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How to film a Street Protest

There seem to be lots of protests happening these days. How do we know this? Because people are out there filming video and taking photos to capture them. But how do we create professional video production in these potentially heated environments?

Here’s some tips for filming a protest legally and safely:

1. Plan as best you can

Recce the route and consider what shots do you need to tell the story. Plan a vantage point for a high, wide angle of the crowds and scope the proposed route for good positions on the ground.

2. Know your filming rights

A permit isn’t required to film in public places and it’s not illegal to film public order incidents or police personnel.

3. Travel with light film kit

You’ll generally be filming alone so make sure your kit is minimal and streamlined to allow for fluid movement. A monopod is versatile and can be positioned quickly to stabilise your camera.

4. Get stuck in

Walk and move with the crowd to give the video viewer a sense of being. And don’t be shy to interview on the hoof. Most attendees will feel strongly about the cause so will happily share their views.

5. Keep your eyes open

Definitely don’t just keep your eye down the viewfinder – use your camera’s LCD to monitor and keep your eyes peeled all around you so-as you don’t miss anything interesting.

6. Fast-turnaround video

Get the footage out there fast. You’ll need to hit video platforms and social channels asap even if it means using your phone to film bits and upload teasers. You can do a proper edit after the protest has calmed but remember it’s news footage so the faster people see it the better.