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Very special event

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:10 am
by john ingham
Ive just been given permission to film a very special event,

On the 30th of this month (june) we run our anual disability day in wales, this is where we take children and young adults with disabilities out on kayaks, the lake has its own safety boats as do we so all those areas are covered

On the filming side..this will be a 1st for me ... my 1st shots will be collecting some landscapes and middle shots

I have been told that i can interview the clients and realise that for those who are in wheelchairs ile need to lower the camera, I will also keep the questions friendly and direct...

I need to get this right, because we want to show other authorities what we do and maybe get the backing to open this event in other areas,

can you think of anything that could be or should be incorporated into this project...

without saying..I know i have to use discretion and would never make anyone look out of place or make them feel embarressed, I also hate the word disability for a title so was thinking more on the lines of The special day


Re: Very special event

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:42 am
by Dave Watterson
Vocabulary is very important. As soon as one term is "acceptable" it starts to go out of favour again. I suspect that "special" is used too often for "special needs" and so on. But the answer is clear: ask them. They can say to camera all the words that you cannot: crippled, disabled, differently abled, special, and so on. It gets you round a problem and gives you a point of contact with the people for whom the event is organised.

You are right about getting to the eye-level of the people you and your camera are talking to.

You are right to worry about safety - and will need to include that in your record for the sake of the money-givers, but don't forget to make it seem exciting for those involved. If you have any way to get hold of a relatively cheap camera wrap it in clingfilm and ask one of the participants to let you tape it to their chair or helmet. Watch your main camera for water risks. A wrap of clingfilm can help reduce risks from splashes, but don't drop it in the lake! A few wide-angle shots with the camera taped to a kayak deck will look spectacular.

Record far longer interviews than you can possibly use. That gives people time to get into a flow of speech and gives you plenty of material you can extract to use as voice-overs as well as selected bits of direct interview. Patience is the key requirement when working with differently abled people.

But that also gives you a practical question for the instructors: in sailing and sports quick decision-making is often required, but the disabled are often not used to making snap decisions. How do the training team cope with that?

Make sure you get beyond the "fun day out" aspect. That is a quality of the event and should be in your film, but for the sake of funding bodies ask someone to spell out the practical advantages of the experiences. Try to do that early on and then keep the answers in mind when shooting so that you can get as many visual examples as possible. That way your VIP starts listing plusses and then as they continue you can cut in examples to illustrate their words.

Take mountains of spare cards and batteries!
And have fun yourself.

Re: Very special event

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:47 am
by FredD
Something not mentioned so far is sound, and in particular the quality of the sound capture involved in the 'interviews'.
I guess most of the interviews will be conducted outdoors, so take into account the possibility of wind/high wind on the day. This is, after all, outdoor Welsh countryside !

I would recommend that you buy/hire a decent 'off' camera gun microphone, with a hand hold isolation kit and a short boom kit, and most importantly a windproofing blimp system for the microphone. Also good quality closed back headphones for monitoring. I would also consider a separate 'flash card' recorder with built in condensor microphones and wind jammer, for collecting ambient sounds on the day.

Get a sound person on the team to handle these items whilst you are shooting. Also perhaps someone, other than yourself, to 'talk' to the talent in the 'interviews'. You will need your concentration for collecting the visual content.

Write a script. In particular details of the questions that you will want to ask the talent.

Most important of all : Have Fun ! :wink:

Kind regards,
Fred D

Re: Very special event

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 3:35 pm
by john ingham
Thankyou Dave and fred,

the on water shots are going to be taken with a Waterproof go-pro 2HD camera, i also have a boat at my call as there is no way my camera will be taken on the kayak.. :lol:

i do have a little advantage, i have a beautiful little sister who has cerbal paulsey, thats why i quoted about getting down to face level also this has given me a gift to be able to listen to what is being said, i do understand why some people can't , i guess growing up with it has me doing it naturaly..

thats a great tip about keeping the camera rolling on interviews..that makes total sense..and yes, i will ask them what title they think would suit

on the safety side (at this stage my main camera will be off when i'm on the water, but Go-Pro will be on) ) 3 of us to two clients plus we have 3 safety boats (with engines) on the water , this has worked well the last 2 years

Audio .. I have a RODE NTG 2 with dead cat either on a 2 mt pole or mounted on the camera,also i bought the Sennheiser ew 122 G3 wireless mic and have roped my dear wife helen into becoming my sound person :lol: she is learning fast ...

when would you use lights and reflectors ? I'm sounding like i'm running before i can walk :roll: but I'm only going to get one crack at this so I want to get it as good as possible

fred!! this is my camera ....and set up without sounding like i'm showing off, I had a nice bit of money off these PPI claims and bought the best i could afford.



the story board and writing down the questions is a great idea and i will get on to that, also one of our lads said he will do the interviewing as he has some experience (he works for an advertising agency) and Fred is right about concentrating on the camera work....

as you can see we also use double kayaks for those who couldn't paddle themselves ,


so please keep giving the advice... I will ask about editing audio afterwards and hows the best way to do voice overs

I can assure you..having you lot on board (no pun intended) means a lot and a massive thankyou


Re: Very special event

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:34 pm
by FredD
Hi John

Your setup is looking good. Nice camera !
A couple of points for thought....

I still think that I would like to rely on better windproofing than just the 'deadcat' over the NTG2. Especially in the Welsh countryside at this time of year (with the 'March' winds still very active).
A 'blimp' from Rycott with a 'deadcat' over that, would be the ideal. I use one myself with an NTG4, and can shoot in gusting 6 to 8, winds with it, without a murmer on the captured files !
May I suggest that you do some tests before the 'big day', with just your 'deadcat' on a blustery day, and see what you
think ?
As you say, you are going to get one shot at this, and when you are viewing the rushes after the shoot, and you have wind noise on all the interviews, you will be gutted ! I know from experience, I've been there, and you only do it once !

Also don't forget some 'windjamming' on the Levalier of your 122 system.

As for lights....... If you've got them, use them, on all MCU/CUs. A reflector will also double the efficiency of your
LED panel ; so use one with it!
Again, if you have time, do some tests, shooting your 'new sound crew' (AKA The Mrs.) as talent in the garden ! Find out what works with your set up !

Kind regards,
Fred D

Re: Very special event

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:36 pm
by john ingham
Your a top man fred :)

just looking up the blimp, i see Rode do one for the NTG 2

ile have a play with the lights and reflectors,

Re: Very special event

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:59 pm
by john ingham
:shock: just found this and totally understand now Fred

guess what ive just ordered :lol: ... W4jQtbnwdE

Re: Very special event

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:27 pm
by TimStannard
I'm sure you'll find plenty of use for it, John. Wish i had one.

I was rather disappointed in the video you linked to though. It demonstrated well how the wind noise was dramatically reduced, but didn't demonstrate at all how the sound one might want to capture is affected. It would have been so much better if the mic had been pointed at someone speaking and maybe some ambient distant sound as well (eg aircraft engine)

Re: Very special event

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:21 am
by john ingham
Good point tim,
maybe that could be a good video that one of us could make , on the site for the site,

I don't mind having a go when the Blimp arrives, as you say , it will be more realistic

Re: Very special event

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:15 am
by FredD
You know what will happen now you have said that John ; there won't be a breath of wind in Exmouth for weeks :wink:

I had another thought on your lighting plan. If you are going to start mixing daylight and artificial light, you might want to take more control over your colour balance adjustments, than the 'auto' function will give you. I know the LED panels are pretty much daylight balanced output, but you may start mixing other types of light (tungsten etc), and this could cause
issues with the auto functions consistancy. And any way, it's a good excuse to switch another of the 'auto' functions off !
I use a grey card to set my balance, it only takes a couple of seconds, and the result is worth the effort. It will give you a more accurate and consistant balance throughout the shooting day, and less work to do in post on the colour grade ! :)

Fred D

Re: Very special event

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:51 pm
by john ingham
:lol: :lol: :lol: Its always windy down here Fred

Now!!!! the white balance is a thing i need to learn more about and get a real understanding of..

Re: Very special event

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:06 pm
by FredD

There are a load of tutorials and stuff on White Balance and Colour Grading on the net.

To start you could try here :

and here :

Check out Wickipedia for colour balance and colour grading.

Some of the info and tutorials you will find may target DSLRs and still photography, and some 'white balance for video',
the bottom line is the knowledge that you can pick up in either (still or video) will be relavent to your further understanding of the subject. :)

Fred D

Re: Very special event

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:35 am
by john ingham
Cheers Fred , that made some interesting reading,

had a play with the white balance on the camera will be interesting to see the difference on before and after shots

Re: Very special event

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:43 am
by Dave Watterson
A couple of years ago Jan and I attended the premiere of a tv arts film. It was made by a woman who had produced many such shows for BBC, but had no technical knowledge. After the BBC shed so many staff she started on her own with a small team. She realised she would have to be the camera operator.

With advice she bought a good, prosumer, HD camcorder. Then she got a half day's training in using it! What on earth could she learn in such a short time, I asked. Her reply:
"My tutor's every second sentence was 'check the white balance'. The other aspects of camerawork I could pretty much see in the viewscreen and as a producer I was already familiar with the use of angles, eye-lines and so on. So I went off and shot interviews in various countries and many locations. I religiously checked the white balance before every shot."

And she was amazed to watch her own finished film projected 30 feet wide on a cinema screen and looking superb.

In this time of automated everything, white balance is one option is is worth doing manually.


Re: Very special event

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:30 pm
by john ingham
Ok Guys..I can see this is going to be one of the most important things to incorperate on every shoot..

just to make sure that i'm understanding this... by checking the WB (Aginst the same white card) all my shots are going to retain the right colours throughout the shoot, and because the light changes throughout the day this on a regular basis.. as with indoor to outdoor shots

Now!!! is there a special card you use or do you just use a plain A4 sheet of paper... ?

I'm now seeing a big difference between photography and videography, where in photograhy your just thinking of the one shot where as in videography your thinking of the whole scene and future scenes

just one other question..On my camera, there are built in 3 ND filters when it gets bright it will advise a filter... will this change the white balance ?

sorry if i sound thick...its more than likely because i am :lol: