Up early, sit, then walk to Smith Square. Peter is already there – I unpack the camera and try setting it up. The performers arrive after a while. I decide to set up the camera on the far side of the building (on the right as you’re facing the stage), behind a pillar so it doesn’t act as a distraction for the performers. I shoot some video while they’re rehearsing, then walk home.
I check the footage I’ve shot – the framing is pretty good for the two performers, they audio is very good, but the quality of the video itself is less than I might have hoped for, considering it’s quite an expensive camera. Ho hum. I read the manual for a bit, lunch, lie down then go out again to set up for the evening.
I get there at 18:00 and set up in the same place. Slowly the performers and audience arrive. I also use the small video camera to catch shots from the back of the hall.
When the show begins – Elan playing alone – I realise that although the composition might be very good for two players, for Elan alone (which is most of the show), it’s lousy – can’t really see his face behind the music stand some of the time, and the prop that holds the lid up is in front of it the rest of the time. Not sure where the ideal place would have been to video solo piano – probably in the middle somewhere, but there’s nowhere there to put the tripod out of the audience’s way. If the camera was in the same location on the other side (I tested it this morning) I’d get nothing but the backs of both performers. Perhaps nowhere. Bah. Very good performance, but I’m distracted and slightly panicked, and at one point possessed by the need to cough, or rather the wish to suppress the desperate need to cough.
After the show, pack up and go home. Get sausage and chips and watch the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie on the television.