As many summer dance camps and intensives require audition videos be made no more than 6 months prior to submission, January is a great time to get the ball rolling.
New England hosts many summer dance training opportunities, from some of the most prestigious and competitive in the world from Jacob’s Pillow in the Berkshires (1 hr from Hartford), to Boston Ballet (2 hrs from Hartford), to local community camps that are less competitive but still require video auditions for level placement.
More and more children are media savvy and can record and edit audition videos on there own computers (we love that). For those families that want the competitive edge or to take the hassle out of video production and ensure making your submissions deadlines – we are here for you as a professional video production boutique. For those bound and determined to do it yourself, follow our guidelines below.
ANSWER: It’s all in the planning. Yes the performance on the video is very important but the performance will fall flat if the proper planning for creating the video isn’t taken. Follow the 8 steps below to capture an applause-worthy video audition.
SET THE STAGE
1. Choose a good location. Look for a space that does not have a busy background and in which you can control background noise. If recording in the dance studio make sure the background is clear of clutter and the lights are nice and bright.
2. Choose a costume that makes you stand out. This choice has everything to do with the location you are shooting in and less to do with sparkly sequins. Make sure your costume contrasts strongly with the background and if possible the floor.
3. Make it a duet. Don’t try setting up the video and recording on your own, you definitely want someone behind the camera to zoom in and track the action. Ask someone to help you out.
HAVE A GREAT SCRIPT
4. Prepare and practice your “slate”. Most audition videos want you to state your name, age and something about yourself at the beginning of the video, referred to as a “slate”. Practice this just as you would your dancing.
5. Pay attention to the required elements. Most summer camps are very specific about what they want and don’t want in the video audition, stick closely to the requirements but also look for opportunities to be creative within the requirements at the same time.
USE A QUALITY CAMERA
6. Use the highest quality video camera you can get your hands on. Make sure to use a tripod, the camera is level, and you are as zoomed in close on the action without cutting off any limbs. Many consumer video cameras are high quality, if you follow our planning steps the choice of camera will not be the largest factor in the quality of your audition video.
7. Use the highest quality audio playback you can get your hands on. This also has to do with your location choice. If possible don’t record in a room where the music echos off the walls or where the speakers are not loud enough. The sound you hear in the room is not what the sound will be on the video, you’ll need to use headphones to listen in on the audio.
THAT’S A WRAP (almost)
8. The project isn’t over after you’ve taken your bow. Media projects often take longer than you realize, especially if you are doing them yourself. After you’ve recorded your brilliant audition performance make sure to leave contingency time to edit, produce and test your project. Ideally you are getting your audition video in the mail way ahead of the deadline (and the other applicants).