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How To Film an Event

Film your event professionally

How you film an event can either make or break that event. If we watch closely events like those organized by TEDx, we will realize that these events are not shot haphazardly, but are directed in various ways to really embrace the nature of the speech given, the speaker’s expressions, as well as the audience’s reactions. The same goes for entertainment events, sports events, etc.

Write a Plan

Shooting an event can get really tricky. There’s usually something that’s the center of the event, whether it’s a performance, a speech, a prize-giving, etc, as well as the audience or crowd, and the atmosphere of the event. Each of these elements has to be included in the plan with the right balance so as not to waste any of your assets.

You and your film crew will usually have the event’s schedule to plan in accordance with, but your filming plan has to include adaptability for any sudden changes or unexpected incidents that might enhance the video. Also, in the case of events held in open areas, the weather on the day of the event has to be incorporated in the plan, and if any inclement weather is expected, there has to be an idea on how to deal with it.

Keys to A Successful Event Video

One of the keys to success in capturing an event on video is the formation of the right crew for this particular event. A director, cameraman, or sound engineer might be great at their job and highly qualified, but nothing works without them having the right specialty. Just like a heart surgeon would not perform plastic surgery, you have to make sure the team you pick for your sports event is specialized in such events, which would substantially differ for example from a conference on astronomy.

After you pick the team, you need to make sure that all of the team members will be able to act cohesively towards one shared image of the final product. The sound should give out the same feeling of enthusiasm, passion, or fun that the camera movement offers. The entire team also has to be able to anticipate any out-of-the-ordinary or unexpected situations that could occur at any moment during the event, and know how to take quick action to capture it.

Live Event Camera Set-up

The first thing you have to make sure is available while shooting your event is the variety of angles. Whether you are using one camera or more, you need to make sure the organizers take into account this issue while setting up the stage or the hall where the event is taking place. Also, if there are seats for the audience, it would serve you best to secure a seat in middle for front shots.

Try not set this up in a way that unnecessarily shows the audience throughout the whole video because that would diminish the effect of showing their reactions only at the most exciting moments of the event, which will enrich the sense of enthusiasm for the viewer. Focus more on the speaker, or the main performance, and manage to do this while switching between several camera angles to give the video some liveliness. Find out how to LiveStream on this article.

Camera Positioning

When you position the camera, you have to know what your limitations are. If you’re only using one camera, keep it close to the stage, because if you’re only shooting the event from one spot, it should obviously be focused mainly on the main performance. However, if this is the case, then you should at least manage to get a sliding deck so that you can move smoothly from one angle to another without causing any disturbance to the video or any rigid movement.

If you have more than one camera, you should make sure that enough angles of the stage where the performer or speaker will be standing are covered. After this, you can start considering the audience, as long as you manage to get at least one camera positioned to capture them whenever the right moment presents itself.

Boxed Zones

You have to mark your safe zones from which the shooting will take place. You don’t want anything to disturb your camera, (such as someone from the audience mistakenly bumping into your cameraperson, or stumbling upon one of the wires). You also don’t want the shooting to depend upon the cameraperson’s steady hands, especially if the event will last a few hours.

This boxed zone could even preferably be marked with yellow tape or something of the kind. That is one of the reasons you need to run some tests ahead of the event to determine which areas would be safe enough to film from without compromising the quality of the filming or its comprehensiveness.

Background With Projection

When content is viewed behind the presenter through a projector, the angle you are filming from is crucial. Some angles may cause shadows on the presenter’s body or face, which would definitely be a major issue with the video and anyone who watches it.

Work with your crew before the event to determine the right angles for the segments during which a projector will be used. Of course, you have to determine these angles within the boxed zones you already marked, so make sure that your safe areas are determined before you start considering the projection.

Sound Capture

You have to test your camera’s ability to capture sound. Not all cameras have sufficient ability in this area, and any video with low sound quality has its chances of being viewed till the end automatically diminished (even if the visual aspect was done to perfection).

In case the camera does not give good sound quality, you can use a soundboard along with the camera. In that case, you have to know if your camera has a direct XLR input. If not, you can use an XLR adaptor, which is connected to the camera and would allow the cameraperson to put on a headset in order to monitor with clarity the sound that’s being recorded.

Video Framing

The frame you use has to be determined based on the type of the presentation being made, whether it will involve a lot of movement, facial expressions, or any other aspects that will add to the delivery. It should also take into consideration the nature of the presenter if possible, as some people move with dramatic passion and in that case, you don’t want to miss their action. If it’s an interview or a panel discussion, you want to have all of the participants within the frame at all time. If you want to close-up on one of them during a specific part of the talk, you can do that in post-production.

Based on these factors, you can use one of the three main types of frames:

  • Medium-Wide Shot: This frame includes the presenter only from their waists up.
  • Bust Shot: This one is narrower than the former, capturing the presenter only from their mid-chest up.
  • Interview frame: As we already mentioned, it includes all of the participants during the filming, and any emphasis on one of them could be done in post-production.


By taking into consideration all of these elements, you should end up with a quite engaging video of the event. If done correctly, these steps will also make it much easier the post-production phase, as the lion’s share of the job will have been done during the filming using technology to help you out.

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