Nerve Crew at the Summer Ball

Nerve Crew at the Summer Ball

On Saturday 3rd June 2017, I helped with the Nerve Crew at Bournemouth Uni’s Summer Ball.

It was a fun and different experience to what I’m used to, but a welcome one. The Nerve Crew were a lovely bunch of people – professional, organised, and chill to be around. And the work we did was both enjoyable and challenging, but produced good results.

Our brief was to document the event and capture the liveliness of the students attending. A really simple brief and one fit for any filmmaker.

Nerve Summer Ball - Stage ConstructionWe arrive on site a day early to conduct a recce, familiarise ourselves with the environment, learn which stages will host set performances, and have a basic rundown of our plan for the main event. It also allowed us to mingle and be informed of the sites health and safety procedure. It was very exciting to see the site in all its glory – empty and in the daylight, ready to welcome the thousands of students for their end of year festival.

We were limited on equipment, and those who had their own were encouraged to brig it. In fact, there was a slight worry when it was revealed that the night before there had been a possible break in with Nerve’s inventory stolen.

To prepare for the Summer Ball, I had to think how I would film such an event. I knew I wanted to be sleek and agile, moving between crowds of people easily without getting in their way or hurting them with equipment. It also meant that I didn’t want to be lumbered down with excess of kit, for I needed to be fast enough to move and set up from one location to the other. And lastly, if I were to be filming at any one time, I didn’t want to leave anything unattended – I didn’t want to have to leave a kit bag in a corner (or even at the base tent) if I were to film something. Everything I wanted had to be on my person, and therefore, everything I brought with me had to be absolutely necessary. So how did I accomplish this? I would travel light – This is when I decant most of my equipment into one or two small bags (mainly my Lowepro shoulder bag) for fast and agile filming. This is a standard procedure I undertake when going on a film shoot – knowing and deciding what equipment to bring. You can read more about this process in another blog post here.

What did I bring for this event?


For this event I took my camera, spare SD cards, spare battery, battery charger (which was left in the Nerve tent), tripod, 18-55mm lens, 50mm lens, 14mm lens, and 70-200mm lens. The camera, cards, 18-55, 50, and 14 mm lenses all fit in my shoulder bag, while the tripod slung around my neck and I carried the 70-200 in a lens pouch on my hip. The other piece of equipment I brought with me which I thought would help was a modified shoulder rig. I had a feeling that the majority of filming would be done handheld. Previous event videos were shot hand held, and in my mind I knew there would be a lot of time walking around the site, getting stuck-in with the crowds, and little time for faff setting up shots. Though this was not as successful as I had thought.

I was right, that the majority of filming would be hand held, and that the shoulder rig would aid in hand held shooting; however, it caused more problems than solutions. It’s understandable why held held filming was chosen over static set ups for the Summer Ball – the videos were to capture the liveliness of the event, and shaky cam in the middle of a mosh pit is exactly that. The camera and audience become a member of the crowd and it mimics the energy of the Ball. But too much shake, and the footage could become unusable or look amateurish. I thought a shoulder rig would work amazingly for the event; still getting a hand held look and the ability to move into the crowds, but smoothing the amount of shake and stabilising the footage. But what caused the problems was when I looked back at the rushes. I was too critical of my own footage!

I came back to the Nerve tent to dump my clips onto the computer and annoyingly criticised each shot – saying they were too shaky or not good enough for the edit.

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