Live Event Videography

Videographer Jeannette Scott at 2004 Arthur Awards

Many organizations have significant cultural/community events that they would love captured on video, but do not do so because they do not have that expense in their budget. As a result, they get a student, or a friend, relative or parent, to do the recording. The recording is then very unprofessional. The sound is bad, the colors are off, the camera is shaky, etc.

If you are looking for quality videotaping and editing at a very affordable rate, look no further!

My Experience

I have recorded hundreds of live events in the past 16 years. Events have included plays, musicals, talent shows, dance troupes, musical performances (ranging from A Cappella singing groups to full orchestras), roasts, proms, birthday parties, weddings, dedications, reunions, and all types of sporting events. I have been able to successfully streamline the process to keep the cost to the consumer to a minumum, while still maintaining an exceptional professional standard.

About the Videotaping... One of my skilled videographers; Chase Bowman

I use high quality, professional cameras that are extremely portable and moveable.  I always use at least two cameras: one capturing wide shots, and another going in for specific close ups.

In addition to the camera quality, I have years of videography experience, so you do not have to worry about ideal camera location, color composition, low lighting, shaky cameras, out of focus, etc. I know how to prevent all of these problems.

How does the payment process work?

I quote you a flat rate based on the length of the event for the videotaping. Then I will give you three options for the editing costs: 1) What you will get with no extra editing, 2) What you will get with either $100 or $150 of editing (one or the other based on length of event), and then a third option which is the "best quality" edit option, which will be explained and which is also based on the length of the show.

You can either pay me a flat fee, or you can sell DVD copies to parents/staff/crew/audience members. The sale of the DVDs offsets the production costs. Often times, the sales of the DVDs completely offsets the cost of the production. For example, if you have a 1-hour recital, and you sell 50 copies at $20 each, I can tell you right now that you will get the event fully professionally videotaped with 2 cameras and edited with titles and credits at no cost to you. I will give you all the potential costs in writing once I know the estimated length of the event.

You can order DVD copies and sell them yourself, or people can directly order from me with an order form that I make.\
Click here to see a sample order form from a past event.

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Do you record good sound?

I make it a point to capture good audio.  Whether the facility has a sound system that I can plug into or not, I always make sure you can hear the audio clearly and comfortably with the use of several strategically placed wireless and telephoto microphones, which are then mixed down in the editing process to give you the best possible sound.

Can parents still bring their own cameras?

Parents are welcome to videotape the show, but they do not need to. A parent records a show because they want to make sure they get close ups of their specific child. What if each parent wants a copy of the entire production? they would each have to bring their own camera wouldn't they?
Be assured that I will capture all the action, with good close ups when appropriate. Everybody has their significant moments on the stage and we make it a point to do justice to those moments on camera. In addition, if someone is there professionally recording the event, then all parents can be free to just sit and enjoy the show, undistracted.

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Do I need the obtain the rights for you to videotape the production?

Well, yes and no. At the bare minimum you need permission to be able to videotape the play for archival purposes, which is quite easy to do and usually is granted to you with the license for performing the play, so you may already have them. Often that license will have other limitations in it such as "one copy" or just one recording" (so parents wouldn't be allowed to record). Keep in mind that if/when I am selling DVDs to the parents, I am not selling them for profit. If you are paying me through sales of the dvds through the parents, then that money is my compensation for the labor of making the videos, and the sale of the DVDs is limited to those involved in the production (I am not out selling copies to the mass public after the show in any way).
When you are seeking approval for videotaping, make sure you also explain that sales of individual copies are simply for parents/staff/crew with an order form, and that this is how you pay me for the videotaping and editing. If they do not approve of that, then we can just stick with the videotaping/editing of one master tape, and you can pay me a flat fee.

How do you edit it?

When a director produces a play, they know they need to move the actors around and change the lighting in order to keep the play from ever feeling monotonous. The action moves around, utilizing different scenes and sections of the stage at different times. The audience's eyes wander; focusing on different things; noticing the action on stage and ignoring the sections of the stage where nothing is going on. I do the same when I film, as well as when I edit. I cut from wide shots to close-ups only at the appropriate times, and I use dissolves and other effects only at times when it would be appropriate.

In addition, just for fun, I add opening and closing credits using scans from the program brochure.

I have a friend who is not only a father of three daughters himself, but is very active in community drama and theater. After watching one of my productions, he told me that that was the first time he felt he was actually able to sit through the entire videotape of a school play and enjoy it like he could a movie, from start to finish.

Jeannette takes an order from one of the participants

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What if I want copies in the future?
Your organization receives one master copy. In addition, I retain an original master. Additional individual copies can always be ordered any time in the future.

How do you distribute the DVD copies?
If they order directly from me, I give the buyer an option on the order form to either pick up their tape at the school/church/office when finished, or to have them mailed for an extra $3.00. Once editing is complete, the videos that need to get mailed, get mailed, and those that need to be dropped off at your location, get dropped off the same day they are produced. Those who have ordered are notified my email or phone that their tapes are ready for pickup.

How active do I have to be in promoting your video sales, collecting orders, etc, among the prospective parents/cast/crew?

All I ask for is some form of announcement at the actual event that it is being professionally videotaped and that you have order forms available in the lobby. Beyond that, it is up to you. Many times I will give you an order form that you can send out ahead of time with an announcement about the event. We can even slide an order form into the pages of the program if appropriate. Other forms of simple promotion could include a thank you in the program, an announcement after the event is over to order tapes through a contact, order forms left in the office, etc.

Keep in mind that the more videos are ordered, the smaller your final bill becomes.

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Do you do personal uploads to Youtube or Facebook?
Yes, individuals can get certain scenes from their performance uploaded to Youtube, Facebook, some other site, or get an mpeg of a scene from me on a disk for an additional fee. Those individuals can contact me directly and I'll work out the details separately.

What if there is a problem with my DVD?
I replace any defective videos, of course, and anyone can call me personally to resolve any technical difficulties they may encounter with a DVD.  Additional DVDs are always available if something should happen to one.


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