A Hot Show + Good Camera Work = A Killer Promo Video

Booking a live mxl tv is a huge opportunity for up and coming artists to showcase their talent. Everyone has heard the incredible stories of a unknown artist being discovered by a major record label in some small club where they were performing. The media hypes these stories with a blitz of press that you can’t help but notice. This hype fuels the dreams of many artists seeking music stardom.

The reality is a great majority of independent artists do not end up with record deals period. The truth is the music industry doesn’t want you or your music until you can start your own buzz. It doesn’t matter how good your music is. If they don’t know about you they don’t want you.

The dream factories like ‘American Idol’ are a long shot for an artist to get discovered. Having an A & R person from a major record label end up at the live show and offering you a deal is another long shot.

You’re probably thinking, “Hey I thought this was going to be about taping my live show”, we will be getting into that later in this article. I just wanted to set the stage for how important a marketing tool a promotional video is to an artist.

Thousands and thousands of unsolicited CD’s are sent off to record labels by hungry artists every month. They range from the submissions that are labeled by hand that always end up in the trash to the more well packaged CD’s that include artwork or maybe a press kit.

An awesome way to make your CD submission stand out and get noticed is to include some footage of you performing live. I guarantee it will make you more appealing to record labels as an artist. Music videos are a different animal all together, but in this article I want to focus on sharing with you how to shoot a promotional video for next to nothing.

Maximize the opportunity you have to perform at a venue in front of a live audience to the absolute fullest by taping your performance. A performance lasts for one night, while a promotional video of you crushing your set lasts a lot longer.

Regardless if you’re the opening act or headliner you’re taking the stage to rock the show. You know you’re the next big thing. Unfortunately, many talented artists do not have major music labels or sizable marketing budgets behind them when they start to have a professional camera crew tape their show and capture behind the scenes interviews.

I taped live shows for a music management company. Sometimes I had a camera crew of four, but most of the time it was only me as a one man camera crew. I learned a lot and saw a lot covering these shows at clubs all over Southern California.

Some artists make the mistake of having a friend or family member tape the show on any camcorder with nothing more than the infamous words, ‘just point and shoot’ as guidance. The performance captured is often grainy, out of focus, or you get dizzy from the zooms in and out.

You’ve just lost a powerful marketing tool when you didn’t have to. Be clear in what you want. It’s easier then ever to tape a show for next to nothing that looks good. I avoided getting into specific video equipment, software, and other non-essentials. This is all about the shoot. Now let’s get to it.

Tip #1: Plan. Planning the shoot yourself doesn’t cost anything but some footwork and energy. Who cares more about your career than you? Let whoever is running the show know you’re going to have your performance taped. This will keep your camera crew from being hassled, be it one person or more. Know the layout of the venue and get there early. Be realistic. If you have one person behind a camera do not expect them to be everywhere at once. Work with within your resources. The most important images to capture are of you on stage in the moment. Let your camera crew know how long you’re going to be in the spotlight. Nothing worse than running low on tape or battery power.

Whoever you have running the camera won’t be a professional, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan like one. Hand out a simple shot sheet telling them what you want. If you want tight mostly close-ups of yourself or wider shots with all the performers on stage let them know. They might not be able to get all of it, but they won’t waste tape on useless footage either.

Be positive that whoever is taping your show knows how to work the camera. We’ve all heard someone ask, ‘What button do I push to record’. I would have them practice. It might seem stupid, but doing a walk through rehearsal of your show with them taping it will be a big help. You can shoot it in your living room, garage, or backyard. The key is to act like it’s the stage and let your natural movements come out. It’s like a director does when he has actors walk through a scene so he can plan where the camera needs to be. It’s called blocking. Anything can happen in the moments on stage, but your camera crew will be ready to roll with you because you’ve planned.

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