Blackmagic Design recently announced the band MisterWives’ recent ‘SUPERBLOOM: The Live Dream’ stream was shot completely on Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and 6K cameras. The concert was streamed globally to tens of thousands of fans, giving them a chance to see the band in a mix of a live concert setting and feature film.
MisterWives is a critically acclaimed American band that has millions of fans around the world and is known for their amazing live performances. Launching their third album, SUPERBLOOM, in the middle of 2020 the band was unable to tour live due to Covid. In order to bring the album to their fans, they decided to create ‘The Live Dream’ experience, which mixed the energy of their live shows with high quality narrative filmmaking that visually told the story of the album and included multiple sets, costumes and choreography.
With a clear creative vision from MisterWives vocalist and principal songwriter, Mandy Lee, the band turned to director Matty Vogel, and DP Carrie Stalk. Vogel, who is known for his still photography work with artists such as Thirty Seconds to Mars and Billie Eilish, worked with the band to come up with the concept behind the stream. The band’s core touring crew, led by production manager Noah Almekinder, were integral in making sure the technical foundation of the show could be realised.
“This was a really special project – a live music experience that brought together the energy of a live show with high quality filmmaking. And it was all done by a crew that had never done live music streaming,” Vogel said.
“Personally, I would love to do more of these. They are a welcome creative challenge in that they provide an immersive and accessible experience for the fans in an entirely new way,” Stalk said.
‘SUPERBLOOM: The Live Dream’ was shot over five days in MAGIC Spell Studios at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT.) The video was shot in the order of the songs on the album, walking viewers through the emotional journey of the album.
While Vogel was directing, Stalk and two RIT film students operated the cameras for the shoot, which included a Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and a Pocket Cinema Camera 6K on tripods and a Pocket Cinema Camera 6K on a handheld gimbal operated by Stalk.
The shoot included a full live performance with high quality immersive lighting, effects and a giant projector screen displaying graphics that Vogel created for the show. It also included dramatic changes from day to night, high quality moonlight graphics and a dance troupe performing around the band.
“We had a limited budget but ended up with a very high quality production, and the Pocket cameras were a huge part of that,” said Stalk. “The camera’s small size and high dynamic range was a huge advantage for us. We could get right up to the band and be mobile all over the stage, while not being intrusive. The camera did not control the situation and the Pockets let us get footage without placing a barrier between the shooter and the band.”
One set of shots included following Mandy Lee, the band’s vocalist, through trees that had been set up to turn parts of the stage into a misty forest.
“In the forest scenes, I wanted to convey the feeling of two people running through a field, like in period films, where the camera acts as another character, it gives the feeling of just being another person running with them. I wanted to give that same immersive feeling to the viewers, as Mandy journeyed through a forest, even though we were actually on a soundstage. The small size of the Pockets and high dynamic range allowed me to get the shots I had envisioned,” she continued.
Another advantage the Pocket Cinema Cameras gave to the production was their high dynamic range. High-contrast concert lighting was utilised for the performance under the direction of lighting designer Brian Lareau, and the flexibility of the footage let the team make decisions to soften or emphasise lighting choices in post.
“Having the camera’s filmic look and filmic log profiles were great. The extra dynamic range, resolution and bit-depth, with the Pocket 6K in particular, really helped get me the data I needed to achieve the look we wanted in post,” Stalk said.
“The Pocket cameras and this project have really opened up a new way for me to create. Before I was focused on stills for live shows, but with Covid I had to look at new ways to work, and using the Pocket cameras I have been able to start a new business creating music videos and live music streams,” Vogel finished.