DJ Video Filming Tips and Techniques

Creating DJ videos can be difficult for the inexperienced or beginner film maker. It’s always a goal to make every video unique from everything else out there, however be sure to keep in mind these tips when filming DJ music videos!

1. Essence

Every DJ has their own personality or essence on stage during their performance, they often have a signature move when feeling the beat and it’s up to you to find this out and capture it on film in a unique way! For example, when I was filming DJ HRBRT in Antigonish, NS late last year, he had a signature personality and character that shined through in my video. Each DJ is trying to distinguish and separate himself from every other DJ possible, so this becomes a major theme in these types of videos. It’s important to recognize these unique traits and capture them in a creative manner.

2. Lighting

Most beginner directors and film makers focus almost exclusively on the music, which when creating a music video is what can be thought the right thing to do. However, they often forget a huge component of DJ and music videography, lighting. While filming the DJ and the music, it’s also extremely important to focus on the lighting as well such as lighting around the stage and/or club, around the DJ and on the crowd and equipment. A cool technique that can be used is matching the lighting to the beat drops or beat during a show. For example, in my DJ HRBRT video, at certain times I matched the changing of lights on stage to the change in beat, which provides a nice effect. Additionally, lighting on the mixer and keys can provide ambient light on the DJ and crowd in a dark club or night. So when filming be sure to be aware of all the different lights during previous shows or setup, and make note which would offer unique or creative shots to add to your video!

3. Intensity

Another major component of DJ videos is intensity. DJ videos aren’t meant to be slow or paced videos, but high intensity and speedy. This is not only obtained with quick cuts during post production editing but also through filming the most high intensity, powerful and emotional shots during the show. Crowds provide endless supplies of intensity if the DJ is good, you just have to be aware of them and be there at the right moment to capture it. Additionally, don’t forget about the intensity of the DJ. DJ’s are always jumping or getting into the beat and expressing themselves through their mixes, so take lots of shots of the pump up movements and expressions. Remember, DJ videos with them standing there barely moving or listening to the headset are boring. Capture the intensity and find a way to infuse it into your video so your viewers can not only see it but FEEL the intensity!

By Matt Jason Thompson