Sunday, January 04, 2009

Mick Fleetwood - The Show

Following the interview, we (me and the assembled 4 person crew) headed over to the Spotlight 29 casino for the big show. It was mid-afternoon so I figured we'd have plenty of time to suss out the venue and lighting, meet with the sound guy and still have time for a nice sit-down meal before Tyler arrived with one more camera and an operator.


As it turned out, there wasn't a second to spare between hitting the venue and the doors opening. Fortunately, the band was having one last sound check before the show so we could get the logistics down of where to put each camera/operator and what coverage they were responsible for. It was also an opportunity for the sound guy to set up and figure out his levels.

The people working the venue were amazing and very helpful. The guy running the stage, lights and sound bent over backwards to accommodate our intrusion. We were fixed up with walkies, they assisted us in color balancing the cameras and at the last second provided us with his daughter's TV to use as a monitor for the sound guy, as his gear was set up backstage.

The last and final hurdle I needed to overcome was also the most important. Even though we were shooting footage for a DVD of 'Mick Fleetwood's Island Rumour Band', and it is a "band", I knew the main draw was the man himself, Mick Fleetwood.

When I initially saw Mick's drumkit on stage, I was pretty much freaking out. I immediately walked around in front of and on either side of the stage where I knew we'd have access. There wasn't clear view of Mick to be found. How the fuck was I going to turn in footage of the band with no Mick Fleetwood. Why couldn't he have taken up the guitar or base or been a lead singer?

Imagine trying to get watchable footage from the front of the stage when you can't use a jib and this is the view:

Or even shooting from the sides of the stage when this is the view:

Finally, I mustered up the gall to present the problem to Jonathan (Mick's manager who had been so helpful when we were assembling some unique intelligent questions for the interview) and within minutes he had us cleared to shoot from wherever we needed to be...including Mick's drum riser!

Oh. My. God. Thank. You...for saving my ass.

I put Tyler on the Mick camera since he was the operator I knew best. Here's the view we had as I saw it through my still camera....

The show was amazing. Mick was pounding the drums with the energy of a teenager but the chops of a wiseman. And I can attest to the fact that you haven't lived until you've heard him solo while crouched on his riser mere inches from his kit. His playing moved me to tears...of joy.

I can't remember what time I got home...probably around 3:30am. I was bagged and exhilarated at the same time. But there was still work to do. I had to log all the tapes and put together a camera list. We wanted to import some of the footage but there just wasn't time. We did a quick playback of some of the sound and were happy to hear the quality. We had time to look at a tiny bit of the footage, mostly what Tyler shot, which looked pretty amazing. It would have been great to have one more day to see everything but it all had to leave for a flight to the UK at 6am. And now I can only hope we got what they needed to make a kick-ass DVD.

Thanks to everybody who took part in the craziness...Rob, Jonathan, Deborah (another one), Tyler, Sergio, Andy, Peter, Jeff, Bob, and of course, Mick, Rick and the rest of the Island Rumours Band. You guys (and girls) rock!


Steve B said...

Great story, Deborah! I check out your blog all the time, as well as your Myspace, I'm just not much on leaving comments. Awesome shots. I must admit, when you first mentioned it back in Nov., I had no clue who was behind those drums...Keep writing and shooting, I'm taking it all in:)

Chesher Cat said...

Hi Steve...thanks for leaving a comment. It really makes my day to hear when someone enjoys a post.

Sorry I haven't done mush updating on the MySpace. I've been told that I should also be on Facebook...where does it end?

Anyway, don't forget to check out the website too...there's some fun stuff on there too.


John Demetry said...

The Island Rumours Band stuff on YouTube is great and I always love Mick's excursions into "world" music. So I was really hoping he'd do The Visitor Hawaiian-sytle.

This potential for a Live DVD is the next best thing! This is an important achievement. Thank you for that. And these re-tellings are very inspirational (as you overcome the shoots' obstacles and think on your toes to get stuff better than could have been hoped).


Vivienne said...

Awesome. What an experience. It's so interesting to read about the logistics and challenges behind your art.

Also, I think you've coined a great tag line for Mick with "the energy of a teenager but the chops of a wiseman!"