Are you about to shoot your first aftermovie for an event? Here are 10 tips that will help you on your way.
Shooting after the movie is one of the most common jobs for aspiring and professional videographers, whether it be for conventions, corporate conferences, or music festivals. While every kind of event requires a different approach, here are some solid guidelines that apply to all of them.
Prepare your equipment
While this might seem like advice for absolute beginners, its importance cannot be overstated. If you’ve ever found yourself on location with only one battery pack, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Forgetting only a single part of your equipment can make your job a whole lot more challenging or even impossible. Create a checklist that you can go through every time you head out to shoot to avoid the danger of leaving something behind.
The last thing you would want to happen is arriving at an event that is almost over. Make sure to check out the schedule or setlist (in the case of a festival) so you don’t miss out on any important footage. Furthermore, research the location where you’ll be shooting, either online or in-person if possible. This way you can determine the light on the scene and prepare your equipment accordingly, and maybe even pack an additional light source, like an LED-Panel.
Communicate with your client
This is essential. Find out what expectations they have, what atmosphere they want you to capture, if they want you to stick to a strict concept or if they give you a free hand, and whether there is something specific they want you to film. You should also inquire about your own needs, like where to store your equipment if needed, or which power outlet to use to charge your only battery pack (in case you forgot tip no. 1).
Be a director
Interact with people at the event. A person smiling straight into the camera is always a good shot to have. You can ask people to do certain things, like lift a glass or perform a certain task – nothing complicated of course. Don’t be afraid to ask them to do something again, if the shot was out of focus for instance. This applies to event staff especially, you both work for the same person after all. No one will mind if you ask nicely.
Don’t be a director
On the other hand, you shouldn’t try to control everything that’s going on. Try to blend in and capture natural moments. Don’t walk around with a huge eye-catching camera rig. If people know they are being filmed, they will act differently.
Vary your shots
If you want to create a compelling aftermovie, try to capture different kinds of footage. Bring various lenses with you: I would recommend one with a short focal length (10-15mm) for wider shots, a zoom-lens for shots of groups of people or booths, etc., and a macro-lens for close-up shots of someone performing, for instance. While most of your shots should be tracking and/or panning shots, so the event looks fun and dynamic, you should also have still shots, to make your video more diverse and interesting. Try different angles of the same subject, if you have enough time. You can make a small group of people look like quite a crowd if you “compress” them by zooming in.
Capture the venue
You should create a sense of the venue where the event is taking place. Do wide outside and inside shots. Maybe do a shot of the building, if the event is taking place inside. Not only does that make for a nice intro to the video, but it also connects the event to the venue, enabling future guests to recognize it.
Better shoot too much than too little
This one speaks for itself. Even though after movies tend to be only a couple of minutes long, you don’t want to be forced to compromise when editing. The more footage you have, the less constrained you are in the post.
Tell a story
I’m not talking about a story-kind of the story; however, try to be consistent and linear when you edit your footage. For instance: If you have a shot of a bar, the follow-up shot could be of someone picking up a drink and joining their friends. Afterward you could show them walking up to a stage and dancing. Then you shift the focus to the performance and so forth. This makes the video much nicer to watch.
Pick the right song
The song you choose will underline and strengthen the mood and atmosphere you are conveying in your aftermovie, so it must be chosen wisely. Perhaps you should consult with your client before settling for one. At Tunetank there is a wide selection to choose from and you will definitely find what you need. Maybe browse through some of the playlists created specifically to underline after movies:
corporate events / conventions: https://tunetank.com/playlist/15/corporate
weddings / birthday parties: https://tunetank.com/playlist/10/wedding
sport / tournaments : https://tunetank.com/playlist/12/sport