Shooting video for a live event

Filming the Festival d’été de Québec


In 2018, before all the COVID nonsense, I had the opportunity to film a live show event in my area. This event was sponsored by a huge national telecom service provider Bell Canada and a venue owned by one of the largest festival organizations in North America – the Quebec summer festival or Festival d’été de Québec.


A friend of mine got a contract to film interviews at the beginning of performances and show some footage (or B-Roll) of the shows that the interviewees were playing in.


This type of second unit filming is not new to me. The more corporate, documentary, and interview videos you make, the more you realize the importance of establishing shots and b-footage. It can make or break your video.

movie camera icon
Each person has their own setting preferences. For live performances one has to make sure that settings are final before you begin filming.

My lessons learned while shooting live events


Shows and weddings are very fast-paced and there is a great deal of moving around. Through the years, I have realized that it is crucial to set aside time to do as many “set and forget” settings on a rig as is possible. You don’t want to be fiddling around in the middle of a large crowd with loud music deciding on an f-stop setting for a guitar solo right?

My kit


At the time of the video below, I had established this it as my go-to run and gun video kit.


Here is some of the gear I had picked and why


  • Canon 6D mark i because full-frame is so low light tolerant
  • Zoom H4N on auto levels because its attenuation would not destroy the audio quality
  • Canon 24-105mm f/4.0 because the focal length makes sense to get every shot
  • Aperture external monitor because you need to see focus while filming fast-paced images


This was a rig I used to lose a while back but it carries the theme of being something you can turn on, set up as many things on auto, and still count on great shots.

My new approach


Access is so amazingly important here. I now have discovered that it is so cool to have negotiated access to every part of the audience section and the stage section. Your footage, images and photos are only as good as the access you have negotiated.

About the Author

I am a photographer, videographer, and copywriter living in Quebec City, Canada. I also have a YouTube channel and an Instagram account dedicated to creation and creativity via my main loves of photography, music, and writing.

To get in touch with me and discuss your collaboration, service needed, or advice, either go to the contact page and write to me via the contact form at the foot of this page.

Jacques Gaines looking in a camera pointing upward

2 Responses to Shooting video for a live event

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