Online Competition and Performance Tips


A recent innovation in some bush poetry competitions is the acceptance of video’d performances. This has come about due to the restrictions on gatherings created by the current pandemic, but may well continue into the future as an exciting alternative to stage presentations. So here is some handy advice to help achieve quality in your video submissions.

Ready to get your self-taping started? Here are a few things to look out for!

  • BACKGROUND — Students should find/create as plain of a background as possible OR you can assign them to create a specific background for their character.
  • LIGHTING — Natural light is the best. Find a window that does not have direct light and film facing that window. Avoid looking down at the camera and avoid lots of shadows unless that is a “mood setting” you are after.
  • CAMERA SETTINGS — The phone should be set or held horizontally and filmed in “landscape” orientation (aka “widescreen”). Camera can be set on a tripod, suction mount or selfie-stick. Don’t have these accessories? Lean it against something or ask a friend to hold it! No matter what make sure the camera is steady and held around arm’s distance apart from the performer.
  • SOUND — Ideally, we could record this through a lavalier mic, but that’s not going to be an option for most students at home. If relying on the sound of the phone, please try to make sure you have the least amount of ambient noise as possible. Consider recording in a well-lit closet or a room with curtains and other fabric to absorb the echo.
  • ACTING for the iPhone Camera — Since we are arms-distance length from the camera, we do not need to play to the back of the house. There is no need to look directly into the camera. Having your eyeline fall just to the side of the phone or just above will be a comfortable place for the viewer.

Now do like you do. Take this script and your creativity and your eager, talented, genius students and make some art. We can’t wait for your On-Line Opening Night!

We are all looking forward to when we come out on the other side of this. What we do with this time and how we navigate our young people through it is vital. Keep in touch with one another!

Feel free to submit multiple performances of different poetry however it is noteworthy that the costs are repeated for each submission.