Las Vegas pre-production - Big screen moment. The extraordinary giant screen is under construction and looks like it's actually going to work!
Pre-production, Las Vegas.
The weekend passes and building continues. By Friday they had got four columns of the screen working (kind of) and ran a tape of ZooTV from Tokyo on it. This screen is the most extraordinary thing you've ever seen. Legibility is generally much better than I had imagined it would be for camera pictures and yet surprisingly poor for some of the simple graphics. Strangely random at times. We watched from up close, we watched from the back row of the stadium, we watched from the mix position, we squealed, we jumped up and down and hugged each other. What a wonderful object, what an extraordinary thing we are making. There's no doubt now that its going to work and it is going to be fantastic. Looking through all the video footage we have received so far, I'd guess that about 50% of it is usable which leaves us with a few holes, but much of it is really very good.. Seeing it on this scale brings home how very different the look is from what's going on in mainstream TV, which is encouraging. The best footage is (we hope) yet to come, so with judicious restraint we should have a show.
Progress on the rest of the screen and staging is agonisingly slow, but with patience and the programming wigs we have survived so far. Our moving light programmer is Tom Thompson with whom I've never worked before, but he seems to be handling it all very well. When told we all had to wear bizarre wigs for programming, he took it in his stride. John Lobel, the account manager from the lighting company, supplied them and in addition to the trendy look they give us, they're also quite cosy for cold nights at the mixing desk.