Filming Events - What to Consider

Author: Henninger Media Services | | Categories: Corporate Video Production , Video Production , Video Production Company


“I’d like to film a one day conference. How much will this cost?”  We’ve fielded this type of question often.  Filming conferences or live events, no matter how (seemingly) simple or small requires a lot of detailed thinking.  You want to hire the right sized crew and give them the right gear and guidance so that the resulting footage is perfect for the video (or videos) you’re trying to make.  Let’s dive into the factors that affect these kinds of productions.

Logistics, Logistics, Logistics

Logistics play a huge role in how best to film an event. The size of the room and how it will be configured will help dictate where the cameraman should be stationed.  If the crowd is large or the speaker isn’t going to be on a stage well above the level of the crowd, you may need to consider a long lens and/or putting the camera on a riser to give it an unobstructed view. Will you need to capture audio and video of Q&A sessions with the audience?  Will you be able to tap into the house audio system?  If you’ll be filming in a room with windows, the how will the light in the room change as the event takes place?  Do you want a complete video record of the event (or each main speaker at a conference), or is your goal to capture general highlights?  Paint as complete a picture as you can of the event, the venue and your video goals so that the crew will know what to expect.

Logistics can help shape the size and make-up of the crew as well.  If the venue is difficult to load into and out of for instance, the crew may want to bring a PA to help move gear around.  Your crew and gear needs may change if the crew needs to move quickly from place to place within the venue or cover events in two locations at once.  Panel discussions might require multiple cameras for adequate coverage, depending upon the kind of video you’re trying to make.

The scheduling of your event is important to consider as well. Full day crews typically work a 10 hour day (not including a break for lunch) measured from the time they arrive at the venue to the time they leave, provided they do not have significant travel time to account for.  If you’re planning to film a conference that starts with a keynote speaker at 9am and ends with a cocktail party at 7pm and you want the crew to film a little at each event throughout the day, you’ll need to plan for overtime. Make sure the crew has enough time to break down gear, move it, and set it up again if they’ll be moving between rooms.  If you’re filming an event that takes place solidly in the morning (8am to noon for instance) or solidly in the afternoon (1pm on) you may be able to save money by covering your event with a half-day crew.


Sometimes a crew just needs someone greet them when they arrive, show them where to set up and an on-site contact to handle any questions that arise.  Other times, it can help to hire a Producer to guide the crew during filming.  If the crew needs to move from place to place rapidly, a Producer can move ahead to scout the next location while the camera and sound people are breaking down and moving gear. He or she can help keep the crew on schedule, too.  Perhaps you’d like to gather man-on-the-street interviews with attendees to get their reactions to your great event. The Producer can help prep thoughtful questions and can help flag people down for the interviews while the crew deals with their gear.  Sometimes clients can provide a person to fill this Producer role and sometimes it makes sense to outsource that job to a Producer.  The goal is to give the crew the best support possible thereby giving you great footage to work with.  

Most importantly, be clear about your goals for the finished video footage. Every scenario will present different questions and therefore different suggestions. If you need to produce a full-length video of a person giving a PowerPoint presentation, you’ll have different things to consider than if your goal is to cut together a peppy highlight reel of attendees enjoying a wide variety of events over the course of a few days.  In general, share as much information as you can about your event and your goals for the video and you’ll be on the right path.