First, what do we define as a live stream? Well, it’s a broadcast filmed and recorded at the same time and then shared via platforms like Zoom, Teams, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram in real-time as the event unfolds.
These events can be a mix of in-person and online attendees (hybrid) or purely in person. Live streams can cover a whole range of different events from an interview, panel discussion, training, presentation, awards ceremony, and anything else you want to invite people to see. The power of live streaming means you can extend your audience reach across time zones and beyond the physical capacity of your venue.
Covid-19 has meant that a lot of organisations are now re-thinking their events and want to be able to offer their customers the choice of in-person attendance and virtual attendance.
Depending on what you want to achieve with your live stream it can be done with one person on a mobile device, right the way through to multiple cameras with in-stream camera editing, graphics, and viewer interactions.
What do you need to consider before you start live streaming?
What platform/s can you live stream on?
Platforms like Zoom, YouTube, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn (selected users) Instagram all have options to live stream.
What software will you use to manage the stream and in-camera editing?
OBS is a free-to-use open-source broadcast piece of software and a popular choice for many live streams. Enabling you to switch between cameras, add graphics to your stream, and much more besides. It will take some time to become familiar with the platform and how to use it, but there are lots of YouTube videos online to talk you through the process.
What hardware do you need for a live stream?
You can use your mobile phone for simple one person talking to camera live streams. If you want to start using your DSLR and have more control over what you stream, then you'll need to get a tool like the Elgato 4K Cam link. This takes your feed directly from your DSLR into your computer and through software like OBS. You can record directly from OBS, rather than the DSLR itself thus avoiding the DSLR recording limit of 30 mins.
However, if your stream has multiple cameras and multiple audio sources then you'll need a video encoder and switcher as well as an audio mixer set up to take all of those feeds.
What audio do you need?
Audio along with lighting is as important, if not more so when it comes to video production. You can connect lav mics to each individual speaker as well as a roaming mic if you want audience questions. Alternatively, you can use Boom mics above speakers for interviews. In addition, you may want to use an external recorder like an H6 ZOOM. These audio feeds will then need to be taken into your audio mixer.
What lighting do you need?
Lighting is a critical part of any video production. If you're using a mobile and it’s just you, then a ring light around your phone and tripod-mounted will be fine. For interviews, you'll need several lights. Key lights on the speakers and fill lights to fully cover the speakers and the environment. The level of lighting you need will depend on the scope of the live stream.
How many people do you need to run a live stream?
This depends on the complexity of the event and what's being streamed. For live streams with multiple cameras and multiple audio sources, 2 people should be a minimum. Their jobs will range from setting up, monitoring all the audio and video feeds, dealing with streaming issues if they arise dealing with the physical kit like cameras, mics and making sure they are all correctly set up and continue to work during the stream.
What graphics and overlays do you need for the stream?
An opening and closing title card help the viewer understand what the stream is about and can be easily placed using OBS or similar. You may also want to show videos, images, and websites to the viewers. It all depends on what you want for your stream.
How many cameras do you need?
It all depends on what you want to show. A mobile can be fine for a one-person stream straight to the camera. For a 2-person interview, 3 cameras would be ideal. A camera on each person talking and a third camera on what would be called a "two-shot" showing both speakers and the environment. This gives the option to cut to 3 different angles during the stream making it more dynamic for the audience. Panel discussions, awards ceremonies, and presentations will also require multiple cameras to ensure you cover everything that is happening.
What type of cameras do you need?
Most events will last at least for an hour so you'll need equipment that can record for that length of time. DSLR cameras come with a fixed 30 min recording limit, so you'll need to attach an external recorder to your DSLR to cover events longer than that. Cinema cameras or camcorders don't have that recording limit.
If you would like to set up live streaming for your business event but want someone else to do all the work for you then contact Matt at Disruptivmedia.