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Techniques to distribute recordings of school ballet shows


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Not quite sure where to ask this, so mods - feel free to move or delete as appropriate!


One of the things that is generally done when a school puts on a show (not just ballet schools, or ballet shows!) is for a DVD recording to be made available. However, in this day and age, High Definition footage is easy to create and makes for a much better experience (eg. one can make out details on the faces!).


The problem comes when working out how to get the high-def versions onto the screens of interested parties afterwards.


- Blu-Ray doesn't seem to be very popular, and is expensive and slow to reproduce. It does have the advantage of privacy, though. One can also charge for it without seeming unreasonable.


- Internet distribution via YouTube or Vimeo is very convenient, but some people can't watch the footage on their TVs. There is also hassle with ensuring privacy (less of an issue with Vimeo than YouTube). Harder to charge for (although I suppose one could only give out password on receipt of a payment, but it seems less good value!).


- Distribution on SD card, or data files on DVD, is another option that's good for privacy, but maybe suffers from ease of use and lack of TV viewability.


I was interested to know what people here do?

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We've always just had DVDs. To be honest, if the videographer uses two cameras; one stage-wide and one closer up, it's perfectly possible with editing to create a perfectly good dvd as a memoire of the show. For parents, shows and performances are usually expensive enough without then paying extra for a blu-ray when a decent dvd is fine.

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I agree that DVDs I've had so far from school shows have been dissapointing . Would have loved one on an SD card and most folk have a PC or a tv with an SD slot or a way I'd connecting laptop to TV these days !

Edited by Billyelliott
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I'm not sure whether filming it in HD would make all that much difference, as the quality is down to the talent of the cameraperson, and the equipment used; and also whether they are familiar with filming dance performances or not.


We've had a variety of dvd's over the years, and some have been much better than others. They are usually fairly expensive too.

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Thanks for the responses. Firstly, I can say with some certainty that watching the original footage from my own HD Camcorder is MILES better than the "professional" DVDs. The quality is degraded once its gone through the editing process due to re-compression. I understand that proper broadcast-grade performances can achieve much better technical quality than supposedly professional DVDs and probably Blu Ray - not quite sure how they do it, though... Then there's the experience of knowing what to point the close-up camera at - sometimes one gets bamboozled and has to cover it up by a cut to wide view!


I made an official unofficial recording of our recent Nutcracker (not for resale) and did use two cameras and then edited on Final Cut Pro X (Nice piece of software), and it looks great on the computer screen, but distinctly disappointing by the time the DVD encoding has been done. Part of it was down to the camera sometimes struggling with the lighting - so there's a tendency towards burnt out soloists wearing white when spotlit. To do it properly, one would have to be very assiduous on the iris control. Also, when the stage lighting changes colour, the effect is exacerbated on video and it's quite time-consuming to correct.


If anyone reading this is after a small technical tip, I would urge them to record in progressive mode if possible on the wide view, as that enables a bit of zooming in post without getting nasty interlace artefacts. Also makes it more useful for stills.


Maybe next show (in 4 years time?) will be 4K ;-)


Interesting point on the licensing. I suppose in this case it would have been the orchestra/record company responsible for the backing music (a shame we couldn't hire a full professional orchestra, complete with boys choir for the snowy bit!). 

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