HOW WE SHOT THE CHAINSMOKERS VIDEO

Pre-Production

While we had requested a press pass far in advance, my club didn't know whether or not we would be filming the video until the day of the event. We did as much planning as we could in the days leading up to the concert. An architecture student in our club came up with a map of the venue and we discussed what the best camera set up would be. We concluded that having a camera between the crowd and the artists would be the best vantage point. (Ultimately we were told we couldn't put it there) We also determined that a side view would give the viewer a unique perspective of the concert. It allowed them to see off-stage and provided a wider perspective of the crowd and the artists. 

We concluded that going with two audio sources (one plugged directly into the soundboard and the other taken from the crowd) would provide the viewer with the most enjoyable auditory experience. It would enable them to hear the crowd and feel like they were there, but it also provided a high quality sound as well.  In total, the equipment we checked out via the school ended up costing more than $11,000. 

We found out that we would be filming on the day of the concert. I talked with the artists manager, and while he rejected the idea to put the camera in front of the artists, he gave us the green light to have a camera behind them and on the side of the stage. 

*We also put a camera right next to the audio board to provide the viewer with an "in the crowd" type of view, but experimented with 4K on that camera and discovered after the concert that it didn't work with the rig configuration. 

This is the floor plan we came up with before we could see the actual concert set up

This is the floor plan we came up with before we could see the actual concert set up

This is my email to Syracuse University's programming board regarding all the equipment we brought.  

This is my email to Syracuse University's programming board regarding all the equipment we brought. 

During the Concert

I was in charge of the side-stage camera, Nick was in charge of the backstage camera, while Matt was operating the crowd camera and sound board audio. Alex was in the crowd with the Zoom H6. 

Our stage camera settings were: 1440 & 60 FPS. Our crowd camera setting was: 4K & 30 FPS. 

We were initially told that we would only be able to record the first three songs of the concert, but halfway through the director of the programming board told me it would be okay to record the last 10 minutes. (Which ended up being the video the artist's used) 

*We were the first and still-only student publication to get on stage camera access for annual concert. 

This was the view from my camera

This was the view from my camera

This is the view from the backstage camera

This is the view from the backstage camera

Post-Production

While we spent a lot of time planning for the concert, and then actually recording it, we spent the most time stitching and editing the videos. We had 8 GB of footage per camera. We had 6 cameras per rig. We had 2 rigs. So in total we had 96 GB of footage. It took 3 hours alone to render one of the videos in AutoPano. That's not including the amount of time it took to actually stitch the videos together. 

Once they were all stitched, we had to sync up the crowd audio with the soundboard audio and then sync that audio file with the audio our cameras recorded.

Nick and I meticulously went through the video and decided where we wanted to cut between the cameras. We did so with the thought in mind that we wanted the viewer to be able to get a sense of the scene but not leave them there so long they got board. While we made exceptions, our general rule was to switch between different angles every 30 seconds. We also wanted to make sure that if the artist was jumping around or going to the front of the stage, that we took the viewer with them. 

*While only one video is public, we actually produced two videos. The other video is the first ten minutes of the concert. The artist decided the second video was better so now the first one just sits on my hard drive. Never to see the light of day...