My dear friends Gary and Liz got engaged last night in the old fashioned way, with a modern, rock ‘n roll twist. See below for the technical nitty gritty!
Here are some technical details on what I had to do. I originally planned to film this with two cameras from the sound booth. I was going to use a Canon HG10 HD camcorder for a wide shot, and use my 5D Mark II with my 70-200/2.8 for a closeup (it’s a small club). But when I got there, I faced a couple of complications. First of all, the club was so dark that my HG10 (which is pretty decent WRT sensitivity) could barely register a picture. Focus was hunting badly, too. Secondly (and more seriously), I quickly realized that once the crowd filled in the floor in front of the stage, my cameras in the back of the hall would be useless, especially when Gary got down on one knee, as we planned for him to do.
So I had to think fast, and here’s what I did.
My Beacktek XLR adapter which was originally on the 5D Mark II with my Sennheiser shotgun and a feed from the mixing board was switched over to the HG10 where it would simply record the audio, knowing that the video was going to be all but useless.
And as for the 5D Mark II, I decided I was going to have to charge the stage with a wide-angle lens and take my chances at super high ISO on built-in mic, and sync the audio later. I wish I had a second Beachtek box, but this is the first time I saw the value in that. Anyway, I used the 16-35/2.8 even though I would have preferred my 35/1.4 because I was worried the 35mm end wouldn’t be wide enough if I was right at the front of the stage. I pre-set the camera on Manual with 1/30, f2.8 and ISO 6400. Like I said, it was super dark. Fortunately, as you can see from the resulting video, it basically worked. The first 30 seconds or so of video are super jumpy because I was literally knocking people out of my way to get to the stage. I was originally told the proposal would be before their encore, but as the show started I was told it would be in the middle of the set, and by then people were already smashed up against the stage 20 or so deep. Sigh.
My last challenge was syncing the audio from the two sources, but g-d bless PluralEyes. That was simple (after I retimed the 29.97 audio from the HG10 to match the 30fps from the 5D Mark II).
I’m quite pleased with how this came out, despite all the shortcomings and challenges. It was a magic moment, and I’d say I managed to bring it home in one piece. Actually in several pieces, but I put Humpty Dumpty together again in Final Cut Pro.