Cost Effective Live Event Filming

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When trying to save money live event filming itís best to have as minimal crew as possible. The only problem is that you are essentially jeopardising the final edit, so keep in mind where itís best to save and where you must payout!

If itís a large event with multiple activities happening at any one time, you will ideally need at least two cameras to cover the action. One way of saving money is by hiring a videographer with two cameras and an assistant. If youíre really tight then you will have to settle on one camera with operator and hope that they can cover as much of the event as possible. This will really effect the finished edit if it features a conference or performance as the one camera will probably have to be locked off on a wide and make for a very boring promo. We always advise 2 cameras minimum for any event as we donít want to compromise the edit and would rather the client saved money elsewhere.

If you want to be fully prepared and not incur any last minute costs like, car parking or needing extra kit. Then get yourself down to the location sooner than later with a stills camera so you can problem shoot the day and anything that might hold you back. If you can, seek out someone that runs the venue and ask them things like if thereís an area to store your kit or if you will have access to power supplies. Always, always check where your power supplies will be and where the best viewpoints are when live event filming too. This could save you added expense on the day when you realise you need to hire in an extra light or longer cabling, as you werenít fully prepared.

Are you going to be filming these events regularly or is it a one off? If itís a one off then youíre probably best hiring your camera and lighting. This being the case we tend to go for the Sony EX3 as it films in full HD and is a very versatile piece of kit. They are roughly £150 to hire for a day and it should come with a tripod, top light, spare batteries and SD Cards. When it comes to lighting you should be all right with a couple of 2k blondes and a Diva Light which should come in at around £100, but this will be defined from you location scout.

If you were going to be filming live events more often, then it would be far more cost effective to buy the kit outright instead of continually hiring. Look at this the same as paying rent when really you should be paying a mortgage instead of letting your hard work / money evaporate. If you therefore wanted to invest in a Sony EX3 it would cost you roughly £5k, so maybe the Canon 5D or 7D would be better options? I wouldnít actually recommend Canonís for live event filming as there not as reliable when it comes focusing, but for the money you get an excellent piece of kit. The 5D for example is around £1.2k (body only) so you will need to invest maybe another £1k in lenses, then a few 32GB SD Cards at £120 each, with the other bits and bobs on top you could probably get away with it for £3k.

If this is really on a budget then keep the kit light and pack some nuts, fresh fruit and a bottle of water, as you canít be live event filming at your best without plenty of energy!

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