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Thread: Ideas for making a 'quick fire' project of an 'Open Mike' evening

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Canterbury UK

    Question Ideas for making a 'quick fire' project of an 'Open Mike' evening

    Suggestions please:

    I recorded an evening of very competent musicians taking turns in an 'open mike' night. The footage is a series of complete numbers about 4 mins long.

    I would like to make a potted record of the evening with perhaps some interesting but subtle transitions etc. I'm not sure the best way to edit/cut clips and use
    the sound track etc. I just want to end up with a flavour of the evening. Do I use clips from the middle of numbers - the end of numbers?
    The footage stays mainly on the lead vocalists with slow zoom out to include the whole band plus zooms in the lead guitar breaks and percussion etc.
    Music style was mainly 60s rock/pop

    Any suggestions or links to good example clips would be appreciated.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    I guess the Canterbury scene has moved on a bit from the days of Soft Machine, Caravan et al!

    If you take the approach that a film/video should take the viewer on a journey, then this is what I'd do.

    Find the best beginning of a song you have and the best ending (preferably by other musos) and fill the rest with middles sections unless there's a particularly striking cut you can make from another ending of a song (or even possibly a break in the middle) to the start (or out of a break) of another.
    Then I'd look at all the material I have and try to match up sections of songs such that the keys/rhythms change in a pleasing manner (some knowledge of music would be useful, but trial and error will work)

    Maybe begin the film with a wide external shot of the location, then a close up of the location's sign (eg Pub Name, Village Hall or whatever) and a close up of a poster advertising the event. The audio under this should be the audio leading into the opening of the song you have chosen the beginning from and obviously cut to that footage a second or two before the act begins. You can potentially do a similar trick at the end. Ideally ending with a guy carrying a guitar walking away from the camera into the distance.

    Clearly those top and tail shots require shooting so you may not have them. Something to bear in mind next time.

    For a flavour, I'd keep the selections very short to keep the momentum up. This is a very different from a recording of a gig, which is either a vanity project for the musos or something so that they can analyse their performance. But you seem to know that.

    Given the style of music, I doubt I'd be able to resist the temptation to create a kaleidoscope effect to use a s a transition. Maybe a wavy "dream" transition as well. Avoid too many different transitions - maybe use one type for transitions between songs and another for transitions within a song.

    For me when watching any video with live music the most off-putting thing is when the musician is clearly not playing/singing what we are hearing. Fortunately pop tends to be repetitive so it's often possible to use the audio of verse one with footage from verses 1, 2 & 3, fo example. Another trick is to use slo-mo footage. For some reason showing slo-mo footage of one song against the (real time) audio of another is not nearly as distracting (at least for me) as real-time footage. Another trick is general cutaways of bit's of kit (mixers can be good) and lights. Audience shots are a must, but places rarely look as packed on camera as they feel in real life and neither do audiences look as animated so be careful of making the gig look a bit dull.

    Or you could do it a totally different way. Cue vittorio!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Canterbury UK


    Tim,Many thanks for taking the trouble to come back with such a detailed reply - much food for thought. I just couldn't get started but I'm all fired up now.It won't be a masterpiece as just a single camera shoot but a good record of the evening. Most of the musicians are in their 60s now but have played since they left school in various bands. They were customers of my music shop for many years but then I lost touch for 30 plus years. Was really good to see them all again.Thanks againJohn
    Last edited by baxwalker; 11-17-2015 at 07:18 PM.

  4. #4


    Remember that the audio track can be separate shots to the visuals so long as they match up in the edit. That means you can cut from different focal lengths long shot close up etc. with just one camera but it will look like it was multiple cameras.

    Good luck.

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