In Depth

Published on May 2nd, 2013 | by StandUpTalk

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Tips For Filming Your Stand Up Sets

How many videos do you see posted by non famous comedians of someone recording them with a smartphone or cheap camcorder. Established comedians have good quality tape. Most don’t have the technical knowledge to record high quality stand up… or don’t know any better. Having a high quality stand up video will make it easier to get booked and viewed by the masses.

Record Good Sound – Good sound is more important than good video, It is more important in my opinion to have just good audio and no video rather than poor video. This means do not rely on the internal microphone to your phone or camera. Record directly out from the mixer for the stage mic as well as place a mic or two near the audience to record their laughter.

Pick Out Your Location – Yes it is good to record all your sets to listen/watch back and reflect this does not mean publish all your sets, we don’t want to see you performing in a coffee house or with small intimate audiences. Publish your sets when they are ready in front of a good size crowd and at good stand up environment such as a comedy club. Make sure you are killing it, do not publish sets that are not polished.

Use A Good Camera – “The Phone Looks Good Enough” many bookers will not even sit through a shaky camcorder or phone set, use a tripod, an HD camera with a good size camera sensor such as a DSLR. It is also good to have a camera that has manual settings as you will look overexposed with most default settings on a camera.

Use Multiple Cameras – If you want to go one step further get a second or third camera in there, film a long shot, close up, from the side of the stage. Cutting in between cameras will make your video set itself apart from the rest. It also gives you more freedom in editing to cut out jokes you did not like or transition more quickly. Try and use the same type of cameras so that they video matches each other.

Edit Your Set – A nice fade in and out can do wonders as well as fade in and our with your audio. Cutting in at the right point when they are bringing you up also looks nice and ending at the right punch will also help.

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Although these tips may seem obvious just search all your comedian friends stand up videos and you will see most are too lazy or do not know how to get a good quality recording of there sets. While it may cost a little more or take a little editing it will be well worth it if you are serious about doing stand up comedy.

Need Gear Advice:

Camcorder – If you are looking for an easy point and shoot camera.

Cheap DSLR – If you are planning on shooting shorts.

Expensive DSLR – Worth it if you want to get serious.

Sound Recorder – This thing has internal mics and you can plug in XLR from the sound board. (Get two of them if you can)

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Good VS Bad Video Comparison:
Camcorder:

Pro Setup:

Who would you rather book?


About the Author

StandUpTalk



2 Responses to Tips For Filming Your Stand Up Sets

  1. missmichaels missmichaels says:

    Just found this site. Very cool. For this particular post/article… Great advice! But only if the club allows you to take video. Seems like many don’t allow it because they offer their own video service. Like Flappers and HaHa’s. And those videos are pretty good and in HD but they don’t have close-ups or multiple angles. Would love to know what clubs allow you to video with a tripod and a nice set-up. Thanks for any feedback! And look forward to reading through more of the site.

  2. StandUpTalk says:

    Very true! Flappers and Haha have there own set up and frankly it’s not very good, its ok but should be improved… and the other top clubs like the comedy store and Improv do not allow filming for good reason… Since you are in LA, The Ice House allows filming and if you are not getting booked there I would recommend filming yourself at a good alternative show or creating your own show! Also remember audio is most important so even if these clubs won’t allow you to get a great video you can still figure out a way to get good audio.

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