With the demand for rich content on the rise, events and conference organisers need to be experts in delivering quality live camera support and post-event film production. Stuart Coe, event-filming expert for MCS, looks at how you can use your own cameraman to deliver the best service for your clients.
I love my work. As a cameraman, I can be doing anything from filming in-store for a high street retailer one week, to following a cycle race on a round tour of Britain the next, and then flying overseas to film the week after that.
The most rewarding part of my job though is delivering content that exceeds our clients’ expectations. Here are my five top tips for how event companies can achieve this:
1. Include your cameraman in early briefings.
I’m usually involved in the end-to-end process, starting from the client brief where we take the time to really understand what they want to achieve, through to the filming, editing, proofing and final delivery. Being that one constant throughout a project really helps us to deliver a successful video for them.
2. Get the cameraman into the thick of the action
It’s a fast-paced industry and clients usually want their content produced fairly swiftly following an event to help keep the momentum and buzz of the event flowing. This is where it helps to be fully integrated. Positioning your cameraman as an extension of the client’s team, rather than a bolt-on service, fosters an element of trust between all parties. Detailed briefing sessions in which the cameraman can personally draw out succinctly what the client is trying to achieve, will help time in the edit suite to be used more effectively as they will understand the client’s ethos and have a firm grasp on how to get the first draft pretty much spot on.
3. Know the style
I’ve found that working hard to develop that all-important element of trust has helped massively when those last-minute requests and amends inevitably come through throughout the production process. If they know and understand me and my portfolio of work, they are more willing to trust me to apply my expertise and get it right – which is often half the battle when time is of the essence!
4. Simple is often better
Many clients feel pressured to produce rich content from their events, just because it’s the “now” thing – however a lavish video production isn’t always necessarily the correct way to deliver their messages. Discuss with your cameraman to agree on the best approach for your client’s needs. It may be that capturing vox pops behind the scenes at a conference, interviewing key spokespeople at an event, or recording highlights for a round-up video will work really well – however sometimes a printed hand-out might be more appropriate for the audience.
5. Trust the expert
I suppose one frustration is that nowadays, with the likes of Facebook Live, everyone considers themselves an expert and expects video content to be delivered instantly. Let’s face it; we can all produce HD films on our iPhones. However, the picture quality (while important) is only a part of the process. Sound, lighting and creative post production, combined with a strong understanding and enthusiasm for the subject, all contribute to great video content. Use your cameraman during pitches, proposals and briefings to help explain the benefits of a professional video production service.