Interview: Enamoured Iris serve up a proper dose of BTS festival fever with ‘AAA Access Festival Pass’

Enamoured Iris are my kind of cinephile, this crew are at the heart of capturing festivals in all their crazy, beautiful glory.

Enamoured Iris, the Melbourne-based production powerhouse, has just dropped their latest gem: ‘AAA Access Festival Pass’.

Clocking in at a smooth 17 minutes, this mini-documentary invites us on a BTS stroll through Australia’s electric festival scene, spotlighting some of the biggest beats on the calendar.

paddy enamoured iris

In a sit-down with Paddy, one of the geniuses behind Enamoured Iris, he spilled the beans on his early metalhead days and a game-changing festival moment in 2011.

That’s the spark that lit the fuse for this thrilling venture. The documentary not only grooves to the festival rhythm but also peels back the curtain on the team’s hustle across six different events.

Paddy’s all about blending cool tech and edgy techniques seamlessly into their process. It’s about pushing boundaries without losing the vibe that only a festival can bring.

‘AAA BTS Festival Pass’ is a love letter to the Enamoured Iris crew’s dedication in the heart of the festival whirlwind.

Peering into the future, Paddy gave us a sneak peek into the evolving scene of film and advertising in the Australian music industry.

He even dropped some nuggets from their summer festival escapades, painting a vivid picture of their adventurous journey. With Enamoured Iris steering the ship, you can bet on more, trailblazing creations to come.

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Happy: What did you listen to or watch growing up that inspired Festival focus in your work? 

Paddy: When I was growing up I was obsessed with metal bands. I would force my portable CD player into a pocket that was not designed to take such technology and play albums from Pantera, Rage, NIN, Slipknot, Dream Theater and Fear Factory. 

I started studying music, took up drums, played in 10 bands and became obsessed with music. In 2011, I did the back to back Melbourne and Sydney Big Day Out shows.

I was in a mosh pit with my face sandwiched against the back of a thick 200 kg guy, watching the John Butler Trio warm up for Rammstein [true story]. 

Unable to move, the wind began to cool his back sweat, and his wet T-shirt was starting to turn into a portable steam room in the 35 degree heat.

I looked out and thought, imagine being able to film this moment… I was hooked on the idea ever since. 

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Happy: Enamoured Iris has truly captured the essence of Australian music festivals in ‘AAA BTS Festival Pass’. What inspired you to undertake this ambitious project? 

Paddy: Our inspiration for ‘AAA BTS Festival Pass’ is a blend of two great loves: film and the vibrant Australian music festival scene. 

Festivals are living, breathing experiences where music, culture, and energy converge in extraordinary ways. Every time we turn on our cameras at a festival, it’s like starting from scratch. 

We approach each one with the mindset that we’re only as good as our last project, and there’s an ever-ticking countdown timer—the show’s duration—that adds an element of stirring urgency to our work.

These festivals are an integral part of our creative DNA, and ‘AAA BTS Festival Pass’ was our way of sharing that magic with the world.

 Beyond capturing the music and the crowd, we aimed to spotlight the sacrifices and joys that define our work—the sleepless nights, the physically demanding shoots, and the relentless pursuit of excellence that is the hallmark of Enamoured Iris. In essence, our inspiration for ‘AAA BTS Festival Pass’ was born from a desire to celebrate the enchantment of festivals, showcase our team’s dedication, and push the boundaries of storytelling through film. 

Happy: The documentary offers an intimate look into the world of Enamoured Iris.What were some of the challenges you faced while filming across six different festivals? 

Paddy: Adapting to the ever-changing physical environment and relentless pace of a festival, while maintaining the highest filming standards was both exhilarating and demanding. Our team’s physical endurance was truly put to the test, often requiring us to walk upwards of 90 kilometres during a four-day event carrying 10kgs and being overly positive to everyone we come in contact with. 

Moreover, we had to contend with unpredictable weather conditions, which affect our underlying schedule. 

We are dealing with everything from scorching sun to sudden downpours, and we have to be able to carry everything that we need to defend ourselves as well as film in a backpack. 

We really look to our producers and camera assistants to help us to meticulously plan our schedules, crew time and editing sessions to hit some of our content deadlines that are sometimes 48 hours after an event. 

This also means managing the 10,000-15,000 shots [6-12TB of footage] from <19 cameras has to be backed up three times whilst our post-production team are trying to start editing. It’s as much of a technical nightmare as much as it is physical. 

Happy: In a world of rapidly evolving technology, how did Enamoured Iris utilise cutting-edge techniques to capture the festival experience in a unique way? 

Paddy: Creativity is at the forefront of everything that we do. We integrate technology and new editing techniques into our daily workflows. 

Every single day one of us will be experimenting with a new technique or concept. This is very much like jamming in a band. 

You sometimes have to get lost with experimentation and making terrible ideas work first. We treat our office like an incubator, specifically the post production team, working on new ideas and experimenting with new effects so that when it comes to filming and editing, we can implement them. 

Happy: What message or emotion do you hope viewers will take away from ‘AAA BTS Festival Pass’?

Paddy: If you want to film a music festival you really have to sacrifice a lot.

Happy: The documentary showcases Enamoured Iris as a visionary force. How do you envision the future of film and advertising in the Australian music industry? 

Paddy: Our brand is centred around pushing the evolution of storytelling in whatever medium we create. But we’re also having to steer around this one very important objective, which is maintaining the attention of everyone that we’re creating content for. We’re having to really fight to create longer form videos… I’m talking about anything over 60 seconds. When you have to pull a story together in under 10 seconds, five seconds, or even in three seconds you start relying on purely cinematic editing techniques.

Happy: If ‘AAA BTS Festival Pass’ had a soundtrack, what would be the top three songs on it? 

Paddy: 1. Blodbylgje – Kati Ran Best enjoyed: Before entering into The Coliseum, A Viking Funeral or on the way to a music festival.

Used by us: We play this backstage before we go out to film every festival, it activates your abstract creative side and a call to adventure.

Prequell – Part X Best enjoyed: Character pondering montages, deep self reflection and comparing your intellect to some of history’s greatest minds whilst looking in the mirror.

Used by us: Driving home from a music festival at 4am, covered in dirt, sleep-deprived, starving of hunger and wondering if you made the right life decision to accept this job.

Stavroz – The Finishing Best enjoyed: When making a playlist for for an anthem from the Angels*, watching the sunset or reflecting on your life.

Used by us: As our Superfoods morning breakfast cleanse minus the açai. When you wake up on day four of a festival and realising the last three days were a warm-up. *Just when you think you’ve heard an anthem from the Angels, the Sax melody appears and massages your frontal lobe. It’s total bliss. They feature in the top three of our playlist: 

Happy: Which festival moment blew your mind the most while filming?

Paddy: I was semi tackled by a security guard while flying a drone in Brisbane. It blew his mind that I had permits and was meant to be there. [FYI we were flying by the Government rules]. It basically rained for three days,a nd i looked at one of our colleagues and said we are totally fucked, on day four the sun came out, luckily, and we could film again.

Happy: What’s the most outrageous festival fashion trend you’ve encountered during your filming journey? 

Paddy: Mullets. Lately it feel like everyone is crazily trying to outdo each other, in crazy and ridiculous outfits, I dunno how you would describe it, its wild wacky world, posh style music festival, heaps of influencers around, and people dressed as purple Willy Wonka’s oompa loompas and the paint was still wet, smearing people as they walked past.

Happy: If Enamoured Iris hosted its own festival, given everything you have seen and experienced, what would be the top three must-have attractions or experiences?

Paddy: We would sell 30 tickets and have a circular stage surrounded by a rollercoaster. No one would be allowed off, and there would only be one band playing the world’s longest set in like 6 hours. A giant jam, exclusive and exciting and a roller coaster of an experience, that’s something that you would never forget. 

Happy: What’s next for Enamoured Iris? Any upcoming projects or ventures that our readers can look forward to? 

Paddy: We’re working on Episode two of our bts mini doc, we are starting to film again, now that we know how to improve things, it’s always hard to record yourself, but this is the first time we’ve turned the camera around on ourselves, and we are really looking forward to it. And I think, the stories write themselves in total chaos.

Happy: Could you share some behind-the-scenes anecdotes or standout moments from your summer festival tour?

Paddy: There was moment in 2019, and we looked around, 100 people in the front row crying for Matt corby, and i think that is a good anecdote for the summer festival, because you love it so much, and when people look at you, internally your body is crying, because you love it so much, and when people look at you , your not sure whether they are tears of joy or tears of fear. 

Happy: Can you tell us about any groundbreaking techniques or equipment used during the production of this mini-documentary?

Paddy: We use 19 different cameras, 100 different effects, and new techniques in this summers festival, we are always trying to push the boundaries of filmmaking, especially content marketing, trying to maintain the attention of everyone, so its up to us to come up with these groundbreaking experimental things that no ones ever seen before but we are always learning, and always experimenting with new effects all the time. 

Happy: Which festival headliner do you think would make the best honorary member of Enamoured Iris and why?

Paddy: Shooting Stars Bag Raiders. A Lot of the shows we film are are pre planned, some of the artists aren’t performers, but the Bag Raiders whole show was like a giant meme, the singer got up on a scaffold, and dry humped the air, that was a metaphor for how much fun you can have at festival.

Happy: What makes you happy?

Paddy: We’re a group of cinephiles that came into music festival marketing. The freedom in the creative process is the reason we keep involved in the industry, it’s really creatively nourishing. This makes me so happy to be working alongside the best people in the industry.