Hiring a professional video production company to livestream an in-person lecture

Updated: August 2021

We appreciate your help in valuing the high quality of Christian Science lectures by presenting their content online in a high-quality manner. Unless you are proficient in livestreaming and have the sufficient equipment to livestream in high definition, or the lecture’s location provides such equipment and service, we recommend hiring a local professional videographer to stream your lecture.

Before hiring a video team, it’s important to discuss the idea of livestreaming with the lecturer first. There are two essential technical pieces that the lecturer will need to provide from the lecturer’s livestreaming account, if the lecturer has one, in order for the video to stream to the branch’s website. These are a stream key (to give to the videographer), and an embed code or event link (to give to your branch’s webmaster). If the lecturer does not have the ability to provide these, you will need to think of alternative plans to livestreaming, such as recording the lecture and posting it afterwards on your branch’s website.

How do you choose a videographer?

One option is to reach out to a local video production company or a venue that can specifically provide livestreaming to your branch’s website or recording for posting later. Searching “Video production companies with livestreaming near me” in Google can help you see if there may be any in your area. Large production companies can be expensive (we were quoted $1.7-$4k from production companies for a professional two-camera livestream in Boston), but there also may be freelancers or onsite video technicians in your area who offer livestreaming services for a cheaper price or as part of the price of renting a meeting space.

Another option may be to talk with your lecturer about working with a technician who is already familiar with high-quality streaming of Christian Science lecturers. Please note that these technicians are independent contractors whom you would hire directly. The Mother Church doesn't warrant the services of anyone a lecturer might recommend. Please ask questions of anyone you contact about their qualifications, services, and charges.

Questions to ask a tech company/freelancer?

  • Can they assess whether or not the selected venue for the in-person lecture has the capacity to livestream reliably?

  • What is the cost of livestreaming and recording a 60-90 minute lecture in HD with two cameras?

  • Is the video company willing to sign a copyright agreement relinquishing control of all versions of the video and audio they may record?

  • Would they be able to edit the recording, if needed? Is that an additional fee?

  • Are there travel costs?

  • How much lead time do they need? Can they show up an hour or two before the event? Do they need to visit the venue in advance to better assess the technical abilities?

What to give to the tech company/freelancer?

  • Basic recommendations from the Board of Lectureship on framing the video recording/livestream

  • A copyright agreement between the lecturer, the hosting branch, and the videographer/technician

  • A Consent and Release form if any people are recorded besides the lecturer

  • The stream key from the lecturer

  • You may want to provide music and/or a slideshow to play before or after your lecture. There are copyright issues involved when including music. Please talk to the lecturer or contact the Board of Lectureship office with questions.

Additional things to consider

  • Please announce to the audience that the event is being recorded/livestreamed for posting on your website. And please provide some seating that is outside the cameras’ views for those who may not want to be seen.

  • The lecturer may want to review the content when the livestream or recording of the lecture is completed, to make any necessary edits. Please discuss this with the lecturer in your initial conversations about the lecture.

  • We do not recommend recording the audience, except for a wide, setting-the-stage shot of the back of heads. Any audience members whose faces and/or voices appear or can be distinctly heard in the video will need to sign the release form mentioned above.

  • If the lecturer is offering a Q&A session, we recommend the lecturer repeat the question for the video rather than recording the questioner.

  • Once the edited replay video is ready, the lecturer will need to give you a new link to embed the replay on your website.

  • Recording the lecture on a hard drive, in addition to the livestream, is recommended when possible. If a power outage or other uncommon error occurs during the livestream, you will have a backup to post afterwards.