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Shooting Live Video for The Jumbotron Screen

Live Video of Events on Mobile LED Screens
Outside concert on mobile LED screen

Sugar Ray looking into our camera for a great shot on the Jumbotron screen

Imag, or image magnification, is the term professionals use to describe taking an image through the camera lens and blowing it up large on a display screen. It could be through projection or digitally through large TVs or Jumbotrons.

While celebrating my wife’s birthday last night, all my kids, who are between 20-25 years old, were there of course there to get a free meal. The subject came up about a large concert they had attended. It was part of the Major League Baseball All Star event in Minneapolis. They were talking about the event and the seats they had and how far back they were. They estimated they were about 70 yards back, or around 200 feet.   Not the best seats, but not the worst. I asked if they had Imag, and they confirmed they did left and right of the stage with two very large screens.

My son Cody works with me at Fire Up Video and he had some thoughts about the concert. He was amazed that they had a great screen, with a great crowd and great bands, but he said, “Dad, we do a much better job at covering the show and giving the audience a better experience.” I asked him to  explain. He went on to say that the video coverage had two major flaws:

1. Way too many special effects. He said it distracted from what was actually happening on stage, and made it harder to tell what was on screen.  Apparently the producer was way too into his video effects board and the coverage was more like an art project than allowing the audience to experience what was going on with the bands.

Audience at ouside concert events on the big screen tv

Fans love getting on the big screen!

2.  The second problem was the cameras’ ability to shoot close ups of the band. This is really at the heart of shooting Imag. If you do not have 90% close up you defeat the purpose of shooting Imag. The image on the Jumbotron should allow every seat in the house to become a front row seat. The key to this is to have good shooters and good equipment. It is not easy to zoom in on someone and keep the camera steady. You have all seen the camera shake that most of us have when we try this with our home video equipment. Now turn your subject into crazed rock-n-roll stars who move, shake, jump, and wiggle and it becomes even harder to get the shot.

Fire Up Video has developed an affordable solution to get the close-ups and create an amazing Imag show on our large mobile TVs.  We use the latest small cameras with high quality HD-SDI output. We hand-hold a couple cameras in the pit, just in front of the stage. Placing these camera on tripods would be easier, but would not allow us to capture the action the way we can by hand-holding. Add in our patent-pending Fireball camera rigs we invented exclusively for shooting this amazing close up style, and this provides a solution like no other. I think Cody is right. Our style would have provided a better experience for the fans at the show.

Close shots look best on the big screen tvs at events

Uncle Kracker playing on the Jumbtron screen

Fire Up Video is a mobile Jumbotron screen provider who works all over the Midwest, in great cities like Chicago, Kansas City, St. Louis, Des Moines, Fargo, Duluth, Green Bay, and more.

Dave Baum



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