Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Going Live - Follow Up

Well, I got through it. It was a PBS concert special for the Canadian Tenors (with special guests Sarah McLauchlan and David Foster).

Thankfully not live to air, but was treated as such. 9 cameras - 1 jib on the balcony, 2 dollies, 3 handheld and the rest static.

Of the two dollies, one was at the back of the room and I was on stage left. This was a last minute change and really wasn't thought out properly. There wasn't enough space to get any proper angles and we had another camera shooting at us. I brought up the issues of hall beauty side lights that backlit both side camera positions to the director & DP. They agreed that the lights weren't required there. However, I tried to get the stage manager to clear "looky loos" in the wings, but that failed. I had a monitor to watch and cringed at the beautiful close ups of Sarah playing piano, but with three idiots in white shirts behind her. At one point there were so many people hanging about back there that I wished I could run around and get in the buffet line.

We didn't have any formal rehearsals, but did have a couple meetings to discuss what the director wanted. They band did go through the tops and bottoms of a couple songs - anything with choreographed parts. If I did anything like this again, I'd want and suggest to production to send out a head of time the album / songs that we were covering so the operators had an idea of the songs, timing and singers. In this case we had four roaming the stage with no real marks. Felt like two and a half hours of keeping overs.

I really felt crappy about the shots we were getting but I had to keep reminding myself that there were other angles to cut to. Thankfully, the director was pretty clear over the ClearComs and knew what he wanted.

Walked away with smiles and hope to do another concert like that.


wick said...

Sounds like a pretty normal concert experience. It's tough keeping in mind that the moving cameras are only needed for one or two specific shots in the body of the show, most everything else is closeups of the performers, wide stage shots or audience reactions. There is also a battle going on between the concert LD and the video engineers. Good Luck gtting music in advance. Personally, I preferrred classical concerts or for rock / pop, no rehearsal at all and just go with what you feel.

I'm glad you want to do another one!

D said...

Great tips Wick. I've never done one either but it sounds like fun. Thanks, Azurgrip for the update.