Friday, July 13, 2007

How do you go about videotaping burlesque?

Submitted to the Burlesque Forum Mail:

Hey Guys - So, I havent been performing very long and have just recently had the confindence to consider applying to the trifecta of great festivals in the U.S. But, then when I download the application and started to work on it I am confronted with the need for footage. I worry and worry over how to get a great quality video, do I need to have it edited with titles? Is it really appropriate to rent a studio and shoot something, or is it better to use footage from a show? Or should I try to find a theatre apart from a show and shoot one day when it's empty? I have some footage from numbers at shows, but the quality is fair and I worry fair wont pass. Unfortunatley, I get so overwhelemed I tell myslef I am obviously not ready and therefore never complete the application. Well, it is time to grown a better backbone! I missed the deadline for the NYBF (but will hopefully get to volunter) but have committed to applying to Tease-o-rama. My partner in crime, Lady Satan, will be relocating out to SF later this month -so, no more excuses!!! At least thats what I thought - till I downloaded the application and starting biting my nails trying to figure out if the footage I have is up to par and if not - how can I economically put together something professional! Please help me!!! xoxoxo

Thanks so much,
RunAround Sue


Zeugma said...

Hey Susie-Q!

This is just me, but I think performance vid is always best, even if it's not perfect quality. The energy of the performance is so much higher, and hoots and hollers can't HURT in influencing the judges positively.

I'm not on jury for any bq events, but I have served on arts council juries for dance and theatre, so I've watched me some video. Since artists are usually deciding who's in this stuff, I think it's fair to say that no one expects a glitzy, professionally edited version of your act... they know you're young and broke. They just need to be able to see the act clearly and visualize how it would fit into their event. A camera bobble here or there annoying but not a crisis, and if the act is good, they're not going to hold it against you.

Srill, if you are a perfectionist and want it to look slick, you can do this yourself for free with Windows Movie Maker (which comes standard on most PCs, I think) and it's eaaassy. Like, click the "Add Titles" button easy. I honestly learned the program in a day, and I'm not hella technological. You can also fade in and fade out, sharpen the quality of the video and lighten or darken it... again, there's a button for each of these actions. Honestly, you can make most decent quality video look and sound pretty good on it with minimal effort. May be worth the time and effort to spend a bit of time with the program if you're that stressed?

And no more missing deadlines! You're not even GIVING them the chance to reject you because of your catastrophically bad, worse-than-armageddon show video at this point. How fair is that? ;)

Jezebel Express

Paris Green said...

Rather than leave things up to chance on the night of a performance - camera bobbles, blown out lights, etc. - set aside a time to shoot your act in a space you know you'll look good in, with a videographer that you trust.

Send out an invite to your mailing list or friends and family and stack the space with a crowd that will hoot and holler appropriately and enthusiastically for an hour or two. They will also move around if you need to get rid of heads to get a clearer shot or shut up when you can't hear the music so well. Stacking the space is a great way to have your audience cake and eat it too.

I've used this method to shoot video for burlesque and comedy shows - where you absolutely have to have an audience or it just looks weird - for festival submissions.