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June 3, 2016 Kim Sertich

Live Video Camera Switching Tips


For someone who has produced hundreds of multi-camera live switch events, there is nothing more frustrating than being in an audience of a projected event and seeing the lack of communication between the director and camera crew play itself out live on screen. The result is that the audience suffers.

One of the most important ingredients in a multi-camera live switch is communication between the director and the camera operators. Good communication ensures each angle is being covered by the appropriate camera operator. It allows the director to get the optimum shots of the event being covered.

The live switch director needs to be able to constantly verbalize adjustments needed to the camera operators’ composition, calling the shots as needed.

It is a mistake to dismiss the need for a communication system between all players due to budget. Anything could be happening on stage where the director might want to get a tight or wide shot. The director might see the need for a crowd shot or to switch between speakers at two podiums.

The production crew does not want to be projecting the backs of heads, dead space on a stage or the wrong speaker at a podium.

For the best multi-camera live switch and the most enjoyable viewing:

  • Make sure camera operators and director have wired or wireless headsets
  • Check all comm audio systems in advance
  • Make sure camera operators don’t move their shots until the director clears them to do so
  • Watch the monitors for the action on stage and have a sense of what is happening on stage, while keeping shots in focus

If you have an upcoming on-stage event and would like to see it’s a good fit to live switch, contact us at Spectrum Video.

Article by Ken Liljegren, owner and president of Spectrum Video & Film. Spectrum Video & Film is a professional video production company in Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona specializing in corporate, commercial and online social media videos, as well as projection, lighting and sound. To find out more about how we can help with your next video or event, visit us at spectrumvideoandfilm.com.

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