The Fresh Beat Band is a popular weekly TV show on the Nick Jr. network about four teenage friends that go to music school. Each episode integrates original pop songs, performed by the kids. To promote two of their biggest songs, the producers decided to create full-blown, rock-concert style music videos. Jeff Ravitz was the lighting designer for the two-day shoot that took place at a Santa Monica soundstage.
The budget was tight, as was the schedule for all that had to be accomplished. Priorities had to be established to ensure the most important elements were included in the design. In addition to the four principals, there were six dancers on a fairly large stage. It had to look big, so even though there weren’t large quantities of lights, they were spread out strategically to achieve optimum angles for total coverage, as well as to create the concert excitement factor that moving lights can add. Good sparkle and eye-candy was also needed, as something for the cameras to see in all the backgrounds. Less expensive LED fixtures were used to create soft, color-changing flashes of light behind the performers. These fixtures also filled the spaces between two large projection screens. Whenever projection is used on a shoot, care must be taken to avoid spill on the screens. But, more critical is the need to balance the projection image with the stage lighting so the camera can register both properly.
After several takes and one big confetti drop, the songs were in the can and off to post-production.