The importance of good lighting and sound at a dance show is something that every school should think about, no matter how big or small the production is.
When we arrive at a venue one of the first things we look at is the lighting grid above the stage and in the auditorium. Why? Because it shows what sort of lighting we can expect for the show which in turn dictates how we film it and place our cameras. If we look up and see a clean modern lighting rig, we smile, if we look up and see nothing, we also smile as we can work with most situations, but it makes a difference of course.
Lighting is key for cameras, the more light we can let into the front of the camera, the better the image and the less artificial gain we have to pump into the camera to make it look bright enough on screen. We always like to see a general wash of light as this lights up the faces of the dancers and gives us our exposure level for the cameras. After that, we love to see colour and intelligent lighting which give the shows a wow factor!
Now we fully understand and appreciate not all venues have amazing lights, but a lot can be done with a very simple setup. All it needs is some thought and time to set things up. Making sure all of the stage is bright, no dark spots is a small thing that can improve the look so much!
Sound is also very important, especially when using radio microphones. If people have speaking parts we need to hear them! Our microphones can only pick up so much, and depending on where were a situated in the theatre, we might not pick up much! Where possible we like to take an audio feed from the sound desk.
One thing to think of is that in rehearsals you may hear every word, but on a big stage, with a big audience and fans whirling and people making noise, we may not hear the small quiet voice on stage. So think about if you need microphones.
I have always used the following saying when explaining the use of microphones.. “You only get out what you put in – if you whisper into it, you get a whisper out”
Whatever the setup, we will always get the best looking show for you, we will work with your technicians and crew to make it look its best! We can also recommend a company who we work with to provide technical support with lighting and sound, all you have to do is ask!
You may not think of these things as a priority, but they really are! They make your show look so much better on camera and in the theatre! Don’t just make do, make it better!