POPMART Leg 3: 1997, North America

Apr
26
2005

Vancouver, load-in day

26 April 2005
Vancouver, load-in day
Waking up in this hotel was a little weird, not least because I am checked into exactly the same room which I lived in during the month we spent building the Vertigo show. No matter, the beds are comfy and its only a short walk to the venue, so I can deal with a bit of deja vu. We had an early meet with film crew at GM Place, during which we made a general plan as to how best to attack the video shoot over the next few days. Everyone seems pretty together and the plan is quite straightforward, i.e. to attempt to get the live show feeling into the camera lens.

Later in the day William Gibson interviewed me as part of his research for the article he is writing for Wired magazine. I love his writing so it has been really interesting to meet the man behind the words. His last novel 'Pattern Recognition'' is centred around a woman who is physically allergic to trade marks and logos. I know the feeling. Anyway, getting his take on what we are doing was fascinating. He said that probably his favourite part is when the audience are asked to get out their cell phones and the night sky lights up with thousands of stars - the 21st century Woodstock moment.He also said he was very taken with the surveillance footage I have been shooting of the band during the shows. I am very pleased with where this is going. The surveillance cameras are inside fixtures called 'DL1' projectors.The DL1 is a bit of an industry joke, as it has barely ever been used on a project without being thrown off. Its main function is to be a video projector in a moving yoke (i.e. it can be remotely pointed wherever you fancy). The downside is that they are not really bright enough to make readable images unless used with great sensitivity to other light levels. I have used them on a couple of other projects, namely Aerosmith, when I wasn't in control of the lighting (they got thrown off) and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club where I was in control (a triumph). However, I recently discovered that they can be fitted with an infra-red camera and infra-red light, giving you a remote controlled video camera which can shoot footage in total darkness. I have four of these units hidden around the stage, which I am controlling using a Playstation handset. No, really. Shooting covert video loops of members of the audience has been fun, but I can see that using these low grade cameras to record the band is a far more interesting proposition. The footage I am getting is wonderful. It's very grainy and pixilated, but regular readers will know that I have never beenafraid to go lo-res. I'm so pleased with it that I have decided to startworking on my own rival DVD of concert footage, to be released on eBay as soon as Smasher and I can get it together (lawsuits pending, naturally)

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