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How to send in videos for our Virtual Singers’ Nights

To use your video in the live stream, we need to temporarily have it here on our computer.

Since the October update, Facebook has blocked the facility to download videos if we are not the “owner “. The same applies to YouTube. And I know some people have been having problems with WeTransfer, so we have now set up a dedicated Dropbox facility.

Uploading your videos

You don’t have to be signed in to Dropbox  – or even have a account. Just click this link  (or the big brown button) and then click “Add Files” to navigate to your video(s). Please add the song title after your name. 

Quick tip: Whilst you’re on that page, bookmark it for next time. Or on a mobile, go to the three dots icon [ ] on the top right of the browser and select “Add to Home Screen” from the menu.

The “Upload Video” link will take you to a page with this dialogue box

The Nearest thing to live music during these strange times

What makes these Thursday evening sessions special is the way they resemble our real club nights at The Feathers. It’s the nearest thing to enjoying live music during these strange times. 

The solo performances, with all the many different interpretations, and the impromptu floor spot collaborations which have now become fabulous remote hook-ups as our members master the technology and video editing skills.

How many…? Well up to now we have been managing to fit in around 40 songs (much the same as on a real club night). We will always strive to include at least one each from our regulars. Send in up to two and any that are not included will be held over to the following week. Visitors songs (non-regulars) will be included if there is time, or may occasionally be used in an “Overflow Show”.

Some handy hints for better smartphone videos

Bullet Points

Video settings to 1080 or even 720
► Film horizontal (not upright)
► Clean the Lens
► Light from the front or side
► Keep the camera steady

  1. Never mind the quality feel the width.
    Well almost. Yes, you want decent quality, but you can save time and bandwidth whilst uploading. If your video is only destined to be viewed on social media, you don’t need to record it in super-duper mega-K resolution.
    When you upload to Facebook, for instance, your footage is compressed to within an inch of its life, so unless you need the footage in super high resolution for YouTube it makes more sense to create the video at a lower resolution in the first place.
    Go into your camera settings (front or rear camera as appropriate) and select either FHD 1920×1080, or HD 1280×720. If there is a choice between 60 fps and 30 fps, go for 30.
  2. Horizontal is best. The fact is, video always works best in the horizontal mode. Remember that almost every platform that displays video is horizontal, from cinema screens to your TV, to your Facebook feed. The only real exception is Instagram which is square (1:1).
    The problem is, when we use our phones for their primary function – to make phone calls – we hold them upright and unfortunately, this becomes a habit that can carry through when filming a video.
  3. Keep it clean. I’m not talking about whatever it is you are filming. I am referring to the camera lens. Dust, grease, steam etc in the lens will cause a blurry image and will accentuate any flare from a bright light source, even if it is to the side and not in the actual frame.
    Get into the habit of cleaning the lens every time you are about to shoot (videos or still photos). Ideally, use a lens cloth like the ones that came with your glasses, or a disposable Optical Lens Wipe, or failing that, use your tee shirt (or whatever cotton garment you happen to be wearing. Just avoid stripping off in public otherwise you’ll have everybody else’s smartphone pointing at you!
  4. Good lighting. If you are filming in natural light make sure the light source is either in front or to the side of you. Outdoors, this means the sun (if it’s shining) or if you’re filming indoors, this means the window (or your lights if you are using artificial light). If you film with a window in the background. The subject (you) will end up too dark and you could get an unwanted glare.
  5. Steady on! Keep the camera steady. If you are filming somebody else performing, jiggling to the beat will result in footage that will make your viewers dizzy or, even worse, seasick. If you are filing yourself, just prop your smartphone up with books anything else to hand, or by using a specially designed smartphone holder/tripod.
  6. Up close and personal. Make sure the subject, you, or whoever you are filming, is prominent in the frame. It’s nice to have a little bit of the environment included but not acres of blank wall floor or ceiling.