Live music is a way of life in Austin. The Live Music Capital of the World was turned upside down during this year’s pandemic, and no one felt the effects quite as harshly as the hospitality soldiers. Musicians, bouncers, technicians, bartenders, and every member of a live music venue’s team had their lives affected in a devastating way this year. That’s why we were so excited by the opportunity to partner with Jägermeister and the Night After Night agency to create the “Our Stages, Our Stories” video and photo campaign.
“Our Stages, Our Stories,” aims to spotlight industry staff as they look back on the past year and ahead to the possibility of nightlife’s return. Jägermeister is stepping up to help the National Independent Venue Association, the “Save Our Stages” effort and Crew Nation, which support indie music venues and affected workers who have been impacted by the pandemic for the past 13 months. (You can donate here to support the effort.)
Jägermeister and NIVA are launching “Our Stages, Our Stories,” which aims to spotlights industry staff as they look back on the past year and ahead to the possibility of nightlife’s return. The collection of vignettes highlights independent venues and members of their staff in seven markets across the U.S. including Los Angeles, Detroit, New York, New Orleans, Austin, Chicago, and Atlanta. We were proud to be chosen as the team to document the Austin market for this story. We shot, interviewed, and provided local live music background on the state of live music venues during the pandemic.
Jägermeister wanted this campaign to be about real people, real stories, and an eye-opener of what their venue-staff lives have become in the absence of their local stages. The goal of the campaign was to film vignettes profiling individuals in personifying venues to tell intimate stories and make their cases as to why these venues must be saved. We knew the right person was a natural storyteller, engaging, comfortable on camera, and worked for many years in our featured venue, which ended up being the legendary venue Antone’s. We were looking for engaging stories from a staff member that were humorous, sincere, iconic, and life-changing. Myles Crosby, audio engineer at Antone’s, was a perfect fit for the stories we were trying to tell. Myles was so helpful and giving during our process. He was genuinely engaged in the goal of the campaign and in his willingness to share his real stories about what Austin lives have become in the absence of their local stages.
The shoot took place at Antone’s with social distancing and safety protocols firmly in place as we captured the stories Myles had to tell. Revelator director Erica Silverman captured both walk-and-talk interview footage around the famous venue to hear Myles’ amazing history associated with the famous stage, but she also captured an in-depth seated interview. The goal was to give the campaign the most diverse collection of material as possible. Knowing the stories would be edited into stand-alone social profiles, but also used as a component of overview promos and video cutdowns that encapsulated several markets.
Real-time client review helped us move quickly and efficiently as were in constant contact with both Jägermeister client and Night After night agency team members. A direct camera and microphone feed from our production team helped the off-site client reviews fluid and easy. Still photography was also a major component of the campaign so we brought on the amazing Clay Grier to help us capture product and talent photography in tandem with the video shoot during the day. This meant an organized and well-timed schedule was in place from the jump, but a cracker-jack team of video production and photo crew not only allowed for a seamless production day, but also helped us get this invaluable message out to help a program that is so helpful and important to the Revelator family.