Music video specialist Two Foot Four has just completed its two biggest productions to date – U2’s first ever studio-based live acoustic performance of a track for international broadcast promotion, and Five Seconds of Summer’s (5SOS) biggest yet fan-based multimedia extravaganza, shot at Paramount Studios in LA.
Both projects were commissioned by Universal International for fast-turnaround broadcast to more than 30 territories, reaching tens of millions of TV and online viewers within hours of each event.
U2 gets intimate at Metropolis studios
U2 took over Metropolis Studios in London to conduct TV broadcast interviews and shoot a unique and intimate live acoustic performance of their track Every Breaking Wave from their new album, Songs of Innocence. Within 24 hours of filming, Two Foot Four had delivered ready to air footage for major TV shows in 10 territories, including Australia’s 60 Minutes – a show that goes out to 2.3 million viewers in Australia and New Zealand; Fantastico, the number one TV show on Globo TV and the number one TV network in Brazil and Latin America; and Mezamashi, the biggest show in Japan, which airs on Channel 8.
Thom Wrafter, marketing manager, Universal International, said: “The two main objectives of the day were to facilitate a promotional day for the biggest international TV shows without U2 having to visit each territory separately, and secondly – and this was the biggest element of the day – to deliver a live performance of one of the band’s tracks from their new album.
“U2 have never done anything like this before so it was important we had the right production company on board.”
Mark Fewell, founder of Two Foot Four and award-winning producer/director, said: “It was an incredible day, U2 gave an exceptional performance and the crew put in huge shift to capture everything without a hitch.”
Studio A at Metropolis was transformed into a ‘cozy’ home studio environment with the addition of rugs and some subtle warm lighting. Mark described it as like “having Bono, Edge, Larry and Adam round for tea, and they insist on playing their latest song.
He said: “Despite having to accommodate the band, a piano, drums, a string quintet, four Arri Amira cameras and a jib arm, several crew plus assorted management, label and broadcast folk, we managed to achieve a relative calm for the shoot.”
DP Jeremy Mason added: “The Amiras were ideal for the job as they were small – given how small the space was we were shooting in – plus the fact that we could grade in camera – ideal when we were shooting on such a short turnaround.”
“The live performance looked amazing. Mark is very creative and extremely reliable and very fast at turning things around and at getting high-res materials delivered to journalists and TV shows,” said Thom.
A 5SOS blockbuster
Five Seconds of Summer’s first ever fan-based ‘convention’ was a two day event in Tinseltown in November, appropriately entitled ‘DerpCon’. It saw Universal International work with more than 50 media partners – including radio, press and TV – in over 30 countries reaching a combined audience of more than 100 million.
For the blockbuster event, Two Foot Four had to organise a complex shoot that took in 5SOS’ 17,500 seater gig at The Forum on day one. This was followed by a full day on the ‘New York’ set at Paramount Studios, where 150 fans and friends got to meet and be entertained by their idols.
Within hours of the event, Two Foot Four was required to deliver both a three-minute TV broadcast-quality sizzle reel for general release plus a wide selection of clips for use by broadcasters. Media partners included music channel Vh1 in India, which has a 70 million audience reach, TV channel M6 in France, Mezamashi TV in Japan and MYX, the number one music channel in the Philippines.
“This was a major undertaking both in terms of the complexity of the shoot across different locations in LA including on the Paramount lot, where crew needed to move fast to be in the right place at the right time, and delivery of footage which needed to be rapid and in high volume,” explained Mark. “Broadcasters and other media want fast turnaround, relevant, high quality footage, which was made easier thanks to working with post house The Farm in LA.”
Five cities in five days
The global appeal of 5SOS, which last month were crowned New Artist of The Year at the American Music Awards, has been building all year and was first captured by Two Foot Four in May when the company was hired by Universal to film the band perform in front of fans in five European cities across five days.
Before that, Two Foot Four filmed the ’40 Years of ABBA’ launch party at the Tate Modern in London.
Two Foot Four has produced and directed many music videos for major artists including Bastille, Jake Bugg and The 1975.
Mark produced and directed a short film starring Chuk Iwuji for the SONY Production Awards, which won Best Use of Digital at the Digital Impact Awards 2013.