This is The Invisible Circus's "St. Valentine's Day Massaquerade" Fire performance, shot in February 2010 at the Old Firestation, Bridewell Island, Bristol, UK.
Shot through a circular fisheye lens with a 180 degree field of view, I had to be extremely close in order for the performance to fill the frame. I was rather perturbed to see (and feel) the flaming rings just missing my hands by about a foot, alternately on each side. Kudos to the performers for their accuracy and risk/reward judgement. I know two of them are named Tim and Hobbit.
Bizarrely, due to an EU tax law over what constitutes a video camera, my camera is deliberately crippled to automatically stop recording without warning after a randomly varying period of roughly 12 minutes. Hypnotised by the image of the performers towering over me in the show's finale, I didn't spotted that it had stopped recording at the critical moment. Fortunately, I later recorded a separate piece of footage to edit in, so you can try to imagine how awesome it had looked on the screen...
I wonder to this day whether it was wise to wipe the raindrops from the lens halfway through. I like the effect now, looking back on it.
The Invisible Circus and associated artists are connected with Artspace Lifespace. ASLS reclaim empty and derelict buildings and use them for creative purposes.
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