I’ve been a full time Digital Video Jockey, averaging 150 nights/ year, for the past several years. I’ve also been a full time wedding specialist/ mobile DJ for 20 years. I feel like I have been mixing music my entire life.
Every now and then, I’ve taken advantage of new technology to elevate myself from the plateau that I had previously attained, to step up to an even higher level. Compact discs and CD players, DJ-oriented dance floor lighting, MP3 audio, computer-based DJ software, MP4 video, and MIDI controllers are just a few of the tools I have used to improve my performances.
Today, we live in a multimedia world. Some school systems have even dropped cursive writing from their first grade curriculum, providing netbooks to each young student. Social media is everywhere. People no longer have to invite friends over to a record listening party, just share what they’re listening to online. They can post their favorite music video of the moment on Facebook immediately to share with friends!
If you are open to embracing how technology is changing our world and want to take the next step up the proverbial ladder, then you should consider becoming a DVJ. Your business is sure to benefit.
For the past three years, I have been incorporating video into my school events, from proms to daddy/daughter dances. I use short throw projectors and rear-projection fast-fold skirted screens. The video played is not just music videos during the dance part of prom evening. As a full-blown multimedia DVJ, I have had school advisors provide digital photos to me from the school yearbook, to tell a dynamic slideshow story, recapping the school year in pictures. This is an excellent use of the video screens while mingle/dinner hour music is being played. Often times I will throw up an image of the school mascot, or switch to live streaming video of the dance floor, especially when videos are too “racy” for the chaperones/school representatives.
There are certain music videos that are simply not appropriate to display for students, even with clean audio edits. Luckily, there are many alternatives for the video screens when the video content is too racy. When playing today’s Top 40 music videos at school events, it is very important to know your videos and their content. With computer MIDI controllers like the Denon MC-6000 and software like Virtual DJ Pro, it is easy to mix the video channel to an ambient video, a still picture, a picture slideshow, or live streaming video of the dance floor without audio interruption of the song. The multimedia DVJ can also post visual announcements on the video screens such as last call for portraits, voting for king & queen, last call for voting, etc. Brief momentary announcement video “signage” can have a huge impact in communication while making the verbal announcement. You really can see the difference!
Music video providers also identify music videos as explicit or clean content for both audio and/ or video. Some video services, such as Promo Only’s Urban Video series, offer both the clean and uncensored versions. I personally use the subscription services’ recommendations of clean vs. dirty as a “guideline” and ultimately make the decision myself on what would be appropriate to play/display during a school sponsored event. What is acceptable varies from school to school and from one community to another, so in the end, it will be important for you to “know” the students and their community standards.
This past year, I also developed another use for video footage captured from last year’s proms. In conjunction with the student advisor and principal, we developed a pre-dance prom fundraiser during three lunch hours in the cafeteria. I tapped into the school’s video system and played highlights of last year’s prom on the cafeteria’s 50” flat screens. I had a small table set up with student volunteers helping students with taking advance order forms for a copy of this year’s prom video on DVD. Students were also able to make up to three song requests (for consideration) on the order forms prior to prom night. The school received 70% of the generated revenue to help pay expenses…everybody was happy! And that’s the way it oughta be.
Please keep an eye open for the DVJ column in upcoming issues. We’ll be addressing hardware, software, media, mixing, marketing, and more!
Filed Under: Digital DJ, Issue #143, School Dances, Video
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