One of the things that virtually every comedian who is on the professional stand-up comedy path wants is a high quality video of their performance.
Before I talk about what it takes to get that sort of video, let me say this:
Because of the expense involved, I would make sure that I could generate an average of 18 seconds of laughter (or close to it) each performing minute before investing in trying to get a high quality video recording.
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I would also make sure to the extent possible that the biggest possible audience seated closely together was in attendance at the show that will be recorded.
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With that said, there are three important video recording factors that will directly affect the quality of a stand-up comedy video recording:
Lighting. In most instances, the “standard” stage lighting used for most stand-up comedy shows (no matter how bright they may seem to the comedian) is simply not enough to get the high quality video desired.
Usually, a professional lighting set-up is needed in addition to the stage lighting provided in order to get the sharpest video possible.
Audio. The audience needs to be recorded on a separate audio channel with mics strategically placed above the audience.
Otherwise, the audience laughter response will only be recorded through the mic the comedian is using, which tends to greatly lessen the actual laughter response the comedian generates during their show.
High quality video camera. Ideally, you would want a 2-3 camera shoot using video cameras that can render TV quality video.
However, if you don’t have the additional stage lighting that is usually needed, you simply won’t get the TV quality video you want no matter how advanced the video cameras are.
Note: The more cameras used for the shoot, the more expense incurred.
Because of the expense involved, it would be prudent to set-up a show with 3-5 other pro comedians who are willing to split the expense involved with getting a high quality video (or stand-up comedy demo reel as it is still referred to).
I should also mention that you may need to repeat this process several times before you are satisfied with the video that you are trying to get.
Here’s some food for thought…
Generally speaking, stand-up comedy education is very inexpensive compared to a single college course.
A comedian can set-up a professional EPK (electronic press kit) at no cost.
Now with the proliferation of digital cameras, comedians can get high quality head shots at no cost.
So of all the things a pro comedian may need to invest in, I would say that getting a high quality video of their stand-up comedy performance is probably the single biggest investment a comedian will make.