By now, you've hopefully had a chance to check out the amazing new National Blues Museum downtown. It opened April 2016, and we at Hugmonster Sound spent a good portion of 2015 working on a wide variety of sound and music exhibits. Here's a short rundown on our work on one of the exhibits there!
Jug Band Jammin' is an interactive room that teaches you how to play four traditional instruments. The exhibit designers had spec'd out a room that would have four kiosks, one for each instrument, and a large screen on the front wall to guide visitors through the experience.
What they didn't have yet was a song, players, or a plan for how they would interact on screen. So, we hired the amazing Ryan Spearman (top center of this image) here in St Louis to write, and worked with him to create a song that would allow all six musicians to interact with each other on screen Brady Bunch style.
We helped cast and book the 5 other musicians who played along, and worked with the designers from Gallagher as well as the musicians themselves to craft instructional scripts to play on the kiosks.
We then worked with Chris Benson and his team at Lamplight Films to storyboard how the musicians would interact, where they should look, and when. We even scripted a 2-minute "idle" screen where they tell jokes to the other musicians.
We spent two days at Shock City Studios shooting the musicians - each was filmed and their audio recorded separately so that we and the exhibit designers maintained maximum control over the experience.
We ran the shoot, from approving shots to working on the audio mix, even lying on the floor managing the cables for in-ear monitors (squint at that picture below left)!
The final result is something you really have to experience to understand, and it's a brilliant mixture of music, video, interactivity, and education. Props to the team at Gallagher and Associates for dreaming up such a cool exhibit, and thanks for bringing us along for the ride!
Be sure to visit the National Blues Museum soon to check out this and all the other great exhibits there, and stay tuned to our blog for another behind-the-scenes from our time working with these great folks!