How To: Get Great Video Footage with a “Tape-In” Method

13885876624_51f737675e_nThe traditional method for acquiring video footage is to hire a crew and pay their cost plus expenses. I hope to shed some light on alternative low-to-no cost methods of having your performance videotaped. “The Tape-In” is one of those ideas.

“The Tape-In.”
This method is used most often. Professional speakers and performers can organize an event with several of their colleagues and conduct mini-seminars or performances, invite the public and split the cost of the video crew to get footage. This works for bands too. Organize several good bands in your area and put on an event. Hire a video crew and split the cost with the other bands. You’ll all get professionally shot video at a fraction of the cost.

You might want to charge admission for the tape-in to create higher perceived-value. People see little value in a free performance. Unless, you have already made a name for yourself and the show is at a high-profile location.

Play to a crowd that loves you.
Use a gimmick or hook to get a large audience together for the tape-in. For example, I once knew of a couple of bands that organized a “battle-of-the-bands” event. They printed flyers and distributed them at gigs prior to the event and hired a video crew. Each band had twenty minutes to play, and the audience “voted” by applause. All the bands got great stage footage, and when it came time to vote, they had great footage of dozens of clapping, screaming fans (and the winner had their share of the video costs split between the losing bands).

These showcase events work for comedians as well as other performers. In fact, if your marketing is on-target, the organizer can make money off these events. When I was younger we used to get three bands together on a Saturday night and put on a Hall Party. We charged ten dollars at the door for the event, which included music, beer and one food item. We sold additional food and the bands sold their tapes and T-shirts. We recorded the show and closed when the beer was gone. And we actually made a profit! People had a great time and the bands got to perform, sell products and gain visibility that often turned into future gigs.

Get a little help from friends.
If you are having trouble marketing your “tape-in” event, you could require each participant or performer to bring 5 to 10 people for their admission fee so that there is a sizable audience in the video. It’s a good idea to invite prospects for future business to the tape-in so that you have a better chance to get future bookings.

But don’t limit yourself to these people. In the speaking business, these people are meeting planners and bureaus. In the music and entertainment world these people are booking agents, club owners and record companies. They tend to be more analytical and less enthusiastic about your performance because they have to anticipate what their customers want and will enjoy.

It’s also nice to have your greatest fans and supporters there. These people will help energize your performance. You might even hand pick the audience from your mailing list for a special invitation list and create an “invitation only” event. Then, you need the general public to help make this all affordable and profitable. I recommend the following to market your event:

1. Make flyers and pass them out everywhere (be careful not to litter). Do not put them on auto windshields because people will be annoyed.

2. Create press releases and send them to all of the local media. Newspapers have a “what’s happening” section they need to fill, and radio stations often have a spotlight for local events.

Interested in learning more about professional media services like audio/video? Contact me at 800-647-4281.

This information is taken from my book The Art of Production, which you can purchase from Amazon or you can purchase an e-book version from SmashWords.

photo credit: GuerillaBeam via photopin (license)

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