Roger Waters is renowned for pioneering the integration and use of provocative moving imagery into his work, and his recent tour is no exception, with a complex, expressive, and compelling video narrative running for the entire show. "Video is a fundamental element in a performance shot through with many serious political and psychological threads. It acts an additional player onstage, with every image and sequence loaded with meaning and relevance," says an XL Video spokesperson.
This hugely successful 2006 tour has also visited some more off-circuit corners of the world, including Tel Aviv, Stavanger (Norway), Moscow and Istanbul, plus his spellbinding performance in London's Hyde Park last weekend. XL Video supplied the projection gear for the tour, including an IMAG system for selected performances.
The first half of the show contains a selection of Waters and Pink Floyd classics, while the second half is dedicated to the entire rendition of the groundbreaking “Dark Side of The Moon” album. The tour projection is based around a large upstage projection screen fed by four Barco R18 projectors, all supplied by XL, together with a Barco Encore presentation system for control, with cues triggered both manually and by timecode.
With the majority of the Hyde Park show performed in daylight, it was decided to upgrade the projection surface from soft screen (two square and one spherical soft screens are on the tour) to LED, resulting in XL supplying a Lighthouse R16 screen meauring 16.2 metres wide by 8.3 metres high.
Weighing 10.5 tons, the screeen was too heavy for the stage, whichhad already been in place for several weeks servicing a series of different events in the Park, including "Hyde Park Calling" for Live Nation – and also being generally serviced by XL Video. The solution —co-ordinated between staging contractors Star Events’ Tez Sheals-Barratt and XL's Chris Saunders — was to bring in a special crane to suspend it independently.
Waters’ Hyde Park production was a joint initiative between Saunders, coming from the “Hyde Park Calling” end of the event, Clarke Anderson, XL's crew chief on the tour, and live video director Nick Fry. Fry has been cutting the IMAG mix on the tour’s larger shows – using local gear and crew, which has proved both challenging and rewarding.
Most of Waters’ show video content was produced by the New York-based production house Breath Video, directed by Sean Evans (a Sony Records art director), and edited by Andy Jennison. In the UK, they worked closely with XL's in-house editing team led by Steve Smith who programmed the two GV Turbo hi-def hard drive units on which its stored. Waters, very much his own show’s artistic director, as such was central to the content creation and subject matter.
For the Hyde Park show, XL also supplied a 4-camera IMAG system, complete with GV 1200 PPU, and the mix was cut by Fry working in the video ‘underworld’ beneath stage. The cameras were at positioned at FOH (with 100:1 lens), two on track-and-dolly in the pit and one hand-held onstage.
Saunders led a total XL crew of 12 for the "Hyde Park Calling" event. The Who - also an XL Video account - played the following night and utilized the same screen.