WHAT A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE AUDITIONING FOR NEW BREED AFRICA WITH ISRAEL HOUGHTON. 3 CITIES IN 3 DAYS….CRAZY SCHEDULE. WAY OVER A THOUSAND PEOPLE AUDITIONED. THE TURN OUT WAS INCREDIBLE AND SUCCESSFUL…
NEXT LOT OF AUDITIONS FOR BACKLINE WILL BE FIRST WEEK IN AUGUST …
Exhausting but wonderful week-end working on the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. It was packed to capacity. Such a treat to direct artistes such as David Koz, who blew me and the audience totally away, Don Laka, Earth Wind and Fire(the original group), they were so energetic I could hardly keep my camera’s on them, Simphiwe Dana who is so full of soul when she performs, Chuck Loeb brilliant guitarist featuring Spanish singer Carmen Cuesta, and of course the one and only Youssou Ndour….
The crew were amazing and I thank them so much..when 02h00am ticked over, we all including me could barely keep going from total exhaustion, but as they say ..The show must go on and it did.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We finally hit our beds way after 03h00am..and for some even later depending on where they had to travel too.
Bryan Adams has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The 51-year-old rocker’s tribute was unveiled yesterday (21 March) in front of the Musician’s Institute on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. The Summer of ’69 singer is thrilled to get the honour, and admitted he would often admire the Walk of Fame in his younger days but never dreamed that one day his own name would be on it. At the ceremony, the Canadian star said: “I remember being in Hollywood at the age of 16 and marvelling at the stars. “The idea of being part of it never entered my mind. It was too far-fetched. Today, I’m humbled at the induction of my name. It’s fantastic.” The Grammy Award-winning musician – who is expecting his first child with his partner, his personal assistant Alicia Grimaldi, in May – was watched by fellow Canadian and champion hockey player Wayne Gretzky as he was presented with the 2,435th star. Wayne was delighted to see his friend receive the accolade but he was less than impressed with the rainy weather on the day. The sportsman said: “This is typical. I’ve been to an outdoor concert of Bryan’s where it was pouring rain and watched him perform his magic. “[Bryan is] a very humble Canadian. I’m very proud to say he’s Canadian.” However, the (Everything I Do) I Do It for You hitmaker was prepared for the wet weather. On Sunday (20 March), he tweeted: “Gonna bring my surf board to the ceremony tomorrow just in case the rain continues.”
Am so excited to be working and directing on this project again this year. The artistes are amazing and look forward to working with them and the team at ESP AFRIKA…..just to name a few, Simphiwe Dana, Yossou Nodour, Earth Wind and Fire, Bebe Winans and Friends, Spirits Rejoice and Don Laka. What a treat.
I was blessed and fortunate to produce and direct this DVD, and loved working with Israel. He is the most down to earth man I know, and nothing is impossible for him. His crew and band members were also amazing to work with.
I so badly wanted 12 cameras for this shoot, but as always, budget dictates, and there is never enough for a director to play with. So I decided to shoot both shows, (one in the afternoon and one at night) but move the camera positions for the second show, in that way I would have more angles to play with in the edit. I briefed each and every member, telling them of my plan, and emphasising that continuity was of the utmost importance.
Needless to say, we all got caught up in the spirit of the concert, even I, whilst directing, cutting and mixing the various cameras had tears rolling down my cheeks. When we got to the edit, it was only then that I noticed, the percussionist had changed his shirt, Israel himself, had glasses on in some numbers in the previous concert, and off in the second concert for some of the songs.
For those of you that understand an edit, you can just imagine how I was pulling my hair out.
Despite all, the DVD was produced and Israel has told me that wherever he is in the world, people ask him who produced the DVD and that they are so wowed by it – and that is the biggest compliment I could ever have received, more so because when his manager came out to recce, both the manager and Israel were initially insistent on bringing out their own crew and director.
The time I toured with Alanis Morissette was a wonderful, challenging experience. The reason I refer to her as wild is because she runs from one side of the stage to the other, but we managed to keep her in camera at all times and IN FOCUS as well….her lyrics are so profound and moving – directing her was rewarding . Alanis had been writing new songs throughout the tour, and one night her book had disappeared with all her material…all the crew were frantic and helping her search for it..how sad!! but she is still going strong, and well -respected !!!!!
One of the nicest people whom I have worked with other than Israel Houghton is bryan adams. He was so involved and took such an interest in the shoot. His entire band is down to earth and so much fun. What was not such fun was living in Cape Town, editing in Johannesburg (Gauteng) and sending rough cuts to London for bryan to view. Luckily there were only 2 changes in the edit, but it did mean flying up to Johannesburg just to make 2 changes. His music was a dream to direct and edit. For those of you that don’t know, he always spells his name in lower case!