Boomtown, Chapter 9, The Theatrical Film. Behind the Scenes

For this years Boomtown ‘Chapter Nine’, it was clear they were keen to show a less hedonistic side to their festival and indulge their audience in the mind-blowing, immersive theatre that’s on offer at their spectacular festival near Winchester.

For this, the Boomtown theatrical team came to Friction Collective to create their theatrical trailer, a piece of film that takes you on a journey through the incredible storyline that threads the festival together. As a punter you’re able to navigate these paths and join opposing sides, fighting to ‘overthrow’ the powers that be and create a free world. This story line mirrors real life and has a strong political message and was something we were totally up for working on.

We had to work very closely with the theatrical team and became fully immersed into the story to start with; understanding the processes and experiences which the punters of Boomtown would be involved in, before getting down to the nitty gritty of storyboarding. Once we had understood each aspect (which is impressively deep and complex with many multi-layers), we drew out our brief and came up with our ‘first person’ style that we use throughout the video. We wanted to re-create a GoPro head-mount type shot, with arms and legs, but to maintain the depth of field and the quality a full frame 4K camera would give us. To do that we had to be quite inventive at times, with some very up close moments for our camera operator, Josh.

We worked tirelessly throughout the festival, having to keep incredibly tight timings yet consciously have a very loose diary as everything could change at a moments notice and a solid locked down shoot schedule could and would get turned on it’s head in a flash. Luckily, we had Lewis and Phoebe keeping an incredibly detailed and patient eye on our schedules and made everything run like absolute clockwork. Despite the hundreds of thousands of people, unpredictable actors and clashing opening and closing times of various shoot locations across the festival.

When it came to editing the footage, our very first step was to find music; a process that took us a little longer than usual. We started looking before the festival in order to get ahead, but the uncontrollable variables of the footage such as weather, personas, locations and timings meant we had to let the footage dictate our soundtrack. This meant many hours of searching for the exact sound once the festival was done. Our final technique was to edit to a placeholder soundtrack, using our ‘dream music’ as a basis to edit from. Then our musical wizard, Paddy Henchman, pulled the placeholder out and wrote a mind-blowing soundtrack for the visuals, as well as adding in his impeccable live sound (despite often having to record vocal pieces right next to stage sound systems and bass bins) and sound design.

We worked closely with the theatrical director of Boomtown Fair, Martin throughout the edit stage, as well as the preliminary stages in order to ensure we demonstrated his exact vision through the video content we made and in order to be sure to sell an enticing story for 2018.

Check out the film we made for Boomtown Chapter 8 here.