Videographer Best Practices

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Filming at events can provide valuable documentation and post-event benefit. But filming can provide major distractions if done incorrectly.

The key thing when having videographers at participatory events is pre-negotiation of filming protocols.

Things to discuss in advance and agree on with videographers:

  • The primary goal of videographers should be to remain invisible. No "UPI photographer dramatically plants tripod to get perfect shot at cresting event moment" melodrama :^)
  • All group filming should take place from "outside the circle", cameras should never be in participant's face or blocking participant lines of sight.
  • All interviews should happen outside of scheduled agenda time, before/after the event and during breaks and meals, and end cleanly when the agenda starts, even if it means cutting short a sitting. Otherwise it sucks substantial juice out of sessions.
  • A best practice is to set up a pre-meeting with the video team and get squared away on appropriate behavior before the event.
  • All of the above should be reviewed in brief at opening circle, so that all participants and any videographers are on the same page.
  • Another interesting ask to consider is for videographers to license at least the released product and potentially the B-roll under Creative Commons so as to enable reuse with attribution later. There is no way to know how that will fly, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

It can not emphasized enough how critical it is to pre-negotiate terms like the above; adrenalin does weird things to people holding cameras :^)