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Help with Competion Videography?

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#1 Watermill


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Posted 08 August 2002 - 12:03 PM

Any tips for a parent attempting to provide a decent video tape for auditions or competion nominations?


Are there content standards (particular steps, positions, variations, etc) to be met?

Are there well-rounded variatons you might recommend?

Are there variations to avoid? (Are the juries sick of Don Q?)

Black leotard/light tights? Any costuming permitted?

Leave camera relatively still, panning only to keep dancer within frame?


Is post-production stuff (Fancy titles, s/fx, fades) considered bad taste?

Assume VHS is the standard, but is digital (DVD) becoming acceptable?

On shoot: any lighting advice, backdrop recommendations, number of rehearsals, takes, audience?

Any tips would be appreciated. Would really like to hear from folks who learned from mistakes.



#2 Alexandra


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Posted 08 August 2002 - 12:25 PM

Others will be able to give much more specific advice, I'm sure, but I think most competitions have guidelines for permissible variations -- choose one from column A, one from column B (classical/contemporary). I'd also trust the child's teacher on this. He/she knows how to best present the child -- or should!

#3 Victoria Leigh

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Posted 08 August 2002 - 02:16 PM

For SI auditions each school has different requirements, so you need to look at all those first. Most will list the maximum length of time as well as what classwork exercises they want to see. Most do not require a variation, however pointe work should be required on all of them. Some want barre work, others do not. For instance, I prefer ours to be no longer than 10 minutes, showing center work adagio, pirouettes, petite allegro, grand allegro, and pointe work. Sitting through barre work on video is very tedious, and I find it unnecessary.

That said, I receive videos with everything but the kitchen sink on them, and I have not rejected anyone because of that yet ;) However, I do NOT watch all of it either. I watch as much as I need to see to determine if the dancer is qualified for our program or not, and at what level if she/he qualifies.

Sorry, but I know nothing about competition videos....nor do I want to know! :eek:

#4 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 08 August 2002 - 05:02 PM

Watermill -

I've never dealt with a competition video, but I would be careful of using a lot of post-production work, especially editing within the variation itself. If I looked at something that wasn't clearly a single take, I'd assume the dancer might not have done it in a single take.

The costuming and the lighting should be clear (not necessarily bright if that's the wrong mood, but they're going to want to see the dancer and his or her body) I'd think it would be much like an actor's headshot, which contrary to conventional wisdom usually has them in very little makeup. People looking it want to see what you actually look like, as well as what you could look like.

Something I think is very important is to use as high a video quality as your budget will allow. A blurry or low quality video makes a dancer look bad. And make sure the copies people see are as few generations from the master as possible.

Again, this is more from common sense watching videos for audition purposes than specifically having competition experience, so if anyone wishes to add or correct, please do!

#5 Watermill


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Posted 10 August 2002 - 09:05 AM

...for the advice on content. Most helpful!

Still hoping a cinematographer with experience doing this comes forward with some technical advice. Looks like I'll be using a Sony PD150. Any tips re: that camera (or transfer to VHS)?



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