CAPTURING THE INTENSITY OF A CONCERT TOUR
Schedule Packed from Morning Till Night
(L-R) Nick Jonas, Demi Lovato, Joe Jonas, Kevin Jonas Ph: Frank Masi,SMPSP © Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Shot primarily in Los Angeles, New York and Anaheim, the film conveys the intensity and craziness of the Jonas Brothers’ jam-packed days while on tour.
Joe says: “We love, as a band, being able to show everyone what our day is like. The film crews were there when we woke up in the morning to when we were going to bed really late at night. You get to see the full day’s schedule and see how crazy our album release week was.”
Scenes range from the brothers being woken at 4:30 a.m. by “Big Rob” to being chased down streets by screaming fans and making their escape by helicopter. They are also seen performing in arenas and in Central Park, and being mobbed by frenetic admirers in Times Square. Additional behind-the-scenes footage captures the boys eating breakfast, discussing their upcoming day, hitting golf balls in an empty arena, riding around on Segway electric scooters and otherwise having fun between performances.
“Basically we had two units,” Repola says. “We had our main shooting unit and then we had what we called our Jack unit because the unit was headed up by Jack Kney. Jack followed the brothers from city to city filming them, though obviously not everything could be included in the final film.”
“Those three months on tour were crazy,” Joe says. “You wake up and immediately do interviews. Then you get to see really cool cities, you get to do amazing things. We’d rehearse, then at night we go to the venue around 4, do our sound check, eat, get ready mentally, warm our voices up and go on stage. Then we’d jump around like maniacs for three hours, playing our music, doing gymnastic moves, spraying the audience with foam and just trying to give the fans the best show and the most fun possible.”
“Big Rob” Feggans says that in the film, “you see how hard life on the road is. And you also see how much they appreciate what the fans are giving them and how hard the brothers work for them. They’re really fan oriented.” And those fans return the love, sometimes in crazy ways. “I’ve seen everything,” Feggans says laughing. “They’ll try to come in to the brothers’ rooms in room service carts and laundry hampers. I’ve even seen them trying to come in wearing police outfits. I’ve seen it all.”
Feggans isn’t limited to security work. He’s a star in his own right, rapping on stage with the Jonas Brothers during their performances of “Burnin’ Up.” Intercut with the film’s concert footage are behind-the-scenes and off-the-wall sequences, one of which features a group called the Fake Jonas Brothers, whom Nick Jonas discovered on YouTube. Producer Art Repola says: “We flew them in and they ran around interacting with the fans. It’s just a big bunch of fun. Their thing in the movie is, ‘If you can’t see the real ones, why not see the fake ones?’”
The brothers found the Fake Jonas Brothers hilarious, particularly their refrain, “The Jonas Brothers are living the dream, and we’re dreaming the life.” Nick says: “Every moment for us is just kind of amazing, the fact that we’re here right now, doing what we love, and that people love what we do. I mean it’s kind of a crazy experience, and to see our amazement in the film I think is really going to stand out for the movie’s viewers.”
Release of CD Takes Brothers to New York City
The release of their new album, “A Little Bit Longer,” which debuted August 12, 2008, during the filming of the movie, took the brothers to New York City for four days. In addition to concerts at Bryant Park in
“They basically closed down Times Square,” Repola says. “It looked like New Year’s Eve.” For the “Good Morning America” concert in Bryant Park, “fans lined up for days,” Repola says. “One of our fans said, ‘We’ve slept in the rain for 72 hours to meet you guys,’” Joe says, marveling at their dedication.
“There’s this kind of mutual-love relationship between the fans and us, and we really do appreciate each other,” Nick says. The Bryant Park concert broke all attendance records with a crowd of 18,000. The performance was followed by three quickly sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden, then one night at Jones Beach.
They also filmed a music video in Central Park of their never-beforeheard song “Love Is on Its Way.” “This is a song that we wrote with our dad,” Nick says, “so it’s very personal to all of us. We got to shoot the music video in Central Park the day after our album released, and it was just an amazing experience.”
In the course of the music video the cameras cut away from the boys performing to them having fun in costumes. Joe appears as a mustachioed New York City policeman, Nick plays a hackney cab driver and Kevin appears as a hot dog vendor.
“A lot of what the Jonases are is their connection with their fans,” says Hendricks. “So what we were able to do here is ask the fans on the street if they wanted to be part of the video.
For the end shot we pull back and reveal Central Park and the grassy area with all the fans. The song and the video and the film are really for them.” “There were so many fans that came to help us film the music video,” Joe says, “and lots of them were couples, so it was a really cool part of the movie.”
MAIN CONCERT FILMED OVER TWO DAYS
Huge Logistical Achievement
The main concert footage in the film was shot in Anaheim, California, at the Honda Center,home of the Anaheim Ducks, which sold out its approximately 7,000 seats for two shows on two days. Three giant “dinosaur-like” Technocranes (as Nick describes them) were constructed, each carrying a 3-D camera rig. An additional two 3-D camera rigs were on Steadicams and one was on a dolly. With a final couple of 3-D rigs, the total came to eight. To handle all the equipment and capture the excitement of the performances, director Hendricks marshaled a huge crew of 172.
“There’s a lot of logistics to filming a concert in 3-D,” Hendricks says. “It was probably one of the largest concert operations ever pulled off, and we had to do it all in two days.”
Making special guest appearances in the concert portion of the film are two of the hottest young talents in the music business: Demi Lovato and Taylor Swift.
Lovato and the brothers perform “This Is Me,” reprising a duet she first sang with Joe Jonas on the “Camp Rock” soundtrack and which reached No. 1 on the iTunes Top 100. Lovato opened for the Jonas Brothers on their “Burnin’ Up” tour, and she and the brothers collaborated on writing several of the songs on her debut album. Taylor Swift and the Jonas Brothers share the stage on “Should’ve Said No,” a hit single from Swift’s platinum debut album. Swift wrote the song when she was 16, and it became a No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
FILMING THE TOUR IN 3-D
Filmmakers Deploy State-of-the-Art Cameras
The mission of the film is to provide the audience with an experience unlike any other, projecting each and every viewer directly into the heart of the Jonas Brothers’ dynamic performance. Disney Digital 3-D is the Walt Disney Company’s term to describe threedimensional films shown exclusively using digital projection. The technology provides sharp, crisp imagery and lifelike appearances.
Bruce Hendricks recognized that utilizing 3-D inevitably involved challenges, particularly for the Jonas Brothers, who would have to perform several shows with an entire team of cameras getting up close and personal and following their every move.
“Unlike the normal 2-D process,” explains Hendricks, “3-D is best served shooting close and wide. So the performers can’t be too conscious of the cameras, no matter how near they are. That’s not easy for anyone, but the guys were terrific.”
“In the ’50s 3-D was very gimmicky,” Hendricks says. “Now it’s far more mainstream and there’s new technology that makes it a little bit easier to make 3-D films. A number of major filmmakers now like Jim Cameron and Robert Zemeckis have embraced it, and it certainly lends itself beautifully to concert films.
“In many cases in this film you feel like you’re on the front row,” Hendricks continues. “We’ve put the cameras up there on the stage with the guys, so it’s like you’re a band member, you’re there on stage with them, you’re their guitar tech handing them their guitar, you’re part of the orchestra section with the band. We immerse the viewer so they not only get a better view but actually feel like they’re on stage with the band.”
With the show specially crafted to be experienced in three dimensions, Hendricks needed the latest state-of-the-art equipment to capture every inch of what was happening on stage…and beyond. That’s why he turned to Cameron/PACE Designs, the world’s leading innovator in advanced 3-D and digital cinema systems, and Vince Pace, who developed a photographic system that would help translate the show onto the screen with its live-wire atmosphere intact. This was not their first time working together, for Hendricks, Pace, and director of photography Mitchell Amundsen had collaborated on the “Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert” film, utilizing the groundbreaking Fusion 3-D camera rigs recently invented by PACE to film the movie.
Pace originally designed the Fusion 3-D camera rigs with the Academy Award®-winning filmmaker James Cameron, who has been a leading pioneer in expanding the creative possibilities of 3-D.
Fusion 3-D camera rigs, which work on principles similar to human eyesight, are able to provide a depth of field and perspective never before seen in movie theaters. Cameron first utilized them to create acclaimed underwater documentaries, but more recently, filmmakers like Hendricks have started exploring how the Fusion 3-D camera rigs can bring hard-to-capture events, such as sports and concerts, to life in a way that harnesses the full emotional thrill of an in-the-moment experience.
Pace says: “James Cameron and I set out to change entertainment as we know it bydesigning the tools necessary to shoot a new form of 3-D, one that is based more on experience than effect. These cameras operate much like a person. They have two eyes, in this case two high-definition cameras mimicking a left and right eye, and a very powerful brain that for us is the computer in the system. In a sense, our cameras capture the image just like a human person witnesses an event. Our images give the viewer the ability to experience exactly what it was like to be there.”
In the end, the choice to film “Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience” in 3-D was not a gimmick; it was about letting audiences experience the immediacy and charisma of the Jonas Brothers and the joy they take in their work and fans. “We love being out on the road,” Kevin says. “We love seeing our fans. We love the craziness. It’s really fun to be able to portray our lives in this film. I think you get a really great grasp of who we are as the Jonas Brothers and the dynamic of our family.”
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