In 2004, I was invited by the producer (Maggie Magee, an old friend from Chicago) and director (John Anderson) of the SMiLE concert (recorded for the double DVD) to spend a week in Burbank hanging out with Brian and the Band, watching rehearsals, videotaping some casual backstage footage for possible DVD extras (they ultimately had no extras on that disc), and finally attending both shows on September 26. Needless to say, it was the culmination of a lifetime of truly, madly and deeply loving the music of Brian Wilson, my SMiLE dream come true. In celebration of the forthcoming release of the SMiLE Sessions box, I will be posting some of the 9 hours of footage I shot that week, in no particular order.
This was shot on a fairly basic Panasonic DV camera, nothing fancy, with the camera mic on top - strictly amateur hour, but I just wanted a record of this event for myself really, because I couldn't believe it was actually happening. I often had to stand away from the professional cameras and cables that were shooting this dress rehearsal and insert session, so my camera can be quite shaky at times in handheld telephoto and I nervously kept checking the sound levels on the side of the camera, so you'll see some awkward camera swipes and re-focusing, etc. But the point of this was really to record a Glimpse (pun intended) of what I experienced there that magical week, which was like having this incredible band playing in your living room, unencumbered by the concert milieu and sounding as they really sounded right in front of you. You also get to hear a somewhat different sound perspective than you usually hear in live DVDs (no audience or sweetening), and in way a different mix, depending on where I'm standing in any given shot.
Hope you enjoy.