Ask the Experts: Best Video Programs

Q: For my upcoming school concert, I’d like to create a really amazing video recording for my own archives—with multiple angles, to make sure I get all the shots that will make it easy to reset this piece later on. What’s your video program recommendation?

A: These days, archiving work can be—and should be—more than just a single, still video camera set up in front of the stage. For those with a budget, such as a dance company or university program, FORMotion is a great investment. For the price of $150 a minute, the FORMotion team will travel to you and video your dance from multiple angles. Then, using their software, you can watch the dance from multiple angles simultaneously. The video is time-synced, so you can roll the videos forward and back. You can even enlarge one view while still keeping an eye on other angles.

If you’re on a tighter budget and possess the know-how, you could replicate this setup on your own Windows computer. iPi Soft’s iPi Recorder is a free program, compatible with Windows and Vista, that allows you to shoot multiple cameras simultaneously. With a few inexpensive Sony PlayStation 3 cameras, you can get results similar to what you would with FORMotion, though you’ll need tech savvy to pull it off.

The simplest tech solution would be to use CollabraCam, an app for iDevices. You can shoot from up to four devices at the same time, with your own device acting as the director—controlling the other devices’ camera operations. Once you’ve finished the shoot, all of the videos from the other devices download right onto your main one.

Barry Blumenfeld teaches at the Friends School in New York City. He is an adjunct professor at New York University and on faculty at the Dance Education Laboratory of the 92nd Street Y.

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