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Thread: Concert filming tips

  1. #1

    Default Concert filming tips


    Does anyone have any good tips on camera setup and what to do / not to do when shooting a concert, I've never done one before.

    The gig will be in an intimate large-ish pub style venue, and the crowd will vary between rowdy-to-riotous-to-insane.

    We've got three maybe four cameras.

    We want to get different aspects of the gig from crowd reaction, to mosh-pit, to band interaction.

    I was thinking something along the lines of;
    Cam1 - Tripod steady longlense band shots
    Cam2 - Handheld close-up bandshots
    Cam3 - Handheld Crowd / moshpit / bar

    Anyone got any good experience they'd like to share with me?


  2. #2


    I shot a battle of the bands in a similar location, but I didn't do it that well...

    things that I was glad I did/would do differently:

    Make sure you get a recording of the audio off the sound-desk, although the levels will be all out you can combine it with the audio you record live.

    Set up a decent microphone or two to record sound.

    get a wide-angle lense for the close-up shots.

    get plenty of cut-away shots of the crowd and things, from diferent angles,

    bring as many spare batteries and tapes as possible, cordon off your tripod area and keep everything in arms length.

    get there as early as possible to set-up, talk to the band/sound guy/management etc. they will probably be able to help you out, if anyones recorded a gig before there they will have talked to the people there so you can ask how they did it.

    get some fans/crowd thoughts afterwards. always good to go over the credits or as a bonus.

    take a stills camera (even just a small digital one) to get some pictures for the DVD cover/disc artwork.

    But I've only filmed a live gig a few times, there's people on here who do it professionally, I'm sure they'll help out.
    Panasonic SD9, Panasonic NVGS-75, Canon MV600i

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Tyne & Wear, UK


    Take a torch!! I recently filmed a gig in a 200 capacity venue and forgot just how dark everything is at the back of the room. It was a nightmare trying to find tapes, batteries and even some of the controls on the camera.

    I would also suggest taping the Cam1 tripod to the floor to stop it being knocked by the audience.

    If possible have someone monitoring the recording you are taking from the mixing desk - maybe record on to minidisc but don't rely on the sound engineer to change the discs when they run out.

    Also try to synch all 3 cameras using a flashbulb from a stills camera - this will make things a lot easier when you're editing (if you do this, it's important to keep all the cameras rolling throughout the performance).

    Good luck. I'm sure you'll do great.

  4. Default

    bgarthp has some very good suggetions. To elaborate on one aspect: after you sync up all the cameras using the flash bulb, keep them all rolling all the time. No matter what image may be on the camera. This will really help out in editing. Work with the band to change out all of the tapes at the same time and re-sync with the bulb.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Bristol uk
    Blog Entries


    I was recently asked to fil ma gig as a 'no money', payment on a promise type deal.

    I declined because I wasnt convinced the guy could shift dvds of his concert and also because I didnt think I could meet the challenge without a team of helpers and a truck of gear.

    The few band vids I have done have realyed on me with a single camera and a hell of a lot of clever editing. OK for highly produced pop video type results but useless if you want any sort of live vibe captured.

    Thanks for the flash gun trick.... I will remember that if I do ever do a multi camera band shoot.

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