Red Bull TV: Bonnaroo

At Red Productions, we deal with just about every video you could imagine, and each one has its own unique creative process.  Some are quick and sweet, others are a long and rather crazy process.  Over the past 10 days, we had the pleasure of experiencing the latter.

Our trip began in Nashville, TN.  After a brief location scout, we met with our first set of characters, the “Bonnogrannies.”  Ranging from 86-91 years old, these four women were a riot from start to finish.  It’s rare you can just roll a camera and get continuously priceless footage, but I guess these women had lots of experience entertaining others.  From start to finish, our crew was endlessly entertained by the jovial foursome who welcomed us into their homes with finger sandwiches and Red Bulls.  Laddie, Alice Ann, Mary, and Nancy Lee have a childlike love for music and a friendship that mirrors that love. 

After two days of finger sandwiches and stories originating long before my parent’s birth, we left for Louisville, KY.  Here, we met with Amy and her son, nicknamed Squish.  Amy has attended nearly every Bonnaroo, and Squish has attended the last several with her.  As a single mother, Amy wanted to be sure to invite her son into everything she loves, and it shows.  While only 8, Squish’s music knowledge far exceeds most in their mid 20’s as does his vocabulary and imagination.  As Amy prepared for Bonnaroo, Squish ran around, shooting us with nerf guns, and conducting imaginary robot battles.  My personal favorite moment came when Squish informed me his favorite movie was “Purple Rain” only to quickly change his mind, reminding himself he actually hated that movie.  After another two days of shooting, we hopped on the road, this time to Manchester, TN.

Bonnaroo was a bit of a whirlwind.  From day one, we received our press passes and enjoyed backstage views of some of today’s most talented musicians.  As we shot LCD Sound System, CHURCHES, Gold Link, M83, etc., we also wandered the festival, capturing all the character Bonnaroo has to offer.  Once our characters arrived, we began following them around the giant festival, capturing whatever we could.  The Grannies met Chris Stapleton, Squish rode Amy’s shoulders as he held a sign asking Haim to invite him on stage, and our third character, John Parsons, taped bands to share with those unable to attend the festival later before watching enjoying the Dead & Company all for himself.  Each night we would reconvene to plan for the next day, but just as importantly, celebrate the success and wonderful shots we managed to capture from the newly finished day.

Back in the office now, we have a team shooting John as he edits all the audio for the masses to enjoy in San Francisco and his story from Dead Head to Taper, a plot we are all excited to see unfold.  We want to thank Red Bull TV for the incredible experience and opportunity they provided us for this shoot, and we invite all of you to join us watching the final product in 2017 before the next Bonnaroo.