Make A Promotional Video
Busker Central

Creating your own promo video is one of the smartest moves for today's buskers. Not only can it show your prowess on your pitch, it can lead to inclusion in festivals and contests around the world. Make a video for your website! You can even create a DVD for sale so they may re-live your show forever!

To begin with, grab an experienced videographer who knows the ropes. This may be more challenging than it first seems. They all say they're experienced at this type of shoot when, of course, they're not. Try to find one that specializes in performance videos. The videographer will come with all the professional equipment needed so be ready to spend some serious money producing your movie.

Depending on the amount of cameras, your video will probably involve taping 2 or 3 shows on a sunny day with a videographer within your inner circle. The cameraman may be lying down for a shot and distracting everybody, blocking the crowd from seeing, or even tripping over his own wires. Don't expect a whole lot of appreciation after these shows.

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Day shots can be difficult for performers who need the night to make their fire display properly. Night shots of fire can be excellent but often hide the entire crowd in darkness. You may want to shoot these tight shots separately against a dark blue background like the sky at dusk. These shots can then be inserted into the overall video.

Lots of audience reactions and enthusiasm shots are good, too. Your videographer should record the audience having fun and being surprised. One trick is to simply video one whole show's audience to be inserted in post production. This audience-only show can go between your other 2 shows on your shoot.

Some performance videos seem to work best with alternative background music rather than the actual show's audio. Unless recorded directly, the performer can be hard to understand through public address systems or camera microphones. Your videographer should have a wireless microphone for you and directional microphones for the crowd. If your audio isn't clean, you can always insert some of your funny lines here and there by recording them separately.

Since there are so many good songs and beats out there, it's not hard to understand why buskers and street performers often go with high-impact background music. Music sets the mood for any movie so set it well.

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Choose a fast-paced music that can match your fast-paced video. Sometimes, a good effect can be with a dynamic piece of classical music but most of the time jazz, rock, or a modern electronic remix is used. Of course if you're a musician, you'll want to use your own music. No release is needed for your original music.

In the end, you should have clear interesting video of some highlights of your performance. Make some DVD's to send out to festivals and whomever. Put some promo clips on your website or sites like YouTube that you can easily link to.

Watch it! Adding different resolutions, frame rates, and audio then converting to different formats is a recipe for disaster. Is the video jerky and missing frames or is the motion smooth and natural? If it's for the web, how compatible to your viewers is your format? If a DVD, are there easy navigation menus? Unfortunately, it is during this very last stage where video is often destroyed so make sure it's clean and fluid before finalizing.

For more ideas, take a peek at the Busker Central production clips in the video gallery.

Alan Freeman

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Street performing at Busker Central