International software company Planisware was preparing to host an event in Philadelphia, and needed a video production company to capture footage and work it into several deliverables. They found Video City Productions, reviewed their list of needs with us, and together we came up with a game plan for completing all of the required projects.
Our main goal was to provide a sizzle recap film that highlighted the benefit of the event, which could be used to promote future Planisware events. The client also wanted us to capture and edit three multi-camera live keynote speeches, which included a software demonstration.
This presented the biggest challenge for our team to overcome. It meant filming a screen where a Planisware representative was walking attendees through the use of this new software in real time. This is easier said than done…if you’ve ever tried using your phone to film something displayed on TV, you’ll notice the differences in color, occasional flickering across the screen, and difficulty focusing on one thing as the images switch back and forth.
While we’re using significantly better gear than a phone, we still have a very deep understanding of how to capture this type of footage.
The reason you get those color fluctuations and flickers in your footage is due to the exposure settings. They’re all wrong, they don’t match the lighting in the room, and you’re forced to choose between the exposure for the projector or the exposure for the surrounding people and other items in the room that you’re filming.
Remember back in the day when your favorite song would come on the radio and you wanted to add it to your mixtape? You wouldn’t sit there with a microphone held up to your boombox speakers, recording the audio off the air. You would try to record the song on a cassette in the boombox itself to get a crystal clear copy of your favorite song. The same thing is true for recording video of a demo being done on the screen. One method is always going to be of much better quality than the other.
Now, if you’ve ever done a presentation before, you’ll note that you have the option of inserting the PowerPoint in post-production. For example, in a basic environment, you might have two cameras filming the stage (one close-up and one wide shot as a safety angle.) You can then take the PowerPoint after the fact and incorporate the slides into the presentation by simply editing them in.
While it may seem simple enough, it’s certainly not an ideal scenario. For starters, somebody has to sit through and listen to the entire presentation, manually confirming when the slides should come in and sync each one up with the audio.
From an editing perspective, after you have synchronized the slides, you then have to listen to the narrative and determine, from a viewer’s perspective, when the most important time to see the slides may be. A viewer needs a good balance of seeing slides as a reference, and seeing the presenter on-stage and connecting with them.
This becomes exceedingly more difficult when you’re talking about a live demonstration, because someone is running the demo in real time. With that comes movement, mouse clicks, drop-downs, and other impromptu visuals that can’t be captured and recreated without screen recording someone doing it.
Let’s take a look at some of the strategies for approaching this scenario, including the good, the bad, and the ugly.