U2 Getting Intimate With Glendale Arizona

October 21, 2009 at 4:34 pm | Posted in Concert, Photography, Review, Rock, Social Networking | Leave a comment
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Have you ever tried to be intimate? With a stadium full of people? U2 has.

U2 Intimate Superstructure

U2 Intimate Superstructure

What does it take to get intimate with 50,000+ people simultaneously? Well, as far as I can tell…a whole lot of cash. Way more cash than getting intimate with one or two people for sure. I’m talking the kind of cash even a supergroup like U2 needs to round up a corporate sponsor like Blackberry for.

Once you have that kind of cash you can go about calling up someone like Willie Williams and asking him to come up with some ideas on how to go about it. In this case, it apparently only took him one idea according to the guys over at Live Design.

I’m not going to get into the exacting specs of just how they pull this amazing feat of intimacy off, but here’s a quick list of some of the many things involved and you can follow the links if you have a burning curiosity for all things “concert tech” or an extra $ 50 mil burning a hole in your pocket.

  • Audio – Incredible 15 zone system Clair i-5 – Yes it goes to 11.
  • Lighting – Nope. Not what you think. No Vari-lites here. These are Bad Boys from the guys over at PRG. There’s a lot of them.
  • Spotlights – Coupla dozen for sure
  • Video – Insane, Custom-designed LED job by the guys over at Barco. Yes it moves. Yes it’s ginormous. Follow the links if you wanna know just how amazingly crazy this thing is.
  • Cameras – Robotic Moving Awe-inspiring setup from the guys at Telemetrics
  • Massive Superstructure Stage Rig – Bono calls it a UFO. See the show to find out why. Suffice it to say this rig is the key to pulling off the intimacy-on-a-grand-scale concept. Its big, heavy, expensive and they had to build 3 of them.
  • Band. Oh yeah – Insert supergroup into the middle of all that technology and Bam! Instant rock concert.

So, there you have a quick breakdown of how to get intimate with a bunch of people at one time. Once you have all the pieces in place the only thing that can stand in your way are traffic problems and social media-ites that like to complain about $20 parking costs.

So, as I close – you are probably asking yourself – did U2 actually pull off getting intimate with an entire city? Look at the pics on their photo page and you tell me. Keep in mind, these shots were from the upper level of the stadium. Intimate enough?

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BEWARE FAKE IMAX!

May 12, 2009 at 1:32 pm | Posted in Movies | Leave a comment
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Aziz is Bored – REBLOG THE FUCK OUT OF THIS. WARNING: AMC theaters are running FAKE IMAX’s and charging $5 extra for a slightly bigger screen. Boycott IMAX, AMC, and Regal. Don’t let them fool you..

Well, Aziz has brought to the public’s attention what I have been complaining to my friends about forever. Fake IMAX sucks. And those blockbusters you are watching on them are rarely shot in IMAX format. They are converted to it, digitally. It’s similar to the way your home theatre equipment takes your old VHS tapes and “upconverts” them to display at a higher resolution on your big-screen TV or projector. In the “LieMAX” or fake IMAX format this is projected on a rectangular screen similar to your widescreen TV, using twin DLP projectors. In REAL IMAX this digital conversion gets printed on 70mm film and is projected on a square screen. Blockbuster movies such as Star Trek that are not shot with IMAX cameras will not utilize the upper and lower parts of a real IMAX squarte screen. It will letterbox, just like a standard4:3  TV. Movies that incorporate actual IMAX camera footage, such as The Dark Knight, will project letterboxed until the actual IMAX footage displays, filling the entire screen.

Hey, I have nothing against upconversion. I’ve been mesmerized by Faroudja video processors since I got my first laserdisc player. But I’m also a proponent of Real 70mm film, too. If you lived in Phoenix back in the days of the Original Cine Capri and got to see Blade Runner or Star Wars in 70mm mag-stripe – you understand what I mean. If you have never seen a 70mm film other than your multiplex fake IMAX…you need to.

The point Aziz and many others are noticing and complaining about is this is not the traditional IMAX experience. The screen is not ginormous, they don’t do the cool spotlight stuff showing you the speakers (44 of them) and their locations. They don’t warn you that motion sickness can be prevented by putting your head between your legs temporarily. Real IMAX does that.

Real IMAX is supposed to be 6-8 stories tall. Sometimes its projected on a dome which is called OMNIMAX (domed screens have some drawbacks when presenting traditional movies like Star Trek – it will warp the normally rectangular frame). The screen is supposed to be bigger than your field of view…that’s what can induce the motion sickness.

So, here’s what you do if you have never seen REAL IMAX before – go down to your local science museum and watch one! That’s where they usually are, although they can be found in City Centers, standalones, casinos – all kinds of places. But, if you have a decent science museum in your city, you should have REAL IMAX.

It probably won’t be showing Batman, or Star Trek or any other DMR film, but trust me…just pay the 12 bucks to see anything. Most IMAX films are about 40 minutes long, not 2 hours. They are expensive to film, so they are expensive to watch. Just watch. You can watch grass grow in IMAX and be totally thrilled to have experienced it…that’s where their tagline “the IMAX experience” came from. It used to be an experience! Still is, at the right place! However, as Aziz points out in his blog – AMC and Regal are not the right places.

Oh, and if you are in San Diego – the Reuben H Fleet Science Center has an awesome IMAX, with the newest nanoseam technology screen IMAX has…I haven’t been there in 20 years, but with the new technology screen – its on my list to do this summer.

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