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Unfortunately, the current COVID situation still prohibits many ballet companies to hold in person auditions, as well as dancers to travel. Therefore, to apply for a job or to take a part in a competition, dancers are often required to send an audition video of themselves. Whether it’s a ballet class or a variation, there are a few basic technical guidelines that can help to create a more professional looking video and make the dancer look better for the audition.
Viewers need to see the dancer’s entire body. Avoid zooming in with the camera of a smartphone, as this usually affects the video quality; if possible, move with the camera closer to the dancer. At the same time, make sure that the dancer’s entire body is visible for the entire duration of the shot. No “cut off” arms or feet. Try to keep the background and surroundings as simple and clean as possible, so the focus stays on the dancer.
Make sure there is enough (natural) light in the room. If possible, from several directions, so you can eliminate shadows. Try to avoid mirror reflections as well as lights directed at the camera. White light and neon create a cold atmosphere. In case the picture seems too dark, you can try to raise manually the ISO settings of your camera.
If you wish to record the music played in the room where you dance, you should check the recording volume with a test recording. Too loud music can cause disturbing distortion, which can not be corrected aterwards. This can be avoided by placing the smartphone further away from the music source.
In case you want to use an external audio file for your video, make sure that the video and the audio after the editing perfectly match, so that you don’t look like being off the music. You can do basic video editing with the free software from Creative Cloud Express.
It is important that you choose the optimal file settings for the video. An MP4 file with full HD resolution (1920X1080) should work well. Make sure that the file size stays below 50MB per minute so that you can easily upload the video and recipients can easily download or view it as well.
Here you have two options:
One option is to upload the finished video to a video-sharing site like Vimeo or YouTube. Both sites allow individual sharing, so the video is not publicly available, but only for those who received the link. Make sure you use copyright-free music, otherwise YouTube will not allow the video to be shared with sound.
The second option is to send the video file via websites like wetransfer or myairbridge. This option might be less popular, since the viewer has to download the entire file before he or she can begin watching the audition video. If you still want to use these options, keep in mind that the free versions of these services only store your files for very limited time (myairbridge for 2-3 days, weshare for 7 days). After that the files are not available anymore and you need to reupload them.
We hope that we could help producing better audition videos with these few tips! Feel free to contact us in case you have some questions!