We have been shooting the monthly Apartment Therapy Design Evenings since the beginning of the year and have continuously pushed to improve the final video product. We have done dozens of live recordings before producing these, but no matter what the experience level is, each event and location is unique. The best situation is the one we have developed with our friends at Apartment Therapy in which we've been able to do repeat work with the same team. Fortunately, they are a great client that is always interested in our suggestions, though sometimes with a subtle filter, and able to internalize them immediately for the next event.
One such example of this is the lighting setup that is shown above. There is always a fine balance between the needs of the video production (the artifact of the event) and those of the folks in the live audience. From finding a proper place to locate the cameras to not obstruct many in the audience, to proper sound levels from the mixing board versus the levels of the live PA's, there is an art to finding the sweet spot upon this spectrum of live versus the recording. During these events there is a segment about 20 minutes in which the lighting must shift to minimal levels to enable viewing of projected slides but still ensure the guest(s) and host, Maxwell are bright enough for the cameras. We decided to go with a five light setup of Arri Tungstens which can be flipped with a power strip switch by one of the available staff helpers from Apartment Therapy, from the three 650 watts to the two 300 watt Arris. Since it is always a packed house this ensures that we don't have to charge Apartment Therapy the fee of an additional PA and that it is essentially fail-safe.
It is little things like these that take time to develop in a relationship of live recordings. Definitely the more of these you produce the more likely you are able to minimize these issues from arising but you can't always foretell the future. Overall, we look forward to our continued work with such a great client and to produce such interesting and personally rewarding conversations. If you haven't checked them out yet, they have an amazing lineup of guests in the design world such as the TV host and design generalist Todd Oldham, Dwell editor Amanda Dameron, designer Swissmiss, the reality TV stars the Novogratz's, and event designer David Stark to name a few.