September 10, 2014 at 12:22PM

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Filming a musical/actors singing on camera

Hi,

I'm currently developing a short film musical. Having not tackled something like this before, I was wondering if anyone had any tips or tricks to help pull this off.

Successful examples would also be a massive help.

Cheers

Martin

6 Comments

Are you planning on having them sing to track or sing live on set? If they are singing to a track then have them sing on set - often times people think they should just "lip-sync" which of course they are, but when you sing out fully you breath differently and your mouth adjusts differently than if you are just mouthing the words. And just make sure you have great playback on set to hear the track - you'll want to spend a lot of time getting your actors used to this!

September 10, 2014 at 10:48PM

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Scott Selman
Content Creator | Filmmaker | Producer
962

Hi.

Thank you for the advice. We are planning on pre recording the track to have them sing to on set like you said. I am intrigued by actors singing live on set but, technicalities aside, I feel this may restrict our angles and put a lot of strain on the actors. Also I feel recording sound while having playback may be a big issue.

I'm hoping to have a good couple of days rehearsal before recording the tracks so they understand the emotional levels involved in those moments before laying down their vocals.

September 12, 2014 at 8:06PM, Edited September 12, 8:06PM

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Martin Meehan
Screen writer/ DOP/ Director
88

Mainly all musicals are normally shot and lip synced to on set playback (the latest Les Mis being a really good example of why using on set sound isn't a great idea). But my advice would be to get as many cameras as you can (I would say at least three if you can). That's the easiest way to make sure you can capture the performances and let it cut properly if you're doing something that need proper continuity. You'll find that multiple takes for the same sections will quickly erode the freshness and tire your actors. Also rehearsals are key and incorporate your camera moves in them so it's really just a matter of turning up on set and doing what you've been doing!

September 15, 2014 at 1:40PM

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Jason Azcona
Director / Editor
120

I would rent a wireless system and have them sing for real instead of sync. It will look more effective. It is all about the performance and instead of fake singing, it is real singing and you will likely get a more passionate performance by using a wireless or wired real microphone.

January 1, 2015 at 3:27PM

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Thank you all for your comments. We have decided to do some test shoots to test out the best method for us.

April 1, 2015 at 10:46AM

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Martin Meehan
Screen writer/ DOP/ Director
88

Don't forgot to buy a Good Auto Tune Foot pedal so you can "autotune" Everything on site, Live. This way the Style is Contemporary*
* Just Kidding
"Society for the Abolition of Autotune"

September 5, 2015 at 11:03AM

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