Pluck Productions are a theatre company founded by an actor and actress who got tired of waiting for the phone to ring – so they started their own company instead! To date they have produced six full-scale shows, one of which was the sharp and biting new comedy ‘Birthday Suit’ by David K. Barnes.
The hysterical production is about a cringeworthy after-work birthday party where only one couple shows up and has to endure the host and one other mystery guest with a vendetta. An uncomfortable night ensues for the characters, and a side-splitting one is created for the audience. The show stars Liam Bewley (Richard), Philip Honeywell (Nick), EJ Martin (Diane) and Emily Stride (Valerie). The production was directed by Alice Malin and played at the Old Red Lion Theatre, London for four weeks in 2017. It was nominated for three OFFIES, including Best New Play, and received some rave reviews.
Pluck commissioned an event recording from us as a way of showing venues and producers what they could do with a small cast and space, and we were happy to oblige. Despite the small upstairs venue where the front row were very close to the action, thanks to a location recce where we worked out our camera placements we were still able to produce an extremely watchable full two-camera event recording.
Two cameras minimum is always the best method we recommend for filming stage shows. One is a static wide and one is an operated closer shot, so that you miss nothing in the wide shot but can also see smaller details from anywhere on the stage with the close-up. The wide-angle acts as a ‘safety net’ in case key action happens outside of the close-up, which is always possible unless the operator has seen the show before and knows it very well.
We mounted our static wide-angle at the back of the auditorium up in a corner, and manually operated our closer angle from a few rows in front. The result was a flexible recording setup that could focus on both small details and the wide angular lines of the impressive cross-section living room set, while our mics captured all the on-stage audio perfectly. The production team were delighted with the recording and used it to promote future performances.
As a result of the 2020 global COVID-19 pandemic, Pluck were kind enough to allow the recording to be made public so the show could be enjoyed at home – we hope you enjoy it too!