Covering Corporate Events ENG Style – Q&A Answers

Hi Everyone,

I really enjoyed working with Marcelo from this morning for the Covering Corporate Events ENG Style webinar. It was a lot of fun and I hope you all found something of use from the presentation. You all sent in a great bunch of questions. So many in fact that I couldn’t get through them all during the show. I asked Marcelo if I could post the rest of the answers on my blog and he was kind enough to agree. So here we go… =)

Can you say a bit more about the green canceling/blue canceling gels on the backlights for chroma key setups?
The rules I use are Magenta gel for a green screen setup and Yellow or Straw gel for blue screen. If you look on a color wheel these are the almost exact opposites for the screen colors. It will help give you cleaner edges around your subjects and through their hair.

How practical is it to use DSLRs for live events?

To capture little clips of the event and quick interviews – very nice. To try and get the long form meetings I’d stick with a more traditional camera shooting cards or tapes.

What about live stream?
Live streaming is great. If you can get a clean “HARD WIRED” connection to the internet with a speed of at least 500kps to handle your upstream and confidence return you should be fine. You will want to use a “mirroring company” to re-broadcast your feed to the world. I would suggest a company like Playstream or Ustream.

Prefer LCD, or EVF? LCD lets me capture footage, but still be “present” at event and aware of surroundings…
I use both. I agree, the EVF is a little more confining at times but is great out doors. In the general sessions and in room settings I use the LCD. It’s a little easier on the eyes and once I have the framing and focus it’s kind of an auto pilot follow and go tool.

Explain why not to reuse tapes.
In the old BetaCam days when the tapes were $30 to $40 each and a lot more robust it made since to use them multiple times. But with MiniDV and HDV tapes being sooooo thin and subject to transport stress I try and run them through the camera and deck as few times as possible. Also the efficacy of the tape to retain the signal starts to fade with every re-use. You will most likely have drop outs by the second use. It just became not practical to risk a $4k or $5k show on re-used $3.00 tape =)

At $800-900 the SxS cards are a bit steep. Any alternatives?
Try the Hoodman RAW SxSxSDHD adapter and RAW SDHC cards. A real nice alternative. Also a good work around to the new MacBookPro SD slots

Which has the quicker turnaround time? Either to go with tape based cameras plus its tape ingestion after the event, or a file based camera with SxS card conversion after the event?
I found the card based system to be a faster solution in the long run. Also, depending on your NLE, new plug-ins are coming out soon that will allow you to drop the native footage right in with no conversion. Stay tuned for that =)

How do you handle heat dissipation on the 5Dii?
I have not run into an overheating situation with my 5Dmk2 yet… I stop the ‘LIVE VIEW” as often as possible and usually do takes not lasting more than about 6 to 7 minutes. If I know the project parameters will be more demanding I’ll bring out the EX3 or other long form camera for the job. For long form shallow DoF projects I use a Letus 35 Extreme on my EX3 with Nikon primes.

Remote trigger switch for the DSLR cameras (for the video, not shutter)? Any suggestions?
I use the Canon TC-80N3 time laps/shutter release – a tad spendy for your needs . You can probably find a cheaper solution from Dot Line or another manufacturer =)

When shooting with the 5D Mark II, it cannot output an HD signal when in record mode – it can then only output an SD signal. How do you get around this for dealing with critical focus, considering the LCD screen on the back is disabled (with the HDMI output connector engaged)?
That is a good one!!! =) I think we are all waiting for a viable realtime solution. I think it’s going to come in the form of a new camera – either Canon’s or RED or Sony. As far as dealing with the current 5Dmk2 I work shallow DoF shots in only in controlled settings like interviews with people seated in chairs. If I am running and gunning I don’t open more than a F5.6. Also I use a
Marshall monitor with peaking – not the total answer but very helpful.

What was that model number for the wireless mics again?
Sennheiser Evolution G3 100 Series A great kit for the price.

What was that $600 shotgun mic brand again that compares with a Schoeps?
Audio Technica AT4073a. Although I just noticed they have discontinued this model… I think they have replaced it with the Audio Technica BP 4073. I would welcome your feedback =)

Please identify that cable to control impedance when using the Zoom.
Sescom LN2MIC-ZMH4-MON 3.5mm Line to Mic with 25dB Attenuator for Zoom H4N with Headphone Monitoring Jack. Just heard about this one.

How much lighting do you take for “man on the street” type of interview?
I usually take an on-camera light and have a bounce reflector in my backpack. If I know I’m going to need a little more, I’ll take a Lowel DP light with a sheet of diffusion, CTB and blue prime. Also a 25′ AC cable. These should all fit in the backpack nicely.

I have experienced that my 7D stops recording after i.e. 15 minutes (with a 16 GB card in with still a lot of free space). Anyone experienced that?
That has to do with the format Canon uses with the CF cards – FAT32. It has a 4GIG limit to the file sizes and that in turn translates into about 12 minutes (on a 5Dmk2) or about 15 minutes on a 7D. There are many ideas as to why this format was chosen – I think only Canon knows for sure.

How do you handle pricing and payments? 50% up front?
Yes. I do 50% up front. I try and make the numbers work so the 50% covers all my “hard” costs for the show. Then I’m only waiting for the balance to cover me. To that end, I occasionally offer a discount on the balance if they pay right away.

Slating interviews? Do you? For syncing sound in DSLR footage?
I do my slating of info by shooting their badge at the beginning of the interview. For sync I use Plural Eyes from Singular Software in post to line up the camera sound and the external recorder’s tracks. If you don’t have Plural Eyes a good hand clap once both the DSLR and sound are “rolling” usually works great. Lastly, If you are on a job were they interviewees don’t wear badges, you can use an iPad or iPhone to slate with apps like iSlate or other such apps

Any favorite settings for setting up your DSLR camera? What about your EX3?
I like the Marvels Film settings for both EX3 and the 5Dmk2. I also like the 5D/7D settings from Crooked Path Films.

What settings do you start with on the xlr plug-on that you showed? -20db???
If I am using it with a handheld mic or shotgun mic I usually work around -20. This gives me plenty of gain makeup room at the receiver end. If I am running LINE level into it I will set it at -50 and ask the sound person providing the feed to send me a test level to make sure I’m still in bounds on the built-in meter while I take a listen in the headphones.

What video camera/HDSLR and audio capture gear would you recommend to get the best footage in these situations?
This is a very broad question =) Here is one combo I like but there are so many:
Camera: Canon 5Dmk2 or Sony EX3
Sound: ZOOM H4n

How do you handle 16×9 production and 4×3 screens?
Turn on your 4:3 markers and work inside those for the 4:3 finish.

How do you assess the capability of on-site video staff to assist with getting footage ‘to air’?
Take some test footage from your editor to them early on and have them run it on their system so you can look at it on the screens. This confirms they can run you footage and gives you an idea of what it will look like on the screens.

Do you use DSLR’s ENG style?
Some times. As you saw in the photos I can rig it out pretty big. That being said, I like to keep my DSLR in the Body/Lens only config and use it in tight places or low light situations.

Assuming using available light, how do you best deal with white balance? In camera or in post?
I try and white balance in each new setting. If I’m running back and forth indoor and out door, I’ll set 2 presets and switch between those for the shoot. As for color balancing in post, I judge the shot and do a fast clean up if necessary. I don’t really get into “Grading” for the on-site editing.

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