Shoot the Summer tells the story of this year's music festival season, capturing intimate and unplanned moments from the likes of Creamfields and Bestival that traditional production techniques might not ordinarily allow.
It was shot by bands, DJs, fans and the producer/director on the project, Hugh Garry (pictured), using the video capabilities of a Nokia N95 smartphone.
Garry, a creative producer for Radio 1 interactive, saw the six-month project as a good test case for both UGC and how consumer technology can be used for production.
“I wanted to find out what we could do with mobile phones and to test the viewers' tolerance of the images,” Garry told Broadcast. “There's always a case for using a full crew on something like this but sometimes it's great to just whip out your phone and shoot away.”
There were some early reservations, he said, but these proved to be unfounded. “Giving the audience and artists the brief to ‘film whatever you want' was risky but I think it paid off,” he said. “At the start we were concerned that we'd get nothing but clips of bored bands on tour buses and wasted kids in tents, but ‘Shoot the Summer' is anything but.”
To maintain some editorial control, Garry only provided phones to carefully selected members of the crowd and band members, as well as shooting footage himself.
“We have to recognise UGC but we don't just have to open the floodgates and let it all in,” he explained. “It's a bit like being a conductor of an orchestra. You have control but you have to also allow individuals a bit of creative freedom.”
The finished film, which uses the audio acquired by the phones and has no additional soundtrack, was screened at the Camden Roundhouse on Wednesday (22 October) and can be seen now at bbc.co.uk/shootthesummer.
The Nokia N95 has a 5 mega-pixel camera and can capture 640 x 480 pixel images at up to 30 frames per second. For editing, the MP4 phone clips were converted for Final Cut Pro using Visual Hub.
Shoot the Summer was ‘filmed' at the Cambridge Folk Festival, Bestival, London Mela, Notting Hill Carnival, Creamfields and Proms in the Park.