Why You Need A Recital Video Plan NOW!

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“YOUR FALL REGISTRATION WILL ONLY BE AS GOOD AS YOUR LAST RECITAL!" - from Dance Studio Life Magazine

Recital season may be months away, but now’s the time to start thinking about next year’s dance recital video. Why? Your recital video is the way everyone is reliving the show! So, what is your dance recital video saying about your studio?

Is the video quality sloppy & amateur, or professionally polished? Do your dancers & friends think the video is hardly worth watching, or hard to STOP watching?

If you feel that your dance recital video does not accurately showcase your dance studio you, are missing out! Not only can it reflect poorly in the eyes of parents who purchased it, but they may not make future purchases. Quality videos can also be used as fundraisers for your studio and a way to showcase special choreography. Plan ahead while you have time and make sure you are choosing a dance recital videographer that can meet your needs!

Why Choose SharpShooters Video?

We understand what dance schools are looking for when it comes to video. We have the experience to deal with the challenges inherent in covering recitals. The lighting is high-contrast, the sound is dynamic, and the action is high-paced — but our special event videographers have the training and experience to deal with all of these potential pitfalls and deliver quality video and sound.

We have multiple dance schools, large and small, that have booked us every year for over 16 years running. Contact us today to see how we can provide a valuable service to your students and your school.

8 Things To Do Before Annual Dance Recital

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Dance recitals can be stressful! There are countless moving parts to preparing for a dance recital (wrangling your dancers and their parents to name just one). To help you out, here several things you should do before the big day to ensure your show runs smoothly!

1. Start by building your project plan. 

You’ll be able to use this high-level project plan for all your recitals. Make sure you include every aspect that goes into planning a recital, from the logistics to the program to promotions.

One key area that you should plan well in advance for is professional videography. We found that many dance studios have their annual dance recitals about the same time of year – late May and early June. If your dance studio has a need for dance recital video, it’s best to contact us early to discuss your production need and schedule that date!

2. Help the parents to help you. 

Make your parents’ recital information packet a useful tool, not just another long document they have to read. Break information up into checklists and include a master calendar with deadline dates highlighted. Make concise “do and don’t” lists, such as how they should care for the costumes. Set out parental responsibilities and what you expect from them. Share information on how they can help their kids stay focused and work through any dance recital jitters.

3. Do the same for your volunteers. 

Volunteers should have specific tasks and responsibilities, so nothing falls through the cracks. Have regular check-ins with the volunteer team to get updates and make sure everything is on track.

4. Take advantage of the digital age. 

Push out recital-related announcements and reminders through your parents’ portal or mobile app. Have an online hub for recital information for parents and volunteers that includes a calendar and discussion forum. You could use a private Facebook page set up just for recital management or another family/event project management tool. Make your parent and volunteer information packets available online so people can download a second copy if needed.

5. Have extras. 

You can’t have spare, complete costumes laying around. That’s not realistic. Yet you can have extra hair and costume accessories — especially those little pieces that tend to go missing at the worst times. If any routines have props, have a few extras of those as well. If you have a repeat offender, you can think about asking the parents to buy extra accessories themselves.

6. Don’t wing your opening and closing speeches. 

Your students don’t wing their dances. You choreograph it out, and they rehearse. Do the same with your speeches. Write them down. Practice them, so you know exactly how long they are really are. Practice them in front of some trusted people and get their feedback. Don’t stress about them, just treat them as you would a dance you’d perform.

7. Hire A Professional Videographer

We know and understand that students, teachers, and audiences enjoy reliving the performance, not only in the weeks and months after the recital dance, but in years to come. Video recording is also important in terms of review and future growth of the studio and students. Make sure you hire the right videographer to keep your memories sharp!

8. Track all your expenses. 

It’s not glamorous, true. However, how successful can any dance recital be if you’ve gone way over budget? Not very successful. Stay on top of what you spend.

 

Interested in Learning More?

You can trust that if SharpShooters Video shoots your show, we do whatever we can to make it look & sound as good as possible. Because when your show looks good, you look good. And that's what everyone remembers!

Ready to get started? Click here to get a price quote for your upcoming show or dance recital.

 

Dance Recital Lighting: 5 Tips to Make Your Show Look Its Best

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Lights. Camera. Action. It’s right there, do you see it? LIGHTS!

Lighting issues are the #1 concerns we (the videographers) hear from parents about dance shows. And like the parents, we have no control over the lights. We just notice when they enhance or when they hinder how the show is viewed. We've seen it all - the great, the good, and the "oh-my-goodness, the lighting was so BAD for that show!" Here are 5 tips to avoid that last one.

1. Let There Be (Enough) Light

As one lighting professional puts it: "Light the stage so the performers can be seen. After that, there are really no 'rules' but perhaps a few concepts." It may seem obvious, but the audience comes to SEE the performers. And you want to see them on the video too, right? Well, even the best video cameras can't see as well as the human eye. Using low lighting to create a mood looks great artistically. Just consider that if the dancers can barely be seen by Mom & Dad in the audience, they'll likely be even darker on the video. Try to strike a balance between mood and long-term memories.

2. Let There Be Better Light

Maybe low (or spotty) lighting isn't a conscious choice you're making as a director, but an unavoidable reality because of your venue. At some venues, if you're just relying on the overhead stage lights, your dancers may look perfectly lit AND too dark at the same time (see picture below). Solution? Ask the light crew to add or readjust the lights to even out hot-spots & shadows. If that's not possible, consider bringing in support. A few spotlights and, of course, a professional lighting crew can really transform the look of your show. Even in gyms, we've seen directors totally transform the viewing experience by using professional lights.

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3. Is It Part of The Show? Give It A Glow…

Plan to dance on the wings of the stage? Down the aisleways? In front of the stage? If it's part of the show, do your best to light it directly. Ambient light from the main stage is rarely enough to see those areas properly, especially through the camera lens. Using a spotlight or other lighting will direct the audience's attention to those dancers during the show and ensure they're actually viewable on the video.

4. Illumination Communication

As with most things, communication is key. Plan lighting cues with your light crew in advance and practice them during all rehearsals. Let the light crew know there will be a video crew, and pass contact information back/forth. Certain lighting effects like strong blue or red LED lights don't translate well on video and make the performers look like fuzzy aliens (see picture below). Clear communication with all the parties working on your show can help the production look its best live AND later.

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Strong Blue Or Red LED Lights Don’t Translate Well

5. Maximize Memories

This one is more of a friendly request regarding the littlest dancers - from a mom who also happens to run a videography company! Every second our little ballerinas & princes are on-stage is a memory for Mom (and the rest of the family, too - but let's face it - moms are the most sentimental about this.) That means from the first beat to the last pose, lights should be up so parents can see every bit of their little one's stage time. We miss so much when the lights don't come up until 10-15 seconds into the song, and then cut to black on the last beat. Let it linger. Let them pose. We want to soak up every last second and then some!

Interested in Learning More?

You can trust that if SharpShooters Video shoots your show, we do whatever we can to make it look & sound as good as possible. Because when your show looks good, you look good. And that's what everyone remembers!

Ready to get started? Click here to get a price quote for your upcoming show or dance recital.

 

How To Stage A “Flawless” Dance Recital Or Show

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If you've staged many shows - or seen as many shows as we have in the 16 years of shooting live events - you know that mistakes happen. No matter how many rehearsals & run-throughs, CDs don't always play smoothly, performers aren't always ready on cue, and things don't always go off without a hitch. The good news is those glitches don't have to be permanent! With SharpShooters Video at your show, our production wizards are trained at wiping out minor (and even major) mistakes to make your finished show video nothing less than the perfectly performed production it was always meant to be!

Here's how we do it:

1. Mistake? What Mistake?

Over the years, our video editors have seen - and cleaned - all of these mistakes and many more. During one recent production, the actors accidentally skipped an ENTIRE scene. After the show, we suggested they reenact it for our cameras only. Now, everyone watching the video never knows that scene was left out live. We even added in audience applause for good measure!

Here are just a few examples:

Your performers mishear their cue and have to restart.

  • The "false start" is edited OUT of the video.

A dancer injures her knee and falls during the finale number.

  • We cut to a different camera so her injury isn't shown.

A fog machine sets off the fire alarm during a poignant scene.

  • We seamlessly piece together the footage from the scene so viewers never know there was a disruption.

2. Technology Troubles

We've seen so many technology problems play-out during live student events that we're convinced PowerPoint has more stage fright than a 3-year-old ballerina. Add in all the microphone malfunctions and CD player problems, and that's a whole lot of tech woes we've been able to reverse for posterity. At one 2014 show, a power surge damaged the auditorium's sound system right before curtain, and the dancers (much less the audience) could barely hear the music they were dancing to. But "the show must go on!" For the video, our editors synced up every single music track - matching it to the millisecond - so that watching the final video was actually BETTER than seeing the show live.

3. Tighter Transitions

Our editors pay close attention to trim out unintended "dead air" so your show stays awesome... not awkward.

4. And The List Goes On…

If we listed ALL the show problems we've fixed in post-production, you may be too scared to ever stage a show again. But here's just a few more:

  • We've amplified low talkers

  • Fixed flubbed lines

  • Soothed crying babies

  • Corrected emcee errors

  • and even blurred out wardrobe malfunctions.

 

Why Partner with The Perfectionists?

You can trust that if SharpShooters Video shoots your show, we do whatever we can to make it look & sound as good as possible. Because when your show looks good, you look good. And that's what everyone remembers!

Ready to get started? Click here to get a price quote for your upcoming show or dance recital.