Want to feel famous? You don’t need to be a singing sensation to be the star of your own music video. Just snag an Instabooth from Frost Productions for any event, and you (and your guests!) can party like a rock star with all the glitz and glamour of any celebrity compilation.
“Imagine it: your hair is blowing, the music is playing, and you’re with your friends and family,” says Jen Hawkins of Jen Hawkins Events, a Boston-based event design and party planning firm. “It’s absolutely dynamic.”
Hawkins first approached Frost with the idea for a video booth after seeing the Vogue “Manus x Machina,” a futuristic Instagram video portrait studio at the 2016 Met Ball, where famous attendees like Madonna, Kendall Jenner, and Jaden Smith strutted their stuff.
“I saw these celebrities dressed up and dancing in this alleyway of strobe lights,” says Hawkins. “At the time, I was planning a Sweet 16 and I thought, ‘Oh, this would be killer.’”
Hawkins pitched the booth to the client, based solely on the bare bones concept from the Met Ball videos, then went to the Frost team to ask them to recreate something similar.
“The party was at the [Institute of Contemporary Art] and I thought it would be so cool to have something in the glass elevator in the center of the museum that took a group up, made the magic happen, then sent them back down for the next group,” Hawkins says. “Unfortunately, the logistics of that were impossible.”
But Frost came up with an even better plan. After measuring the dimensions of the elevator, they created sketches back in their studio to show Hawkins and the client, then built a stationary booth based on the original concept. The Instabooth was fitted with speakers to play music for the groups inside, a program of strobe lights to correspond with the beat, and a fan for extra fierceness.
“It ended up even better than what I was picturing,” says Hawkins. “With the booth in one place, people could see what was happening and understand what we were actually doing.”
At first, Hawkins says the party-goers didn’t know how to react to the booth because they’d never seen anything like it, so she decided to pull in a group to give it a test run.“We had hired a few models and actors for staff at the event,” says Hawkins. “When we asked them if they would mind jumping in and dancing for a video, they were like, ‘Are you kidding me? We thought you’d never ask.’ Once the kids gathered around to see what was happening, it was a done deal. The line formed and they kept coming all night.”
In addition to the high production value and special effects, something that sets the Instabooth apart from traditional booths is an actual human. A videographer is on-site, editing each video to give the best and quickest results.
“We partnered with Brighter Lights Media to figure out how to deliver the videos to each person,” says Hawkins. “The process was simple. A group goes in, they dance for about a minute or 90 seconds. You give the videographer your cell phone number, and then they edit the footage behind the scenes. Fifteen to 20 minutes later, you get texted a 15-second music video to post on social media. It’s that fast.”
For as swiftly as the videos were produced, the news spread fast about the booth’s success.
“The first booth was so successful that my own kids – who did not attend the party and had no connection to it – heard about it and saw it on Instagram,” says Hawkins.
Hawkins says she knew the music videos would go over well with teenagers, but was pleasantly surprised that the booth was a hit with older crowds at later events.“What was really funny is that we ended up reusing the same booth at a multigenerational event, and it was even more popular,” says Hawkins. “It wasn’t just the kids who loved it. It was adults, parents, and grandparents that were getting the biggest kick out of it.”
After seeing the effects of the black booth, Hawkins and Frost teamed up again to create a second booth with a new, sleek design. The hologram Instabooth had the same lights, music, fan, and video features as the first booth, but with a mirrored, angular design. Due to the reaction she gets from clients, Hawkins says that a plan for a third booth is already under way.
“They’re just elated,” says Hawkins. “Every time I see a new video, I can tell how much fun they’re having. They’re always so blown away by the end result.”
Since their first collaboration in 2014, Hawkins says that Frost has always been her go-to lighting company because of their ability to go above and beyond to pull off amazing feats.
“You can come to them with anything and they’re not afraid to try new things,” says Hawkins. “They’re so talented that you have this confidence that they’ll bring your idea to fruition. People don’t get that lighting is the most important aspect of any event; it can translate how you feel and make or break an event. You need someone reliable in charge of that.”
If you book an Instabooth for your next event or happen to come across one when you’re out on the town, be prepared to be dazzled. The booth is ideal for riding solo or groups of two to three if you’re ready to bust out some serious dancing moves, but you can also squeeze in groups of six to seven if you just need the room to shyly shimmy.
“Just have fun,” Hawkins says. “Don’t worry; the booth lighting makes you look amazing.”
For more information on the Instabooth experience or to plan an event with Frost Productions, visit frostproductions.biz.
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