This month, popular YouTube channel AYO brought in five members of the rookie boy group E’LAST to discuss the realities of idol life—including the mystery of how they find their focus cameras on music shows.
At every music show recording, there are numerous cameras set up all around the stage. Typically, every member of a group will have at least one close-up shot during their performances—but how do they know which of the many cameras will be filming them?
Broadcasters came up with the clever idea to shine a red light from the camera that’s currently recording, but that still begs the question of how idols manage to spot those red lights in the first place. After all, they need to focus on the performance itself, so they can’t look around at each camera until they find the right one. One AYO commenter was determined to find out the process behind it all.
How do they find red lights on a camera? I don’t see them eyeballing either on music shows, do they practice finding cameras?
— AYO commenter
Eight-member boy group E’LAST debuted under E Entertainment in June this year with their first title track, “Swear”, so they haven’t had long to practice the art of spotting that red light. However, despite their inexperience, they still seem to be pros at making eye contact with their close-up cameras at just the right time.
Luckily, rapper and vocalist Choi In was happy to explain how it all works. Many entertainment companies record broadcast demos of their songs, showing the camera angles and focus shots they’d prefer from the music show camera operators. This gives idols a chance to practice where to look before they even show up on stage.
However, Choi In says the E’LAST members typically memorize the order the cameras light up in during their “camera rehearsals” rather than practicing before broadcasting.
Never heard of a camera rehearsal? While the performances you see on music shows are typically shot in one take, there are actually several rehearsal takes that happen beforehand.
The industry standard is three takes—two camera rehearsals (one with name tags, one without) and one final performance. During the camera rehearsals, the groups’ performances are recorded just as they would be during the final take. This gives artists two chances to find the right close-up cameras before it comes to recording that all-important televised take.
Of course, even with advance practice and rehearsals, things don’t always go perfectly. For example, main vocalist Won Hyuk playfully teased maknae Yejun for frequently missing the camera.
Yejun always makes excuses saying, “I saw the red light, but it was a different camera that was rolling”!
— Won Hyuk
Check out E’LAST’s camera finding skills below!