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-   -   New reel, let me have it! (

jared 09-05-13 08:18 PM

New reel, let me have it!
I've been using the same promo video for about three years now, I'm way over due for an update.. I've been working on this for the past week. Please let me know what you think!

Isabella 09-06-13 11:43 AM

My perspective comes from being a booker for busker festivals and college events, but as always, I'm just one more person with an opinion :)

Overall, your video could be shorter and livelier. The music is slow and makes the video feel longer than it is. It's also in a minor key, so it's kind of "down" music. If your purpose is to highlight the "freak" aspects of your show, maybe go with even darker, more intense music. If you want to play up that you're funny and wacky, go lighter and into a major key.

It's hard to tell what your show actually is without watching the whole video (and most bookers won't).

Opening with the TV clip does help establish you as serious, but the "kama sutra" line as your first statement makes me think, "Will he be right for my family audience?"

I wish your costume was more interesting.

Subtitle on "intelligent" could be a larger font and stay a second longer.

There are places where your clips are long - for example, instead of starting at :51, you could start at :59 which is visually stronger and skips the standard, "Do you wanna see it" that everyone does. Plus, then we get the big laugh and assume it's laughing at you - right now it feels like someone in the audience said something funny I couldn't hear and that's where the laugh came from.

By 1:24, I still don't have a clear idea of where to book you. The tennis racket feels like a college show, but first you were on TV and then at halftime. Later, you look like a standup. I haven't seen a photo showing you and the audience in your venue.

The medical nose stuff grosses me out - if that's your hook, play it up more? If it's not your hook, it's going to turn off some bookers.

When the subtitle Cirquetacular Entertainment comes in, I'm assuming you're booking through Tad Emptage? If that's not the case, you may want a different word. If that is the case, make it clearer that it's your agency?

I don't understand what the Lou-Ann clip is showing about you - it's not a trick or a laugh, so I don't know what it means in the context of your show.

Overall, it may be too long. Typically, I'll watch 30 seconds, and if I'm not grabbed, I move on. If I'm still watching at 2 minutes, I'll just book them, or skip to the end of the video to see what their biggest trick is.

"And this, little girl, is for you" is a really nice moment.

At 2:25, I'm thinking "I've seen things in his nose. Next."

3:04-3:41 feels like the strongest, most interesting section. Perhaps put that first, then the TV clips (but shorter), then two big laughs or two big gross-outs depending on what you want to be seen as?

The font for the TV program titles is hard to read, because it's thin and it drops in in a lively way when I'm already watching lively video.

You've got really nice footage, and it's always hard as the performer to cut moments that you know are great moments on stage. It's the old vaudeville saying, "you've got some good stuff and some great stuff, cut the good stuff."

Hope this is useful!

jared 09-06-13 05:44 PM

Thanks Isabella for taking the time to give such a thoughtful response. I will certainly take your advice and try to tighten it up a bit. It's been a difficult task slowing nibbling down the video already. I keep asking myself "Do I need this clip to say what I want to say" and bam another 5 seconds cuts off because I don't need that other contortion trick or whatever.

When making this video, things that I set out to say are:

-Give a sample of the variety of stunts I can do. I'd like bookers to see from the get go that I'm offering something unique. This is why I kept the TV clip, contortion and sword swallowing stunts close to the beginning.
-That what I do is visual
-Stage presence in speaking to the crowd, gets laughs
-How versatile the acts are: stage show, half time, street show, theme park, festival, etc..
-Credibility in showing major events and TV

Do you think thats a good policy to have? I have gotten the advice before to target one specific type of client in the video, and ideally in the future I will have several videos for that. This is intended to be a general video that I could send to entertainment agencies for all events and to highlight the stunts to specific clients. At the very least I plan on making a "clean" version for family/religious events sans blockhead and the kama sutra joke.

I listed cirquetacular because its their policy that I credit them.

the "do you want to see it" line is so the "you people are weird" laugh works. Is this not a big enough laugh maybe?

the lou anne intro is to show that I interact with the audience (clients often ask me if can involve the audience), and the "you have no choice" line had a laugh but got cut off in the transition! Thanks for pointing that out :) But yeah... maybe the whole thing should go.

"this little girl is for you" is a good laugh point, I kept the screwdriver laugh on after it because its a bigger laugh.. but yeah it is tacked on... so maybe it should go.

Once again I really appreciate the advice :)

Isabella 09-07-13 10:27 PM

I'm glad it's useful! Love to see the next version, too :)

Can you put "some footage courtesy Cirquetacular Entertainment" at the end? Some agents might also balk at the notice in the middle if they want to book you themselves.

jugglery 12-28-13 12:06 AM

I'm late to the party, but I will say that Isabella has many, many good points.

The video needs to be shorter, with shorter cuts to begin. Keep in mind that a potential agent/buyer is going to be looking at many videos. You have to GET them in the first 30 seconds.

One thing that would help this video greatly is a voice over, someone telling the viewer what you do, where you do it and why they need to hire you. A voice over can pin-point those things you want to feature - and make the case for booking the show.

The subtitles don't work. You might be able to edit the audio in such a way that it make the sound clearer. The subtitles don't work because they are too small, too long and they fight with the other graphics and visuals on the screen.

The trouble with titles that build on the screen is that they take too much time and pull too much focus. We watch them to see what words are formed. That keeps us from watching the action on the screen.

In short, cut at least a minute off; add a voice over; put in a stronger call to action; and clean up the graphics, so the audience doesn't have to work so hard to maintain focus.

Best of luck,


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