Dead Ready Productions

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Filming Conference Presentations: Pre-Shoot Checklist

On the surface, filming a presentation at a conference seems incredibly straightforward. You just need your video production crew to put a camera on a tripod at the back of the room, point it at the front and hit record, right?

Well, sometimes that can work – but to ensure you always get the best results possible, it’s important to try and provide information that will allow the crew to plan the most effective filming approach.

So what are the kind of things it’s helpful for us to know?

  1. Your A/V team’s contact details

Clean, high quality audio is absolutely essential when filming a conference presentation. 9 times out of 10, you’ll have an A/V team at the venue operating a sound desk and managing microphones on the stage, so the best option is for our camera crew to connect to their sound desk via a cable. This avoids the speaker having to double up on microphones, or any conflict in equipment. A pre-conference call between the camera team and the A/V team is the simplest way to ensure that both parties are aware of what’s needed.

  1. Number of presenters

Will there be more than one speaker talking at a time? Will there be a panel discussion? If so, this has implications for number of cameras, positioning of cameras, and approach to audio recording.

  1. Presentation Slide Content

It’s useful to know a little bit about the slides being used by the presenter – how intricate and detailed are they; are there animations/videos involved? Are they in a format other than PowerPoint? Will the crew be able to get hold of the original PowerPoint files on the day so they can overlay slides on the footage? The answers to these questions may all affect the filming approach.

Of course not every presenter uses slides, and it’s useful to know if that’s the case as well.

  1. Audience Involvement

Everyone loves an interactive presentation, with the exception of an unprepared camera crew. If there’s a great deal of audience involvement and you want to feature this in the video, then you need a minimum of 2 cameras, and need to consider how audio will be handled. A roving handheld or boom microphone is the most common solution; but you have to make sure you have people in position to move these microphones swiftly to where they are needed – otherwise people have a tendency to just shout out to the room. Fine for people who are in the room with them, but a problem for the edited video.

  1. Lighting

A common misconception is that the biggest lighting challenge for the camera team is the amount of available light in a conference venue. In practice, the bigger problem is usually the contrast between a very bright screen and a dimly lit lectern or podium. Another thing we see regularly is a very narrow spotlight on the stage, which the presenter promptly steps outside and then delivers the rest of his presentation from the shadows. There are various ways to deal with these issues, but knowing whether they may happen allows us to come prepared.

  1. Room Layout

Particularly for multi-camera shoots, the layout of the room is very useful to know so that camera positions can be considered, as well as the freedom of movement for individual cameras. If time permits, a pre-shoot location recce where the room is set up as it will be on the day is the best way to do this.

Having an idea of the above will make sure you’re best prepared to get top quality results when filming presentations.

If you would like to discuss how Dead Ready Productions could help you to further enjoy the benefits of video for your business, please get in touch via the button below or by calling +44 (0)208 339 6139.

Conference Film Production

Event Filming – How Much Does It Cost?

“I want to film an event coming up in a couple weeks time. How much would it cost to produce a video of the event – can you give me an approximate price?”

It’s fairly often that we receive an enquiry similar to the above. Of course, every event video is unique and deserves a specific, tailored approach. Simply put, providing a set price and rigid filming and editing methodology can lead to you failing to get what you need, and paying for something you don’t.

However, as a client you’re often looking for some kind of rough price just to get the ball rolling and to help you factor video production into your marketing plans. Maybe you don’t have all the information you need or maybe you’re just not ready to have a detailed discussion yet – what then?

Event videos can vary widely in cost but as a rough guide tend to start at around £800 and go up from there depending on complexity and time involved. Here’s a few quick questions that can help you to quickly get a ballpark cost for your event video:

1. When/where is the event?

The first variable to determine, and usually the easiest to answer, is when and where the event is taking place. Price is dependent on number of days/nights filming required, whether it’s during the week or at a weekend, and accessibility of the location.

2. What exactly do you need to film?

This will depend on the type of event involved. Conferences have different requirements to awards ceremonies, which in turn are different to trade shows and launch events.

The main purpose of this question is to determine what size of crew and what equipment is needed for the shoot. Sometimes you may require speeches/presentations to be filmed, sometimes you’ll need interviews, other times just general footage of the event as it happens. Are there things that need to be filmed that are happening concurrently?

3. What video deliverables do you require?

Usually our clients are looking for short 2-3 minute footage-based promotional videos, deliverable via the web. But if you require more than one video, or longer videos, or anything involving more complex motion graphics, then price is affected.

4. Do you have specific budget restrictions?

Given the multitude of possibilities, sometimes it’s easier to start with a fixed budget and then discuss the best ways to achieve your goals.

Once you have some idea regarding the above, then it’s possible to put forward some options and give you an idea of the costs that are likely to be involved.

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If you would like to discuss how Dead Ready Productions could help you to further enjoy the benefits of video for your business, please get in touch via the button below or by calling +44 (0)208 339 6139.

Event Filming

Conference Filming: Edited Video vs Live Webcasting

Many of the conferences we film pride themselves on providing trendsetting, up to the minute information, through groundbreaking keynote speeches and presentations.

This content is most valuable at the very moment it’s being delivered, and so often a key requirement for our clients is that video from their events can be posted online and made available for viewing by an outside audience as quickly as possible.

Of course, if immediacy of video delivery is your top priority, nothing can beat live webcasting. In recent months we’ve had a growing number of requests for this approach, whereby presentations are broadcast online as they take place, and can be viewed either by users who have signed up to watch, or a completely unrestricted audience.

While many of our clients are interested in live webcasting, many are unsure how to decide whether to use it instead of traditional edited content.

As is often the case with video production, there’s no right or wrong answer, but here’s a few things to consider that will help you decide which route to go down:

1. Cost

In either case prices can vary siginificantly, but generally speaking live webcasting costs tend to rise more steeply as production values increase.

A single-camera, low-resolution webcast works out relatively cheaply, but as soon as you bring in multiple cameras and HD broadcasting, the additional equipment and personnel required mean the price can rise considerably.

For more complex projects, edited video is usually more cost-effective.

2. Venue Connectivity

If you’re planning a live webcast, you’ll need to make sure the venue where your event is taking place has a strong internet connection, with a very high upload speed. If you plan to broadcast in high definition, this requirement becomes even greater.

A wired connection is preferable to wifi, and it needs to be reliable – a single dropout will effectively ruin your webcast.

3. Your Audience

If your conference caters to a niche audience – is it worth providing a live webcast when the people who would be most interested are already there? An edited video on the other hand enables that audience to re-visit the presentations after the conference has happened.

In addition, it’s worth considering whether providing a live webcast may even discourage people from spending money on attending the event at all.

4. Your Speakers

It’s important to ensure that speakers at the event are comfortable being filmed in any case, but some may feel differently about live webcasting given that there’s no opportunity for them to vet what is broadcast to the world – it’s worth checking with your speakers beforehand to ensure they’re happy with you going down this route.

5. Quality/Style of Video

Although it’s possible to stream a live webcast using multiple high definition cameras, and with added graphics and effects, it cannot match the flexibility afforded by editing after the event. Furthermore, it’s more difficult and costly to achieve the same level of quality.

6. Duration

With a live webcast, you’re broadcasting the entirety of someone’s presentation – and so you’re largely in their hands when it comes to retaining audience engagement and interest.

If they’re a polished speaker then that’s great, but if they make mistakes or go off-track, there’s no opportunity to remove that from the video.

With edited video, you can also condense the presentation down to only the most interesting content and ensure the video is only as long as it needs to be.

7. Urgency

While live webcasting cannot be beaten for speed, how important is it to you to provide footage as it happens? A lot of people don’t realise just how quickly video can be edited after the event as well – there’s no reason why footage filmed in the morning can’t be online and viewable by the afternoon.

As with any type of video production it’s crucially important to consider your budget, your audience, technical requirements and what you’re actually trying to achieve – it sounds simple but it’s worth taking the time to really make sure you’ve thought these through before deciding what route to go down.

If you would like to discuss how Dead Ready Productions could help you to further enjoy the benefits of video for your business, please get in touch via the button below or by calling +44 (0)208 339 6139.

Conference Filming and Editing