When I found out that BitLoft had been selected as the Official Video Production Partner of the TechPoint Mira Awards, I was eager to take the lead on the video production elements. It was a big opportunity — I’d be shooting the TechPoint annual gala with 1,400 guests in attendance, including Indy’s tech leaders and an abundance of client prospects.In addition, I’d be dealing with the low-level stress that’s inherent to any event videography because there’s no chance to “redo” after the big moments are over. No pressure, right?
I’ve outlined the key strategies I used to ensure that our videography was on point for the Mira Awards. I’m proud of the end result and encourage you to check out the final product here.
Plan, Plan, Plan… and then plan some more.
- Know the theme. Have an idea of the style and vibe of the video before going into the event. Every event is different. For Mira, we wanted a style that reflected the class and sophistication of the event while still appearing youthful and vibrant at the same time. The style and theme are going to guide a good deal of the shot selections and artistic decisions you make when planning and shooting the video.
- Make a schedule. Scheduling is vital when it comes to events. Creating a tight schedule and sticking with it helps ensure an event goes well. Scheduling includes…
- Knowing where everything and everyone are going to be and when
- Knowing when the key shots are happening
- Allowing for some impromptu moments
It’s a delicate balance. This balance was especially important at the Mira Awards because BitLoft was acting as both the event videographer and the official video production partner creating all the videos showing throughout the night. This meant we were refining and polishing content up to the last minute and then immediately rolling into capturing video.
- Scope out the event space. Whether that’s a week before, a day earlier, or several hours before the show start, the time is worth it. Get a feel for the scenery and any striking visual elements. What temperature is the lighting? Is there a minor league baseball game going on right outside? (In this case, there was!) When I checked out the event space in advance of the Mira Awards, I noticed the escalators leading up to the ballroom — there were several, and they were large, creating a natural opportunity for me to capture guests arriving.
Curate Your Toolkit
- Stay mobile. When it comes to equipment, keep it light and mobile. You’ll be on your feet carrying weight for long periods at events, and the last thing you want is to be exhausted — the shots will suffer.
- Test, test, test. At the Mira Awards, we had videographers running “man on the street” field interviews, similar to news reporting. To accomplish this, we purchased and tested specialized wireless audio equipment before the event. It’s essential not only to choose the right equipment, but also to ensure you’re familiar with it and our team tested and tinkered with the new equipment well before the big night.
- Add variation. Variation in your shots is important, and that can mean extra equipment. Bring cameras that not only get standard footage, but that can capture slow motion, timelapse, and hyperlapse shots. Bring drones to capture exteriors or gimbals to smooth out your footage. This equipment allows you to create a final product that is visually interesting with a ton of variation — attention spans are short, and this variation helps to hook viewers to stay engaged with the final videos.
Begin with the End in Mind
It’s easy to get distracted by bright shiny objects or people and scenes that you want to shoot for the “art of it” while at an event. When time is limited, however, it’s crucial to filter everything through the lens of the story you’re there to tell, along with the feel and style that the client wants. While shooting, it’s important to recognize both visual and audio content. This means listening to certain parts of speeches and interviews and looking for beats that would work well for opening narration, transition narration, or closing statements. It’s good to make sure you have a few options for each of these by the end of the event.
Can You Hear Me Now?
Communication is key for any creative or technical project, but regular contact with the client and any other stakeholders is critical in event videography. We were lucky to have open lines with everyone involved, which helped immensely to limit any surprises for the Mira Awards. Clear communication ensured that everyone was aligned and prepared throughout the process.
If you’d like to chat with our team at BitLoft about making your event a bigger success with pre-event, event, and post-event videography, reach out to get the conversation started. Let’s create a memorable video to capture your next big event!