Dancer Demo Reels
When it’s important that you have a great demo to show potential dance schools, dance agents, or casting directors, you MUST go with a pro. What constitutes a pro? Read on…
Hiring a pro to shoot your dance demo video means he or she absolutely must have 3 things:
#1, he/she must have ample experience in shooting dancers and dance routines. Although I have been shooting professional dance videos since 1996 (19 years at the time of this page being put up, let’s see if I update it to 20 in a year :-)), only consider someone who has at least 10 years experience and can prove it. A shooter with sufficient experience can make the next two factors a little less important.
The second factor is that he/she needs to have professional broadcast television equipment. That means a Pro camera – you know the type, it looks like a news camera. It should go without saying that your dance video demo person will be shooting your video in HD and with a professional tripod that has what’s called a fluid/drag head. In the context of video, fluid means a flowing and smooth motion back and forth. A tripod head with drag, though, gives the camera operator adjustable resistance, making it tougher for him or her to pan and tilt the camera. The resistance that the drag head creates enables the videographer to move the camera in such a way as to capture your dance movements in a smooth and paced fashion.
The Ability to Anticipate
This is an extension of #1, the experience factor. I’m mentioning it, though, so that you can critically evaluate the samples of the those whom you are evaluating to shoot your dance demo video. When you are watching someone’s sample, look for the camera operator’s ability to be in the moment with the dancer and anticipate the movements. It’s almost like the camera operator is dancing with the dancer. Watch for arms and hands jutting up or out that get cut off. If you see that, you might want to consider someone else.
The Gut Factor
Here is perhaps the best tip of all to help you decide whom to select for your dance demo video… Watching their samples, the movements the camera operator should make should be as graceful and meaningful as the movements you make. Are you inspired or bored? Are you captivated or distracted? The video of your dance needs to be as transcending and compelling as the way you danced. Choose someone who you feel will best deliver your presentation of your work.