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How to Film Your School Play

Simpe Steps To Filming a School Production

Using a professional camera to film your school play

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 not a phone. 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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.

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    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.
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    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.

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