Tuesday, 17 February 2009

making DVDs for bands

On Friday afternoon, I was sitting at Jo's Coffee Shop on South Congress here in Austin. I was busy minding my own business designing a print ad for a company to put in a magazine. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed the lovely Cella Blue sitting on one of the stools chatting away...

Cella is one of the singers in The White Ghost Shivers. Thankfully, they're not easy to describe (which makes them all the more interesting). If I said 'vaudeville' that wouldn't do them justice. 'Flapper' just describes Cella - and then only sometimes. '1920s music' is equally disingenuous. They're a wonderful mish-mash of all of the above and then a whole lot more.

A few years ago, I was asked to direct a DVD for them, based around filming one of their famous Hallowe'en Balls. The DVD not only includes a full concert footage (with surround sound and drunken commentary options), but also tour footage, interviews, old road stories and more.

Here's a clip from the DVD - the song is "White Ghost Shivers' Ball", filmed live at the Oaks in Manor.

For the tecchies, it was shot with 4 Panasonic DVX-100As set to 24p standard def and mixed in post using Final Cut Pro's multi-cam editing feature. We had one on a jib arm, one on a dolly, one on sticks and one hand held roaming the stage. In retrospect, we could've used one or two more cameras, especially to catch more of Omar (the shaggy guitarist).
Sound was multi-tracked with crowd mics added for the 5:1 surround sound dubbly mix. It was nice to have the band help with the post audio mix, too.

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