We thought we’d write a blog post on filming routines. As most performers will know, it’s hard to get a gig if you don’t have a video of the act. We here at Bluestocking Lounge only book performers that we have seen perform or from video links, and with the Welsh Burlesque Festival, which we run with Burlesque Cardiff, just about to release application forms which will require a video link, we thought it would be helpful to offer some video advice.
Video clips from a live show.
Probably for us (at least, not all producers will agree) the best footage you can put up is clear footage from a show where the act has been performed. Yes, clear footage that has been filmed from near the front so you can be seen without a microscope, with no heads or other obstructions obscuring your act! From clear footage we can see exactly how the performer interacts with the audience, how the audience responds to the act, how the performer uses the stage, their confidence and creativity and get a true sense of how the act will look live.
Most producers love professional videos as these show the act off to the best advantage. The footage and music will be clear, and the act can be filmed from different angles for a very professional finish. There are usually a few production companies who can do this locally or another cheaper way to get a professional video would be to contact your local uni’s media department. Some students might like to film your act as part of a project or coursework.
To reveal or not to reveal?
A lot of performers choose not to reveal the end of their act, especially online, so it remains a surprise for the audiences. If you do choose to cut the video before the end, do let the producer whose show you are applying for, know what to expect!
If you’ve never performed before and your video is to get your first performance slot…
Don’t panic! You don’t have to pay loads for a video clip of your act. Just remember to ensure it is rehearsed to the best it can be and get a friend to film it in a location that is clear so the routine can be performed without restriction, and that will not have any distracting background noise. Remember to wear your full costume, use all your props and perform it exactly as you would be performing it in front of an audience. Basically treat it as an audition, as essentially that is what it is.
If you can, hire a dance/rehearsal studio or village hall space for an hour just so whoever is watching can get a clear sense of your act.
How about sending a show reel?
A show reel is good for showing off your best acts on one short film, and any extra bits you might like to add, but it does not give a sense of any specific act. If a producer has asked for footage of a particular act, it is probably best to send that rather than a show reel, but by all means, if you have one, send it as a bonus link!
How to send your footage…
Most producers will ask for a video link (clicking on the youtube share tab will provide you with this or a direct link to the act on your website) but please make sure that it is a direct link as if a producer has to search on google, search a website or put in any time-consuming work to find the clip they will probably book another performer instead. Remember, most promoters are very busy people and will prefer something that takes them directly to the link. Also, if the link provides a password, do give it alongside the link as, again, any extra work to hunt down the clip will not be welcomed by a producer who already has seen 30+ clips.