Behind the scenes

Filming bands at Hopscotch Music Festival

Ever tried to film a band on one stage before they are about to hop onto another festival stage? It’s frenetic, but tons of fun. During the 2021 Hopscotch Music Festival, we did just that by videoing two North Carolina bands, Wednesday and The Dead Tongues.

We partnered with Hopscotch Music Festival and WUNC Music on these performances. COVID mixed up a lot of bands plans, so booking bands while they were in town was the first challenge. Bands plans changed and we had to continue to change throughout the week leading up to the shoot day. Luckily, our contacts at Hopscotch had that under control.

On the day of, coordinating schedules, loading gear in and out and then in and out again, sound checking, taking breaks when possible, and downloading footage all added to a packed day of videoing the bands. All that and then shipping them off to their festival gig on the main stage in the adjacent city square.

Then, we did it all over again for the second band.

Live switching while videoing the bands was a big time saver. Live streaming allows us to streamline production and post-production and almost immediately distribute the finished videos. The bands played shows as if they were live, only running through a song twice if something goes horribly wrong. Luckily, nothing did. 

Live switching is a budget-conscious way to create these live performance videos and accomplish things much more efficiently. We plan to live stream these videos in the future, so live switching is the exact production process to perfect as we plan this next step.

An under appreciated part of these types of performances is the sound quality. Nash Hall, and their sound guy gave us a professional mix which elevates the performances quality that much more.

On set we had four camera operators (all with Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras), one sound person, producer, several production assistants and a director helping keep the project on schedule and on point. With a shoestring budget, efficiency was key.

But, we did manage to get a lot of video content from a quick day's shoot with both bands. The session resulted in 2 full performance videos, 2 Window Into an Artist interview videos, single song videos, and a handful of micromedia bits for social media use.

Despite all the talk about running around, the performances have become something that we love as well. We love listening afterwards as fans. It's not just work to us, it's something we are proud of creating. A lot more Window Music where this came from. Stay tuned.

17 May 2024