Filming Music Festivals

In my posts from earlier this summer I have explained the three different settings where shoots take place. They can either be in a studio, on a set, or at a location. Most recently I have been lucky enough to travel to some pretty cool locations and events to film. These two events I went to happened to be music festivals. These were long days and pretty tiresome but the experiences were well worth it.

The first music festival I went to film was the Governor’s Ball on Randall’s Island in NYC. We were filming and interviewing a artist by the name of Charli XCX for the MTV show called “The Road.” If you are not familiar with her work one of her songs is called “Boom Clap” it was featured on the radio for a lengthy period in 2014.

We met Charli XCX at her hotel room before the festival and had a pretty brief sit down with her. The producer asked her some questions and did a quick interview. Then we filmed her as she picked out her clothes for the festival and also showed us other clothes she had brought to New York. Once we filmed her in her hotel room we then set up downstairs in the lobby and waited for her to come down.

The producer wanted to film her as she was exiting and asked if I would operate the secondary camera. This was pretty cool because I was just suppose to assist our head camera operator and did not think I would have the responsibility of actually operating the camera myself. This was exciting and nerve wracking at the same time. I was excited to have been trusted with this responsibility but on the other hand wanted to do a good job. Also I was filming the talent in a real environment, it wasn’t set up or planned. If i messed up I didn’t have the luxury of doing it again on the next take because there was no second take, the producer wanted a real feeling to the show. So i just remembered the techniques I was taught in BRC 235 and 465 about framing and lighting etc. I am pretty confident that my shot came out pretty good.

The other music festival I went to was the Firefly Festival in Dover, Delaware. This was the longest day I have had during my internship by far. We worked a total of 20 and a half hours that day and its safe to say I was extremely exhausted by the end of the day.

The day started by the crew meeting at VH1 Studios in NYC where the bus was waiting to take us to Firefly. My job at the festival was to be a utility man for the day. I had to supply my crew with everything they needed to keep the shoot running smoothly. During this shoot there was a script but we also shot a ton of b-roll, so I needed to be attentive to my crew and make sure they had free space in their memory cards, battery life, correct lighting, and I also handled all the equipment and kept everything organized. It was pretty exhausting because I had three people and their equipment to account for. Since it was such a long day we were given two meals instead of just the normal one. The VH1 staff was very accommodating to us and took care of us, more so than MTV. They understood we were in the heat all day and needed breaks. Towards the end of the day we were rewarded with a nice meal and some drinks to relax in the air conditioned tent. We had some time to relax and enjoy the festival as well, where I got to see some performances and hang out. After shooting more b-roll we accounted for all the equipment and headed home.

These experiences I had shooting the two music festivals are one of the main reasons why I decided to go into this business. Every day is different and that’s what I love about it. To top it all off we also had fun during them. After the VH1 shoot at Firefly I made some connections with the VH1 staff and have been on a couple of more shoots with them. All in all they were great experiences, we got the job done and the client was happy, we had some fun, and I made some business connections, I would say they were a success.

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