So, this video was probably never going to set the internet alight. But I think its important to record these events where we can.
At the end of each Speed Championship season all the racing points are totted up for all the races and the winners are announced. Then a few weeks later the competitors get together and hand out the trophies for the season. This year (2021) saw the presentations being made at Silverstone, in a large function room contained in the main events building on the start/finish straight.
As it happened the Club leadership team took the opportunity of a bunch of us being at the Speed Awards to also have a LT meeting in the morning. Most of us then chipped in for the lunch and stayed on to watch the presentations. Which also meant I could record the events.
The format of the day is a meet & greet, followed by a lunch and then presentations. The whole awards presentations after lunch took about 50 minutes and my aim was to record them for posterity.
The BlatChat thread about the post can be found here.
In all the shooting of the video went reasonably well. The room wasn't very well set up for taking video though. The big windows caused problems for exposure and the room was very oblong and with two very intrusive pillars in the way. I was hoping I was going to be able to get my main camera at the back of the hall and get a good front on shot of the presenters, but the room was too shallow and the tables were set out right up against the back wall. The presenters were naturally going to be looking at the left of the room, which was good for where I had my camera, but meant the big windows were in shot.
I also had a real school-boy-error with my main camera. I had it set to 50fps after taking some shots of the cars on the circuit, but that meant that it was probably going to overheat before then end of the presentations. And sure enough it did. About 35 minutes into the presentations it overheated and I had to switch to a backup camera - luckily I had it right next to me and ready to go. But that took me about 4 minutes to get the cameras switched and so in the meantime I had to rely on the footage from the GoPro and the Insta360. I then had the same thing happen to the GoPro... I had that set to 50fps as well and it ran out of battery at about 40 minutes in. Luckily I was back with a main camera and had the Insta360 to fall back on.
What worked really well was using Rode Wireless Go II wireless microphones. I had 4 of these radio mics and fitted one to each of the presenters. That gave me some very good audio to work with.
After shooting the whole event we decided that it was probably best not to try and put out all 52 minutes of the presentations. So we left in most of the bits about the season and the winners of each category. Sorry if you got a 2nd or 3rd place but I hope you can see that might have been too much in the end.
In terms of the time taken to produce this video... well there was day of being at the event to start with, but I won't count that in my calculations. The video would have been much easier to edit if I hadn't had the camera gaffs. But in the end it probably took 40 to 50 hours to put together.
The tech used... here's the kit I used on the day and the software used to edit the video:
- On the day:
- Canon R5 (overheated)
- Canon R6
- Canon 24-105mm F4
- GoPro Hero 10 Black
- Insta 360 X2
- Wireless Go II x 4
- Zoom H5 field recorder
- Manfrotto tripods
- Apple Final Cut Pro (Video editing, music, titles etc)
- Apple Motion (Motion Graphics, lower 3rds)
- iZotope RX9 (Audio repair)
- Pixelmator Pro (Thumbnails, stills, logos etc)
- MotionVFX (a few plugins for Social Media graphics, intro animations)
What I'd do differently:
- Try and get to the venue before hand. If I'd have known about the two pillars in the middle of the room I'd have tried to do something differently with the placement of my cameras (and even asked for some tables to be shifted slightly).
- Be more assertive about getting my footage. Not in an "in your face sort of way" but I should have trotted over to where Rob and Richard were standing and took some video of them shaking hands. I should also have slowed things down a bit at the end on the podiums, I wasn't quite ready with my cameras and so lost the "money shots". I was very much trying to keep out of everyone's way on the day, I should have piped up a little bit more though.
- Use better cameras. I thought I was going to get a good view with my main Canon camera and the GoPro and Insta360 were just going to be for backup. But because of the pillars and my school-boy-error with the Canon battery, I had to rely on them more. I should have used a second mirrorless camera as a backup instead of the GoPro.
- I'm not sure I'll use a 360 degree camera again for something like this. The resolution wasn't great (I knew that already) and while it gave me a lot of flexibility, I think I would have had better footage from a GoPro, or even another mirrorless camera that I could have used.
- Don't leave your Mac laptop power supply plugged into the power socket next to the projector *thumbdown*. That was an expesive mistake!