The days of pubs and brides booking a live band purely on their sales spiel is fast disappearing. Bookers have become much more discerning and want to know what they’re getting in advance. Video is a vital element of this, so if you’re serious about getting gigs, you need to be serious about having videos. Ideally you should be hiring a professional, but if that’s not possible, there is still plenty you can do yourself.
Whether using your mobile, a DLR, or a proper hand held, you have the ability to create a professional looking video for your band. Here are 5 tips to help you do that:
1 - Plan Ahead: The key to a successful video is planning. Figure out in advance what you want the video to look like and say about your band. Remember, this is a promotional tool, so put yourself in the shoes of your ideal booker and think about what would impress you. If you’re unsure, have a look at other band’s videos and see what they do that you like (and don’t like). Then select the part of the gig you plan to film and plan it accordingly by setting out a storyboard.
2 - Multi-Camera: Trying to cobble together a professional looking video from footage shot on a single camera can be time consuming and difficult. Have at least 2 cameras, with at least one stationary (although it can be moved from one position to another). Having multiple shots of the same action allows you to edit a much more dynamic and interesting video. Ensure all cameras are recording in the same film aspect ratio.
3 - Shake the Shakes: Nothing says amateur like a shaky video. Ensure any stationary cameras are on a tripod, and that whomever is recording the roving footage has a steady hand.
4 - Light Up: Lighting is of the utmost importance. The cheapest and best is sunlight, but make sure it shines directly on the band and not in the camera view/angle. Where a gig is indoors, place additional lighting strategically so as to avoid shadows and stark contrasts.
5 - Sound: The most overlooked part of video is sound. Ideally take a multi-channel recording from your desk. You can remix it later, then synchronise it with the video in post production. Do not use your camera for sound!
Once you have your footage it’s a matter of editing it together. There are many easy to use editing suites available. Your video is your shop window, so it needs to be the best you can make it. So even if you couldn’t afford a videographer to do the filming, engaging a professional to edit your footage could be a very worthwhile investment.