How to shoot successful event videos.
A sneak-peak at Noisy Creations’ event videography
Capturing the moment and turning it into something that lasts in a creative form is compelling and challenging at the same time. Event videography goals are to save the moment, but very often to drive results too. That’s why Noisy Creations work with many event businesses not only to help them catch the essence of the events but also to achieve marketing or sales goals. There are many aspects of event video production that have to be taken care of to succeed in this field. Some of them might sound obvious, some of them might make you go like “huh…”, but none of them is to be overlooked.
Before switching to video production, I worked as Event Manager for 7 years in different organisations and across different industries. Managing small to large-scale events, in-person and virtual, I had a chance to learn all about what it means to put out a successful event. Having had a chance to work with event videographers in the past I’ve also learned what is crucial to be captured on the day. Add a creative twist, a couple of years of experience, and you have Noisy Event Videography!
"No two snowflakes are alike"...
…and nor are two events. Event videography as a general term actually covers a large matrix of different types of events. From parties to weddings, conferences to workshops, concerts to expos, indoor and outdoor… the list could go on for a while. But it’s not only that. Even if you look at two conferences, they will be different in terms of the venue, hosts, program and many other conditions you need to consider before shooting. It’s really hard to be able to cover all kinds of events, that’s why many video companies are specialising in just some types. Including us! One of the first events we were hired to capture was electronic music parties – and that kind of stuck. Given my passion for music, I really enjoy doing all kinds of music-related events, from concerts to BTS, and that comes naturally. We also work with larger-scale event businesses and shoot conferences, outdoor events and expos.
Event after movie must-haves
The first thing that obviously comes to mind when thinking about event videography goals is to capture and save the memory of the event. Thanks to that, the organisers and attendees can relive the moment, show the video to others and basically have a nice souvenir. But there is a lot more to it! Capturing the essence of the event doesn’t mean having enough footage to show every element of the event. The important part is to shoot it in a way that reflects the vibe, atmosphere and value of the event. Through the years of managing and then shooting events, I’ve realised that two skills – storytelling and creativity – are essential for successful after-event video material. Even though that shooting on the day is often partially run-and-gun, it’s vital to tell a story through your video and tell it in a creative way. Obviously, it’s not only the pre-production and shooting techniques on the day, but the editing plays an important role too. The role of the edit and final delivery is to match the pace of the event and create an accurate feeling even for those who weren’t there.
In a way, I see our videos as an extension of the whole event experience. And that applies to both the hosts and guests. I have recently had a chance to ask one of our clients about their experience working with us, if we’re delivering according to their needs and what’s crucial in event videography from their perspective. What I’ve learned is that event-related video content also influences marketing and boosts sales, by attracting new guests. I think that event videography became an indispensable element of the whole event experience design.
Take a moment to watch a testimonial video with Melissa Field from Sydney Event Cruises and learn about her perspective on the most important deliverables her business seeks in the video content.
Obviously, not all of the events out there are parties per se. There are a lot of events that are more serious than the others and they're built around important topics. But the bottom line is that most of the time, event videography can be really fun. First of all - you get to meet heaps of new, interesting and inspiring people. That was specifically important to me at the beginning when I started the video business in Australia after moving from Europe. Networking is very important, and thanks to events, there are lots of opportunities. When shooting events you have to travel quite a bit, which can be both an opportunity and a challenge. But discovering new venues, especially in such a huge city like Sydney is always stimulating. Shooting some events is just simply fun! It’s hard not to feel the vibe of a good party and just go with it. And no, it’s not unprofessional! Many clients appreciate interacting with guests and doing everything you can so they feel comfortable on the camera. That’s our job. A great opportunity when shooting events is to learn new things. Workshops, conferences or expos are filled with experts’ knowledge, and while focusing on capturing lots of activities, interviews and so on, there’s always something interesting that stays with you after.
And if you’re looking for alternative physical exercise ideas - please come join me on our next outdoor event video production, grab a camera rig, and let’s dance!
Hey, shooting events is fun!
Challenges [pain in the ***]
And while it can be fun, it is also very challenging and creates obstacles you possibly wouldn’t face in the studio environment. The first thing is that as an event videographer, I only have one shot. And whilst it’s not literally true, it is a fact, that if we screw something up, there are no second takes. That can be stressful, but to avoid any mistakes - read again above - and be prepared! Time can be an enemy sometimes. There’s not always enough time to capture everything on the list and you have to prioritise. A good practice that we do at Noisy Creations is to always discuss the priorities with the event manager or coordinator. Always.
Other struggles on the day are often lighting conditions. There are times when I don’t know exactly what the lighting will be on the site, if it’s gonna be the same the whole day, or will be changing, if it’s gonna be bright or dark. If that’s the case, it’s crucial to have your gear ready for any of those. And no, it doesn’t mean taking everything you use and have in your gearbox 😉 The same applies to the audio, which can be especially tricky when you have to shoot interviews on the site where it’s really loud.
"Houston, we've got a problem"
But the biggest part of event videography is unpredictability. Imagine that you’re at the event where the hosts expected hundreds of people. You show up, set up and are ready to rumble, but the people…don’t. And that would be all right, if it wasn’t for the client’s expectation to deliver an after-movie as per brief saying: “capture lots of people enjoying the event”. Sometimes it can be a real problem, when the reality doesn’t match the client's expectations. It can cause a lot of stress during the event, when you know right away that it won’t be possible, or really difficult to deliver what the client wants. Sometimes it’s just something you have no control over, well, life! But it can also be because of something missing in the pre-production or briefing stage.
Working with event managers
Would you be shocked if I told you that communication is key? Of course not! But as trivial as it may sound, many professionals still forget to master this critical skill. Some may think that, unlike other video productions, event videos don’t need a real pre-production stage, with a detailed briefing, shot-listing etc. Well, it’s not true. To avoid any misunderstandings and disappointment, going through the arrangements with the event manager is a must. I can’t describe how much easier that is having that event-managing experience. That is my key to understanding and building friendly and long-term relationships with my clients in the event business.
Dancing with the gimbal
Ok, let’s not skip a moment to be geeky and talk gear. I’m of the opinion that it’s absolutely up to every individual videographer to choose the equipment that will work - not only in event videography. There’s no perfect setup for events, because - as we already know - there’s no such thing as two identical events. However, I have my favourite run-and-gun list of equipment, that I’d usually use:
-at least 1 prime lens - 30mm, and 1 zoom lens (depending on how big the event is)
-DJI Mini 3 Pro drone
-HEAPS of SD cards!
-and the queen of event videography - v-lock battery!
Quo vadis, event videography?
Instead of wrapping up the above, I’d rather share a question about the future of event videography. Lots of social media video content is getting shorter and shorter to attract and retain our attention. Event videos are changing as well, they’re not long, documentary-like forms anymore. What got me thinking about this matter was the recent (though not the first) GLAMBOT hype during this year’s Oscars. For those of you who don’t know what GLAMBOT is - it is shooting celebrities on a red carpet doing just one quick movement and then slowing it down, to deliver a cool, 5-second video. Literally. And I kinda got a feeling that this content stole the whole gala this year. At the end of the day, it shows that a simple, creative idea can be more important and show the vibe better, than 8 hours of footage. Technology is definitely one of the biggest factors influencing the event video world, but I personally think that only in a positive way, creating more and more opportunities for unique content and high-end quality. And at the same time, for me as an event videographer, creativity plus delivering value to my clients equals successful event videography.
If you’re looking for turning your event into cinematic videos that will help your event business grow, let us know, and we’ll do the magic!