ROGER DALTRY • TOMMY
MUSIC VIDEO PRODUCTION/ MANAGEMENT/ ANIMATION:
An exciting collaboration project with Roger Daltrey, students from Middlesex University and Creative Director Colin Payne to produce 70mins of visual accompaniment over the 23 tracks for a world tour of the classic album.
Initially a storyboard was created utilizing work and ideas already produced by a selection of MDX students for a Teenage Cancer Trust concert held at the Royal Albert Hall in March 2011. ZEROH chose reoccurring themes, pinpointed motifs and suggested how ideas could be expanded to increase the shows production value for an initial 30+ date U.S tour.
Roger was very keen to see an abstract, holistic approach to the project, rather than the theatrical narrative interpretation which has often been seen. The album was performed from start to finish, as it is on vinyl, for the first time since it’s initial release in 1969.
The 4 month project involved 10 students initially, all with different levels of competence and commitment between May – September 2011, some of the group were in their final year which dictated their availability. ZEROH’s input varied from track to track, a couple of the original videos were left untouched and a few were created almost completely by ourselves incorporating some of the artwork created by the students.
We created a version of Pinball Wizard which was aired as a full screen cut away as Roger performed live on the Jay Leno show in America to promote the tour.
“The first airing for this version of Tommy, as mentioned previously, was for a Teenage Cancer Trust concert at The Royal Albert Hall in March 2011, this initial project had just a 6 week production period. Roger was extremely impressed with the results achieved in such a short space of time overseen by Middlesex University, Creative Director in residence, Colin Payne and a small support team.
Our input began with Colin coming to us after the success at the RAH to talk about the possibilities of the project and taking it to a wider audience, we edited and effected a montage of the show for Roger to ruminate over.
With the green light given we set to work by selecting a smaller group of students who we met to discuss how their ideas could be explored with more depth and expanded on for further tracks.
We recognised various icons and motifs that should appear throughout the show and be used as repeated signifiers which hinted at the both the narrative and the feelings Roger wanted to evoke visually to reflect the music. We also added new treatments for tracks which which involved new content from the students. These ideas were presented to Roger and work started immediately.
Over the duration of the project our involvement became more hands on as students came to visit and work at our studio. Filming stop frame animation in our green screen studio and working in direct collaboration using effects software, we also organised for local hire of a studio and extras for them to film. We set up a Facebook Group page for discussion and a Tumblr page to act as a general moodboard and a place for the group to share visual ideas. Some students returned to their home countries for the summer so meeting as a full group only happened at the beginning of the project so Facebook and Tumblr proved vital as communication tools to keep the group bonded.”
“The footage enhanced the Tommy story rather than heavy-handedly trying to tell it: Images were appropriately creepy (Cousin Kevin), trippy (The Acid Queen’ or skeevy (Fiddle About).”
The Hollywood Reporter
Featured below is a montage of the work produced, Roger performing Pinball Wizard on The Jay Leno Show and the full Pinball Wizard video for the tour.