The big horns rehearse for the big parade.

Sometimes it’s the small promotional video programs which are the most fun. We got a call yesterday to film the Archbishop Riordan High School Marching Band participating in the San Francisco Giants World Series Victory Parade. I am not a big sports fan, but who doesn’t love a parade?! I was a one-man-band with a camera and it’s amazing: if you have a big enough camera on your shoulder, barriers that keep out the public are magically opened for you. I had full access to the entire parade route! That gave me a chance to cover the band from many angles as they played their hearts out.

The camera was 15 ft. off the ground on a monopod.

One of my best ideas was to bring a monopod. I thought I’d use it instead of a tripod but it became much more versatile than that. I got sweeping high-angle shots of the parade and even managed some sweeping crane shots right over the fans lining Market Street. A promotional video needs to have high production values and this certainly gave it that without costing a penny extra.

I could do sweeping crane shots over the fans with the camera on a monopod.

This video program was all about motion and having a good time. Sometimes corporate videos have this vibe, but it’s rare. As a promotional video, you couldn’t ask for a better venue to show how much fun it can be if your child chooses to play in the band. This video will promote the band and therefore the school. It’s important for the school to promote itself because it’s a private school.

This video was all about movement.

One more thought about the doors that open if you use a big camera on something like a parade video shoot: the power of a camera hasn’t diminished throughout the years I’ve been in the business. Film cameras used to be rare before video came along so it’s understandable that they would command respect. When I started shooting video the most common question was, “What channel is this?” because everyone assumed I was shooting news. (And indeed I did just that in my first job as a news cameraman.) But now cameras are everywhere and it’s difficult to tell the professional ones apart from the ones that serious amateurs use. So why is it that if you look confident and swing around a bigger-than-average camera, the authorities assume you have a professional reason to be there? Not that I’m complaining, it gives me a chance to do a great job for my client.

The energy was contagious and I look forward to the editing this promotional video!

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