On Tuesday I did a broadcast on Swing Channel and gave some tips about filming your dance and then sharing it on social media.
To repeat, I’m not a professional videographer, but I’ve done my share scripting, filming, editing and posting videos.
Since so many things moved online, especially with #thisismyidea videos, I noticed some simple mistakes that could be easy to fix.
Go practice dancing. That’s where you should spend most of your energy
Film yourself while you’re dancing, so you know how you look and what to work on. You will find better angles and better light too, if you film yourself a lot.
Practice performing. Perform in front of a smaller audience before going for the big thing.
When you’re filming your clip, do multiple takes. The last one or the one before last one will be the best one. It takes less time to dance your thing one more time than to try to edit the video.
Me and my son took 11 takes to film this one:
I’m happy he wanted to do it again and again.
2. Have the best light you can have
Avoid direct sun, unless the sun is not too harsh. Dance in the shadow, when the sun is up.
Light coming from the ceiling doesn’t show your eyes. Light coming from front and up will cast less shadows and you will look better.
Light from ceilings:
3. Clean background/foreground
Nothing should steal attention from your dancing. So people passing by or a trash can in the back will steal viewer’s attention.
You can’t even see the dance here:
Egle taking care of better recap for students:
Jazzy Bees in the shadow and clean background:
4. Clean your lense.
This is so simple, but that’s the cheapest way to improve quality on your smartphone. This should become a habit every time you get your phone for a photo or video.
People will watch low quality video with good sound but will not watch good quality video with bad sound.
Lina & Martynas
We (me and Lina) filmed this twice, as we were not happy with the first one. I added the sound from this performance for more reactions. And as this was a “Comedy Balboa”, it suits well. Thank you Andrew Mindaugas Hsi for your laughs.
You can hear steps and real world sound and track on top for better experience.
6. Dress up
7. Lower angle
I prefer lower angle for dance videos. We use so much more with our lower body than face, so bring those dynamics for the viewer.
Me and Elze Visnevskyte feat. Railway Stompers
Maybe it would make the viewer feel, like they are there sitting and enjoying the performance.
8. Wide angle if possible
Wide angle brings more dynamics.
Lindy Hop Knock Out Finals with wide angle (Samsung S10):
Semi finals with regular camera (Samsung S7 Edge):
9. Fill the frame
We want to see dancing.
A few years ago I took this video of me and Egle:
cropped it, and then posted on FB as an ad for the studio to get new students. The video exploded outside target group and went viral on FB with 1200 shares in 4 days. I cut the intro out too straight to dancing:
10. FB, IG or YT muting videos because of the copyright. What to do?
Use modern recording from modern bands to give them exposure and have a lesser chance of getting copyright issues.
I have been banned from posting videos on FB a couple of times. Not because of my personal videos, but because I was posting for our studio.
Recently, I have pressed the button RESTORE AUDIO, and haven’t been banned. YET.
I’m just sharing my experience here. I’m not giving any advice. Consult lawyers about this issue (please, don’t ban me now for this)
11. Naming videos
Videos with some words in them make better then the same quality videos with not that good titles. Words that help: FINALS, BATTLE, PAMELA, DEAN COLLINS SHIM SHAM.
12. Other videos that I filmed, danced in or produced that got viral:
Hoppers’ feat. The Schwings Band
This took too much time to edit, because we danced multiple times to live music. The speed of the music wasn’t exactly the same, so I had to speed up or slow down dancing for every cut.
Pamela Gaizutyte and Martynas Stonys – The Savoy Cup routine
We wouldn’t have filmed this if Savoy Cup had posted video on Facebook. So we filmed it in front of audience of 25 and shared it.
Pamela and Martynas
Fantastic 3 – Justa Žebrauskaitė, Matas Bugorevičius, Rūta Urbonavičiūtė
Sometimes the cut from the performance goes viral.
Los Banditos de Hoppers’ – Black Coffee
Footage with drone and creating for that makes miracles.
13. Share. Learn. Make the next one better. Share again. Make it better.
Some videos take of, and some do not. You can only try. But share not to get likes or shares, but share to get better at your craft.
That’s the longest post I’ve ever done.
Tune in next Tuesday on twitch.com at Swing Channel at 6pm (GMT +2). I’ll probably talk about teaching dance, should you actually film everything and how to practice Lindy Hop in solo while focusing on connection.
You can donate during the broadcast to the host via paypal. More details on twitch during the broadcast. Or you can always get a T-Shirt from www.swingadoodle.com.