Monday, December 15, 2008

Musical numbers from my shows

After years of vague promises to cast members to provide a record of the shows that Jeff Sanzel and I have written together for Theatre Three children's theatre productions, I finally got up my courage to edit together the tapes I'd made into more or less coherent individual musical numbers. I've been posting them to YouTube, Facebook, and MySpace as I finish them.

The tapes were made by setting up a camera (or two) before each performance, pointing it towards the stage, turning it on, and leaving it there unattended. In some cases I also recorded a separate audio track with a decent stereo mic. There are several problems with this approach:
  • The camera is stationary, so any zooming or panning has to be applied after the fact. This makes for blurry closeups.

  • The autofocus is often confused by stage lighting changes.

  • Each performance is slightly different, so synching lip movements can be tricky. I got it wrong in several instances.

  • The mic in the camera is not as good as the separate stereo mic, and the sound quality varies depending on where the camera is placed. So only The Fairy Princess has good sound.

But I hope the end results are entertaining, if only for the performers who took part in the productions.

Eventually I'd like to create a video or sequence of videos covering an entire show, for watching in a YouTube playlist, for example. I made studio recordings of Hansel and Gretel and The Fairy Princess (and I hope to do so for The Elves and the Shoemaker), so it is possible that I could use that material for the soundtrack.