Going to film a band playing in a nightclub with GH3 - tips needed!

Discussion in 'Filmmaking' started by Ramirez, Mar 22, 2014.

  1. Ramirez

    Ramirez Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011

    Next Saturday 29.3 I'm going to film a band playing in a nightclub. It is going to be dark, some small spotlights on the band.

    I need advise on how I can setup my Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 for this task to get best possible results with the equipment I have (listed in my signature). I also have external mic, a video tripod and a Sevenoak shoulder rig.

    Should I go 25p with shutter speed 1/50? Should I use the 50 Mbps instead of the 72 ALL-I?

    My zooms are slow so maybe I should go with my fast(er) primes and use the shoulder rig to zoom (with feet) / instead of tripod mounted with slow zoom?

    All tips are welcome!
  2. TheRenaissanceMan

    TheRenaissanceMan Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 11, 2013
    I would definitely go with 50 mbps. In my experience, it produces a lot less noise at iffy ISOs than the All-Intra. Primes on the shoulder rig are the way to go. You'll get more interesting angles, capture the energy of the performance, and get the light you need. I shoot Comedy Sportz every week or two here in Milwaukee, and my zooms are too slow even for their fairly bright lighting setup. Using them in a dark concert venue? No chance. You may get some shake on the rig, but with proper technique it'll look more organic than the handheld w/IS look.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Mu-43 mobile app
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  3. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    my thoughts/tips/ideas are more general filming things rather than specific to the camera, and I may be preaching to the converted, but here goes

    1) Have a realistic expectation of what you can achieve - one man and a camera is not going to produce a glossy full length in concert video.... but a video of a single song is much more achievable

    2) Get a recording of the audio on something other than the camera - a continuous recording that will act as the soundtrack for your finished piece which you can edit to later

    3) shoot lots of cut away shots, the crowd, the bass player nodding his head, drumsticks moving etc. You will need these to fill the gaps in your filming later in the edit

    I shot this a couple of years back, about 2 days after I got my GH2. Audio was recorded on a seperate recorder, and there was a lot of editing in Final Cut. I wish I had shot more b-roll :)

    <iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/33533553" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/33533553">Paycheck to Paycheck - Vicki Hill & House</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user2196855">kevin miller</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

    • Like Like x 2
  4. Ramirez

    Ramirez Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011
    One thought that I have now:

    My Fujifilm X-E1 got 24p (crappy framerate) but still I could have my X-E1 tripod mounted as a b-cam; to get the whole view.

    Then I could set my GH3 to 24p (should I still use 1/50 shutter speed for 24p?).

    I could use my Olympus OM-D E-M5 but it´s got only 30p which my GH3 doesn't have.

    Is this a good plan? Then I have both a-cam (GH3) and b-cam (X-E1) in 24p.
    Maybe better than only GH3 in 25p?
  5. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    could be a plan.... I did try that with the video above, with my ep-1 at the back of the small room... but my problem was that the e-p1 wasn't up to it in ISO terms and more importantly it kept switching off after 12 minutes, so I ended up not using any of the little footage I got.

    I suppose it depends on the actual set up of the venue about where you can place cameras, and keep an eye on/have access to them... or get an assistant, but in theory it would give you some more options, though its another bunch of things to keep your mind on

    I also wouldn't get fixated on mixing framerates - as your shot length in the edit will probably be short, it shouldn't be a big issue

  6. Ramirez

    Ramirez Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011
    Maybe the two cam plan is the best. I have a friend with me that can operate X-E1 on tripod, I wouldn't want to have a camera on a tripod unattended in a nightclub.

    But how is 24p vs 25p in this environment (nightclub + band)?
  7. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Any chance of the following?
    EM5 = Stills utilizing 5-Axis IBIS
    GH3 = Video

  8. Ramirez

    Ramirez Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011
    The EM-5 is absolutely part of the picture :smile:
    With the EM-5 I´ll get great AF and IBIS, I wouldn't dare to use my Fujis for people shots in that kind of environment. With my OM-D I know I get the faces in focus, my Fujis are more uncertain in that area.

    Another plan could be (as I am into hybrid) / like you suggest:

    1. Video with only GH3
    2. Stills with E-M5

    Then when editing:

    Make the "band-project" as a hybrid-project. Put in stills in the video movie :smile:

    It would be easier than working with two video cams in editing - so that's one point for this approach.

    The bad point then is that the GH3 would be restricted to tripod (no zoom then as my slow zooms aren't up to the task in this environment).
    My friend is a good friend but I wouldn't trust him to take all the photos (he is not into photography) - only to puch the record button when the video reaches its limit!
  9. Lobbamobba

    Lobbamobba Mu-43 Veteran

    May 15, 2013
    Have the GH3 in the back on a tripod with the 30/2.8 and then walk around with the EM5 and catch some cool shoots with the 45/1.8. The EM5 will of cource be 30p but conformed to 25p it will become a pretty cool b-roll anyway.

    If you dont have a friend to operate the GH3 you could go there every now and then and change the composition.

    The key is audio. Bring a recorder of some sort and hook it up to the mixer so you get clean sound.
  10. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    Assuming you are doing this with the blessing of the band/permission of the venue....get in on the soundcheck to work out the good angles... and where you need to be. maybe you can have a b roll camera on a wide angle on the stage which you can keep your eye on. and then have your third camera on an opposite angle

    my point is you need a plan... you can get away with still photography without a clear plan... but video is different.. especially where there is only one take... you need 'coverage'... the same shot from different angles/viewpoints, you need a constant to edit to - in this case the audio of the band.

    then there is the editing.... if you thought PP in Lightroom was time consuming... try video editing...its a whole other part of your brain

    • Like Like x 1
  11. Ramirez

    Ramirez Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011
    This sounds like a great idea :smile:

    I have a friend with me that can monitor the tripod mounted camera.

    But how do I change the 30p from EM-5 to 25p later on?
  12. Ramirez

    Ramirez Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011
    I am doing this for the band so I can be there beforehand to check things out.

    My plan has started here; checking with you guys how to do this the best way :smile:

    It doesn't need to be "super-professional"; more like a nostalgic memory for the band. But I want to do it the best way possible with my existing gear.
    After the video recording of this event, I have one week (a couple of hours per day) to do the editing.
  13. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    Are you only doing 1 or 2 songs or the whole concert? If the music is instrumentally complex, I would make sure the guy with camera next to stage is in a good place to capture those moments, guitar solos, etc. If it gets crowded you don't want to be fighting to get to the right spot. If you know know how the lights will be during the show that may influence your decision too, as light may fall on a musician in a more interesting way from one viewpoint. Don't forget to use that ETC mode to extend the range of your bright primes.
    Good luck.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Ramirez

    Ramirez Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011
    I'm going to try to get the whole concert. A lot of material to work with. Plus side = a lot of material; minus side = a lot of work. But it is going to be fun :smile:
  15. Ramirez

    Ramirez Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011
    My plan before the concert

    I´ve decided to go for a two camera setup for the video side.

    Fuji X-E1 with XF18-55 f2.8-4 lens
    Panasonic GH3 with my different primes etc.

    X-E1 has 24p so I am going for 24p on both X-E1 and GH3 for easier editing later.

    X-E1 is going to be tripod mounted the whole evening; it is going to record on the wide end so I can use f2.8. I have a friend that can monitor the X-E1 setup the whole evening.

    GH3 is going on my shoulder rig; with this cam I´m going to try to get some interesting angles etc.

    For stills I got my OM-D E-M5 with me.

    To me this is the best option.

    Thanks for advice and tips so far!
  16. Ramirez

    Ramirez Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011

    I am happy to write that everything went good with the filming of the band playing.
    I must say that the GH3 did great, I'm in love with my GH3!

    The great things about this experience (filming with the GH3):

    - Continous AF worked great in video mode - no worries about AF!
    - Professional looking! With the shoulder rig and battery grip - the GH3 looks Pro. It is great in such an
    environment as the people gives you some respect (and space that you need to film the band). Sometimes small
    is good but not always!
    - A joy to work with! The GH3 ergonomics is great in an environment when it is dark and you need to feel the buttons. Here the E-M5 buttons (for example) are too small.
    - The battery never runs out! The battery in my grip after the whole night of filming never lost one bar... It showed full power still after at least 2 hours of filming. Never needed the second battery!


    I used only the Panasonic Lumix 14 f2.5 on the GH3 as space was tight; when I needed to get closer; I could use the telemode on GH3 (no IQ loss in video mode and twice the reach).

    I'll write more later about how I used the other cameras. I'm tired after a long night of filming that happily went well!
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