get something out of it will make the difference between a scroller and a subscriber.
Fill It With Context- Fill your video with value. Creating a game plan before you start shooting will help greatly. This will keep you focused and organized on the shoot and allow you to hit every aspect you are wanting to share with your end viewer.
Shoot For Purpose, Literally- Knowing your audience will allow you to find purpose in the content that you produce. Knowing your business goals and initiatives is a great way to fuel this so you can identify what aspects of content you need to capture to provide legs for that overall goal to move forward. For example when I go out to shoot an event I shoot to showcase the people (keeping it visually appealing and creating Fomo), context of what the event was about usually by some sort of narration, and also a testimonial depending on the event to get attendee feedback- this also aids in fomo and is a key source of brand building.
Welp, there ya have it a guide to optimizing your event video content. If you've made it this far I hope this helps and is a great resource to help you in your personal video journey! :)