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Multicam Live Event Shoot ► Production Tips and Checklist

Photo Moment - June 08, 2018

Planning to shoot a multi-camera live event? These tips and checklist will help to ensure you get the most from pre-production, the event, and post-production so you don't miss anything critical!

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NOTES FOR A MULTICAM SHOOT

PRE-PRODUCTION
    •    What’s your camera layout; wide / medium / tight?
    •    What is delivery requirement? If 1080p, can you shoot 4K for punch-in “extra camera angles”?
    •    Get layout of the house
    •    Ensure you know audio config of location. Tapping into house audio? Do you need M-M XLR joiners? Can you get an audio recording from the house? If so, can you get ISOs?
    •    Rent gear far in advance. If traveling, rent any big, heavy, cumbersome gear. Tripods and cables! Rent backups of anything critical or fragile. (borrowlenses.com will ship to UPS Stores!)

PACKING LIST
    •    As many bodies as you need, plus backup if possible
    •    Pack a variety of lenses assuming you don’t know what the environment will be. Pack a long lens for sure!
    •    More camera batteries than you need
    •    At least one battery charger per camera
    •    Backup AA batteries (not just rechargeable) 
    •    AC adapters if you know you’ll have access to power
    •    Extension cords and power strips if using AC
    •    Memory cards
    •    Tripods (or rent)
    •    Audio cables and accessories (or rent)
    •    Mics for each camera — facilitates syncing, AND gets you house sound (audience reactions) to mix in
    •    XLR camera input
    •    Audio recorder
    •    Wired headphones for audio monitoring 
    •    Head lamp / mouth-grip flash light — it’s hard to hold a light and make hardware adjustments with one hand

NIGHT BEFORE
    •    Batteries charged
    •    Cards formatted
    •    Ensure cameras have the same settings; consider saving settings and transferring them from camera camera
    •    If using rental gear, check it all completely before using. i.e.; make sure tripod heads are tight. Make sure you know how to use the gear. You may be in the dark trying to make adjustments.
    •    Be packed and ready to run!

BEFORE ROLLING
    •    Try to position cameras where people won’t walk in front — people always come late, leave early
    •    Start at 180d angle, but it’s ok to adjust… minimal movement
    •    Manual WB
    •    If possible, get exposure/WB card from grey card on stage and match all cameras
    •    If using waveform monitor — make sure it’s is on before hitting record (can’t turn on once recording)
    •    Set Zebras to acceptable skin tone level and to 95% — can’t adjust once rolling
    •    Microphones on all cameras; check and balance all levels (by meters)
    •    Make sure volume is up on camera output so you can monitor — can’t adjust once recording if it’s not on the back wheel
    •    Have extra memory cards ready (leave at the camera?) if possibility of running long
    •    Start recording several minutes apart so there’s time to swap cards and all cameras don’t stop at the same time
    •    Use relay record, not backup, if any possibility of going over max record duration

WHILE ROLLING
    •    Know when your cards will fill or batteries will die so you can be there ready, and try to make the swap at a non-critical moment — USE TIMERS!
    •    Check cameras regularly… you never know!
    •    If manually operating close-up camera, don’t stop rolling… just let it go; it’ll make the multi cam edit easier

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Comments from YouTube

Notes are in the description for your easy reference later on. Can you think of anything else?

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I would suggest either a note pad, or keeping notes in your phone about times where audio, or visual issues to edit around might occur if noticed live.
Great tip!
This was great and very thorough. Watched it in full but you may want to clarify that this isn't a video about a live streaming event. I would also add that editing on the spot with an ATEM switcher is a live saver! No need/minimum editing in post with you are locally switching angles and slides at the event. Great video.
Grateful the text was in the description as my hand was having a hard time taking notes fast. We got as far in assembling an equipment checklist or production checklist with what we need from the client but needed a cheat sheet to help us stay on points for a multishoot. thanks again!!!!
Sick video Joseph thanks
Thanks Mert!
This is a great tutorial! BTW, what kind of gears do you recommend for shooting LIVE wedding ceremonies? I've browsed many other videos, although some of the gears require a direct power adapter, for outside weddings, sometimes there are no direct power plugs. So I would like to have your suggestions if possible on what kind of gears I should invest for :) Thank you!
Oliver, that's a massive question. If you'd like to discuss in person, feel free to book some time with me at PhotoJoseph.com/1to1 — this isn't something I can just answer in a simple youtube comment.
Great video. Have done 100+ event recordings with 4 cameras ( no 4 covering the audience ) and learnt the trade by myself and doing every mistake possible. Now everything runs very smoothly and my checklist is 98% the same as yours which means I probably do most things right now. Have had camera overturned and destroyed by one of the participants and one camera being stolen during the shoot. But event filming is fun - as fun as being a youtuber in front my own camera. :-) Great video.
Ouch! Sounds like a rough couple of camera losses, but I'm glad to hear you're having fun. Thanks for watching! ;-)
Did my first live event on the weekend. Couple things I learned. Use manual focus, or your cameras will focus on people waking in front of it. The next thing I learned is that using the house audio didn't sync perfectly with my cameras from the back of the room because of the sound delay, minor tweaks required in post. Finally I found that the projector screens were showing flicker at double shutter speed, so I had to drop SS down to actual record frame rate. It actually wasn't to bad. Thanks for all your tips included here!
Right on! Always a learning experience 🙂
Great check list. I have mines on paper. I Check it like a dummy every time before I leave the house. Most stimulating lesson was forgetting the XLR mic because of overconfidence I did not do the check list. Then was the reinforcing lesson #2 when I drove 2 hours without A Media Card. (lol). Yes, this video is real. (lol)
hehe yeah, it's tough when we get overconfident!
Very helpful and confirming that I'm doing a lot of things right. White balance and timers are the biggest adjustments I need to make to help with stress. Excellent breakdown. Thank you!
Thanks for watching!
Thank you very much
Really I didn't understand any thing because you too much talk but I wanted to see practically how I can shooting videos from three camera without any wire ?
Well I may talk too much but try this https://youtu.be/tImhcQ_-7bA
thank you so much for this , i have the convergent design and i have not used it but now i am about to use it.
This was very very useful. Thank you for this in-depth analysis, it’s so helpful to learn from others experiences and mistakes!
Thanks for watching!
Are you using your iPad as a switcher????? how are you doing that??? is it just an interface??? or is it the switcher????
Interface. Click the link in the description for how I do my live show!
Thank you, for this in-depth review of the whole process and probable mistakes ;)
Just wanted to add that, if you've got the possibility (for instance, with the Tascam DR 60d Mk II, that you're using) to back up the main audio recording with an additional -6 dB to -12 dB track, it can also save one's ass / bacon ! (more especially in theater performances, where the voice dynamics can get particularly strong).
By the way, this very recorder accepts usb external power, which makes it great for long runs, without worrying about power issues...
Thomas, from France
Yes!
Great point. Using Zoom H6 which has a backup track. Great feature.
Thanks for this.
I found this super helpful.
Concerning your suggestion to use timers for your batteries. I can say this would be more worry free alternative. AC Adapter DMW-AC8 + DMW-DCC8 DCC8 DC Coupler BLC12 for Panasonic Lumix GX8 FZ1000 FZ300 FZ200 G7 G6 G5 G80 G81 G85 GH2 Cameras
The timer suggestion was for the memory cards, where you know exactly how much time you have left. I did recommend AC adapters where possible as well. Thanks for watching!
I usually use DC couplers combined with the power cable adapters which allow me to use 5V USB PowerBanks along with the Lumix bodies...! 20000mAh PowerBank allows me almost 12hrs continuous shooting on GH5+DMW-XLR1(with phantom pwr"ON") and even longer with gh3 and gh4. And - its almost no need to recharge a multiple batteries in the evening at the hotel since these powerbanks are good for 2 days heavy duty shooting each. AND - which is the MOST important - these banks let me avoid any interruptions in the recording. And I use an AC cable splitter for three of my LUMIX battery chargers - thus I only need to bring ONE cable cord for all three of them.

DC coupler (kit with a separate AC 2A adapter which allows you to use an AC plug on site if any of just use it to recharge your powerbank between the filming sessions...):
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/DMW-BLF19E-Mobile-power-usb-cable-DMW-DCC12-Fully-Decoded-DC-Couple-5V3A-power-charger-kit/32828529405.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.27424c4dBooMsO

Splitter:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/IEC-320-Figure-8-C8-Male-to-3X-Female-C7-Splitter-Power-Adapter-for-Power-Supply/32826998712.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.27424c4d8hzz9B
Hi TheBeduin18 ;
Your system sounds just great, indeed. But are you really sure about those adapters, which powers up the voltage (from 5V to 7,2 V or something) ? Don't you feel like risking to destroy your (very expensive) camera bodies, if any failure ?
Thanks for the tip and your feedback
Thomas
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