What Devices To Use For Shooting In Churches And Assemblies?
(Dar Es Salaam,Tanzania)
Question: Hi, I would like to know what kind of devices can be used for live video shooting mostly in churches and assemblies.
Answer: Hi Ladslaus, thanks for your question. It's good that you asked, because I get many queries from my readers on this same topic.
The first thing you should know is It's one thing to have a nice camera but it's another to be able to use it effectively to video a church event. Here are some important tips for your consideration. They are based on some of my previous setups when I filmed church events.
1. Digital Camcorder
Like you mentioned, we need a good device for doing the church video shoot. The camcorder I use for shooting church events is a Canon XH-A1. This is a great 3-CCD camcorder that performs very well in challenging lighting conditions such as the inside of a church.
Make sure you invest in a very good tripod. Holding the camera by hand is a no-no and certainly will not yield the results you want. I recommend a tripod like this one - make sure you're in early before the church event and get set up to test the angles and zooming from your camcorder.
3. Number of Camcorders
It's also incredibly useful to use more than one camcorder when shooting church video. This way, you need not run around to the other side of the church just to get a shot. Of course, this means more equipment and more crew, but is definitely advised if you want a top-notch professional video to be produced.
4. Camcorder Lenses
Another thought about your camcorder lenses. You need to balance between close-ups and wide angle shots. So you might want to invest in a good wide angle lens alongside your camera and tripod setup. But don't do too many wide angle shots. I find that if I try to get say, the entire choir in the shot, it becomes impersonal. Here's a great wide angle lens I use for my Canon XH-A1.
Oh, just a note about audio. Audio in the church can be tricky to setup. You want to remove as much background noise as you can. If the church is running everything through their board and the music is from a track, you can set it up so that the audio comes out of their board with an XLY cable straight into your Canon XH-A1.
If there are live instruments you can set up a stereo condenser mic about 5 rows back from the choir on a microphone stand. You can then run it with a wireless microphone system. This setup works great and I don't have to worry about people sitting too close to me and talking.
7. Where To Shoot From
The location of your setup in the church is also very important. If you want to film close-ups in a church, it can be a challenge, because you usually can't situate yourself in the front. Normally I film close-ups from balconies far away from the altar. If you have some help, you can instruct your assistant to find a group of people (e.g. faces singing or reading) and stay there at least until the phrase ends then move quickly and find another group. Be prepared for a narrator to talk between every song or reading. Put the singing to good effect - if someone is singing in your shot, it comes out very well in post-production.
8. Video Editing
The last thing I want to highlight is your post-production video editing process. Make sure you invest in a good video editing program to touch up and insert effects into your video shots.
I hope the above helps you out. I guess I've given you more information that you might need - just trying to out as best I can :)