Metallica: Live Shows
Screen Creative Direction
Metallica Tours 2006-2018
(Credits in progress)
Working in collaboration with a world-class production team, I helped develop the visual aspect of Metallica’s shows, creating and directing screen content for a series of world tours. The focus of this show is firmly on the band, so the idea was always to amplify the feelings of the songs, without distracting from their performance.
Metallica have a rich, globally recognised visual iconography, and it was important to keep things within their ‘canon’. Our team used predominantly analogue and organic film techniques, avoiding slick motion graphics as much as possible. The aim was to keep the visual feel as raw as the music.
We developed lookbooks and created content offsite, and then worked at rehearsals to integrate it into the show and respond to requests from the band and show directors. We also evolved techniques for cueing content accurately and in sync with lighting cues, even with nightly set changes and notoriously complex musical structures.
Working closely with the live video crew, we created a number of signature looks where live shots were combined with treated celluloid, photograms and other experimental film techniques.
We created much of the imagery through studio and location shoots, working with performers, set and props designers.
A highlight was the ‘Worldwired’ arena tour, one of the highest-grossing concert tours of all time. Conceived by show director Dan Braun and engineered by Tait Towers, this innovative ‘in-the-round’ stage design was based around a simple, clean stage and fifty-two moving video cubes.
We liaised closely with Tait, who built the video cube system, PRG who designed the video infrastructure and Rob Koenig’s lighting team, to bring the cubes to life. I enlisted Nocte Studio to help specify the Disguise and Notch playback system and to create a bespoke previsualisation system. The content was a dynamic mixture of pre-filmed content, live cameras and realtime video effects.
We were able to use the cubes as scenic elements, video screens and lighting fixtures.