Video camera at audition

viva_nate

Member
Yeah, I'm with you, I would've told them no, too. And if yes I'd definitely ask for a release form so that you know if they're going to use the tape afterwards. You should never allow your likeness or performance in a studio context to be captured without a precise statement of legal liability, even if you aren't compensated. Usual caveats, Iamnotalawyer etc.

Curious, I just now texted a colleague in the dance department if they tape auditions and she said no, she'll take tapes in lieu of in-person auditions, and they tell auditioners to include age weight, body type, and to keep their chest (!) and face in-frame. They're clear that they're going for technique and appearance.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I think the filming would have been OK with the understanding that it was for band audition use only and would not be posted anywhere online without your permission.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
I would have asked for a copy for sure. I think it would be interesting to see how I looked with the pressure on. Or horrifying lol
 

brentcn

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?
They offered me the gig the next day, but our schedules didn't line up, so I had to pass. Offered to fill-in. They didn't mention the video, so it seems it was a non-issue.
 

brentcn

Platinum 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.
I didn't give an ultimatum, but I did suggest a compromise: make an audio recording. Also, I was calm and positive throughout the entire audition, including that exchange. If anything, expressing a difference of opinion or desire in a mature way is a sign of being easy to get along with, not vice versa. And if they're so sensitive that any disagreement is grounds for dismissal, they probably won't make it out of the basement.

Of course image is important. A band whose members have blue hair, tattoos, and piercings is probably looking for the same in another member. Likewise, players who have traditional day jobs and appearances will probably seek someone with a similar appearance and fashion sense. But you don't need a video to know if blue hair guy is your man or not. If you like his look and his playing, then go about befriending him, not pointing a camera at him.

People don't like ultimatums, true, but they also don't like being recorded without advance notice or permission (at least I don't, apparently!). Music is indeed a people business, and a band ought to show respect to its members, and those who have given of themselves to come audition.

And, well, they did offer me the gig...
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
And, well, they did offer me the gig...
Pretty much brings this discussion to ground. Personally, I wouldn't have an issue, so long as I had some comfort re: legitimate use/distribution of said video. Either way, asking before recording is a respect protocol that should always be observed.
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
The whole thing struck me as a little weird. How would you feel?
I found strange they didn't warn you... but except that I think it's OK.

Once the auditioning's over, they look back and decide which drummer's best suited for the band.

I wouldn't mind to be recorded on a video, and as many said, I'd ask for a copy of my audition, so I could criticise my own playing...

Technology, technology... we have the mean of doing it like this nowadays, why not using it.

Did the fact they wanted to video your audition made you more nervous or anxious than a non-recorded audition?
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Did the fact they wanted to video your audition made you more nervous or anxious than a non-recorded audition?
I don't think so. I just thought it was too much, under the circumstances. And if I was right about that, then what was the video for? For them to sit around and judge later probably. Why give them that opportunity? Maybe we'd get a truer sense of each other if we all weren't worried about, or relying on, a camera.
 

(Future)DWdrummer

Senior Member
This happened to me a few months back...

I just went along with it. It didn't bother me much- I was confident in my abilities to play in front of them and the camera... I totally understood why the band did it- they had at least 5 or 6 drummers come out and I'm sure it's much more easier to make the right choice when reviewing the audition as many times as you want...

Although I was pretty pissed that they didn't play with me. I got there, got comfy, and they literally told me "just play for us..."

What kind if audition for a rock band is that???? Haha
 

Brian

Gold Member
I understand both sides.

From an amateur POV, it could be sort of a scrapbook type thing where they are interested in experiencing their OWN playing as well as yours. I remember playing many open mics with a rock/groove band, which were essentially on-the-spot auditions prior to gigging, and being recorded (actually there are many people recording in the crowd, as well as girlfriends of band members). It was sort of weird, but it worked out.

It wouldn't bother me, but on the other hand, not being warned beforehand is even a bit more weird, if they had known the audition would be recorded.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
.........then what was the video for? For them to sit around and judge later probably. Why give them that opportunity?
Why not give them that opportunity, though? Especially if you might be interested in the gig. Of course you want to give them the opportunity to check you out. That's why you're at the audition in the first place.

They're most certainly going to sit around and judge later. That's what an audition is. They're clearly trying to determine the best fit for their band. Not always easily done at the first audition. And not always easily done if they have numerous guys to look at. At least this way they can speed the process up. Eliminate those they definitely don't want and give themselves both visual and audible reference for those they might want to revisit.

As musicians, we're constantly under scrutiny.....from band mates, to punters, to venue managers, to booking agents etc etc. Initial scrutiny is what a fist audition is all about. All they've done here is give themselves a visual reference to be able to do that. I really don't see it as that big a deal. You'll be scrutinised by a hell of a lot more people than just prospective band mates over the journey. It goes with the territory of what we do.
 

groove1

Silver Member
I wouldn't have cared. I would have requested that if the material is to posted on youtube or something, that I should have a say in the matter. Other than that, I can see that they might
want to view the playing later on to decide who's best for the job. Visuals are a part of drumming, not just the music.
 

shemp

Silver Member
I don't think I would mind that much.....i would see it as a challenge to perform well and get better....but i agree with the legal and distro aspect. at the same time they are not some financially viable entity nor do they have a desirable position to offer...it would make me question their level of experience and process....once a full band is in place, I'm all for audio recordings to hear back and horrify yourself (and get better though)

The cover band territory is chock full of petty tyrants, stars in their own mind and overly self important/stylized artistes....be careful out there ;-)
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
These days, I would think it's weird if they didn't video tape the audition. Cameras are everywhere, and there's no going back. Life 2.0.
 

dwsabianguy

Senior Member
I wouldn't have a problem if the band wanted to record a video of my audition. That would allow them to go back through and take a good look at what just happened. Do you get weirded out by people taking pictures at one of your shows if they haven't asked the band beforehand?

The recurring question seems to be why they chose to take a video rather than make an audio recording, and the answer to that is simple: More people have more cameras than audio recorders. I think I know one person that has a dedicated portable recorder, whereas I know at least a dozen with some sort of camera (not counting cell phones); six or seven of them have DSLRs. Cameras have serve than one purpose, and if the camera has adequate sound, why should they have to buy a separate device? It's a whole lot easier and less expensive to just use a camera.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
I wouldn't have cared. I would have requested that if the material is to posted on youtube or something, that I should have a say in the matter.
You don't have a say unless there's a contract. Even then, enforcing such a contract isn't practical.

I wouldn't have a problem if the band wanted to record a video of my audition. That would allow them to go back through and take a good look at what just happened. Do you get weirded out by people taking pictures at one of your shows if they haven't asked the band beforehand?
About pictures at gigs, no, I think that goes with the territory, unless the club can and wants to enforce a no-recording policy. Even then, though, exceptions will occur. But there's a difference between a performance and an audition.

Why not give them that opportunity, though? Especially if you might be interested in the gig. Of course you want to give them the opportunity to check you out. That's why you're at the audition in the first place.
I guess I feel like they can check me out simply by watching and listening. After all, we're all in the same room. I felt like the camera was being used to establish a social dominance of sorts, yet we were clearly peers. To get respect, you have to command it sometimes.

Aside from an audition video not being representative of how I might appear or play on stage, the watching of the video afterward gives more influence to the people without music or band experience. Your grandma can now voice an opinion, which shouldn't factor into the decision, but might. You're inviting cooks into the kitchen.

Imagine you're a band. You have no gigs, no song list, and you don't even have all the players lined up. You have some experience, but no reputation worth mentioning. You have a camera, and someone thinks it's a good idea to use it. However, putting yourself in the place of the audition, would you want that camera there? Aside from it being unnecessary, don't you think it would alter the mood and setting, possibly make an audition play worse, or just bug some people? You don't have a lot to offer as a band, besides your friendship.

These days, I would think it's weird if they didn't video tape the audition. Cameras are everywhere, and there's no going back. Life 2.0.
Well, this one went back to its lens cap at least, ha! Larry, would you have felt good about your band if they had pulled out the camera on you when you first jammed with them (or was that a fill-in gig)?
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
I don't think so.
Good, then it should not bother you that much as a performer, play the audition and give it your best shot, you'll get your chances.

For them to sit around and judge later probably.
Yes! What else?

Why give them that opportunity?
So they can make the right decision and chose who they think is the best suited musicians for their band...

... also, maybe it gives them the opportunity to really listen to the audition as they might not be able to do so accurately while they're playing themselves?

Maybe we'd get a truer sense of each other if we all weren't worried about, or relying on, a camera.
I do not know how many people they were auditioning, but if you got many to do, isn't it better to rely on facts rather than memory, keep in mind that an audition can last days or weeks, will you remember how the guy played his audition a few days ago? Will the other band members remember?

When all the auditioning is done, they can sit down, watch all the auditions, discuss it between themselves and make a choice.

You don't have a lot to offer as a band, besides your friendship.
It's not an audition for friendship, it's for being the right musician for the band, if you get the job, once you're part of the band, that's were and only then that the friendship will start, its business, they're choosing a drummer, not a friend.
 

Otto

Platinum Member
imagine your career taking off then seeing the footage show up someplace...bad sound...or possibly overdubbed from someone elses playing.

Since you didn't object its all in fair use.

Keeping control of your product is a good idea.
 

drummer-russ

Gold Member
I can understand the value of video in the audition process. But you should have some sort of notice it was coming. I hate auditions because it is hard for me to generate the same level of enthusiasm in my playing without an audience to play for. So I know in auditions I come across less animated than during a gig.
 

Bernhard

Founder Drummerworld
Staff member
For me it's clear that an audition with a number of drummers will be filmed these days with phones and gopro all around - how to make a choice otherwise. Asking to make only audio seems pretty lame to me - probably they even don't know how to handle this task....
 
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