Tips On How To Film A Live Event With One Camera

By March 3, 2015Blog, Video Tips
How to film a live event using one camera

Live Event Camera Set-up

Filming a live event can be tricky. While multiple cameras filming a live event can be useful, great footage can still be captured using only one camera. Also, a one camera set-up is a great starting point. Additionally, filming a live event using one camera will cut down on the editing workload in post-production. When filming a live event using a one camera set-up consider the following basic tips.

A. Camera Positioning – Set up the camera’s point of attack

When filming a live event make sure you set up the camera position correctly. The camera position will have a direct impact on the angles of footage that can be captured. Try setting up the camera with direct line of sight to presenters. If temporary seating is used, work with the organizers to try to set up a small narrow path between seating. This will remove unnecessary audience back of head shots as illustrated below.

audience heads




If you are not able to position the camera directly in the middle of the venue due to seating restrictions, try placing the video camera slightly to the side.

B. Background With Projection

In some circumstances, projected images onto a screen may appear on the presenters face when content is displayed. Due to a projectors positioning it may not be possible to move it.  Run a check before the live event to see if this will be an issue and adjust the presenters ‘ Boxed Zones ‘ as illustrated in item D .

C. Unwanted Footage Zones

What you want to avoid is any unnecessary props or people appearing in the background of the video. For example, some events may have doors to the back of the stage area or props that have nothing to do with the event. Therefore, it’s advisable that you work out a safe boxed zone with the presenters before the live event takes place. Make sure this area is kept free. In the moment, some presenters may walk outside of the ‘Boxed Zones ‘ (item D). Therefore, before the live event work out some hand signals which can alert the presenter to make necessary adjustments.

D. Boxed Zones

Work out a safe zone with the presenters to avoid any capture of unwanted footage. Tape can be used to mark the boxed zones or areas on the floor to server as a reminder. By testing out the camera ahead of the event from position A, you should be able to work out a safe zoned area.

 Video Framing

Camera Angles


When filming the presenter with one camera aim to capture the following shots. While a wide shot capturing the audience may be ideal, that shot may be better handled if a second camera is used.

A.Medium Wide Shot – Shot of subject from the waist up.

B.Bust Shot – Shot of subject from mid-chest area up.

C. Interviews – If an interview is conducted on stage, try to include all participants in the frame. Close-ups of any of the speakers can be performed later in post-production.

Sound Capture

Capturing audible audio is a must have for any live event. If the camera filming the event does not have the necessary means to capture audio, the video project could be at risk. Few people will watch a video if the audio is not satisfactory. When filming an event make sure the camera is capable of the following :

XLR Cable  – If the event sound captured is being captured by a soundboard, the camera should be capable of connecting a XLR cable.

XLR cable connecting to Sound Mixer for improved audio recording

Audio Adaptor – Some cameras have a direct XLR input. In the event that the camera doesn’t, the camera operator should investigate the use of an adaptor similar to the one shown.  Information on the device is available here. The audio adaptor will also allow the camera operator to hook up a headset so recorded volume levels can be recorded. Knowing how well your video camera is recording audio levels is a necessity.

BeachTek DXA-SLR ULTRA best adapter ever.

General Advice

Before filming a live event do not show up without a plan. Work out in advance what video content needs to be filmed and expectations on what needs to be filmed. For example, there may be a particular part of the live event that requires a series of close-up footage.

Also, make sure you arrive early enough before the live event begins. Arriving early will allow you to set-up your camera and run necessary sound checks. If your camera is relying on an external soundboard, you’ll want to check your camera’s audio recording levels.


Best of luck with your live event!



  • Guy Gardener says:

    A. is super important. I don’t watch a lot of things if the camera angles are really bad. More people seem to be figuring out how to actually make a good and interesting angle, but some are still trying to be “creative”. People should learn the difference between “creative” and creative.

    • Nigel Camp says:

      Hi, I couldn’t agree with you more. I’ve seen some terrible camera angles for the sake of it which do nothing to improve a video. In fact, some you could say are inappropriate.

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