POPMART Leg 1: 1997, North America

May
09
2005

Chicago United Center II

09 May 2005
Chicago United Center II
We were back in to the venue early, this being the main opportunity for a camera rehearsal. Compared to other shoots like this, we had a reasonable amount of time to look at the show using stand-ins, and set up some really interesting lighting looks and camera angles. Hamish, the director, is shooting the two nights in different ways, using different camera angles, which will give the finished film the feel of having been shot with twice as many cameras as it actually was.

The band came in for soundcheck, during which of course we took the opportunity to see how everything might look for real. Afterwards we reviewed tapes, made some changes and planned further strategies.

To be honest I dont remember much about the show itself, as I had so much more to do than usual. Its a very intense experience, having to look at so many different things simultaneously, sixteen different camera angles (plus our regular four cameras and the surveillance cameras too), to keep looking good and have a whole lot of extra people to talk to on headsets. Oh, and a rockshow to run.

Down in the basement, Jeff and his gas cooker were sending video playback to the LED screens encircling the arena. Smasher had made very simple pieces - mostly thin bands of colour to mimic the LED rings in the Vertigo stage and expand the look to fill the building. It was a huge look and on camera it looked like wed dropped a million dollars on the idea. Control was a bit of an issue, but all remained calm and as long as we kept it simple, all seemed OK.

Afterwards we retired to the dressing room for beer and playback. The post-mortem was reasonably brief, though, and generally very positive. Having a second night to film means we can learn a lot from tonight and adjust for tomorrow.

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