The Video Recording Process

The process for shooting a live event is similar to that of the audio recording process, but with a few major differences.

Audio is nearly always consistent. The equipment records the instruments with the mics being placed very close to the musicians. The sound is not affected by the amount or quality of light, or by the position of walls or posts, or the height of the ceiling, or the seating of the audience, or by the location of isles or seats or tables, or the Fire Marshall. Video is affected by all of these.

If the lighting is bad, the video is bad. If the sight-lines for the cameras are limited, so will be the images from those cameras. If the cameras are not in focus or are not on the action, then it is missed. If the cameramen are not quick, then shots may be missed or unusable. There are many more long cable runs involved in a live video shoot, so mobility and flexibility to position cameras becomes an issue.

If there are Jibs or dollies used, then their placement and room to operate become an issue. If the event is broadcast/streamed live, then the switcher must be located away from the stage. There are also an enormous number of additional considerations for a live show. There is a script, a host, theme music (rolled in from the audio crew), makeup, lighting, IFB (Interruptable fold-back), dressing rooms, etc.

There is also a graphics person (or two) responsible for graphic elements, text, lower-thirds, credits, etc. There is also a TD (technical director) to handle the switcher, clip playbacks, graphic elements, etc. There may also be a transmission person involved to monitor the encoding of the live stream or a sattelite feed.

There is usually a lighting crew involved to ensure that there is sufficient lighting wherever the action is centered, both backstage and onstage. There are also production assistants that come into play as runners, and talent wranglers, among many other duties.

The quality of the cameras is a consideration, as are the demands made of the cameramen. The cameras are usually charged individually, and the cameramen are on a day rate. It is not uncommon to settle on a popular brand of camera and then assemble a crew of owner/operators that come as a package with their cameras.