Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 14/3/2012 (3426 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
I checked out the MTS cable system in 2009. That particular cable service has plenty to offer its customers: movies, sports events and a myriad of different programs throughout a vast amount of networks, not to mention a plethora of specialty channels.
But the one thing that stood out to me as I was flicking through the slick program guide was the On Demand service and the coverage provided on Winnipeg’s music scene. When I first discovered this, I remember thinking what most supporters of the local music scene must have thought: "There needs to be a Westman version of this On Demand option!"
Back then I had so many things going on — family demands (and believe me there are many when you have a one-year-old son in the household), the KX Morning Show, planning Ridgefest, building a music repertoire with Groove Kitchen, not to mention writing this column, etc., etc... OK, OK, I know — excuses, excuses!
But you know what they say, "Don’t delay acting on a good idea. Chances are that somebody else has just thought of it, too. It’s all about putting that idea into motion." Not sure who’s credited with that quote but really, isn’t just a nicer way of saying "you snooze, you lose"?
That may be the case but I’m quite happy to say it’s not a loss. It’s a huge gain for the local music scene!
Fast forward approximately three years. Local filmmaker and former CKX TV photog Christopher Beyette is approached by MTS to create a segment on Brandon’s music scene for their On Demand feature in the art and entertainment section.
He takes the assignment and shortly afterward subsequent phone calls are made and the wheels are in motion on something that everybody in the local music scene is looking forward to.
While putting the finishing touches on the planning stages for the first shoot at The 40 last week, Chris took some time out to get us up to speed on this exciting new On Demand series for MTS cable.
Q & A with Chris:
Do you have a title for this MTS feature?
The title of the series is called "Wheat City Live!"
List the bands that will be in the first edition.
The band lineup is as follows: FUGR, 18 Rabbit, Arctic Circle, Misty Street and Effect and Cause. It is going to be a great show.
What does each segment consist of? Will it be all live footage or will you have some more candid studio scenes, etc.?
Each episode consists mainly of a live performance element with interviews of band members edited into it.
Other than yourself, who else is involved with this project?
I have hired some TV veterans to help with shooting the project. Graham Street of Street Media is helping both in the live production and the interview aspect of the shoot. Shaun Cameron, Nate Bower, and Scott Canart — all no strangers to TV production — are there for the live performance shoots. Chris Nylen from Faders is going to be recording the audio for the performances.
How many cameras were used in this production?
In all we will have seven cameras covering the live aspect of the program — four of them are manned and three are static on stage. One camera is on a crane arm for those epic sweeping shots.
Will there be much post-production editing done to create a higher-end viewing experience?
I will be spending a lot of time in post production to edit everything into an exciting looking and sounding project for Manitoba to enjoy.
Is all the content provided by bands original material or will there be cover tunes?
All the music in this production is original material by the bands or traditional selections. No covers will be heard on this show.
When will this hit the TV airwaves?
I hope the series will be available on demand in the summer, perhaps July but I am not 100 per cent on that.
Will "Wheat City Live!" become a regular series on the MTS cable package?
I hope it becomes a regular feature, as new bands with original material show up. We may indeed do a series 2!
What is your take on how the local music scene has grown over the past five to 10 years?
The music scene here in Brandon has grown a lot in the last five to 10 years. Bands are starting to form that are not just cover bands anymore. They are developing their own style and identity in regards to the music they write. Most bands that do original music tend to eventually leave the Wheat City and move on to better pastures. This TV series is about highlighting local bands that are doing their own music and carving out a name for themselves in this province and the rest of the country. I hope this series helps them further their careers as music artists.
Frank McGwire is a radio personality and booster of the music scene in Brandon and Westman.