Boost Your Fan Base By Firing Your Camera Crew

from the free-bird! dept

Instead of hiring professional concert documentary crews, a growing number of bands are handing the concert documentary process over to their fans, relying on amateur video to generate low-cost promotional material while increasing fan appreciation in the process. The Beastie Boys had some success with this idea recently, using footage shot by fans to create a popular documentary. Though some complained that the finished project had an over abundance of kitsch and a noteable lack of quality, they seem to have missed the point that the very idea brought the band far more attention than yet another bland, traditional concert film ever could have. The Shins have taken this idea one step further, teaming up with Current TV to create a five minute video that's comprised of at least one still image from over 200 spectators and their cellphones or digicams. The end result is a somewhat shaky and blurry concert film that at one point offers a video montage of the entire stage made up of dozens of fan shots. It's a win-win situation for the bands, who boost fan loyalty and create low-cost promotional material on the fly -- provided they've got a hard-working and patient editor.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Dan, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 7:06am

    Yeah, but...

    The thing I like most about Band videos is the stage footage. I think the point to a documentary should be seeing what you don't see. A kind of "Behind the Scenes" feel.

    (oh, and first... I guess)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Sanguine Dream, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 7:08am

    Wait for it...

    I'm sure that somewhere someone is thinking:

    Corporate Big Suit: "We're losing money by not making these documentaries for bands. We have to sue to recover these lost wages."

    Big time band with expensive lawyers: "We're saving a lot of money on this idea. Let's get a copyright/trakemark/patent on this idea so no one else can do it."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Overcast, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 7:16am

    But isn't that a 'copyright' violation? lol

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    The Swiss Cheese Monster, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 7:33am

    It will catch up with them eventually

    While this is a great promotional item, editors are going to get more and more expensive for this kind of project making the ROI less worthwhile. But in the mean time.....

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Ben, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 8:10am

    Damn, I spilled my coffee.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    wolff000, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 8:52am

    So I CAN take my camera in to the concert now?

    I wish more bands took the grateful dead route and let fans film and tape as they please. a real fan is going to buy the cd/dvd no matter how many bad copies were made at a concert. I love the concept of using the fan footage to make the videos. when you include people in things like this it makes them want to buy the product. i have never bought a behind the sccenes video on a band but i definately would if i shot some of the footage for it myself. even if my part lasted only a minute or so it would be worth the money to buy it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    anonymous coward, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 9:18am

    millions saved with crappy consumer content videos offsets the loses from piracy. lets call it even.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    NutSak, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 9:36am

    let's take this all the way...

    I'm going to fire my whole band, sound crew, lighting guys, roadies, drivers, manager, a&r guy, label, studio techs, personal assistant and nanny and let my fans take over all these duties.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Julie, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 9:47am

    Bad Idea

    That's all fine and good, but remember when cell phones were expensive and fewer people owned them? It was the Darwin effect. People weren't yakking on their cell phones at the top of their lungs or talking on their phones in movie theaters.

    A few months ago, a jerk with a loud 35 mm camera was taking pictures, it wasn't a huge venue, and the band finally had him thrown out, because he was disturbing everyone. Give the masses cheap video cameras and let them tape concerts, and we're going to have the same problem that we do with cell phones. I work hard to be able to afford good seats, and I don't want some yutz with a ten dollar camera blocking my view.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Wile E. Coyote (genius), Dec 28th, 2006 @ 9:57am

    my take (pun intended)

    Use small head-mounted cameras with a wireless connection to a recorder backstage. No one is blocking things up, and you get more natural shots since no one is thinking about what they're shooting. You just get whatever they're looking at.

    Guess they shouldn't allow them in the bathrooms, though!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Jon, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 1:43pm

    Re: It will catch up with them eventually

    Please - even a great Avid editor who is super fast is about $3500-5000/week. If you can't cut a music video in a week you have no business being an editor anyway.

    You might need to add an assist editor to organize all the source materials for you, at maybe $1k to $1500/week, but at the end of the day you've still spent way less in editorial costs than what it costs to have 4-6 camera operators, all the camera rentals, the insurance policy (EXPENSIVE!) for renting said cameras and accessories, etc. etc.

    The net cost savings on stuff like this will never be outweighed by the cost of an editor and/or assistant editor.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Tyshaun, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 4:50pm


    And our standards for quality continuously goes down in the pursuit of increasing "audience participation" to boost revenues and give ADHD afflicted youth a warm fuzzy.

    P.T. Barnum just called and all the video taping fanboys had their 15 minutes, let's let the professionals get back to producing quality concert films. I saw the Beastie Boys "film" and aside from the media buzz it was pretty darn craptacular.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Tyshaun, Dec 28th, 2006 @ 4:53pm

    Re: ....

    and I need to apologize to Andy Warhol who first talked about the 15 minutes of fame, not P.T. Barnum, who espoused wisdom on suckers being born every minute (especially those who are buying into this whole idea with such enthusiasm).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. icon
    Mike (profile), Dec 28th, 2006 @ 5:24pm

    Re: Re: ....

    P.T. Barnum, who espoused wisdom on suckers being born every minute

    Actually that's wrong too...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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