Videographing Your Studio's Dance Recital: Essential Discussions With The Videographer

If you are putting on a dance studio recital, a great bonus for students is a video recording of the performance. To get the most from this service, it's essential to work out as many details as possible ahead of time with your videographer. Here are some talking points for you to consider, especially if you are working with an all-purpose videographer who covers more horse shows and weddings and has minimal experience in the dance world.

Payment for Services

Some videographers may expect to be paid on a flat fee or hourly rate for their services. However, it will be less costly to you and more profitable to the videographer if they provide their services for free and make their money selling DVDs of the performance to the students and their families. You may even be able to make money by charging an administration fee on top of the DVD price for handling the distribution and collecting money.

Protecting Your Material

You want to make sure that your choreography or other copyrighted material is not accessible to competitors. Ask your videographer to sign a confidentiality agreement and to only sell DVDs to performers and their friends or families. Also, ask about whether they do their own in-house duplication for an added layer of security.

Order and Delivery of the Finished Product

Discuss how the finished product will be ordered and delivered to the recipients. Are DVD buyers reserving copies online or through the studio? Additionally, determine whether the DVDs will be mailed directly to your students or if they will be delivered to the studio for pickup there.

Technical Issues

The following are some technical issues you want to work out with the videographer in advance of the show as well:

  1. Will the videographer be attending the dress rehearsal? Ideally, they should to become familiar with the theater, lighting, and program. They can check camera placement and do a sound check as well.
  2. How many cameras will they be using? If they are unsure, suggest three: one for closeups at the edge of the stage, one in the rear of the theater for medium shots, and another in the rear for wide-angle views. Extra cameras will also provide backup in case one camera fails. Suggest that the videographer test out the cameras with people sitting in the audience, so the tripod height can be adjusted accordingly.
  3. Make sure the videographer knows how you want the performance filmed and edited. Do you want mostly long shots with a few closeups at the start, during solos, and during bows, or do you want many cuts back and forth. Fred Astaire may have revolutionized dance films by asking for uncut, full-body sequences, but kids today are used to multiple cuts due to music videos.
  4. How do you want microphone placement handled? A shotgun mic on the closeup camera may work well to get both the patter of little feet and the audience's applause, but it will also pick up undesirable noise like hard pointe shoes and heavy breathing. If you are including tap dance numbers, you may have to mic the stage in order for the tappers to be heard.
  5. Ensure that your videographer knows that every student needs to be included in the video. If there are multiple performances with the same students, it's wise to film all of them in case of costume goofs, falls, missed cues, or tears from the tiniest dancers.

Your recital may be the biggest event of the year for both you and your students. With the proper advance attention, your video recording will be a souvenir your students and their loved ones can save for many years of sentimental enjoyment. For more information, speak directly with a videographer, like Scott Rowland Video.


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