Bright Lights, Big Cities

Confession: I wasn’t terribly psyched about this one at first. When I was sent on the shoot to a warehouse in Rancho Cordova to do a feature on a “new kind of lighting” I was less than jazzed. I was briefed that these were the guys that made the Times Square New Years Eve ball come alive and so I was like, “OK that’s cool” and even further when the guys themselves showed me one of the tiny LEDs that was newly (this was 2007) capable of changing colors and told me these would “change the world” I was skeptical at best. I had no idea how completely wrong I’d end up being.

That year was my 4th Coachella. That year the main stage screen video screens presenting the headliners were modestly sized but absolutely standard for large concert productions at that time. Cut to a decade later and the entire stage is a screen. Every act gets to perform with a massive, brilliant, colorful production and things only dreamed about before are no accessible to virtually every performer. Screens can take up the entire surface of the stage, wrap around corners, and make new kinds of dazzling statecraft possible that simply never were before. And since they use far less power than their old school counterparts, they do it as greenly as possible.

I wanted (as is often my mode) to make what these guys do seem as larger-than-life as is possible. This is another one where I sketched it out ahead of time and we simply shot parts to composite later in post.

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