LIT Film Festival: Camera Masterclass with Den Lennie

| May 4, 2012 | Comments (0)

Camera Masterclass Guest Speaker Den Lennie

Millennium Theatre Foyer

Thursday the 26th of April 3pm – 4:30pm

While at the LIT Film Festival director/director of photography Den Lennie held two masterclasses. The first on the Sony NEX-FS100 asking if it was the modern equivalent to the 1960’s super 35mm Bolex in terms of affordable film-making.  The second was on shooting live multi-camera field shoots; here he took us through the ins and outs of shooting Duran Duran’s A Diamond in the Mind: live Manchester Arena gig.

The Manchester Arena is the largest indoor arena in Europe with a capacity of 21,000.  In this masterclass we were taken step by step though the process of shooting in a large-scale venue.  Lennie acted as director of photography during the shoot of this show with Gavin Elder directing and James Tonkin producing. He stated that shooting a music event such as this, which is not being edited live, is a lot different than filming any other outside broadcast.  Trouble-shooting and preparation were his primary roles, discussing the shoot with a 14-camera crew and rigging seven more locked-off cameras to give a 21 camera shoot.  There were many difficulties with patience and clarity of mind aiding in delivering a high quality product when all is said and done.


The shoot was shot on Sony PMW-F3, NEX FS100 and HXR -MC1P.  He discussed how setting up a shoot of this scale would be implemented; first a camera plan was set up to outline where all crew would be positioned, after this all camera operators were briefed on what shots they would be responsible in picking up.


There are many obstacles to overcome when shooting any live event, particularly music events, but even more so one of this scale and magnitude.  Equipment must be checked several times to ensure everything is in perfect working order. Initial camera plans must be made available for management of both the arena and the band, this led to various changes within the shooting plan as the camera set-up locations would not fit in with audience seating plans.  Again Lennie stressed the fact that patience would aid anyone in high pressure situations like this and that panicking would only set back the shoot. Troubleshooting and focusing on the issues at hand will deal minor problems but always remember the end goal, that of producing a high quality music DVD for purchase.


I found this class to be very intriguing. Lennie went on to discuss shooting styles stating that the cinematic quality of the FS3 is what clinched the deal with Eagle Vision to produce the DVD.  The trials and tribulations of producing a live music event are difficult, this I knew from personal experience, but it was interesting to see the enthusiastic response of other audience members as the Q&A session at the end ran way over time.


Cian Hennigar

Find about more about:

Den Lennie on

Gavin Elder

James Tonkin


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Category: Festivals, News

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