This week we take the Wayback Machine to August of 2007 and the Rock The Bells show that was held at Randall’s Island. If I remember correctly this was the first corporate gig I shot. It was for a company called Mirrorball and thier client Heineken who had a tent at the event. The video was intended as an internal video for Mirrorball to illustrate to the Heineken folks that they did their jobs. Mirrorball became my first regular client but for them these videos were all made as internal videos. At the time I was also creating weekly content on TheNewPop for public consumption from my non-corporate gigs. I thought that it would be great to create a directors cut of this event for TheNewpPop with their permission. They were fine with it. The Mirrorball cut just included the Rahzel performance, hence all the Heineken product shots. Our video included the storyline of how Tone and I documented that day. Today all my corporate videos are targeted at the consumer. A testament to how brands have embraced the web over time. But I digress…
To date the 2007 Rock The Bells show is the largest and wildest show I ever attended with or without a camera. Two groups that I grew up loving, The Wu-Tang Clan and Rage Against The Machine were reuniting and another of my favorites Public Enemy was also performing. Needles to say the crowd was huge! It rained the previous day and it was muddy and really hot. The makeup of the crowd consisted of mostly Rage fans who were pretty out of control. The wildest and scariest moment I’ve ever had shooting came during the Rage performance of “Bullet In Your Head,” I was literally in the middle of thousands of frat boys and jocks violently moshing. This isn’t that hipster moshing shit where skinny kids crowd surf and bump shoulders, these were big corn fed white boys throwing fists with the intent to kill. And there I was this one black guy with a camcorder trying to capture it all. It was like wearing a big “kick me!” sign on my back. You can see a brief self shot of me screaming in the video looking like I was having fun. Trust me I was terrified!
The real storyline of the day was Tone’s mission to get onstage without a backstage pass. At the time we were both very competitive in the emerging photo video blogging sphere and we took offense to any other documentarian who was trying to lay claim to our scene. While I still had the video realm pretty much to myself Tone had a few folks starting to vie for his artistic and commercial throne as a photographer. He was out for blood and he got it! Tone talked his way backstage and in my opinion took some of the best images that he has taken to date. In the end this video is one of the more memorable days we remember during the early days of TheNewPop. Especially since we were both getting paid to do it. Imagine that, WE were getting paid to see Wu-Tang, P.E. and Rage. How could you ask for anything more?
Wayback Trivia: This video runs almost 12 minutes long and is more representative (albeit on the extreme side) of the earlier editing style that was TheNewPop before the corporate clients taught me the value of brevity in storytelling.
Movies from the Wayback Machine are particularly buggy. You may need to refresh a few times to see movie window.