Hangman Studios

Hangman Studios: OWC Jellyfish on Tour!

We know creating video content doesn’t look the same for every organization. When it comes to live events, James Tonkin and his team at Hangman Studios are pushing the envelope to create high-quality content in real-time. As demands for footage from some of the world's favorite music artists increase, his team steps in to give the crowd what they want.

Hangman Studios was born out of the desire to create compelling high-end music documentary and narrative work. They operate as both a production and post-production company and have specialized in working with artists and bands since their inception in 2001. Since 2012, the team has specialized more in tour filming. Their work has covered the tours of Coldplay, Robbie Williams, The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Metallica, David Gilmour, Duran Duran, Placebo, Dixie Chicks, Zipperface, Beyoncé and Björk (to name a few).

In this case study, you’ll get an in-depth look at the work they’re able to create, in 4k and 8k using FCPX, before a concert is even finished.

The Deliverables

  • Shoot as much footage as possible during the tours and deliver short behind-the-scenes videos against crazy deadlines for social media and broadcast news, all before the concert is finished.
  • At the studio, edit and finish feature-length concert documentaries and other high-end productions for broadcast, online media and cinema.

The Challenges

  1. SPEED. They are always working under incredible deadlines. The bulk of their footage is shot before and during the live concerts and has to be completed before the concert is finished.
  2. QUALITY. As if the speed of delivery wasn’t complicated enough, they do so while shooting on the highest resolution possible: 4k and 8k.
  3. SPACE. Since they’re constantly on the move, they have to be light and efficient.

The Solutions

“The internet is like the new broadcaster, anybody who does not see the value in producing things quickly for online is really missing the trick. That’s where the new demographic is, that’s where people watch things today. So, when we are on tour, it's all about speed in our workflow and getting things out.

Everything has to fit in a combination of Think Tank carry-on roller bags and backpacks and a single Pelican storm case. We never take more than we can manage between two people.

Two years ago I made a conscious decision to get rid of all of my HD cameras. We decided that everything from now on had to be 4K and up. It complicated our need to keep things on the lighter end for travel, but we knew it was for the best long-term.

We are lucky to work with a lot of bands that, I think, are important to document as a legacy of the things that they are doing. So I think it's our responsibility to shoot in the highest resolution that we can afford to. When people go back and hopefully revisit some of this footage for bands like The Rolling Stones in 10 years' time, then they don't want to see it as being shot in a format which dated very quickly.”

-- James Tonkin, Founder of Hangman Studios

The Outcome

"They have worked with more than 50 bands and artists, produced hundreds of short videos of live concerts and turned a significant amount of their footage into documentaries, preserving the live experience of these bands for generations to come. They shoot up to 300+ days out of the year and continue to push the envelope on what’s possible in video content for musicians."

"Any good software allows you different ways of working. We need ultimate reliability in whatever we use, but we also want the technology to kind of go away. OWC Jellyfish Rack is the heart of our post-production. Any project we work on requires collaboration. It requires us to share timelines and media. We can’t afford anything to go wrong. It’s where everything lives. It’s how we work. There’s a balance that we have to meet. Getting that immediacy and also being able to protect for the future and the longevity of that footage surviving. We have to preserve the footage we get in the highest format possible." James Tonkin - Founder of Hangman Studios


So what are you waiting for? Let's get you a OWC Jellyfish!