#ExpressLoveToday: Behind the Scenes with Lucid Audio

May 22, 2017 HLT WhatDoYouWantToHear Booth 0 Comments

I recently sat down to interview Dustin, who works with Circus Picnic, a creative video and entertainment studio based in Austin, Texas.  Dustin and his team at Circus Picnic played a crucial part in producing our most recent video in which unsuspecting people walked into a sound booth to hear the voices of their loved ones sharing thoughtful words with them.

The video is touching, and it looks like a challenge to produce, so I wanted to learn more about the process from Dustin!  Below are his answers to some of the questions I asked him.

Savannah: Tell me about your experience filming the video. 

Dustin: It was a really surprising and uplifting process.  I didn’t realize how many moving parts there would be and how challenging it would be to get ahold of so many people.  We were relying on the friends and families of our subjects to take the lead.  It was amazing to see how people stepped up to the challenge.  When we would reach out to these strangers and tell them that we were putting this on for their sister or family member, etc, there was almost this breath of relief.  It was like they had been in search of this exact opportunity to share how important that person was to them.

S: That seems like a complex process. Could you tell me more about the logistics of getting the messages?

D: Well, the way we set it up was that we had kind of a secret agent who was the point person with each of our subjects.  This point person would help us get in contact with the family and the loved ones.  The process of taking the recording was pretty low-tech.  They would email or text the audio recording to us.  So, 2 weeks before the shoot, I was getting text messages from people whose numbers I didn’t know and it was people leaving heartfelt messages for their loved one!  It continuously made my day.

S: How did you pick the people to go in the sound booth? 

D: We wanted to pick people who we felt needed or deserved a pick-me-up, or people who might really be experiencing some challenges in their life and could benefit from being showered with love and gratitude.  So, between the people who were involved in making the production, we identified people in our networks who might fit that mold.

S: How did you get the chosen people to the phone booth?

D: It was a challenge getting people to the event without knowing it.  We had to confirm that they were going to be available to be there, and that our undercover agent would also be available to bring them to the event.  We had their friend reach out to them and invite them to the event by telling them they had free tickets to this art show, and asked if they wanted to come along.  On site, it was very tricky to have everything line up perfectly.  We had someone scheduled to come to the booth on the hour every hour.  It was tricky to make sure that people didn’t overlap.  We were on the phone texting our undercover agents throughout the day, but it worked out.

S: Tell me a little bit more about the setting.

D: Art City was at the Long Center in Austin, Texas.  It had a ton of artists come and display their work in tents.  We were halfway down the first long strip of tents.  Our “undercover agent” would would tell us when the person was approaching so we could be prepared.

S: How did you create the booth? 

D: Creating the booth was also interesting because we had a back and forth about the best way to do this.  We wanted to have a camera straight-on shooting their reaction.  We wanted it to be an intimate experience, so there was some two-way glass and a camera behind it so we could film their reactions.

S: What happened when a random person walked into the booth? 

D: We had created what we called “a universal set of compliments and affirmations.”  Our team in the office recorded positive messages that were not specific to any one person.  They were just good reminders of things like how unique people are and trying to lift people up and brighten their day.  The universal recording was playing in between participants arriving.  Though it’s not included in our main video, the universal recording features the voices of several people.  It felt like these people were in the booth with you.  The recording would play for about 30 seconds to a minute.  People chose how long they wanted to listen for.

S: What was the inspiration behind all of this? 

D: We, in general as a society, generally have trouble receiving compliments.  We have trouble listening to positive feedback.  Often, there’s a challenge of expressing yourself and telling people how you feel.  But there’s also the challenge of accepting positive feedback.  We are all hyper-self-critical and just generally take issue with that.  We filmed on April Fools Day. So we wanted to create the nicest April Fools prank ever.  A great way to do that, we thought, would be to shower them with compliments.  We wanted them to just stop everything they were doing and just receive love from their family and friends.

We are so impressed with Dustin’s work and his immense knowledge! Thanks, Dustin and Circle Picnic! So, how are you going to #ExpressLoveToday? Let us know in our comments section!

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