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Old January 9th, 2013, 07:34 PM   #1
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Making Exercise Videos

I've been asked to do a workout video. My concern is the music. Do the instructors have to use royalty free music for the workout video in order to avoid a lawsuit? Can they use well known music? (The ones played on the radio)...

What's the different things I have to consider when making these type of videos?
The video is 40 minutes long...
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Old January 9th, 2013, 08:58 PM   #2
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Re: Making Exercise Videos

I've been inside gyms where they played top 40 or popular music all the time. For the video, not so much. I would get together with the client and explain why you can't use popular music and find some royalty free stuff that everyone would be happy with.

Camera angles. Showing different angles for the exercises would be important. That could mean multiple cameras, keeping them out of the shots and KNOWING the routine so it can be blocked even though its not going to be a live edit. If you know the routine and block it you might be able to do it with one camera but I would think 2 would be the minimum and 3, 4 5 or more would be best. Maybe something way up high to get an overall view that can be used as a setup shot. A GoPro hanging from the ceiling could be cool.
I think you need to sit with the person in charge, find out what they want and expect then go from there.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 09:08 PM   #3
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Re: Making Exercise Videos

We occasionally meet for coffee in a lounge underneath an exercise class on the 1st floor, we hear them thumping around to current pop music
with an instructor. They probably use it to attract new clients and judging by the bangs and crashes and the dust coming down off the ceiling,
there's some real biggies up there :)

But using it on a saleable video is a no no. There's plenty of free music on line, or to make it more exclusive call around your local musos.
Figure out tempos and how much you'll need first.

I wouldn't enter into a contract which pays them a percentage of all, or any of the DVD sales. I've seen that ruin the whole project.

30+ years with our own audio and visual production company and studios.

Last edited by Allan Black; January 9th, 2013 at 09:51 PM. Reason: changed fatties to biggies.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 10:28 PM   #4
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Re: Making Exercise Videos

Most organized workout programs such as Jazercise, Zumba, etc. actually license the music they use in their routines. They also pay a hefty price to use the music in their videos. You need to acquire rights for any music you use, whether it be popular music played on the radio or just some unknown musician's music. It's just usually easier and cheaper if the music is not well known.

I wouldn't get too crazy with the camera angles. The main thing to make sure your viewer can get a good grasp of the exercises. If you cut to too many different angles it will disorient and confuse them. You may want to consider having no more than three cameras depending on if there is just the instructor of if there are also other people following along in the video. One camera would be a full body single of the instructor. The second camera from roughly the same angle on the reverse could be a little wider showing the instructor and several other people doing the exercise. And the last camera would be for closeups of intricate movements, say of the feet or isolations of specific muscles being targeted.

A lot of how you shoot it will depend on the setup that the instructor uses. In any case you'll have to work out the blocking for each exercise ahead of time so that you capture what is important.
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Old January 10th, 2013, 02:46 AM   #5
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Re: Making Exercise Videos

Almost all venues pay an annual license fee to be able to play commercial music within their premises. That's why the instructors can have people dancing to the latest tunes without any problems.

Video is completely different. You can also license the music, if you have enough money, but royalty free music would be the cheapest way to go.

Expect to pay tens of thousands to license commercial music over a full workout video, and then to keep paying basic on how many copies are made (that's 'made', not sold). Even if you don't sell them all, they still want paying for every one duplicated.
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Old January 13th, 2013, 02:29 PM   #6
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Re: Making Exercise Videos

You don't have to use royalty free music, but you do have to license the music you use. For your budget, that may mean "royalty free", but that does not mean "free". You'll still have to pay for it.

IMHO, far more important than camera angles is audio. Please PLEASE PLEASE do not just rely on the mic on the front of the camera. Either use a boom mic above the instructor or a wireless headset mic. As a consumer of exercise videos, I hate it when the instructor sounds like they're half-way across an echoey room.
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