We’re lucky here at East studio to work on projects that lie within our passions for sport, tech and music (it helps make our videos as good as they are). This project was a unique opportunity to work on two of our passions, tech and music, at the same time.
Sharpstream are the leading platform for streaming live or on demand media in the UK, they account for 95% of online radio broadcasting if your interested. Working with both household names and niche community radio they help broadcasters reach new and far reaching audiences.
We had worked with Dan Streeter at Sharpstream previously (link to animation video) but were super intrigued when he approached us about a video to document a worlds first streaming the Lions Den stage at Boomtown to the Sidewinder pub in Brighton, having never been successfully completed before, he had our attention.
GoPro Hero 4 Black
Friehya G3 3-axis gimbal
Good walking boots
Boomtown Fair, Winchester, UK
Always up for a road trip shooting we drove up to the Winchester based festival to meet up with the Sharpstream team. Hitting the ground running the first thing to capture was the setup and installation of the tech that would be responsible for transmitting all the media later. Our passes gave us a great opportunity to film areas festival-goers don’t often get to see.
We had to pack light because we were at a festival and not a secure normal job situation. We couldn’t take too much gear because we had to carry it around and there was a high risk of it being stolen or damaged in the process. We kept it light, just a couple of GoPros and the Sony A7s on my Manfrotto tripod. We got to camp in the crew field, which helped, but this meant we had to walk miles to the opposite side of the site to get to the Lions Den. My step counter on my iPhone clocked up 10 miles per day which was either up some steep hill or down some muddy slopes. Luckily we had crew passes that allowed us to get buggy rides occasionally, these venues are huge.
One of the challenges of this video was trying to reproduce the vibrancy and unique qualities that makes Boomtown one of the most popular UK festivals. To achieve this we used discreet, unobtrusive camera setups, including stealthy GoPros, to keep our footage natural and candid. The great thing about having a small mirrorless camera like the Sony A7s is that people think you’re just taking photos when in fact you have one of the most powerful HD cameras in your hand so we got some rather unusual festival folk in our shots.
After what felt like a whistle stop tour it was straight back to Brighton, ready to document the other half of the show in the Sidewinder pub. They had got the guys at ‘Incredible Screens’ to set up a huge 6ft x 10ft LED 1080p screen which linked up via satellite to the Lions Den stage. A summer Boomtown/Sidewinder party then ensued and we were able to celebrate in true Brighton style soaking up the sun and the watching Boomtown as if we were there.
Pulling it off
It turned out to be a huge success and Sharp Stream showed they can pull off amazing feats no-one else has managed to do before. It was touch and go the whole time, for example it took 2 days to line the satellite up as it was struggling to reach over a valley full of tree’s and in the Sidewinder the pub wifi wouldn’t reach the back of the garden where the big screen was. Que some iPhone black-magic and the whole thing came together.
This taught us to be flexible and how to film at an event with many difficult factors to consider. We worked as a documentary team and got to work behind the scenes of a big festival and see how it all goes down. We felt like part of the Sharp Stream family and we’re proud to be part of history in the making.