You know Hamish Hamilton's work even if you don't know his name. He's the man who shot U2's 'Elevation Tour' in Boston in 2001 - and then the outdoor show at Slane Castle the following year. Two sensational live DVD's within a year.
Three years later he's been shooting the band again: indoors in Chicago in May, and outdoors in Milan in July. And the first of these, 'Vertigo '05: Live from Chicago', is just released worldwide.
Hamish has worked with anyone who is anyone in rock'n'roll: Jay-Z, Britney Spears, Norah Jones, Madonna and Motley Crue. U2, he says, are the best band in the world and - along with Peter Gabriel, Robbie Williams and Usher - his favourite act to work with.
U2.Com tracked Hamish down to his London offices before he shot out the door shoot the MTV Europe 2005 Awards. The whole of this interview appears on the U2.Com Subscription site
but here are some choice extracts to whet your appetite!
I'm not like a pop promo maker or like a film maker.
What I do is take a different approach each time. If I'm making a pop video, I may or may not write the script, I may or may not come up with the idea, but with live concert recording the music is already there so that's the script - and the set design is already there so the production is already designed. The role of the director is to capture what is there - especially with U2 shows because it is all there for you. Unlike some bands I have worked with, you are not having to overcome any shortcomings or put in extra lighting or set pieces. You are not trying to cover for anything that is lacking. Nothing is missing.
I sat down with the band four or five times on this one.
Meetings with the band are a mixture of scary, exhilarating, intimidating, challenging and exciting. These are smart guys. I'm not someone who has spent my life reading lots of books and I feel I am not great at expressing my ideas. Compared to Bono with his vocabulary and set of reference points, that can be intimidating when there is some film or literary reference which I don't know about. But I never bluff.
When you watch it back with the band, wow that's scary
, the worst homework ever! I went down to one of the houses in the south of France and I went in with my little silver disc and put it in, and the DVD player didn't work. We started watching it downstairs on this massive projector thing but the colours were all wrong because of the low resolution so then we went upstairs. Eventually we got it going and they liked it, but then there's a few things, they don't like - and they are rapier-like in cutting to the crux of the problem.
Some of their put-downs are the worst I have ever had! As Bono said to me during Elevation, 'You know Hamish, it's a bit Disney isn't it?'
The fans of U2 are something else and it's quite a responsibility.
I thought it when I did Elevation in Boston, I knew it when I did Slane in Ireland - and, oh my God, did I know it this time. Walking around the venue people were accosting me to talk about what they did and didn't like on the earlier DVD! I'm walking down the street and someone comes up and says 'I watched 'Streets' from Boston and I never take it out of my DVD player.' I'm on an elevator and someone says, 'You're that guy Hamish who works with U2...'
These fans know their stuff, they have such a passion for their band, and you don't want to let them down. Never underestimate the power of the U2 fan!
'Vertigo 2005//U2 Live from Chicago', the live DVD of the current tour is now released around the world.
Watch our exclusive clip of 'All Because Of You' video taken from the DVD here