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How To Capture Steppin Video

Updated: Jun 21, 2023


By: Daniel Land Sr.



There are many ways to capture Steppin video, especially with the invent of mobile technologies making it possible to capture footage in real time. I t does not matter who or where, the opportunity to capture Steppin footage is available. However, this does not make everyone with a mobile camera a professional There are rules to the process, including the need to capture good visuals, good sound, good lighting, and good talent. There is a level of professionalism that remain a criteria to obtain quality footage.

I know what it takes because I played an intricate role with revolutionizing the process when technologies transitioned from analog to digital cameras that included Sony's PD-150, which allowed us to capture live action. The PD-150 were introduced during the Gulf war to minimize size and movement when capturing action. I simply took this technology and used it with Steppin. In fact, I was the first to do so.


The Six Count, Eight Count and Kick Kick Cross Cross


One of the first things I discovered is knowing the difference between the three basic formats that most dancers use in their routines. These formats are the six count, the eight count and kick kick cross cross. When we are familiar with these counts and patterns, we could anticipate what the talent is doing and time our captures during any routine. This way we know when to start a scene and end a scene. We know how to shoot to edit, meaning, it will be easier in the edit suite when working with our footage cuts and transitions. Our timing and rhythm would be in sync with the specific count or pattern.


What About Steppin Music


The second and most important tip is knowing the music. There are different types of Steppin music and dancers dance to them all. However, the music often determine the talent on the floor or the routines. For example when I hear a classic James Brown song or something from the seventies. I know there is a strong possibility that older dancers are going to let it all hang out with some classic routines and performances from that era, especially man on man.


This is always a chance to grab some high energy, improvised performances oppose to the more subtle choreographed movements. The same is true with classic walkin music. Certain music produce certain dance. When familiar with the music, the videographer can anticipate or expect

certain action to capture. The same is true with more contemporary dancers. Although they will dance to the classics, it is the more current music that impact their dance routines. They do a lot of turning and high energy movement oppose to the traditional hand control and footwork demonstrated by dancers from the seventies. Know the difference between dancers is always helpful.


Steppers You Should Know

The third tip is get to know the dancers, especially the regulars or those they call legends. Although, we could legally argue the right to film people in public. I always found it best when I had a friendly relationship with those I wanted to film or if I connected with them as if asking or seeking approval. In some cases, I would ask dancers to film them and tell them why. It not only made the current capture pleasant, but it also carried over to future events when I filmed them without challenge. I made it a point to know who to capture regardless of which era they danced. This allowed me to focus on dancers throughout the event, often allowing me to jump at the moment they took the dance floor. In many cases, I would attend an event to film certain dancers, but take additional bonus footage of any good dancers.


Its an Art Form


There are many levels to capturing good quality Steppin video. The best way is to view it as an art form much like the dance itself. This gives it great feel with a high level of respect for it. Steppin video is not turning on a camera to capture dance routines in the club, at a social, a contest, an event or at home. It is a profession.There is a creative variable to produce projects that capture the essence of Steppin as art form.


The Future of Steppin Video



In conclusion, the objective here is to share my views and experience about capturing Steppin video. I want to present it as a profession, and those who seriously capture as professionals. My intent is to inspire those capturing it to understand the technologies and digital strategies that make it important, relevant, and necessary to promote Steppin, to introduce it, to demonstrate it with quality care. Hopefully when I share my experience and knowledge about it and what it meant for me, others, and Steppin. It will continue to evolve and elevate to new heights. Meanwhile, I look forward to those who might find my blog helpful. I also look forward to their projects and invite them to send us there links or any information they want to share about the art of Steppin video.





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