Video camera at audition

brentcn

Platinum Member
Hi all,

I showed up for an audition (classic rock covers), met the band, and sat down to play. Before we started, the bandleader's girlfriend, without saying a word, reaches over to turn on a video camera. No mention of this on the phone or in the texts leading up to the audition.

Now, this is just a hope-to be-a-bar band. This is not a reality television show, or a situation where someone not already present in the room would be interested in the footage. There's no producer waiting to review the tapes, just the guys in the band and the girlfriend (and their friends, probably).

So, I asked that the camera be left off, saying that I had only agreed to an audition, and not to a video shoot. The girlfriend explains that they just want to see who fits the band best. I say okay, if you want to listen back later, then make an audio recording. As for what I look like with the band -- well, you'll just have to use your memory of these moments! She agrees and leaves the lens cap on the camera, using its mic to record the audition.

The whole thing struck me as a little weird. How would you feel?
 

Otto

Platinum Member
Musicians trying to build a career might get great exposure(though it can be hard to impossible to be interesting in an audition for a bar band)...but if you are not ready for such a thing and fear the footage might be more damaging than promoting, then decline.
 
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brentcn

Platinum Member
Why exactly did you have a problem with them filming your audition?
Two reasons I think. First, there was no mention of it prior, no reason to expect that it would be there, and they didn't ask. Just turned the thing on without a word, which struck me as rude. If they had asked for video, I would have sent them some links. We are not "the-cameras-are-always-rolling" celebrities.

Second, I don't want some group of people sitting around having a judgement fest at my expense. They wouldn't be listening to my playing, they'd be looking for reasons to not call me back. They have the memory of the audition, and an audio recording. Anything more is just fuel for an ego trip.

If it's your first time meeting someone, who is a musical peer and has been referred by a mutual friend, wouldn't you want to build a bit of friendship and trust first?
 
I would also feel awkward being videotaped in a non-performance setting without being asked first. Fair enough if a video or audio recording is part of their audition process but it is respectful to ask, not just to presume that you are ok with it.

I'm glad you spoke up that you were uncomfortable, and it's great they respected your preference and were willing to meet you half way with the audio.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
It wouldn't bother me.

If I'm confident I can do the gig, why not.

A cover band is not just in the business of playing music, it is the business of providing entertainment, which includes the visual aspect. So it doesn't seem unreasonable.
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
I think it was the right move. It's not Dream Theatre auditioning you. It's a band to play around town or whatever.
I can kinda understand their reasoning, but you are right, it's reasons to not call someone back, but also weird that they (maybe) think it's more "pro" or something to do it. Like they're playing "real band" in their heads. I've just been playing in bands for a long time, so it seems kinda lame to me for the level (a HOPE to be a bar band) they're at really.
I wouldn't like it either.

...of course, you could have asked for a copy for yourself, to see if YOU wanted to be with them for the look you were after ;-)
 

SgtThump

Platinum Member
Two reasons I think. First, there was no mention of it prior, no reason to expect that it would be there, and they didn't ask. Just turned the thing on without a word, which struck me as rude. If they had asked for video, I would have sent them some links. We are not "the-cameras-are-always-rolling" celebrities.

Second, I don't want some group of people sitting around having a judgement fest at my expense. They wouldn't be listening to my playing, they'd be looking for reasons to not call me back. They have the memory of the audition, and an audio recording. Anything more is just fuel for an ego trip.

If it's your first time meeting someone, who is a musical peer and has been referred by a mutual friend, wouldn't you want to build a bit of friendship and trust first?
Gotcha. We're all different (of course) and my brain doesn't even go down those same paths. I guess I'm saying that I wouldn't have given it a second thought, but I respect the fact that others have a different opinion.
 

boomerbrown

Member
I certainly understand why the band would want the reference, especially if they're auditioning a number of drummers. I've been in the situation where the band has auditioned several guitar players and after four, thay all start to run together in my mind.

However, they should have at least informed you of their intention before starting. And, I can almost bet that your desire not to be filmed has a negative impact on their decision (not saying that you were wrong, I just know human nature).
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
I think it was the right move. It's not Dream Theatre auditioning you. It's a band to play around town or whatever.
I can kinda understand their reasoning, but you are right, it's reasons to not call someone back, but also weird that they (maybe) think it's more "pro" or something to do it. Like they're playing "real band" in their heads. I've just been playing in bands for a long time, so it seems kinda lame to me for the level (a HOPE to be a bar band) they're at really.
I wouldn't like it either.

...of course, you could have asked for a copy for yourself, to see if YOU wanted to be with them for the look you were after ;-)
""real band" in their heads". Exactly! They want to make some popcorn and play Paula, Randy, and Simon with their audition tapes.

I wish I had instead pulled out a pair of GoPro's on stands, trained right on them. "Oh, I just have a lot of bands to audition for. Going to get my drummer friends together and make a decision later."
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
It wouldn't bother me.

If I'm confident I can do the gig, why not.

A cover band is not just in the business of playing music, it is the business of providing entertainment, which includes the visual aspect. So it doesn't seem unreasonable.
Fair point. But this is not yet a working band, and no mention of appearance or marketing had been made. And it's incredibly reasonable to simply remember what the drummer looked like while you we're standing there, looking at him while playing. I can understand an audio recording -- you're busy making your own sounds, and it's difficult to objectively evaluate the ensemble, unless you're just killin' and/or the music is cake.

If you're a band, and you have nothing to offer a potential partner (no gigs, no extraordinary musical experience), why would you set up a camera? If the drummer can play, looks good, and is nice, what's the video for?
 

moxman

Silver Member
That is weird.. Personally I like seeing video of band performances - but in a practice setting or an audition for a 'bar band' it strikes me as being a bit over the top. For one, you don't have the audience interaction, lights, wind machine, fog, lasers and energy flowing.. so it's not a fair representation of how you would appear on stage. Secondly they probably didn't tell you ahead of time as they were afraid they'd scare people off. They are probably not that experienced (or the videographer is just trying to play manager)..
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I think I would have just gone with it but it's reasonable for you to ask them not to film you.

Did you get the gig?
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
It wouldn't bother me.
Nor I.

At the end of the day, I can see what they're trying to do and whilst it may be a little disconcerting first up, I do understand their angle. I'd have just rolled with it and done my thing. When I think about it, I reckon I've seen far stranger requests than videoing an audition.
 

eclipseownzu

Gold Member
Two things: First, I believe image is an important as musicianship when making a band to play live. Live music is entertainment, the goal is to engage and keep the crowd. When hiring studio musicians the criteria is completely different but I firmly believe image is a very important part of live music. Therefore part of being in a band is fitting the part. Having visual reference of an audition can be a big part of the process. If people didn't listen with their eyes as much as their ears Katy Perry would be serving French fries.

Second, you are assuming that they are looking for a reason not to give you the gig. Well you just gave them one. Being is a band is a relationship, you have to be easy to get along with. If you had sat down with them and had an adult discussion about the recording that is one thing, but is sounds to me like you gave them an ultimatum. People don't like ultimatums and they will, as I do, assume you will be difficult to work with in any situation where things don't go exactly as you expected. Music is a people business. Being easy to get along with will get you more gigs than anything else.
 

Razbo

Member
They may not have even considered anyone would think twice. This might have been just as much to see themselves as you. People video everything these days.

I don't think I'd have said no, but would have asked for a copy.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
I don't think it would have bothered me,as long as they asked/informed me ahead of time.

You mention thet they are a hope to be bar band,so right now,the're basement rock stars,and legends in their own mind.I also see the American Idol thing,as a possible source of entertainment.

As far as seeing if you "fit" the band,if the're still auditioning drummers.........there isn't a "band" is there?It's still an idea,that isn't fully fleshed.Context is everything.

Steve B
 
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SquadLeader

Gold Member
Two things: First, I believe image is an important as musicianship when making a band to play live. Live music is entertainment, the goal is to engage and keep the crowd. When hiring studio musicians the criteria is completely different but I firmly believe image is a very important part of live music. .
You think drummers are judged based on their looks??
From personal, and general experience, I'm calling bullsh1t on that.
No way.
Or at least not in unsigned/covers/bar bands.
Perhaps in signed bands where band image is part of the deal but even then....jeez Abe Laboriel Jr doesn't seem judged based on his weight and image, and nor do many other good/competent drummers.
Genuinely don't believe that people give a toss about how the drummer looks.
Nor in most bands, watched by sensible, grown up people, do I think musicians generally are judged for their looks/image

Sounds to me like the band doing the auditioning had somewhat delusions of grandeur to me
 
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