An increasing number of people are capturing their parties or social activities in a way that is more dynamic, amusing, or memorable than photographs: by breaking out the video camera. And why wouldn’t you? Becoming an amateur documentarian and uploading the videos to YouTube is a great way to share the memories of a fun night, promote a club or organization, or show people why they should come to the next party. Filming a party can be fun and rewarding; however, there are specific considerations to keep in mind as you break out your camera. Below are some tips for making sure your footage can stay in its best possible form:
Follow audio best practices whenever possible.
Parties are loud, and the sound of people laughing and chatting in the background can ruin a lot of great takes. If you choose to conduct interviews, ask people to step into a room that’s out of the limelight, where you’ll have a better chance of hearing them. You’ll thank yourself for this later, when you go look back over what you filmed and keep usable footage.
Crowd shots are great, but depending on what’s happening, they can make for uninteresting audio; it’s simply a room full of talking without any focal point. Consider using crowd shots as b-roll only, posting them over music, interviews, or other audio.
Remember, parties and social events can get rowdy—take care of your camera!
Just because you’re having fun doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep track of your camera at all times. Hold onto it all night; setting it down can encourage theft, errant drink-spilling, or other rowdiness.
Keep the reputation of every attendee in mind.
You may or may not choose to be in front of the camera. Whatever your decision, your rule of thumb about reputation should be: don’t post any footage online that could damage the reputation of anyone at your party. It is far too easy for parents, employers, or authority figures to find you online. If you simply must post footage of your friend’s award-winning keg stand, make sure your account is password-protected and only give the password to people you trust.
Don’t be shy.
When you’re behind the camera, especially in a casual social situation, you can feel like you’re intruding. It is often quite difficult to get close enough to the action to take great footage, and asking for interviews can feel uncomfortable. However, remember that most people actually love being on camera and, at the very least, will not mind being asked for a quote or an interview. And if you produce a fun, high-quality film, they’re much more likely to want to be in your next one.
When editing, keep it short.
Just because you took two hours of footage doesn’t mean you should share all two hours. Use your discretion and keep only the best, funniest moments; even the people who attended the party don’t need to see a boring play-by-play. Keep the final product at three punchy minutes or less, and offer an “extended version” to any party-goers who want to see more.
And most of all, just because you’re filming doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.
Author Bio: Brandon Morris is a blogger and filmmaking enthusiast who writes for Party Pong Tables