The director of tonight's Savages livestream talks about how he'll be translating the band's unique live experience for an online audience.
Savages, the London-based, four-piece rock group, are currently celebrating the release of their debut album, Silence Yourself, which came out earlier this week. We're big fans of their music and their live performances, so we're very excited to help them share their new album in the way they prefer it to be experienced—with an epic, live show.
Later today at 4:15 PM EDT/9:15 PM GMT, we'll be livestreaming a performance from Savages on The Creators Project YouTube Channel. It's their live shows where you really get a sense of what the band are about—the intensity of the live experience, and the power and emotion of being caught up in the moment.
The band in Leeds, UK
This live mentality and raw aesthetic is something the director of the livestream Ed Lovelace—one half of directing duo D.A.R.Y.L.—knows only too well. We spoke with Lovelace over the phone to find out exactly how he plans to convey Savages' message.
The Creators Project: You're going be using quite a lot of different cameras for the shoot. Can you talk us through the setup and what sort of style and look you'll be going for?
Ed Lovelace: We're going to have five cameras that are going to be our main set. The band wanted to have a raw look to the footage, not shoot on [Canon] 5Ds and try and grade them, but try and find a camera that's void of any modern tricks. So we found a really cool set of Sony cameras that haven't been used for a few years. That's basically the main look, which will include a top down shot to capture the layout of the gig with all the fans around them.
To mix things up we want to add another element to it as well as these cameras, an extra element. When we saw Savages play live in Sheffield, UK there's something about their performance that you only get when you're there—they're not your average guitar band. So we wanted to find a cool camera that will shoot heightened moments and convey that experience through the livestream. The idea is that we'll shoot on a Phantom camera, which will make some shots look like a still frame. It'll be so slow it'll be like this tiny moment that will be captured for a second.
So there's only really one look, which is our five cameras, and then this extra level that we'll feed in from the Phantom camera footage.
The band performing in Portland. Photo credit: Robert Delahanty
Are there any similarities that you'll take from your usual directing to use in this?
We've always shot loads and loads of live gigs, from gritty guitar bands to the Katy Perry tour. We've always just been interested in shooting these like we would a film and not like you might shoot a live show. Savages don't want any tricks or anything like that, they want it to feel raw. And I've always shot with the idea in mind that I want the person watching the video to feel the same way that you'd feel if you were front row.
When we prepping all the operators I told them that everyone needs to get their heads out of your normal live shooting mindset. We don't want it to be shot like a live gig where it's all directed and is all about the filmmakers and not the band. We want it to feel like it's an extension of the band's identity. We want to get out of the idea of covering the live experience the way everyone usually does, instead we want to get the atmosphere across.
Some of the only live footage you'll find of the band online is in their music video for "Shut Up."
Are there any particular techniques or approaches that will help you implement this idea?
They'll be two things really. One, which will have a big impact on how we're going to shoot it, is that when you go to the band's live gigs, there are signs saying "No Filming"—because they want you to experience it without being distracted, without filtering the performance through your smartphone. So that makes them one of the only bands out there that when you turn up to one of their gigs, you don't know what to expect, there's no amateur YouTube footage or anything like that. With that in mind we want the livestream to have a certain mystique to it.
And two, in terms of getting the atmosphere across we want to shoot it from the perspective of a fan, like the cameras are the eyes of the fans. We also want the stream to have some unpredictability to it, to capture that sense of being lost in the moment watching your favorite band.
Performing in Los Angeles
Technology has made the livestream more accessible for fans and directors, hasn't it?
Certainly. I mean, like 10 years ago it was all about just TV and online was kind of sniffed at as being this second rate version. But now, it's the be-all-and-end-all. What's the point in waiting till Savage performing live appears on a TV show, set and timed for in a week's time when you can just watch it live? You can basically create your own channel for your audience—it's pretty crazy.
And what excites you about doing a livestream?
I like the fact that it's in a sense unedited, that we haven't gone home and edited out the bits that didn't work and then presented it to everyone. I think people are less interested in seeing a directed live piece, they want to see it for real which is why live music is massive now. The whole thing with a livestream is it's about being raw, sort of uninterrupted, the idea of seeing a band uncensored, basically.