Live Music - consumercam problems

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paulears
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Joined: Jul 8 2008

We get quite a few people ask about how to use small, consumer type kit to use on music events in stage lighting. I've made a small clip available that might highlight one common problem with small format cameras - in this case, an SD-9 Panasonic. I really like this camera, mainly because the small size means I can hide it away to use as fixed wide shot camera - attaching it to lighting bars in the auditorium and sometimes on a short stand in useful places. In bright light I really like these cameras and find the material they produce quite easy to incorporate into projects. These small cameras often show vertical smear from the sun, or reflections, but it's not usually a problem.

In the clip the real problem is the LED bar lighting - very small light sources in a vertical row - aligned along the smear path - making it much worse. The actual main wash lighting was primary red, magenta and primary blue - you can see that the red colour also causes a small loss of focus too. Oddly, the camera is on manual focus, yet red isn't handled very well at all - note too how the guitarist on the right of the screen loses focus more than centre. It'll be fine for what I'm using it for, but the unwanted artefacts need to be considered if it's your own camera. The star cloth is a fibre optic source device and the white spots are handled quite well. Sound is just what the camera recorded, and isn't too bad really - the mixer audio is of course much better
http://vimeo.com/27812349
The video needs a password which is

DV

Paul

DAVE M
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Joined: May 17 1999

Blimey -
Are they still going? I saw Magic 30 years ago. I used to know the brother of one of the guys.
They did the clubs, and had two rigs so they could do two gigs a night. They specialised in BeeGees/ELO/Queen stuff that needed high pitched vocals and even then pretty much all of them had had nodules removed from their throats, some more than once.

I think that they do a Queen tribute act now?

paulears
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Joined: Jul 8 2008

They've done a real downsize in the last year or so. The Queen show is still their main one, but they do an ELO and beach Boy one too. The bass player who'd been with them for 19 years did a runner last year - vanished before a show. Amp and guitars gone, hotel room checked out of - never heard of him again, apparently. The down size hasn't spoiled the show at all, but making money is very difficult nowadays as the audiences are ageing with them. They now have two sprinter size vans with crew cabs, and get everything in - but they now rely on local lighting rather than touring it. The guitarist got rid of his Brian May 3 x AC30 combos and has a simple Burman elderly one now, and to be honest the difference is very very small. The disadvantage is that lighting in venues varies so much. I did another similar show - a Dusty Springfield one, with the idea of shooting at 3 venues and compiling them all into one - but it doesn't work. Some have 3 colour washes and that is that - others have specials, and some have movers - but there's no guarantee of clever kit and somebody who knows how to programme it. I quite like Queen, and having seen them before spent an hour programming Bohemian Rhapsody - the starting bit with the people backlit - but that wasn't asked for, and how many venue techs under 25 would have ever seen the original? One this week said, who exactly is this Gerry with a pacemaker? In all seriousness. They'd never heard of the searchers either, let alone the Tremeloes - yet they're all still working hard. The searchers have bus passes!