Last week we introduced the idea of video DJing, and looked at the various types. We also focused on what this eight-part series is primarily going to cover: DJing using music videos, and adding your own visuals to your DJ sets. The kind of stuff you can do on your own.
This week, though, we’re going to first consider why you should look at video DJing in the first place. What is to be gained from investing the time, effort and money into adding some form of video DJing to your skill set? Here are three reasons for adding video to your DJing efforts:
1. It differentiates you from nearly every other DJ
If you ever feel that it’s practically impossible to stand out from the crowd as a DJ nowadays, then video DJing is one way of doing just that. We always reel off the following to DJs who want to get famous: Make your own productions. Start your own club night. Get into mashups. Be a social media whore. Does all of this sound familiar to you? Are you not really interested in doing any of it?
If so, then video DJing may be your “passport to success”. After all, 99% of DJs simply don’t do it. You can be a bigger fish by virtue of choosing to live in a much smaller pond!
2. It can get you work where other DJs can’t compete
In all big cities there are video bars. Now many of them (most of them) are highly commercial places – but commerical places pay money. If you’re happy playing the latest pop videos, you could have regular paying work there. And if you have more underground ambitions, that’s going to help you to fund them. But thinking just a little wider, there are many bars, lounges and clubs with fitted video systems, projectors and so on. It only takes a little bit of entrepreneurial spirit to come up with your own show that uses videos or visual elements, to pitch it to these people, and end up performing something a bit different – for which you can them command a premium price.
For instance, the style of music I DJ, Balearic – which basically means a really broad mix of often non-EDM sounds (rock,reggae, latin, chill-out, yesteryear pop), but with a definite dance groove and mixed as technically as possible so dance crowds can “get it” – lends itself perfectly to cratedigging old pop videos and DJing with them.
Alternatively, say you’re a DJ in a ski resort (it’s a great seasonal job, by the way). Why not chop up and use winter sports videos like snowboarding and the like interspersed with other visuals, or with videos of tracks you can get visuals for, as part of the apres-ski scene?
3. It can allow you to be creative in a different way
Art and being artistic isn’t all about music, of course. We know that – you can write, and paint – but also, you can express yourself through creating visuals, collating visuals, and simply DJing with pre-prepared visuals, song videos and the like. If you’re a music fanatic who loves DJing but you’ve also got a visual arts leaning, then VJing may be more suitable for you to express yourself than straight audio DJing alone.
Once you learn what’s possible and what your source materials could be, maybe you’ll feel just as strong a pull towards video DJing as you do towards straight audio DJing, and then be able to develop into the creative person you always felt the potential to become but haven’t yet quite managed with “normal” DJing, If this happens, you can rest assured that it will help you with the two other points above to.
Just like “normal” Djing, video DJing, VDJing or whatever we choose to call it really does seem easy when you’re loving it, but can feel very difficult when you’re just not feeling it. Even more so than audio DJing, video DJing takes vision, commitment, effort and practice – not least because there are far fewer people to look up to who are already doing it. That’s partly why this series exists – to life the lid on it and to ensure that if you have got inklings in this direction, you’ll at least know how to start.
So with that in mind, next week we’ll be looking at why if you’re considering video DJing, you should forget about all old-fashioned hardware-based routes and instead – just like with normal DJing – go down the digital route.
Check out the other parts in this series:
- Getting Started In Video DJing, Part 1
- Video DJing, Part 3: Why You Should Take the Digital Route
- Video DJing, Part 4: What Software to Use
- Video DJing, Part 5: What Hardware to Use
- Video DJing, Part 6: Where to Get Music Videos & VJ Loops
- Video DJing, Part 7: Getting Work as a Video DJ
- Video DJing, Part 8: Further Steps for New VJs
Are you a video DJ or VDJ? Why did you decide to add video to your skill set? How has it worked out for you? What venues in your area have video DJs? Please let us know your thoughts and ideas in the comments.