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Videotaping your performance can be helpful for several reasons, and depending on your purpose for taping, there are different factors to consider.

Videotaping For Self-Feedback:
“I can’t stand seeing myself on video!” I know, me neither. But once you get used to it, you’ll get GREAT feedback just seeing your own performance. Things become crystal clear: “Oh, I should have held that beat a second longer,” “The ‘School Bully’ section seems a little long; I should trim that,” or “That shirt is distracting – new costume!” You’ll be able to make all kinds of small adjustments to make the show better. Videotaping just for your own feedback is easy; just plant the camera and hit ‘record’. You don’t need fancy shooting since it’s just for you.

Videotaping For Marketing and Publicity:
Conveying the power of a live performance on video is challenging. I would not recommend trying to market a videotape of a full-length stage performance. But with creative editing, music, etc. you can make an interesting, compelling video ‘trailer’ of your show for the web or other marketing. In that case you’ll want to raise the quality of the videography. Do Not just plant the camera at the back of the audience and lock it off on a wide shot of the whole stage for the entire performance. Those videos are mighty uncompelling to watch – the camera is just too far away from the emotional action to really engage the viewer. Instead, try to arrange several cameras taping from several angles (round up your friends with cameras!). Try to get more close-ups than wide shots – this is what will give your video emotional pull, when we can really see your face.

And don’t skimp on sound! You’ll want to make sure you’re wearing a mic with a line into the camera, don’t just use the camera mic. Fuzzy sound, sound that makes the viewer have to strain to figure out the words, is a real distraction and can make you seem amateurish. Consider hiring a professional to make sure you get good sound.

So yes, there can be some expenses to putting together a high-quality, well shot and edited trailer, but if you’ve got designs on further marketing your performance, you may want to consider looking as professional as possible!

With great love,