Mastering Dance Videography

It’s true that if it weren’t the case with YouTube, an entire generation of talented people would have been in the shadows of the rest of the world. Many dancers and musicians have established themselves by sharing their work on social media, and raising the bar for content of high quality in this field. The public wants to watch interesting videos, and artists would like their content to be watched.

If you’re interested in filmmaking and dance it could be a area of expertise. Be aware that there are a lot of dance-related videos on the internet and only a handful appear to be worth watching, let alone sharing. Here’s some of the essential information you should be aware of prior to stepping to explore the world of videography for dance.

Filming

Working as the Team

Are you working with a group working with you on your idea? It’s great! Make use of each person’s contribution and utilize several cameras. You should have one camera continuously filming the entire scene. Use it to get a clear image that shows the entire dance beginning to end. This will be the base image to use for your video and then make use of it to check that the editing isn’t messing up the choreography.

Utilize other cameras to record the dancers in a closer angle. For instance, you could use a second camera operator move around with a stabilizer in order to take dynamic photos from different angles. You can also get more static images as well as close-ups and details by changing the angle of a different camera. A tripod isn’t required but important.

This method is great for recording live performances, especially with only one chance to capture everything you want. By preparing music videos in advance the method can also speed up the process and you’ll only need your subject to dance a few times before you can capture their movements from all angles.

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Nail It All By Oneself

Are you without a team? You don’t have to worry – you can still make beautiful dance videos on the own. There are a variety of ways to do it.

One option is to capture the entire sequence in one single video. An camera, such as an action DSLR camera that has a built-in stabilizer or gimbal will perform just fine. The kind of photography you can do leaves little room for imagination, but it is possible to play around using angles and select the highlights you want to highlight by moving closer. There’s also space to experiment with color grading as well as special effects in the editing stage.

The second option could be to setup a camera for that basic picture we discussed earlier and then use a different camera that can move about. The one drawback to this approach is that you aren’t able to control the camera in the still mode and it’s difficult to tell whether you’ve entered the frame in the wrong place at the wrong moment. Apart from that, follow the same guidelines we described to filming teamwork.

Third option is the most difficult, but it’s also the least expensive option, since you won’t need to lease an additional camera. It’s best to do everything using just one camera. In the beginning, you take a fundamental shot of the entire process. You may want to record it from various angles, such as moving closer or moving to the side. After that, you can capture the entire scene over again by moving around and taking close-ups. Naturally, you’ll need to request that the dancers perform the same dance routine at least a couple of times to give them the chance to make corrections and give an additional piece of footage to correct these errors during editing.

If you are hosting live events, the second choice is the best choice. If you have only one camera take a video of the entire event in one take and make a few cuts of the audience as well as the general ambience. For music videos that are specifically recorded there are three options that could work.

General Filming Tips

Try to find strange angles and angles. You can film close-ups of dancers’ feet using the camera to the ground. Try climbing on windowsills, chairs and nearby terraces. These are all horizontal surfaces that aid you in rising above the scene to get an improved view. Photograph emotional close-ups of eyes, faces hands, gestures. It is possible to search for these images while the dancers are moving about and sometimes, getting your camera set up and standing still will suffice and watch your subjects go by.

Editing

Music Video

The most straightforward part about making music video edits is to are aware of the exact soundtrack you want you’ll need and the best way to incorporate it into the video. All you have you to do is use the music meticulously and carefully to ensure that each beat on the music track is in line with the background music that you’ve recorded.

The tough part is fitting the cuts. It is when you will need to look over your footage several times in order to determine which cutaway is suitable at a specific point. If the dancers do different moves, you can arrange your footage to make sense such as, for example, if one person in the picture starts turning, you should find an image of the same person who is finishing their turn and combine them. This will give the illusion of continuous movement despite being aware that your clips are derived from various choreographic elements. Sometimes, you can make an entirely new dance choreography by mixing clips that appear to be connected.

If you are putting in details or close-ups, make sure you remember what you’re trying to concentrate on initially. If it’s emotions and the atmosphere, stack up various cutaways and then focus on close-ups. If the choreography is involved ensure that your cutaways do not disrupt the flow, and you’ll still see the main structure and flow of dance in clear detail.

Highlights from the Event

Making summaries of dancing events (e.g. concerts, parties or events) is a completely different tale. Most of the time, these are brief 1-3 minute moments with a single soundtrack that plays for everything. Most of the time, you’ll be thinking about how to combine the various elements, with dancers dancing to various music. That’s where the real problem starts. It is necessary to pick one music track. Then, you must be careful when selecting the songs which best suit the most memorable parts of your soundtrack. Try to play with the music and not the other way around.

If you see that someone is performing too swiftly or slow there is a possibility of making minor changes to the speed. Most of the time speeds up or slows to a lesser degree by 10-20% could not be noticeable to the naked eye, however, it will help connect the clips into one cohesive music.

Try using the same effect using continuous motion. If, for instance, you shoot a couple who moves toward the left and back, then let the couple who are in the shot after complete the move in the same direction.

General Editing Tips

Be sure to verify that the choreographic elements you have included in your video correspond to the beat, or else the entire thing will appear out of time. Sometimes, you’ll have to go through a number of videos with this particular type of dance to get a clear understanding of the connection between specific moves with the beat. It’s a bit of work, but the outcome is well worth it.

Additional Elements

Mixing stories and abstract cutaways as well as other extra effects, everything’s waiting for you to play with. Be aware it’s all all about showcasing the beauty of the dance in itself. Whatever you decide to incorporate into your videos be sure that it will serve the purpose of showing and not distract the viewers.