Back in December 2015, at the WAVM Beacon Santa Telethon, I was photographing the bands that were performing at the telethon. I’ve seen a lot of them over the years. A handful stand out as really good… and then one just makes you sit down and say “where did these guys come from?”. So it was with “The Other Side” (or TOS as I think they are going by more nowadays). Fronted by Sophia Ward (I think she’s a junior in high school) the band’s debut performance at the telethon was phenomenal and I was really pleased with the photographs I had of them. This is not your typical high school band: they did a 1 hour set of all original music (Sophia is the songwriter, the band does the arrangements as a group).
I mentioned to Mike Rolla, who was the sound engineer and advisor to the group, that if they ever needed some performance video shot to give me a call. A few weeks ago we crammed into the Isle of Dawn Studio (Mike’s basement studio) and recorded 4 songs. Here’s the first out of the gate: “Killer”. More good stuff is on the way…
You can watch it above (slightly occluded) or here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6iybSo5bcA
The band’s Facebook page is here: https://www.facebook.com/TOSofficialmusic
The band members are: Sophia Ward (Lead Singer/Songwriter), Jackson Parker (Lead Guitar), Jonathan Sommer (Acoustic Guitar), Jae Mannion (Bass), and Mitch Rolla (Drums). I think they will be making some waves around these parts pretty soon.
Technical details follow for those who might be interested.
This was a 5-camera shoot with one operator (me). There was a lot of running around and it was not fool-proof. They were doing a multi-track recording without monitors: as you can see everyone was wearing headphones. Everyone but me. So I could hear the drums, a bit of Jonathan’s guitar, and a tiny bit of Sophia’s singing. Luckily I knew most of the songs and could figure out a flow. Lighting was ambient plus an LED ring light with a red filter just to splash a little direct light on the group.
A Canon 5D Mk2 with a 70-200mm on a Libec head did the closeups. A Canon 7D with a 24-70mm handled the medium shot. A Fujifilm X-T1 was dedicated to the drum kit. A GoPro 3 Black sat over the drum kit and provided a shot of the whole room (including most of the equipment — no room to hide stuff). The final camera was a Sony video cam set up sort just behind Sophia that we thought we’d experiment with.
Video editing was done with Adobe Premiere Pro Creative Cloud 2016. Color correction was minimal – mostly just trying to get somewhat of a balance between the cameras (the Canons and Fuji rendered about the same, the GoPro and the Sony were a bit harder to corral, but they were used minimally).
The audio was produced and mixed by Michael Rolla.
For the most part this is all from one take. A handful of seconds were borrowed from other takes (instrumental closeups) because, well, there was only me. The next time we shoot a video, I’m doing one take without photographing the singer – just the instrumentals. Then I’ll have some good b-roll to drop in when I need it.