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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    2

    School production

    Hi all,

    I was asked to video record a high school production.
    I read through the School Production tutorial on this site, but I still have a question. Where should I set up my tripod with the camera so I can take wide angle shots without seeing the audience's heads?
    How far should I be from the stage? I was thinking to put my external mic on a stand and set it up in front of the stage, I have a 25feet long xlr-mini jack cable so I can connect it to my camcorder, but it means I can't be further from the stage than 25feet. Would it be enough?
    Please share you experiences with me, since this is going to be my first job like this.
    Thank you

    Detti

  2. #2
    it depnds if you want multi camera or not.

    When we do this kindof thing we usually have a camera at the back of the hall. one about halfway down on the left, one fairly close to the stage on the right and a freehand guy. there is no set place to put the microphone. do lots of sound checks and see what it sound like through headphones. If everyone is going to be "miced up" and presented to the audence using a pa system then try and get a link of the mixer, this will give you the best possible sound but keep a seperate backup sound incase anything goes wronge half way through.

    You would need to sync all the cameras together. this can be acheived by getting all of the cameras to zoom in onto a person standing on the stage that then does a single load clap or a sound test with a distinctive noise. testing will do. This is a good oputunity to set the white ballance although this is fairly advanced camera work. when your editing you'll have to find the clap of the "T" form testing and start line them all up on a simgle timeline so you can cut between them. this will give you perfect sync. if you every need to cut then you'll have to resync them.

    Lets see the layout, remember this is not set.

    Code:
    |============================================|
    |                                            |
    |       STAGE                                |
    |                                            |
    |============================================|
    |                                            |
    |                            Cam 1 (mid-shot)|
    |                                       x    |
    |                                            |
    |                                            |
    |                                            |
    |                                            |
    |                                            |
    | Cam 2 (Wide Shot)                          |
    |   x                                        |
    |                                            |
    |                                            |
    |                                            |
    |                                            |
    |                                            |
    |                                            |
    |                                            |
    |                                            |
    |                                            |
    |                                            |
    |                                            |
    |                                            |
    |                                            |
    |              Cam 3 (Very Wide)             |
    |                      x                     |
    |--------------------------------------------|

  3. #3
    Hi Detti,

    I always use two cameras for school productions and two directional microphones placed at the front of the stage.

    I place both my cameras at the back and use one for a wide angle and one for close up. However, you don't want to be too far away with the close up as you want to be able to get some good close up shots like smifis has shown.

    Your 25m cable is ok, I would personally try and go a bit further back than that, but I suppose it really depends on the layout of the place you are going to be filming in, and how many people there is going to be watching the performance.

    To combat audiences heads, I try and get my camera stands as high as possible, I am not a very big guy so I have to use a monitor (which is always best anyway) to see what the shot looks like. If there is a balcony to film from that might be a good idea.

    Tom

  4. #4
    New Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    2
    Thank you so much for your inputs, both helped me a lot.
    I have only one pro camcorder, so what I try to do is to video record the dress up rehearsal and the live production so I can mix close ups and wide shots in post production. I know it is harder to sync it, but this is my only option. The video doesn't have to be so professional, just still better than what they had last year, and I will make it more colorful by having some "behind the sciene" shots.

    My only question is, if I would like to connect my camcorder to a pa system, what kind of a cable I need for that? My camera don't have an xlr system yet, I'm pretty much just started to step up from a consumer level to a pro-consumer level, but people in my community like my works. So I have only a mini jack input on my camera yet.

    Thank you!6

  5. #5
    that would depend entirly on the pa system the school will use. WE allways offer to do sound cause were better than them and there isn't any buzzing, a common feature in school productions as well all know.

    Most mixers will have xlr or mono phono out. they'll be output 1 and output 2 depending on how expensive the mixer is. if it only has one output then split it off using a y splitter, cheeky i know but it'll work.

    since you have an xlr-mini cable you will need adaptors on both ends.

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