How many times have you been to a concert lately and seen half the audience with their smartphone in the air? What can you really hope to capture even on the great phones most people have now? A small, overexposed humanoid speck on stage and some really, really bad audio.
It got me to thinking - is there a way to turn this video into something that could be broadcast?
Back before smartphones the Beastie Boys gave a whole whack of video cameras to their audience for the film - "Awesome I F-n Shot That."(Please note: NSFW)
What could you create now when an audience of tens of thousands of people have HD video cameras in their pockets?
Since then lots of bands have been experimenting - here's a show Radiohead did with their fans in Prague back in 2009:
Amazing if you're a fan - but a bit too rough and obscure for most broadcasters.
So I came up with a plan to create a new fan-shot series that would partner fan shooters, artists and a few TV professionals to craft a more polished product.
We had lots to work out. First we had to interest the artists and convince them we could make something of high quality.
Next we had to find a broadcast partner willing to take a risk on a completely unproven concept.
We got lucky at first: I partnered with some of the biggest experts in the field in North America, Arts and Crafts - who are not only a label but a publishing and managing service for all kinds of musicians.
And CBC, who has a mandate to promote Canadian culture, has just had great success with a multi-platform expansion of CBC Music. They have been very innovative and quickly signed on. At the first meeting - which is very rare in Canadian broadcasting.
I won't bore you with the contracts and the budgeting, music is a notoriously difficult business for a reason, but we got enthusiastic buy-in from two artists to try the idea out: Classified and Stars.
We picked two singles from their current albums. For Classified it was "Three Foot Tall."
And for Stars it was "Hold On When You Get Love And Let Go When You Give It..."
Next post I'll tell you what happened at the shoot in mid-September....