For dancers, recitals are their time to shine, to impress and bask in their success. For families, it’s the time to see all of the hard work their loved one has accomplished over the past year. And every year, we commemorate these moments for them.
Tonal Vision regularly films and edits the performances of about 15 area dance companies. In the past 12 months, we’ve filmed ~30 dance performances, almost all involving multiple cameras and extensive editing. We duplicated nearly 2,000 DVDs and Blu-ray discs. Over 800 of these were sold directly to families; the rest were bulk orders.
For us, the recitals begin in March and gradually increase through May — then the deluge the first half of June, when about half occur. Having so many recitals in a 2-3 week period strains our internal resources. We start planning each year in January, assigning videographers as we learn the schedule and developing a list of equipment to buy or rent for the upcoming season. Under normal conditions we aim for a 2-3 week turn-around on videos, but the June recitals accumulate and require months to finish. For these, we assign “estimated ship dates” to give ourselves reasonable deadlines and to allow clients to know when to expect their videos.
There’s always pressure to do more with less, and we work really hard to make our processes more efficient and effective. We’ve developed training videos for almost all our equipment. We’ve set up systems to ensure videographers come prepared with all the necessary equipment in good working order and that our dance company clients know what to expect. We constantly work to streamline the editing process. At the end of each dance season, we have a team meeting to solicit ideas for improvement while the work is still fresh.
Editing dance recitals is no easy task either. We cycle through three different editors to get the job done. This includes cutting clips, syncing audio and creating smooth transitions that show off the best dance moments. Editing doesn’t end when the cuts are finished, we watch them again and again to make sure there are no problems performances are as smooth as possible. Finally, Jacquie color corrects each and every recital and sets up the DVD menus and graphics.
Although it’s a lot of work, we all enjoy the thrill and excitement that dance season brings us. We love the talent that the dancers bring to the table. And if we can’t experience a particular show in person, post production allows us to get the full view of what the talent in the area has to offer.