20 July 2005
Two Nights of Filming in Milan
'Each night is for real,' says U2's longtime video producer Ned O'Hanlon.
The stage is set for two nights of filming in Milan, tonight and tomorrow. A crew of 130 along with 17 cameras will capture U2's performances on some of the most sacred real estate in Italian football.
'It's an incredible building,' explained producer Ned O'Hanlon, who first filmed with U2 in Rome in 1987, shooting the video for All I Want Is You. 'And because the stage is set along one side and not at the end, we have the biggest possible crowd who are as close to the stage as possible.'
But tonight is not a run-through for tomorrow - and tomorrow is not a back-up for tonight. 'Each night is for real. We don't regard either night as the night, it's all one production and of course, the band might decide to do different songs one night from the other.'
'To be sure to be sure as we like to say!'
Director Hamish Hamilton, along with O'Hanlon, was also in Chicago back in May, to film the indoor show. Why film two shows on the same tour ?
'They are two quite different shows,' says O'Hanlon. 'One indoor, one outdoor. It's the same campaign if you like but there's a different production, a different set and quite a few different songs.'
And the atmosphere is different. 'Playing to 20,000 indoors in the US is quite a different vibe from playing outdoors in the summer to 75,000 Italians.'
Director Hamish Hamilton, now on his fourth U2 production, has been with O'Hanlon in Milan for several days preparing the shoot.
'Hamish is definitely at the top of his game in directing live music,' he says. 'Not only does he have an incredible eye for composition but he has a great musical sense.'
Also in the production team is Allen Branton, American film lighting director and another person with an impressive U2 pedigree - right back to the video shoots for Zoo TV and PopMart. It's all set for two special nights.
'We went through some of the lighting cues last night and I had the feeling it will look absolutely awesome.' adds O'Hanlon.
Any predictions ?
'You have to say that Miss Sarajevo has been a spine tingling moment the last couple of shows. Not only has Bono been singing Pavarotti's part but he has nailed it completely. What that will be like with an Italian crowd is anyone's guess - could be unbelievable!'