We have just completed some event filming for our good friends Really Helpful Club. A couple of weeks ago they held a family gala with the NSPCC in aid of 30 years of Childline, at the Millennium hotel in London.
We were asked to cover the event to produce a short video which showed interviews and highlights. It was great fun to film, and like all our event filming jobs there were also challenges. When you're behind the camera you see events from a whole different perspective, even the logistics of getting to the venue can be challenging with a lot of equipment.
Our day started with a crew pick up and driving into central London. We were fortunate enough to get some parking at the hotel, which meant we didn't have to carry our equipment far. We always find it's better to get there at least a whole hour before the event starts, as it gives you time to set up the cameras, check microphones and know which rooms you can film in. Since we weren't filming the on stage performances in full, we didn't need to run any cables for audio this time, otherwise we would have given ourselves even more time! We always try to keep everything compacted into backpacks, since we never know how much space there is to leave our gear.
I find it's best to have a crew of at least 3 people, then two people can film and another to track down interviewees and set up mics, and communication the whole time is always key, since events move quickly. Having a schedule in advance is helpful like we did on the night and it made sure we were in the right place at the right time.
Before lots of people arrived we went round filming lots of B-roll, such as the front of the hotel, some of the close ups of the entertainment and anything else that could be handy for the video. Then we made sure we secured interviews with key people. I find it's always a good idea to get them as soon as you can, because once the event has started it's impossible to find any time to talk.
We found that interviewing people would need good reporters mics to focus on the person and not the background noise. We were in a room with almost 300 people so we needed to have really good audio, otherwise it would be pointless filming. Cameras also needed charging throughout the evening, and having a plug socket nearby is always vital. As a crew it's also important to make sure you have food and water throughout the night, because without fuel you can't operate!
We always make sure that we keep out of people's way enough so they don't always notice us, but to be
there up front, in moments which are key points to the video. The cake cutting was a good moment to try and get a good spot to film since there were lots of people at the front. For the rest of the hosting, we were challenged with little space (this is why a monopod in your film gear is handy) and there were also obstacles such as balloons on the tables. However, we managed to get enough to put into the promo.
The whole event was really well organised, and it's always a good idea to have a couple of key contacts - your 'go to' people throughout the night to ask any questions you might have.
If you have an event coming up and would like to chat to us about it then please drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org our event filming page can also be found here.