Article by Richard Jobson, November 30th 2010
I have just completed a new film about my old punk band The Skids all shot on 5Ds and 7Ds.
The event was a week long celebration of the different aspects of my work in my home county Fife in the East of Scotland. The gig was the finale to a week of cinema workshops and talks including an on stage interview conducted by the crime novelist Ian Rankin about my life and work.
As a team we didn’t have long to plan how to shoot the various events. We kind of just arrived in Scotland and made it up as we went along. This is not how I normally work and being more of a control freak made this improvised approach a bit of a worry.
We had three 5D MkIIs and a 7D with a variety of prime lenses as well as Zacuto rigs and follow focus.
Filming the smaller intimate events was a great way of preparing for the Skids gig. The live interview with Ian Rankin was in the same hall as the gig, The Alhambra in Dunfermline, which gave us a perfect opportunity to work out where to put the cameras on the night.
Approaching the idea of shooting the Skids gig was a somewhat daunting prospect. The band I had joined as a teenager from the East of Scotland were known for their energy and full on live performances. Would we as older, more mature members of society be able to find that same presence and madness and how the hell with such limited resources were we going to film it in a way that was going to hopefully become a small piece of Scottish r’n’r history?
Other questions were swimming around in my head. Were the band still relevant? Could we really still do it or were we just another bunch of old punks desperately trying to catch the heat of the past? There are so many bands out there from that era who are cynically cashing in on a current retro nostalgia trip. I don’t want to be part of that.
Live gigs are tricky to shoot. Intrusive cameras and operators getting in the way of the show more of often than not make the event feel fake and just a tad dishonest. If we were going to capture this moment then we were really going to have to think it through. The initial improvisation would have to evolve into something more substantial by the end of the week. It was also an opportunity to create a business model for other shoots of other bands.
Live gigs in the music industry are one of the only ways of making money, they want to record the gigs and can’t afford big productions but still want cool and effective images that capture the live vibe.
We decided on shooting both nights of the concert. The problem was that the first night was a warm up in another city and of course in another venue. We needed two nights to create enough material so we would have a fast cutting style at our disposal. The music is fast and furious so no point in locking cameras down and moving between wides, close ups and medium shots. Too boring. No, what we needed was something far more in your face without the problem of camera operators in each other’s shots.
I have been working with HDSLR technology from the beginning and have used the 5D MkII on various projects from pop promos to short films. This camera alongside the 7D (which can shoot 60fps giving us a decent slow motion option) were the tools of choice.
On the first night at the warm up gig we concentrated on close ups of all the band. We made sure that they would be wearing the same clothes the next night. Shooting from 5 different positions with moving cameras (one was on a glide rail at the front of stage) we soon found that the intimacy was captured.
The second night was all about the occasion. A large sold out venue with an enthusiastic crowd meant that we needed to turn the cameras the other way. The great thing was that the audience thought of them as stills cameras so paid little attention to them being pointed in their face. In the edit we used the multi-take option in Final Cut Pro to look through the footage simultaneously and we were constantly amazed at how we never saw the other cameras at any point. It was a real breakthrough. How many times have you watched your favourite band on TV at an event like Glastonbury and been disappointed to see camera teams all over the stage? This doesn’t happen using HDSLRs, you just don’t see them.
The whole experience was invigorating, a new way of working and another feather in the cap of convergence. It’s now a style I’ll take into my next movie project: HELTER SKELTER. Mulit-cam shooting, various angles covered with small discreet cameras using wonderful glass on the front. I can’t quite put into words how this changes the game for me. I’ve been working with small budgets on all my movies but always tried to create something visually arresting – now I can really do it for even smaller sums of money and most importantly retain control.
Dunfermline Press article by Gary Fitzpatrick
read the original article here
The memorable Skids home town concert at the Alhambra in March has been captured on film and will be released at a special launch event.
The fund-raiser for the ‘Help for Heroes’ at the Carnegie Hall on 31st October will feature the first screening of the movie as well as an acoustic gig by the band, perhaps their last ever.
Those present in the packed audience will long remember the electric atmosphere as the Skids turned back the clock with a wonderful performance of hits such as ‘Into the Valley’, ‘The Saints are Coming’, ‘Masquerade’ and ‘Yankee Dollar’.
The film is the work of Richard Jobson singer, film director and music video creator for artists such as Richard Ashcroft.
The Skids frontman told the Press, “You’ve probably heard it before but this could well be the last performance of the band. I start a new film soon and it’s hard to see when will be able to get together again.”
Looking back to the Alhambra concert, Richard said, “It was an incredible night. I can’t remember a better atmosphere – ever. The vibe was just right and everybody was there to have a great time.
“It was just amazing to look out and see the faces. There were those who had been there from the beginning and some had brought their children and grandchildren in some cases.
“It was a great night and the end of the Fifer Festival week. I enjoyed being able to spend time with young people who were interested in a career in film-making and music.
“The legacy of the Skids is to encourage these young people to believe that if they want to do something then do it and not to listen to what anyone else says.
“We didn’t get much encouragement when we started certainly from the older generation who either thought the whole thing was threatening or didn’t like the music. But each generation comes along and has their own thing to say.”
The Alhambra gig was captured using Canon 5D Mark II stills cameras which have hi-spec video capability and being compact gave the photographers great flexibility of movement.
“I didn’t want the enjoyment of the audience to be spoilt by cameramen running around all over the place getting in their way and blocking the view,” said Richard.
“By using this technology, the team, who I’ve worked with before and are very talented, could move around freely and the results are spectacular.
“This will be the first time it’s been used in that environment and when people see what we’ve achieved I’m sure many will want to follow. We had five cameras but when you see the film you would think we had 50 in there.”
The DVD is intercut with the interview Skids fan and Rebus author Ian Rankin conducted with Richard earlier that week as part of the Fifer Festival.
“One point I was making was the thing about a Skids gig was that the audience were same type of people as the band. There was never anything pompous about a Skids gig.”
Richard previously helped the people of New Orleans in the aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina disaster to the tune of a massive £500,000. That was the figure he would have made in royalties from U2 and Green Day’s cover of ‘The Saints are Coming’ released for the Music Rising appeal.
This time the beneficiary will be the Help for Heroes campaign and a prevalent theme in the Skids songs was the fate of young people who joined the army as a way out of unemployment.
At that time, back in the ’70s. the young recruits were thrown into the turmoil of Northern Ireland at the height of the Troubles and in recent years it has been Iraq and Afghanistan.
Richard said, “I feel for these young men and women. The thing’s come full circle back to when we were writing the songs with the economic situation and the lack of chances for young people.
“When there are no jobs one of the things young people are told is to join the army and they can learn something. When it’s the British Government involved the chances are you’re going to be sent to a war somewhere.
“These people have joined up to serve their country and some have been badly injured. Whether you agree with the war in Iraq or Afghanistan is irrelevant.
“Sometimes we turn our back on these young men and women and that shouldn’t happen.”
The Skids DVD premiere and launch night on 31st October starts at 6pm and tickets are on sale priced £10. Prizes, including a signed guitar, will up for grabs in the raffle.
Frontman Richard Jobson and special guests will be at the official launch of the Skids Live 2010 DVD on October 31.
The DVD will go on sale officially at the event which will include live music performances, as well as the first showing on the big screen.
Copies will be for sale and raffle prizes will include tickets for events at the Carnegie Hall, a signed guitar and a signed photo.
The event is in aid of Help For Heroes, the charity which promotes and protects the health of those who have been wounded while serving in the armed forces.
The DVD features footage of The Skids’ 2010 tour, which included a memorable concert at the Alhambra Theatre as part of Celebrating Fife 2010.
The format for the evening has a 6pm-6.30pm introduction and acoustic performance, followed by a break before a DVD showing, raffle prizegiving and signing of the DVD.
Tickets cost £10.
The Carnegie Hall in Dunfermline will be playing host to the Skids Live 2010 DVD Premiere showing on Sunday 31st October 2010, the show starts at 6pm, tickets have been priced at a very reasonable £10 with NO BOOKING FEES!
Tickets are on sale in person from the Carnegie Hall Box Office
tel: 01383 602302
Mon to Fri 10.00am – 9.00pm, Sat 9.00am – 3.30pm, (till 8pm on show nights).
Tickets will also available to buy online soon from the Carnegie Hall website and some tickets will also be available soon from Third Base Records in Chapel Street.
If you want to be really quick and get seats as near to the front as possible then click this link http://www.attfife.org.uk/attFife/index.cfm?fuseaction=org.EventDisplay&objectid=0FC5FD8B-9849-268E-B95D422DDC5B085B&contentID
Richard Jobson and special guests are pleased to be hosting the official launch of The Skids Live 2010 DVD.
Sunday 31st October will see the premiere showing of the new DVD at the prestigious Carnegie Hall.
The DVD will go on sale officially at this event which will include live music performances as well as the first showing of the DVD on the big screen.
Starting on Friday 20th August and shown all week starting from 5.40pm, Richard Jobson’s latest movie, New Town Killers on Sky Premiere and will also be shown on Anytime TV.
The Skids frontman’s dark action thriller, is out on DVD and Blu Ray and has already had cinema screenings around the UK.
New Town Killers is set in Edinburgh and follows a young man trying to settle a debt, owed by his sister, where he falls into a deadly game of cat and mouse. The movie has recieved some great reviews and has proved popular with Skids fans and movie fans alike.
(Thanks to Braveman and Stainless for the pointers and reminders.)
New Richard Ashcroft video “Are You Ready” directed by Richard Jobson, you can check it out on the Richard Ashcroft website http://www.richardashcroft.co.uk
Another chance to see the new video or for those of you who missed it at the film workshops as part of the Fifer Festival you can now view it online
If you cant get it to load in on the Richard Ashcroft website 🙁 it is also on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNF7da0ZdN4