Earlier this year I had the great privilege of working with the hugely talented director Sam Bridger on a BBC music documentary called When Pop Ruled My Life: The Fan’s Story.
Presented by the brilliant Kate Mossman, it’s a 60 minute documentary that takes a warm hearted look at the history of UK musical Fandom from the Beatles to the present day.
It was an in-house production made with the awesome BBC Music TV department and above is a little clip from the final documentary.
When I first met with Sam he was keen to make it more than a series of talking heads of experts interspersed with traditional presenter piece to cameras. Sam felt that we should focus on the fans and we came up with a visual style that we would utilise for every one we would interview.
This was conceived before we began filming which was essential as we would often meet multiple fans in one day, sometime in different towns or cities, which meant we would only have a couple of hours or so in which to interview them and get everything else we needed.
One of the visual motif’s we used was the use of video portraits. This is nothing new but our twist on it for broadcast was to utilise a Full-Frame look whilst shooting in slow motion.
Our A Camera was the Sony FS700 which we had rigged up with an Odyssey7Q recorder. This would take the 4K RAW signal out of the FS700 and convert it into super sampled ProRes 1080p video.
For the video portraits we twinned this with a Metabones SpeedBosster thus giving us more of a Full Frame field of view (akin to a 5D) and when combined with shooting at Slow Motion we came away with something quite special.
The idea was that we would use these shots to intro each contributor in the film with their voice underneath.
More than Talking
Another element that we used was wherever possible for each person to show us something whether that be memerobilia or a talent that they have. Nowhere was this more present than the case of Stephen Lepard. He is a Michael Jackson fan and he had a brilliant talent that we had to put in the film. Just wach the clip below and you’ll see what I mean
All in all this was a fantastic experience and such a privilege to be invited into people’s homes and lives. Hopefully the BBC will play it again in the future for those of you who missed it.
You can always check on the website to see if its still on iPlayer.
Go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05wn8hf