Whether you want to do a decent quality demo on a budget or would just like to film your gigs for promotional use on social media there are some very affordable and excellent cameras out there to help these days. I managed to find one designed especially for filming live music.
As a comedy act, I recently needed a new showreel filming. Now I had some excellent quotes from pro production companies who did excellent work, however, I had a few issues with forking out the £700 for the showreel.
I should state at this point the price was not the issue as a pro showreel will pay for itself many times over when it comes to finding new gigs. You should never skimp on your promotional materials as they can make you many times what they cost.
My issue as a comedian and comedy vocalist was what if I pay this company and the two camera operators, choose the venue I want to film in, arrange the whole thing and turn up to the venue to see only 25 people in the room? What if I happen to hit a room with 150 people who that night didn't feel like laughing? (It happens to all comedy acts now and again) If either of those things happened I have spent £700 and don't have the great showreel I am after.
Unlike singers who can go into a studio and record a song in a nice controlled environment I really need the audience and the laughter filming as well as my show, so the usual way of doing a pro showreel was not an option for me.
I could argue here that even if you are a singer, agents and venues might like to see a well-filmed live recording for a few reasons;
1. To hear you without all the studio magic and pitch correction in the mix.
2. To see how audiences respond to your show, after all, that is the important part to most venues knowing you will keep the customers entertained so that they keep selling the drinks.
What Not To Do
Now I may upset a few people here please stop with the mobile phone footage of you singing! The sound quality is nearly always shocking, it, of course, will sound great to you, your mates and your mum because, well, it's you! Trust me on this the rest of us, the bookers and the agents are probably thinking "Oh dear".
Invest in a Zoom 2QN 4K camera and record your show with high-quality pictures and awesome sound. This little inexpensive camera is designed to film musicians.
There are two versions of the camera a HD version for £95 and a 4K version for £189 (There is a little referral link to both at the bottom of the post, it won't cost you any more but the site will get a little commission to help with Club And Pub Info operating costs if you buy via our link)
I will let the sales videos tell you all about the features. What I love about this little cameras is they are insanely portable and can easily go to any gig with you. You can use them as just a mic with your computer, they have a line in and line out for audio, automatic gain controls or a manual gain option. You can use them for podcasts or live streaming with your computer too.
I bought two of them so I could set one up static on myself and one on the stage filming the audience. Two angles to edit from.
Here is the video links to buy are below. Good filming ;+)