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Filming Large Events for New Videographers

From the Perspective of a Still-Learning Film Assistant

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     I've been working with the studio for a few years now, and if I've taken away anything from all my experiences with Hayes, it's that there is always something new to learn. From assisting with lighting and equipment setup to taking your first solo position behind the video camera, you never want to lose track of what's most important for filling any role when shooting film or photos. Undeniably, the first and biggest rule of filming any event, and especially the larger they get, is that communication is key.

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     With so many details that go into the planning, setup, and running a ceremony that plays such a big part for so many people, it never hurts to double check start and end times on your schedule, keep updating with any planners or hosts, and express any concerns or questions you may have as soon as possible. 

     Especially regarding planning, it's imperative for photographers and videographers to acknowledge that everything might not happen according to schedule, and to stay on your toes for when they don't. You never want to miss a sentimental moment, so always stay prepared to shoot ahead of time.

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     When solo filming bigger events (like I happened to be for this one), bringing a little backup can go a long way. In the form of a wide angle lens such as a 24-70mm, a shoe mount LED on-camera light to help with low-light situations, and a sound recorder to help sync the audio for speeches, I encourage anyone shooting alone to pack those as well.

     Last but not least, when there's lots of people enjoying the event, keep it rolling! It's always better to cut down footage you won't use than to miss something key to the event. Make sure to take advantage of your space, wide angle, and vantage points to get a solid variety of perspectives. And I can't say it enough, keep mobile!

     Below is a video I put together from footage I filmed on my own at the same event shown in the pictures above. My goal is to demonstrate contrasting scenes based on lighting, space, focus and framing to convey all the opportunities available for videographers while shooting solo. Thanks for watching and I hope you enjoy!