A Castle and a Female Vocal Ensemble

La Nova Singers

La Nova Singers

Sometimes who you date brings about interesting opportunities, and it’s through my partner that I’ve been given access to an incredible female vocal ensemble called La Nova Singers.

They’re based in Dorset and showcase the Bel Canto technique.
Through this technique they create a rich, full sound that resonates in your ears, then hugs your heart and pulls on the corners of your mouth before you’ve even realised you’re smiling.

I was asked to film their Christmas concert on Wednesday 12th December, at Highcliffe Castle.

Entrance way of Highcliffe Castle.

Entrance way of Highcliffe Castle.

This was a day of many firsts: the first time using my new glidecam HD-2000 and Tokina 11-16mm lens, the first time I’d film a concert, and the first time I’d film in and around a castle.

Due to these aspects, I’d been planning this shoot on-and-off for around a month; I really wanted to push myself technique-wise.
I know that I’m still very much at the start of my career and due to the Internet, I’m inundated with a crazy amount of awesome video content on a daily basis. As a result, comparisons occur and a drive to make the next video better than the last.

Due to my line of work in video production, I knew that multi-camera setups with a wide safety shot and one or two close-up angles were pretty much the norm.
I wanted to add an extra element of ‘story’: the 4 hour preparation that the group does before the concert, and the lively personalities of the ladies and the location.
I felt the use of the Glidecam was right to add a movement that mimicked the ‘journey’ of the story I wanted to tell, and the Tokina was versatile enough to be appropriate for both indoors and outdoors use.

The 'wide' camera stationed in a beautiful doorway with the Tokina on.

The ‘wide’ camera stationed in a beautiful doorway with the Tokina on.

I used a Nikon 105mm lens that’s really quite slow, but for this concert that didn’t pose a problem.
If anything, it gave me a nice amount of control for steady focus pulls.

Areas that I will improve upon are firstly to get more in shape, as holding a monopod steady for two 50 minute sessions is tough on the shoulders and back. Secondly, to improve my skills with the Glidecam; I spent a fair amount of time getting used to the weight & the way it moves on the day, which slowed me down a little. However, I was beginning to notice improvements rather quickly & I have shots that I can steady out in post quite well. I know that as I use it more, I’ll become more comfortable & confident with it.

Reviewing the rushes, I know I have more than enough decent footage to put a 2-3min edit together that will hopefully do the ladies of La Nova Singers justice!

I found myself being quite moved at times during the concert; their talent is incredible and as a unit, they really are a vocal force to be reckoned with!
If you have a chance to see them perform, I really do highly recommend it even if it’s ‘not your thing’.
I wouldn’t have thought so either, but I was more than happy to have been proven wrong.

Fairly minimal equipment but still need to invest in a new case for it all.

Fairly minimal equipment but still need to invest in a travel case for it all.

The video has been finished and can be seen here. Also check it out on the La Nova Singers website


4 Responses to “A Castle and a Female Vocal Ensemble”
  1. Thank you so much! What a great write up. It’s also so interesting to understand your side of the camera too! So glad you enjoyed the day with us.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] You can read more about the making of the video on Frit’s blog. […]

  2. […] on from the Highcliffe Castle Christmas Concert, I was rushed back to Brighton the following day to film my friend, Nat Wright’s first ever […]

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