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On 29th November 2018, Mumford & Sons brought their biggest, most ambitious live stage show to date to London's O2 Arena as part of their world tour. Two weeks earlier, the band released their fourth studio album titled 'Delta' and for this show, signed up Director Dick Carruthers to chronicle the occasion in a captivating 6-minute long promotional video for the title track.
From the initial enquiry, Procam Projects was proactive in commencing their full project management service to facilitate the successful filming of the live cinematic experience. Having previously collaborated with Dick Carruthers on Black Sabbath's farewell tour for the documentary The End of the End, and already knowing his professional expectations, the team was able to hit the ground running with technical collaboration, working hard to make Carruthers’ vision come to life.
The live ground-breaking production featured a large stage running directly through the centre of the arena, giving fans an up-close and personal view of the action from all angles. Due to the unconventional centre staging the camera crew had to be extremely adaptable, quick thinking and reactive on the day to work around the tour production. The on-set team supplied by Procam Projects included a technical and engineering support team with Procam camera assistants who managed to deliver, rig, complete filming and de-rig all in one day.
“Being asked to support the filming of this innovative live stage show for the Delta music promo was an exciting opportunity for Procam Projects. It was fantastic to collaborate with Dick on yet another production and we were excited to come up with a unique technical solution to help him achieve his creative vision,” said Vicky Holden, Managing Director of Procam Projects. “The decision to use ARRI Multicam was great as this allowed easy integration with our custom lens control system, enabling us to use 35mm lenses in a familiar live workflow.”
To capture the atmospheric, intimate shots of the band in the vast empty arena, the camera crew set up early to record the soundcheck, beginning with a tracking shot towards the centre stage. As the production lights begin to descend into place and the song starts to build, the sound of the crowds cheering slowly creeps in and footage of the packed venue from the concert is revealed, inviting the viewer to see the full scale and immensity of the crowd.
To achieve the desired 35mm filmic look, four ARRI Amiras and two ARRI Alexa Mini cameras were selected. The pleasing skin-tone reproduction of the ARRI cameras perfectly complimented footage of cherished moments between family and friends and beaming interactions between bandmembers. The lenses used included three Canon CN7x17 KAS 17-120mm and two Canon CN20x50 IAS 50-1000 for ultra-long shots, along with a Fujinon Cabrio 14-35mm and a set of Zeiss Superspeed Primes which were integrated into the workflow through Procam Projects' bespoke 35mm lens control system. Two heavy-duty Skquattro pedestals were used to achieve the smooth and steady tracking shots around the central stage.
Procam Projects produced a vision mix throughout the concert which was fed back to the production and engineering gallery using industry-standard SMPTE fibre distribution. Sound Devices PIX 270i recorders were used to record the IMAG footage from the tour production's own 8 cameras which were projecting to the large arena screens to armour the post-production team with additional footage.
“The Mumford & Sons O2 shoot was two shoots in one really, with the idea for the promo film to encapsulate the entire gig from soundcheck to the goodnight bow all rolled into one song,” commented Director, Dick Carruthers. “Procam were slick and efficient, working across multiple wired and wireless cameras and recordings, with mid-event re-positioning and lens changes. The team fulfilled my technical requests and changes instantly, to the highly desirable point that I did not have to worry about anything in that department and could concentrate on the fun creative side; directing the cameras and getting the show in the can - with results that speak for themselves and a promo that 'lands every punch'."
In late September 2019, Delta was shortlisted as a nominee in the Best Live Video category in the UK Music Video Awards, a pleasant surprise for the Procam Projects team who sponsor the awards. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, October 23rd at The Roundhouse in London.
Check out the full video below!