Why concert VIDEO?!? What, exactly, can we do with it?
Lately, I feel like every time I get a call for a live concert recording project, it includes video production on some level. It is undeniable that we now live in a world of constant visual stimulation, news delivery, and social media blasts. So, it’s no surprise to me that there is a demand for both great audio with video to match. The surprising thing is that, even for many people who know they want me to record video, they may not be quite aware of the many ways they can use that video, and that they can derive continued and long term value from that investment in recording. Most significantly, by not utilizing their recorded media to full effect, they are missing out on huge opportunities to promote their organization, preserve their history, and bring their patrons closer to their process.
That’s right, I believe the recording arts are one of the keys to the long term success of musical organizations. Growth, innovative programming, and educational outreach are wonderful, but if no one knows about it, or if only the audience that actually shows up knows about it, then there is a load of missed opportunity to make more of an impact with your already hard earned success. I know you have put in countless hours planning your season, scheduling concerts, hiring musicians, paying for printing of programs, renting venues, coordinating volunteers, and all the myriad things that go in to a concert season.
DON’T YOU THINK THOSE CONCERTS SHOULD HAVE A LIFE PAST THEIR ORIGINAL LIVE PERFORMANCE???
What I mean is, once that concert is done, it’s gone. It’s a nice memory, and one that people may talk about for a few days or even weeks, at most. With the complete inundation of media in our lives, most of us will be distracted by something else very soon after we attend a live concert (awwww, what a cute cat video!). With a live audio and video recording, that concert can have what amounts to “nine lives”, and your investment in your organization will continue to pay dividends for months to come, and possibly even years.
Here are some of the most significant things your organization can do with a single concert recording:
Accumulate material for a Youtube channel. Is your organization taking advantage of the #1 social media and music streaming site on the planet?!? EVERYTHING is on Youtube! Releasing videos of single pieces or movements over a longer period of time allows that concert to pay dividends long after the concert date has passed. A slow trickle of content from your organization will keep your listeners and patrons engaged between the concerts in your annual series.
Has your music director given an interview about the upcoming season? Did you have compelling video (b-roll) of your ensemble IN PERFORMANCE to use in that interview video?
Build awareness… Does the public know about your educational efforts? What about that piece you commissioned, your new composer in residence, or that anniversary your ensemble is celebrating? How do you plan to let your audience, and patrons, know about the wonderful initiatives that you’ve spent so much time building?
Build and preserve your organization’s history: when you reach your 5th, 10th, 20th, or 50th anniversary, do you want to look back at where you started, and see how far you’ve come? How do you plan to let your fans know about that history? Will the media still be playable and in good condition (tape and vinyl transfers, anyone?)?!?
Showcase your educational program! Most larger organizations have educational programs that serve their communities. Make certain that your local community is engaged with what you are doing locally, and see how you are providing value to your patrons, their families, and your local schools.
What changes has your organization undergone? Maybe you have a new music director, or one that’s celebrating a milestone, or you’ve hired a new musician that’s making an impact… use your recordings to build awareness of positive change within the organization.
You may want to create special videos or audio releases just for your patrons or subscribers. We record all our concerts in high resolution audio, as well as 4K resolution video. You can repackage that concert for special release, either via audio download, video download, or CD/DVD production. You could even give away branded thumb drives containing special content to new subscribers!
Finally, you can peel back the curtain and show people some of your behind-the-scenes processes. Rehearsal video, preview audio clips of upcoming concerts, interviews with your music director, musicians, etc. There are so many things you can put out there that will bring your audience closer to what you do as an organization.
Photo stills: with 4K resolution video, taking still frames from the video looks wonderful. You suddenly have a plethora of possible images to use on social media, and on your website.
So, I may sound like a bit of a fanatic, or maybe just real enthusiastic, but the truth is, I AM! I’ve sat in the back of many orchestras, bands, big bands, operas, and chamber ensembles. I know, as a performer, that we all want our hard work and the blood, sweat, and tears of performing to live on and have as much impact as possible. Great audio and video can be a major step towards building your audience, growing your community support, and generating awareness and, ultimately, bringing patrons in to your live performances.