Anjunadeep 14 - Behind the Scenes in Malta


Anjunadeep 14 - Behind the Scenes in Malta

Since we released Anjunadeep 14 last month, we've been overwhelmed by the Anjunafamily's brilliant response to the mix, as well as James and Jody's livestreamed performance of the album, filmed in Malta. Setting the annual label compilation to beautiful scenery is becoming a bit of a new tradition for us here at HQ, and so we thought it high time to introduce you to our good friends Dream Beach Media, the production house behind this stream, and discuss how this project came together!

Here, we talk to Dream Beach’s Business Director Josh, and Creative Director Alex, about why Malta was the perfect location to shoot and how a Ben Böhmer concert brought Dream Beach and Anjunadeep together…

How did you get connected with Anjunadeep?

Here's a funny story for you! A group of us, including some close friends from Bali, were flying from Sicily to Prague in 2019 to attend Ben Bohmer's epic open-air concert. As creatives and filmmakers, we thought it would be a shame not to create some content for one of our favourite artists. So, I (Josh) spoke with Alex and suggested we offer our production support to Ben's manager via email.

After a few hours, we received a response from them asking if we could cover the concert for Ben's social media. We couldn't believe it! The shoot was on, but unfortunately, we couldn't drink as much at the event. Nonetheless, it was fantastic to meet Ben and the Anjuna team.

I've always been taught that if you don't ask, you don't get. From this simple email, we formed a trusted and supportive friendship with the best record label on the planet! Cheers team!

Josh (L) and Alex (R) on location in Malta. Photo Credit: Max Morrison
Josh (L) and Alex (R) on location in Malta. Photo Credit: Max Morrison

Why did you choose Malta as the location for the livestream?

Earlier this year, we explored various mesmerising European destinations, including Greece, Bulgaria, Iceland, and Norway. But sometimes you need to search in your own backyard!

Since we established a Dream Beach headquarters in Malta last year, we have gained extensive knowledge of the island's locations. We were confident that introducing Anjunadeep to Malta would be a great accomplishment due to the island's pre-existing love for melodic house music and our strong relationship with the tourism board, Visit Malta.

Now, we just needed to find the ideal location!

Initially, we attempted to construct a large barge on the iconic Blue Lagoon but faced some safety issues. Then we endeavoured to do this on Qarraba Rock, a large rock overlooking Golden Bay. However, we later realised that the only way to transport the DJ's, crew, and equipment to the top of the rock would be via helicopter. We continued scanning the island for new locations until we stumbled upon a cute little outcrop from the Qarraba Bay cliffs one week before the session while watching the sunset! A real Eureka moment!

We could hire a boat and conduct the session on this small, isolated, flat rock surrounded by the blue ocean and stunning Qarraba Bay cliffs. The rest, as they say, is history!

View of Qarraba Bay from the mountains. Photo Credit: Max Morrison
View of Qarraba Bay from the mountains. Photo Credit: Max Morrison

How long did filming take?

Anjunadeep 14 was filmed over several days, with the primary session taking place from 3:30 pm to approximately 6:30 pm. However, we always plan for two extra sunsets to capture more drone footage, which gives us additional material to work within post-production. As you can see from our Dream Beach sessions, we are big fans of FPV racing drones, just like James and Jody.

Although the primary filming session took only a few hours, it took a while for the entire project to come together. We usually start discussing locations and destinations with the Anjuna team in October or November of the preceding year. From idea to upload, the entire process took around five months to bring to fruition! We hope the Anjunafamily enjoys the final product, because we absolutely love it.

FPV Drone pilot Karina Movsesyan in action. Photo Credit: Max Morrison
FPV Drone pilot Karina Movsesyan in action. Photo Credit: Max Morrison

What was your favourite part of the shoot?

During these shoots, you experience a range of emotions, especially when the primary crew is dispersed in different locations and can only communicate through walkie-talkies.

Typically, Alex, Max, and I divide ourselves to manage the drone, roaming, and static camera units. Although I thoroughly enjoy the beginning when the low-end thumps in and engulfs the filming location, my favourite part is always the very end. That's when we can celebrate and embrace what we have accomplished with a cold beer! After packing up all the equipment, we head back and play our own sets. It's easy to imagine how fun our post-shoot parties can be!

Soundcheck with Josh. Photo Credit: Max Morrison
Soundcheck with Josh. Photo Credit: Max Morrison

What were the most challenging parts of shooting and editing this video?

A project of this magnitude presents numerous difficult moments that require overcoming hurdles in pre-production, securing location permits, production, and editing. However, none of this fazes us. We welcome challenges because the resulting reward is even more satisfying!

If you were to inquire about the most arduous section, I would turn to Alex. He is responsible for sorting through almost three hours of footage from five cameras and two drones. This task can be pretty daunting and time-consuming, but it's an absolute pleasure when you're working with music that you love. And I see Alex vibing away for days on end to the mix in the edit!

Alex (L) and Josh (R) getting the camera angles just right! Photo Credit: Max Morrison
Alex (L) and Josh (R) getting the camera angles just right! Photo Credit: Max Morrison

Which are your favourite tracks on the compilation? 👀

At Dream Beach Media, everyone has slightly different music preferences, but we all share a passion for deep and melodic house. Consequently, our HQ is always a lively and entertaining place to be, especially when Alex is DJ'ing with the Soundboks on full blast!

Since the first draft of Anjunadeep 14 was sent to Anjuna HQ, it's been on repeat in our studio! We love working and editing to this mix because it has fewer top lines that might distract us.

Here's the crew's favourite tracks from Deep 14...

Josh - Yotto ‘Silhouette’ (Antrim Remix)

Alex - Above & Beyond ‘Surge’ (PROFF & Igor Garanin Remix)

Max - Durante ‘Remedy’ (feat Running Touch)

Andre - RE/BORN ‘Sweet Mistake’

Jody Wisternoff and James Grant on location. Photo Credit: Max Morrison
Jody Wisternoff and James Grant on location. Photo Credit: Max Morrison

Listen to Anjunadeep 14 on the platform of your choice, or check out the Anjunadeep 14 livestream, filmed at Qarraba Bay, Malta, on the Anjunadeep YouTube channel.

Plus, if you like the look of Malta, why not sign up for the chance to join us at one of our most intimate events to date, taking place this October on the beautiful island nation. Click the button below to sign up for more information...

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Written and edited by Laura Toksvig and Claire Murgatroyd