Some videographers prefer to tackle their projects alone, especially during event fiming. They simply show up at the venue with a single camera in their hands and a single bag on their backs. Yet video recording with limited equipment isn’t a good idea. After all, videographers are responsible for capturing the memories of a particular event, and it would be bad if they miss important moments just because they lacked the tools.
In fact, videographers can have a more challenging job than film directors. For one, directors have the opportunity to reshoot scenes as many times as possible until they get the perfect footage. Videographers, on the other hand, are tasked with capturing real life moments, thus they can’t afford to make mistakes since they can’t go back in time to redo real life. So if, say, the videographer misses the garter toss in a wedding, he already misses it entirely.
For this reason, most videographers resort to using multiple cameras when event recording This way, they can produce footage that offers a more enjoyable viewing experience; not to mention they don’t miss out on any critical action because the number of cameras makes it so that they get to capture all angles.
Now there are several ways to shoot using multiple cameras. Such methods can either be expensive and complex or cheap and simple. Let’s a have a look at some of these techniques.
Cheap, Easy, Unsynchronized
You’d probably want to know about the less costly approach first, so here goes – have a second shooter who’ll be responsible for taking some “b-roll” for you. “B-roll” means miscellaneous shots of moments that aren’t part of the event’s main attraction. During wedding receptions, for example, the b-roll can include close-ups of the entourage, shots of the venue’s parking lot slowly filling up with cars, or footage of the guests various reactions.
In most cases, this approach isn’t synchronized. For example, viewers of the footage wouldn’t know if when exactly the bride’s mother shed tears – was it before, after, or during the first dance? Or they wouldn’t know when exactly the groomsmen were laughing together while bickering with each other. Know though that this method can be done even with just one videographer – use a tripod to set up one camera for a master shot while he/she uses a second camera to run around and capture close-ups.
Cheap, Easy, Visually Synchronized
This approach is a bit trickier than the previous one. However, it allows the videographer to use two cameras at exactly the same moment, cutting back and forth between both, making this technique very useful if there are audio and video tracks that have to stay together. For this one, you will need an audio and visual cue that occurs at the same time. Traditionally, this was pulled off using “clappers”.
Say, someone with a clapper goes to the front of the cam and bangs the clapper together, which creates a visual cue (the snapping shut of the clapper) and an audio one (the “bang” noise produced when the clapper is used). Alternatively, you can have someone clap his or her hands in front of the camera too. This procedure is used to synch your cameras, especially after visuals and audio have been stuck together by aligning them in the editing room.
Expensive, Easy, Computer-Based
Today, there now exists computer programs that can do the synchronization for you. These applications allow you to ‘drop’ several clips captured from different cameras into Final Cut Pro. From there, the program will take care of figuring out which shot belongs to what timeline of the event by using associated audio. Such software can range from $100-$300.