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Photos by Adriano Martelli
In any ordinary year, around 200,000 people flock to Worthy Farm in Somerset on the last weekend in June for Glastonbury Festival, a 5-day celebration of live music. Glastonbury is the largest greenfield music and performing arts festival in the world and is renowned for selling out tickets year-on-year before a single artist has been announced.
2020 would have been Glastonbury’s 50th anniversary and was set to be bigger and better than ever before, however the onset of Covid-19 put a stop to large-scale events and the festival was cancelled. As it became apparent that the festival could not go ahead as normal in 2021 either, the organisers decided to produce ‘Live at Worthy Farm’, a six-hour global live stream featuring sets from hit artists filmed on the Glastonbury Festival site.
A co-production between Driift and BBC Studios, the exclusive live streamed event would be made available to ticket holders on Saturday 22nd May 2021. Procam Take 2 were brought on-board to supply the front-end camera and grip equipment which would be used to capture performances from acts including Coldplay, Damon Albarn, HAIM, IDLES, Jorja Smith, Kano, Michael Kiwanuka and Wolf Alice at familiar Worthy Farm landmarks including the Pyramid Field and the Stone Circle.
Led by Vicky Holden and Dan Studley, Procam Take 2’s Projects Division has extensive experience in creating bespoke technical cinematic solutions, having facilitated the successful filming of a multitude of unforgettable live music events. Because of this, the team were well prepared to support the production when they were brought on-board by producer Amy James. Despite the short timeframe there was to prepare, the team got to work straight away and quickly began executing a fully collaborative, technical project management process.
“We received a phone call about the project on the Wednesday evening before the shooting week,” explained Vicky Holden, Managing Director of Projects at Procam Take 2. “We understood the pressure the production team was under to get the equipment in place quickly so pulled out all the stops to accommodate the request, managing to get all of the details ironed out in under 3 days with a technical meeting on Friday before prep began on Monday”.
With the shoot beginning the following week there was no time for a technical recce, so the on-site team had to hit the ground running and improvise on location.
“Thankfully, the shoot went exactly as planned, and that was a result of the hard work from everyone involved, from the prep team at our base, to the on-location crew,” said Vicky. “Technical Unit Managers Dan Studley and Adriano Martelli did a fantastic job of leading the Procam Take 2 location team, ensuring all requests were met throughout every stage of the shoot.”
A monumental event such as Glastonbury Festival deserves a beautiful cinematic look and therefore Grammy-nominated director Paul Dugdale, and DOP Brett Turnbull, decided to select ARRI cameras for the project. ARRI’s are well-loved for their image quality and color science, providing natural colorimetry and pleasing skin tones, making them the perfect choice for the shoot.
Procam Take 2 prepped, delivered, and rigged a total of seven ARRI Amiras and ARRI Alexa Minis, which increased to ten later in the week for Coldplay’s set. All cameras were used in Multicam mode to provide an efficient and flexible multi-camera workflow whilst delivering a high-quality look, elevating the footage beyond what would normally be expected in an OB environment.
The cameras were used with an assortment of cinema zoom and prime lenses, including an Angénieux EZ-2 15-40mm and Angénieux Optimo Ultra 12x FF 36-435mm T4.2, both full frame lenses used in S35 format, alongside Angénieux 24-290mm and 28-340mm Optimos, Canon Cine 17-120mm and 25-250mm zooms, a Fujinon Cabrio 14-35mm, and Cooke S4 primes. Using Procam Take 2’s bespoke lens control system, the cine lenses were able to be integrated into the live production workflow. For wireless 35mm lens control, Procam Take 2 provided Telemetry data pods to feed lens data, and paint control through to vision control.
Markus Dürr, Head of Product Management Camera, commented: “We are delighted the ARRI Multicam System was instrumental in achieving the high production values of such a prestigious event, helping the creative team achieve their ambitions of a truly cinematic aesthetic production.”
SIX DAYS, 10 ARTISTS
Over six days, the camera crew filmed ten artists across ten different stages at Worthy Farm in the week leading up to the livestream. The concept was to make every performance bespoke to the artist, with different stage designs, locations, and filming approaches for each. A combination of techniques were utilised across the ten performances, with a mix of handheld and tripod mounted filming throughout, two Steadicams and a Vortex Aerial Camera Mount system to provide vertical tracking up to 30m. In addition to this, DJI drones and an ARRI Alexa Mini in a helicopter were used for wide aerial shots.
As well as delivering cinematic pictures for broadcast, the camera crew also recorded UHD LOG and HDR delivery to futureproof the footage. Procam Take 2’s Protruck Engineering Support Vehicle was supplied to manage the camera record and data management.
Dan Studley, Group Technical Director at Procam Take 2 said, “When filming an event of this scale you would expect that the main challenge might be something technical but, in this case, it was the weather - everything else was under control. Throughout the six shoot days we saw rain, wind, hail, the occasional bit of sunshine, and lots of mud, so you might say it was a typical Glastonbury Festival. There were a couple of occasions when we had to power the equipment down because of lightning strike alerts in the area, which was of course slightly problematic, but this didn’t impact us for long. Overall, the filming was a great success and a once in a lifetime show to be a part of. We’re really happy that we were able to support Paul Dugdale, Brett Turnbull and Amy James with this project and help bring their vision to life.”
Vicky Holden added, “It was a pleasure to work with Driift and supply equipment and technical filming crew for this amazingly prestigious event. Supporting productions of this kind is exactly the reason that our division was set up, and I’m so proud of the team and everything they achieved.”