With the challenges of 2020 having hit the music and entertainment industry really hard it has been difficult for artists to bring new music to their fans live. Taylor Swift was determined to give something back to hers and invite them into her private studio. Cue the release of Taylor Swift’s Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions on Disney+. This provided a welcome, intimate insight into one of the biggest recording stars of our time. A mix between documentary film and live performance, sees Swift perform all the tracks from her Folklore album live at the secluded Long Pond Studio in upstate New York.
Shooting the gig however was going to be a difficult task. Not only is the studio a small space, packed with equipment, but Covid-19 restrictions meant that the shoot had to be undertaken with minimal people. That led leading East Coast camera systems specialist JITACAM to suggest the use of Motion Impossible’s AGITO TRAX modular dolly system.
“There were a couple of reasons why we thought the AGITO would be perfect for this,” comments JITACAM owner, John Pry. “First off, it can maneuver in some really tight spaces. We built a 30-foot track with straight sections and curved portions right around the mixing desk, enabling us to get really close to the performers. Second, it’s fully wireless, which means that you don’t need an additional person wrangling cables in the room. In fact, we were able to operate it from outside the studio space completely, for the whole shoot.”
As well as its Covid-compliance, the AGITO was also quiet in operation, which was an important aspect given the stripped back nature of the performances in question.
“Generally, all the songs are very mellow, you don’t have drums and guitar taking over the sound space, so we had to operate the AGITO as noiselessly as possible,” says Pry. “It’s a powerful unit but it is capable of performing quietly and being unobtrusive meant Taylor and everyone else could just do their thing.”
The above advantages of the remote dolly system meant AGITO TRAX was used extensively throughout the filming of this Long Pond studio session.
AGITO offers multiple configurations to suit your filming needs, it’s a swiss army knife for film-makers. When you add the Trax to the AGITO Core, your system becomes a remotely operated track dolly that is ideal for use in studios or venues where the safety of a pre-set path is required. The compact and low profile design means the camera becomes as invisible as possible in the environment.