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Advice on filming theatre.


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#1 Lee Thompson

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 09:01 PM

My wife and I run a small theatre company and our upcoming production is heavily influenced by traditional studio based sitcoms, so I thought it would be a great idea to film the dress rehearsal and edit it together as an actual sitcom complete with fake laugh track, cheesy opening ect. and wanted to hear anyone's ideas for how best to film this? I've made a few of my own short films so I'm not completely new to this, but still definitely in the learning phase so please feel free to state the obvious as it might still be stuff I need to know. 

 

I can get access to about 3 dSLRs for filming, and I'm happy to hire any audio equipment, and if anyone thinks its worth us going all out there is a local company I know of that rents out dolly tracks & cranes ect., although a simpler approach would be preferable as it's not the most important part of the dress rehearsal, meaning I have to film the actors with as little disruption as possible, and no entering the stage (which is ground level luckily). If anyone's had experience in filming for theatre can they let me know if there's anything I need to watch out for?

We're lucky enough to be able to rehersal in the theatre we'll be performing the play at so I will be able to do plenty of prep for the filming at less important rehersals.

So, anyone got any ideas?
Thanks


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#2 Phil Connolly

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Posted 02 July 2015 - 01:43 PM

The more prep you can do the better. It all depends on the play and the way its staged - but often the lighting can be quite dynamic and if the show has lots of variable lighting you have to be ready to accommodate it. e.g you might have to adjust the iris as you got to compensate - this is more tricky if you have multiple cameras and need to co-ordinate. Prior to filming if you can get the LD to show you all the lighting states so you can work out optimal F-stops ahead of time.

 

If you have 3 cameras make sure each operator knows what they are meant to focus on - its not much use in the edit if you have 3 cameras offering the same shot.

 

DLSR's won't be the best choice for this -  - if you need to make quick adjustments of zoom, focus and iris on the fly - a conventional ENG type camera with broadcast motorised zoom is going to be much easier to work with and you'll have less focus pulling issues. 


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Rig Wheels Passport

Willys Widgets

Ritter Battery

Technodolly

The Slider

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Tai Audio

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

FJS International, LLC

Wooden Camera

CineTape