Some expert advice to get you started
Things to consider
Whether you’re considering pre-recording a show, or fancy performing live to an online audience, there are a few things to consider before going digital.
- How can you use an online format to develop new work?
- How can you adapt your existing work to suit an online format?
- Who is your audience? Will you be able to reach them online?
- Which will suit your work better: pre-recording a show or streaming it live? Does it rely on audience interaction?
- What tech do you have? Do you have budget to expand this, or access to technical support if you need it?
Live or pre-recorded, it’s important to make sure the end result is as good as it can be:
- Record in at least HD to ensure the image is clear and the audience can understand what’s going on. Shoot in landscape, unless portrait adds to your work. Make sure the image is in focus.
- Think about lighting. Is the area you’re filming in well-lit?
- Recording your audio separately from your picture can help keep it clear. We recommend you do this through a microphone for the best quality audio, rather than directly through your phone.
- Where are you recording? Is there background noise and does it distract from the event?
- Are your audio levels balanced? For example, is any dialogue audible, is any music at a consistent level, are the audio channels balanced in the way you intend?
Ask peers, friends and family to watch your work and give feedback!
There’s no need to worry about live tech issues with a pre-recorded show, as you can keep trying until you get it right. The edit can be time-consuming, but it might also be your best friend in making sure the end product is what you want it to be.
If you’re new to creating pre-recorded videos here are a few things to consider:
- Equipment: what equipment do you have access to? A camera? Microphone? Lights?
- Do you have access to a multi-camera set-up to capture your work from multiple angles? Or will you be filming multiple takes?
- Audio: how are you planning to record sound?
- Post-production: do you have access to video editing software, or to someone who can help you with that?
- Do you want your pre-recorded show to be available on demand or at a scheduled time?
- Do you have budget to hire someone to help with any, or all, of the technical elements of filming and editing your show?
- Where will you be filming your show? Some venues may be able to host you if you do not have access to an appropriate space – consider your different options and what backdrop / filming location will best represent your work.
Livestreaming or hosting a live online event can create a more immediate interaction with an audience, but it can lead to more technical issues during the performance.
Here are some things to consider if you’re new to livestreaming:
- Your internet connection: is it stable, do you have a back-up if it drops out? It’s always worth doing a test run to make sure everything works smoothly.
- Do you require audience participation, and does the platform you’re using support it? How will you make the audience aware of this, and allow them to opt out if they choose to (eg the ability to turn off their mic and camera)?
- Equipment: do you have access to a camera, microphone and livestreaming software?
- Who will be handling the tech? In-person shows often have someone to control lighting / sound cues – having a tech on hand for online shows too can free you up to focus on the performance.
- What physical location are you streaming from – a venue, outdoors, your bedroom? How will this affect the audio and image? Think about how you can avoid background noise and distractions.
- Have some practice sessions, with friends, family or a smaller audience. Does the format work?