Whether you’re producing a corporate event video or the video production for an epic music festival, there are a number of industry secrets that can help content stand out from a sea of sameness. Having produced content for some of Australia’s leading music festivals, we’ve distilled some of the key lessons we’ve learnt in the process. From freelancers looking to start producing content on a larger scale, to growing video production teams looking to train new talent, here are 8 ways to create more memorable event video productions.
1. Think audience first
Whether you’re an event promoter or video producer, by understanding your target audience’s needs and adopting a relevant channel to deliver that message, you’re reducing the likelihood of wasted capital and dialling up the content’s effectiveness. Notions that an event or festival is “too big to fail” (and can therefore publish whatever content they feel like) are unwise; Australian music history is littered with mega-festivals like The Big Day Out, Soundwave and Stereosonic that all fell out of touch with their audiences and went the way of the dinosaurs.
2. Start with the music
How do you complete a 5,000 piece jigsaw puzzle where you don’t have a box that shows what it’s supposed to look like? Piecing together all the shots for a music festival or multi-day, multi-camera event video production is no different. Locking-off the music selection with the client in advance and foregrounding the energy of the music can provide the puzzle’s border and corner pieces, providing you the framework to experiment and be creative with the remaining pieces.
3. Immerse yourself
When you’re surrounded by tens of thousands of beautiful people, backstage access with international artists and mango daiquiris that would make a monk renounce his vows, it can be tough not to be overwhelmed; there’s simply a smorgasbord of shots to potentially capture. Just like promoters need to consider what type of content they want to produce, as a cinematographer or camera operator, by immersing yourself in the audience you can more easily prioritise what shots will work and what shots aren’t worth pursuing. Over time this will become instinctive.
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4. Mix your formats
Filming with a number of formats like time lapse, super-slow motion and stabilised gimbals in your event video production yields a number of benefits. Firstly, it’s just plain enjoyable; having the opportunity for a client to finance your experimentation with new equipment and shooting methods is something you dream about in film school. Second, it provides your team more options in the editing room; different shot types can assist in tempo and mood changes that results in a more dynamic edit. Third, the unique combination of video formats delivers a unique experience for the viewer, allowing the content to cut through noise and allowing the client to reach their audience.
5. Find small moments
Just as there’s no Pepsi without Coke, an epic wide shot wouldn’t exist if there weren’t such a thing as an intimate closeup. While sweeping wide shots in video production evoke a sense of scale that make event promoters pop champagne bottles, remember to balance it with more personal moments from the festival. Prioritise the search for these shots as what event attendees ultimately remember from a festival isn’t so much the event’s size, but small details that made it their own experience.
6. Champion motion
Pack your rave shoes, you’re going to be doing some serious dancing when you’re filming your event. In placing a premium on movement at all times when operating a camera (both camera movement and movement of the subject) you can convey an infectious energy that makes for a seamless edit.
7. Get experimental
Just like you should mix up your production formats, remember to experiment with video production techniques. Fortunate enough to have a client progressive enough in Beyond The Valley that allows us the freedom to be creative, as a video production company we’ve tested: POV shooting techniques, studio-turn-event cinematography with the Phantom 4K 1,000FPS, experimental sound design and an entire reel of alternative camera transitions. Producing video content for events is as enjoyable as you want it to be; push the boundaries and try new approaches on location and in the editing room.
8. Shoot fast
Martinis look great in a glass but not so great on a Phantom 4K camera with a payload of cine-primes that would require you to auction on arm in order to afford. Any event involving alcohol increases the risk of camera damage as much as it does liver damage, but without risk there’s no reward. Just remember to be fast on the recording button, only not so fast that your editor needs to sort through a catalogue of unfocused shots in 1,000FPS.
Enamoured Iris is a creative video production company producing online video content marketing for lifestyle brands in the Travel, Health and Entertainment industries. The company’s head office is known as “The Owlery” and is based in Melbourne, Australia.