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Photos courtesy of Adriano Martelli, Senior Project Manager at Procam Projects
On Saturday 7th November, Niall Horan performed a special one-off live-streamed concert from the prestigious Royal Albert Hall, selling over 125,000 tickets across 151 countries. Throughout the show Niall sang hits from his chart-topping albums Flicker and Heartbreak Weather, streamed across 4 time-zones reaching an estimated 400,000 fans globally.
All profits from the event are to be shared between Niall’s touring crew, and the #WeNeedCrew relief fund, set up to offer financial support to freelance live events crew who are currently out of work due to the global pandemic.
At a time when artists are currently unable to tour, streaming technology has provided a platform for creative opportunities while venues remain closed to the public. Filming in an empty Royal Albert Hall allowed the production flexibility to break away from traditional concert filming centralised around a single stage and give director Paul Dugdale the creative freedom to utilise other areas of the stunning venue, creating a truly unique experience for fans all over the world.
The concert was a co-venture between Driift and Pulse Films, produced by Jim Parsons with Pulse Films’ Amy Rattray line producing. Procam Projects was enlisted for filming support, and from the initial enquiry implemented its full project management service to ensure all technical requirements were met.
Five Sony Venice cameras were prepped, delivered, and rigged at the venue by the Procam Projects team. The Venice’s 36x24mm full-frame image sensor was designed specifically for high-end cinematography, giving the production the beautiful image quality it deserved. The performance was captured in full frame with Live Racking by vision engineers using RCP-1500s, enabling the cameras to be used in a multi-camera live production workflow.
The Venices were paired with a combination of modern and vintage cinema glass for a stunning cinematic look. Supplied lenses included the Canon K35 primes, Hawk 150-450mm, Hawk 17-35mm, TLS Morpheus 80-200mm, Angenieux FF EZ1 45-135mm, Fujinon Premista 80-250mm and Tokina 11-20mm. Using Procam Projects’ bespoke lens control system, the cine lenses were used in a traditional broadcast workflow with the zoom and focus controlled by the camera operators and focus pullers, while iris functions were controlled separately from the vision engineering gallery housed in the Projects ProTruck. In addition to this, ARRI Master Grips, Preston G4 MK3 LCS, and ARRI FF5 Follow Focuses were supplied.
As part of Procam Projects’ full project and technical management service, multiple crew members were provided to ensure the technical elements of the production ran smoothly, including a Technical Unit Manager, Camera Manager, Guarantee Engineer, RF Engineers, Comms Engineers, Vision Engineer, Camera Assistants, Riggers and a Data Wrangler.
“Our team has facilitated many productions at the Royal Albert Hall previously, including The Who’s Teenage Cancer Trust show, so they were familiar with the venue and able to hit the ground-running. Since the first lockdown we have seen an increase in requests for live-streamed no-audience concerts, which have proved to be popular with fans all over the world. The new opportunities created by live-streaming from empty venues has paved a new way forward for live music, and we expect to see more demand for this format even when traditional concerts return,” said Dan Studley, Group Technical Director of Procam Projects.
“It was an honour to work with the Pulse Films team on what has become one of the largest selling live-streamed concerts to date. The events sector has been one of the hardest-hit industries during the pandemic and it is fantastic to see that the advancements in live-streaming technology has enabled artists to continue connecting with audiences while supporting the talented crew behind the scenes,” added Vicky Holden, Managing Director of Procam Projects.