Friday, 10 June 2011

Selling Yourself: Your Videos

One thing that's certain about comedy behind-the-scenes, is that promoters love watching stand-up videos sent to them by comedians looking for a spot. It can be useful to have a routine or performance recorded, so that the promoter knows what he's in for and can then massively change his opinion by giving you a bigger slot, more money and future gigs!

Here are some tips for shooting your stand up video.

1. Crowd - Try to pick a quiet night in the club where there aren't many people about. This ensures that you can be heard over the howls of laughter that you will be generating. Too many people laughing will just drown your gags out!

2. Director - Ask a friend to record your set. Preferably a friend who quite likes your routine, that way, they end up laughing directly into the camera from behind. This makes it sound like more people were laughing louder and thus reflects well on you. If your friend knows your set well, it can result in them laughing just before the punchline, as they know what's coming. This is useful for promoters as it lets them know a joke is coming and to pay attention.

3. Framing - Your friend should be able to get a shot that shows you on stage and a part of the audience, perhaps the table at the front. This will allow the promoter to see you wow the crowd with audience interaction while they look disinterested, chat amongst themselves, stare at their phones and scrape their chairs around the floor as they go to the bar.

4. Length - Record and upload your whole set in its entirety. Don't edit and just upload short taster gags of your routine. The introduction from the MC, the clumsy fumbling with the mic stand and the slow start add an air of authenticity that the promoter will be looking for. Stop yourself from cutting out the failed jokes and slow patches in your short 9 minute 32 second "clip" - the viewer is going on a journey through your stand up. It wouldn't be any fun if it was all laughs, would it?!

Happy shooting!

If you're still unsure, here's a good example of what you want to send to a promoter so they can sit through it and watch. You'll be headlining clubs because of your videos in no time!

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