POPMART Leg 1: 1997, North America


Day Off, Buenos Aires

24 February 2006
Day Off, Buenos Aires
Curiously for a flash hotel, it turns out that theres a jet engine strapped to the roof immediately above my room. Or at least thats what it sounded like when I turned the lights out last night. In truth I suspect its the main air conditioning duct for the entire hotel (if not the entire city), but either way it woke me up hourly which was something of a drag.

Consequently, I started my day by changing rooms, which was a bit of a faff given that I take a somewhat Victorian approach to travel, unpacking entirely, putting things in drawers, hanging clothes up, stashing the suitcase out of sight and so forth. I ended up in the lift with armfuls of clothes, dropping socks, etc., which didnt greatly impress some of the other clientele.

Had breakfast followed by a compensatory nap before a party of us went down to River Plate Stadium where U2 will play next week. We are going to be doing not one but two live shoots during the course of the shows. Theres a shoot for Argentine television which is mostly concerned with the second night, and the final hurrah for the 3D cameras which are shooting both nights. There are eight digital 3D cameras being brought in (or more accurately eight pairs of cameras, given how the 3D effect works) which is about all the 3D equipment currently in existence. Its going to be quite a big deal so will benefit from as much advance work as possible.

River Plate Stadium is old but is a good shape, with an unbroken line of wrap-around seating which will look good on camera. The Rolling Stones stage was still loading out from last night and much detritus was lying about the place. We are bringing in a modest package of additional audience lighting and other lighting bits and pieces to smarten the place up and generally make it shine when seen through a lens. Getting the required permissions for placing the Big Lights and followspots looks like its going to be a chore and of course the weekend is upon us, but we remained positive and I am sure all will be worked out in due course.

I was a little tired from my jet engine experience and Allen Branton, our broadcast lighting pal, had flown in overnight, so a few of us decided on an early dinner. This would have been at about 6.30pm, so with Buenos Aires being well known as a late night city, we were not at all surprised to find ourselves the only people in the restaurant. In fact we were very probably the only people eating in the whole of the greater Buenos Aires metropolitan area. Presumably the wait staff thought we were having a late lunch. Early night.

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