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Shoot The Summer Part 1

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Hugh Garry | 14:40 UK time, Monday, 20 October 2008

Or, Producing a full-length, user-generated movie shot on mobiles

I'm sat here in "The Shed", editing the final part of Shoot The Summer and arguing with editor Pete Roach about which bits to leave in.


festivals175.pngShoot The Summer is a film shot entirely on mobile phones by the bands and fans of BBC Radio. Jo Bellingham and I have worked tirelessly through the summer going to events such as the Cambridge Folk Festival, Summer Sundae, Proms In The Park, Creamfields, the Notting Hill Carnival, the London Mela and Bestival.

The thing with the editing is that I want to leave the mistakes in and Pete would rather they were taken out. Pete has had the daunting task of gluing together all the clips in a way that tells some kind of meaningful story. Poor Pete.

Fortunately for Pete, I made a massive editorial decision the day I came up with the idea for a full-length user-generated movie. Rather than asking the audience to send in their clips all summer while I was tanning myself in Ibiza, I wanted to get out there and meet the people first, get to know them a little and then give them a phone to capture their festival experience.


I had to be confident that they could film something of value before I'd part with the phone. It's not easy making that judgment having known someone for such a short time, but it seemed to make a lot more sense than wading through thousands of random clips, emailed anonymously by people that I'd never met.

We are so used to thinking of user-generated content as "cats on skateboards" - we often can't see beyond the YouTube experience. I'm pretty happy with the results and my method seems to have produced some nicely shot, well thought out pieces from both the audience and the bands. I'll be honest: part of me really did think I was going to go through the summer trying to make sense of bored bands on tour buses and people off their faces in tents - but that certainly isn't the case.

As I said, I'm still editing, so I've not yet watched the film in full. How will it piece together...? I'll know in the next few days, as it's being screened on Wednesday at the Electric Proms. I'll blog again next week with more about what I've learned and the people that I've met.

Hugh Garry is a Content Producer, Radio 1 Interactive.


  • Comment number 1.

    Hugh, this reminds me a lot of 'My Tour', an independently made full-length movie of a similair nature. It's about one guy's travels around concerts and festivals in North America and Europe meeting bands "in the MySpace generation". And as Jesse Malin intros a song saying "It's all on YouTube tomorrow..."

    I've watched the first 60-70 minutes or so, just waiting for the final part to be released. I highly recommend you check it out to see what is possible with just one guy, (a Scot), and a camera. The story told is really rather engrossing... it's something like a real-life version of Almost Famous. The maker seems very naive but desperate to 'make it' himself as well, so you see him being stung for $800 in Hollywood to film inside the Viper Room, then having to sleep rough in Norway because of running out of money). The site for the video is at http://www.mytourmovie.com with a link to watch it at http:///www.MusicVice.com/MyTour . (Perhaps worthy of inclusion on your Blogroll?)

    I look forward to seeing your video. I can imagine that the sound quality may be your biggest editing issue, having seen so many cellphone videos on YouTube with grainy and distorted sound. Good luck!

  • Comment number 2.

    Thank you.. http://www.gelsesli.com/ sesli sohbet


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