Live Design Blog Archive

Working with Artists: Behind the Scenes

As a video artist working with bands to produce concert video, one often has to contend with different visions for the same song. Concert video production is often a collaborative process, working hand in hand with the band and their vision for their song.

“According to what client they're all different,” Charlie Terrell, video designer with Daddy Van Productions said. “With Motley Crue, we got them on the phone and it was me their manager, their road manager, Tommy [Lee], Nikki [Sixx], and Mick [Mars] and they all just talked, like “this song we envisioned to be dark and sinister.' And I'd say ‘Oh, I like that', or ‘I see a lot of blood in this song'”.

Depending on the client, the task of the video designer often involves combining different elements of a band's visual imagery to crate effective concert videos. Bands like Maroon 5, Motley Crue, and Disturbed often have established visual palates that their fans are familiar with.

When working with Chicago-based hard rock band, Disturbed, Terrell had to balance their old visual elements with the music from their new album. Well known for their dark side, Disturbed's official mascot, a sinister smiling hooded figure known as “The Guy” had been a part of their visual aesthetic from the start of their career.

“I like what he did with Stupefy, which was our first single from The Sickness,” Donegan said. “[Terrell] took images from our old video and just warped them and kind of turned them around, incorporated some of his new textures, and I thought that was a creative way to tie in that old look from 11 years ago. With our trademark art work, “The Guy”, to kind of bring those things in there was important to us because those images have become a big part of the band.”

“Actually, when Maroon 5 approached us,” Terrell said, “I worked with Jesse their keyboard play. He's the guy who does a lot of their writing, and their music is very layered and smart. They'd never really done video, so he wanted to pull it way back. Sometimes it was only colors or blocks of colors.”

This is quite the contrast to the elaborate and eye grabbing images that display at a Disturbed show, which show scenes from an abandoned asylum (appropriately), or a Motley Crue concert and Tommy Lee's infamous drum roller coaster. “In that case, it's good to be challenged that way,” Terrell said about working with Maroon 5's minimalistic approach.

Click here to view a scene from a Motley Crue concert

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