06 June 2005
Brussels, production set-up.
On waking, I staggered out into the town with Bruce in search of nourishment. We were both starving, as our body clocks are all over the place, so ended up in a nice little cafe, each of us ordering both an omelette and a Croque Monsieur. The waitress did do a double take, but delivered our order nonetheless. It turns out that both of these items are full-meal sized orders, so the table was heaving with food, bread, chips, buckets of mayonnaise, etc. A little daunting straight out of the sack, but we gave it our best shot.
Back at the venue it was another steady and productive day. We are in really good shape given that the load in only started three days ago, but in the regular scheme of things the first show would probably be about two weeks away, not four days away. I spent much of the day on video content. The screen was due to be finished tonight, so we can at last look through everything we have and start to place and programme it all. Lighting charges ahead too, though I did notice that we have moved a large rack of lighting instruments to a new location which completely blocks the place where our fourth camera was due to be positioned. Back to the drawing board there, I guess.
By about midnight lighting was in reasonable shape, but our mix position doesnt move into place till tomorrow (when the grass pitch gets covered for protection), so we are looking at everything from an oblique angle which is impossible for programming. The video screen was still in a trouble-shooting cycle with no sign of coming out any time soon, so I was very tempted to leave and come back tomorrow, despite the fact that tonight was slated as being one of our only two programming nights. There were only nine of us left in the stadium; two lighting crew, Kes and Raff, plus Luke, Ash and Sam from the video content dept, Bruce, Smasher, me and the generator guy. However, I hung in there and by about 2am, when all was silent, out of nowhere things started to come together. The screen burst into useful life and looks spectacular, so we began to look at everything we have. Smasher started programming his video consoles, Bruce finally got control of the strobes so was flashing and programming away, Ash was writing software like a madman, Luke editing and reformatting pieces as required on a moment-by-moment basis, Sam bringing the tea and keeping us buoyant. Suddenly, a little hut on a football pitch in Belgium becomes the most vibrantly creative point on the earthπs crust. Its really fun when everything kicks in.
We got loads done and at last I feel like we are off the starting blocks. The mood was really up, despite the hour. The sun came up and we realised that every additional hour we stayed would eat into our ability tomorrow, so at about 5.30am we called for the runnerπs van to take us home. Besides, ifwe left it too much longer wed end up in rush hour traffic which, when you are going home to bed, is ten times the drag it is when youπre going to work. I guess we were all tucked up by 6.30am or so. I for one was feeling good. Wheels feel like they are rolling at last.