When we first got the call for this project, all the client would tell us is that the shoot was a secret project for an up and coming musician. After we got the job we found out the artist was Canaan Smith, who’d just topped the country music charts. Dickies had chosen Smith to be the spokesperson for a new line of denim that Dickies was launching.
They called us because the relationship was so new that Dickies had no photo or video assets to use for marketing, and he was on tour, so they couldn’t schedule a typical shoot. They needed us to fly to a city where he was scheduled to play at night, and capture a series of stills and videos between soundcheck and the concert. We needed a longer video (around three minutes) and two shorter videos between 30 and 60 seconds each.
As always, it sounded like a challenge we were up for. A few weeks later, we were told that we could shoot at the Hard Rock Hotel in Sioux City, Iowa on a Saturday afternoon after they had driven all night from their last gig.
Our plan was simple: Be there, be prepared, and have multiple cameras ready to roll. We flew in the day before and scouted the venue and surrounding areas to get the lay of the land. It was a great location; with that classic Hard Rock aesthetic and offered many good spots to shoot.
On the day of the concert, we were ready and waited for the band to roll into town. We knew they would need a few hours of sleep, some setup time, a soundcheck, and afterwards we’d get our chance. When they pulled into the venue, they were exhausted -and a little apprehensive about our plan.
But the second they woke from their naps, we were there with cameras rolling. We filmed them unloading (and pitched in, of course). Early on, we just shot everything, not quite knowing how it would cut together at the time.
After the setup and soundcheck, we had our dedicated window of time to get the shots and footage we needed. With their undivided attention, things went smoothly and quickly. Because we’d scouted the venue the day before we could move quickly from shot to shot without wasting any time. We finished with leftover enough time to take them out to a burger spot we’d discovered, allowing us to film them in their van as well.
We arrived back at the venue just in time for them to go on. Already set and ready to go, our cameras were rolling during the entire performance. The band even invited Stewart up on stage to play a big bass drum in front of a large audience.