Thrill the World – Get Ready for a Thriller!

Grab your camcorders and mics, (and maybe some zombie make-up!), and get ready to video-tape the first of what promises to be an annual event: the world’s largest “Thriller” dance!

In tribute to Michael Jackson, and because it’s good clean fun, someone started up the international Thriller dance-a-thon that is supposed to go on all over the world – at the same time.

A website, Thrill the World, was created just to organize this event, and you can find out there where the Thriller dance is going on in your neighborhood, or try to get one started… but hurry, the dance is happening this coming Saturday.

Videos worldwide will surely be uploaded the moment that dance is completed, what are the chances of YOUR video being the viral one that everyone links to? Well, as a Videomaker reader, you have the skills, techniques and video producing knowledge down, so you know how to make the best of a fun situation.

Approach this dance as if you were going to shoot a wedding, (the ultimate “anything can happen and will” event!). Be prepared. Take plenty of tapes. Don’t over-burden yourself with too much gear, but use a tripod for the good solid wide shots.

Practice good hand-held techniques, find out where a rehearsal is going on, in case you want to catch some close-up cutaways in advance, to insert into your video, and above all, to get the video online as fast as possible: don’t over shoot! But DO try to add a little bit of spice with cutaways of closeups of feet, faces and definitely the audience watching!

When shooting live musical events you don’t want to stop recording after the event has begun, or you’ll have a break on the music track, so make sure you shoot steady and follow good shoot-to-show techniques. And remember, the SOUND is one-half of the video project, practice good sound recording techniques.

How do you shoot-to-show? Make every shot count. Compose, frame, and get yourself steady before you hit the record button. When/if you need to shoot closeups, zoom in deliberately and slowly, (don’t pause part way), then hold the tight shot for a count of 4 seconds before either panning across the scene or zooming back out. Begin and end each camera movement with a still unmoving shot.

Don’t shoot too tight for too long, you’ll get shaky, try to get as close to the subjects as you can. Remember, this is supposed to showcase a LARGE amount of people, and people that are trying to synchronize movements, so stay wide most of the time.

What else do you need to know? Good SEO verbaige placement, to make your video float to the top. And always, you’re shooting in a public place, so practice good legal ethics. If someone appears in the dance, they are expected to be video-taped, bystanders aren’t, so don’t hold your shots too long on the little child dancing along on the sidelines or you might find yourself being tackled by his mom!

Here in VMHQ’s hometown of Chico California, they’re doing the dance on our quaint downtown plaza, watch for our video to go online soon!

Jennifer O'Rourke
Jennifer O'Rourke
Jennifer O’Rourke is an Emmy award-winning videographer & editor.

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