Simple Steps To Filming a School Production

How to film a school show, using a professional camera (film your own school play)

Read Our Guide on "How to put on a successful School Christmas nativity"

So you want to know how to film a school play and get great results? Filming a school show can be tricky as you are working with children, stage lighting and sound issues. Here is a guide to help you capture the show with great lighting, sound and making sure to film everyones big moment.

  • use a professional camera

    1) Use a video camera or a phone/tablet on manual, a phone does not work well with difficult lighting environments. If you have to use your phone or iPad try to set the exposure and white balance manually (point 5) Try to get you hands on the best camera possible, the more expensive cameras will not have a recording limit, will have inputs for external sound and will operate better in lower light situations.
  • Tripod Filming Fluid Head

    2) You must use a tripod. A tripod will give a steady base for your camera. If you plan on operating and moving your camera, a tripod with a fluid head is a necessity.

    Some smaller cameras will let you also use a light stand or even a mic stand as a steady base for filming.
  • Film a Nursery Christmas Play

    3) Use a static second camera. If you are operating one camera, run a second one as a wide shot covering the entire performing area. Many cameras have smart functions now, so If you can control this camera from your phone or tablet.
  • Positioning to film a school play

    4) Get the best filming position. Try to get in a position where you can see all of the performers, that is out of the way of the audience. Consider the access to power and sound and the safety of the performers and audience.
  • School Play filming London

    5) Try not to use auto-focus or exposure as it does not work well for shows with stage lighting. Also manually set the white balance, so that the camera does not automatically change this throughout the show. Other setting worth checking are the recording format, picture profile and sound settings. Exposure will also have to be operated manually for the same reasons, try to use a larger monitor if possible rather than the cameras display.
  • Storage needed to film play

    6) Memory card and battery. Make sure you have a memory card to capture the recording onto with adequate storage, then format this in camera. Also make sure you have adequate battery or ideally plug the camera into the mains.

  • finding sound fro school show

    7) Capture professional sound. A camera microphone will not pick up adequate sound, especially if you are placed at the back of the room. Try to either plug into the sound desk, or/and run your own microphone or recording device to the stage area.
  • Nursery filming london

    8) Know the show. Prepare by preferably seeing the dress rehearsal, if this is not possible find out where the main action will take place and if there are narrators. Any information you can find out about the show will make filming easier.

  • How to edit school play

    9) After the show, run it into your computer and edit as needed. Select the best audio option and colour correct the image.
  • School Show USB

    10) Decide on how you will deliver the show. Options will include putting the show on a USB drive, providing the show as a download and offering a DVD copy.

Filming a Nursey Christmas Nativity or Show With Younger Children

Nativity filming Kent
When filming a nursery nativity or a production with children under the age of 5 there are some additional tips to capture a great production.

1). The parents are not looking to see the overall show and narrative, they are looking to see their child performing in likely their first show. This makes it more important to capture close shots of each child.
2) To go with point 1,ask if each child has a word to say or a big moment to act. If this is the case preplan how to can capture as many of these big moments with close ups as possible. Knowing you have a wider shot to fall back on if you miss it.
3) Lower your own expectations of the show. Kids will cry and miss lines or hide behind other children. The most important thing when filming the nativity is to try to capture each child at some point.
4) Take photos before or after of each child to use in the film. We often photography each child in their costume and put a slideshow together of these images to one of the songs included in the production. This is a great way of featuring each child.

Want your nativity show filmed check out our Nativity filming service covering Surrey, Kent and London.

Want your dance school show filmed? Check out our dance filming service -