The concept of producing a DVD is relatively straightforward. Capture the event or shoot the movie, cut the shots, add the soundtrack and burn it to disc. If only it were that simple. Though they are generally the main stages of DVD production, each stage contains hundreds of smaller tasks and thousands of hurdles to overcome. In producing the official DVD for the Big Interactive Gig, Lightmaster Studios has has made the journey from the very beginning to the very end. Here is where we share this journey with you.
Before the Gig:
With Matt actually planning, rehearsing and producing the concert, my preparation focused on successfully filming the show and ensuring that it could be edited as required. This requires equipment and technology management, testing both to try and make sure that there would be no mistakes on the night. With the show being performed for one night only, it was crucial that everything would be recorded and could then be edited and used without difficulties. The cameras were tested to see what would and would not be suitable for distances, quality and lighting.
These tests were followed through by transferring to my computer and performing basic modifications that I hoped to use on the real footage. Compatibility with the software (Blender) and file formats were also checked. I had to be sure that I would be able to process what had been captured.
A further challenge was calculating and predicting data consumption. Though I was confident that the software and my machine could handle the expected 50+ gigabytes of footage, I had to make sure that the memory cards could hold as much as the camera would need on the night, considering delays with switching on the cameras before the concert began and stopping the recording at the end. Throughout all the various tests, I had to be aware that each camera would not have a constant power supply, and so would need to be fully charged a day before hand to ensure they would last for the duration of the show.
Camera positioning around the venue was discussed at length, considering all the limiting factors discovered during testing. A plan was devised for the positioning and the operation on the night. All eventualities needed to be accounted for, including how accessible the cameras would be during the show, whether they obstructed the view from a member of the audience, whether they would capture everything in the show and whether they were at risk of being blocked or disturbed by a member of the audience.
Though the cameras recorded sound, this sound would not be used in the final DVD. A separate and more direct recording system was planned, taking high quality audio directly from the instruments, which would then be placed in sync with the captured film. For the purpose of syncing and as a backup, the cameras were left to still record sound, although it was not considered in their positioning.
During the Gig:
With all the preparations and planning, this part went as expected, though the results would not be seen until I watched the footage back later. The cameras were set up in the afternoon and switched on about 15 minutes before the show began. During the short interval, a few changes were made and settings checked, ready to capture the second half. My place during the show was on the mixing desk, ensuring the sound recording ran smoothly and keeping a close eye on the live sound (what the audience could here), attempting to make sure everything was at the right volume. From this position, it was difficult to check any of the cameras and so I had to hope there were no glitches.
Part 2: The Editing Process