View Full Version : Shooting live presentations/speakers

11-06-2005, 06:34 PM
I need help on two levels. First, how best to shoot live presentations/speakers. We are in a darkened hotel ball room or learning center. The speaker is at the front walking back and forth, up and down, sometimes in front of a computer display unit.

My current technique is to open the gain and iris up wide and add shadows/highlight boosting in post. During the shoot, I watch the speaker and occasionally let them walk out of the shot and pray that they quickly walk back into the shot (50/50).

Second, how best to edit/present these monotone presentations. Most productions that I have seen include only snippets from a presentation as part of a larger production. However, I am asked to record and present the entire speach. I have used MS Producer to add the slides to the video. I saw one presentation that included the slides as part of the video.

Any other thoughts?

12-05-2005, 09:05 AM
I've had a lot of experience with this sort of thing. Lots of times, even if you shoot a 3 hour presentation and only want to use 30 seconds in the finished picture, people often want copies of the tapes for their own uses. It's a good way to make nice and get people to cooperate when there is nothing else in it for them.

I would be a little uneasy with using the gain, 'cause once it is recorded to tape, its there and there is no going back. You might be able to brighten a underlit picture in post, but you cannot remove the noise caused by gain.

The best advice I can give you regarding editing is to shoot cut-aways! The front row of the audience will probably well enough lit to shoot reaction shots. Also, if you can, you can shoot quicky shots of the speaker's hands, kids fidgeting, or whatever else catches your eye. I realize this could be tough if you are on a tripod in the back of the room, but something to try for if there is a chance, or a second camera.

With these short, close up cutaway shots, you can edit out sections of the presentation more smoothly. Cut to someone in the audience, and when you cut back to the speaker, he is 40 minutes past where you left off and no one is the wiser.