Metallica & The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra

Metallica & The San Franciso Symphony Orchestra

A live, two night filming of the band’s concert with the one hundred piece San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.


Lars Ulrich wanted the look of the shows to be influenced by Mark Rothko’s paintings.


My solo site survey of the theater revealed a small stage with a large apron, seemingly far too small for the hundred piece orchestra, the conductor Michael Kamen, and the four band members who needed space on the stage to roam.


Remove all of the theater’s masking and backdrops and side curtains, revealing the empty wing space and the concrete wall at the rear of the stage. Hang a non-traditional set of video screen columns on the back wall, skewed to look twisted and broken. Then ask the video director to never send pure imagery to the columns, instead, make every image look impure and appear to be bubbling up from a swamp.


When everyone was telling me the obvious, my wife Dore said “Light the music stands! Go ahead and turn the music stands into lights!”

Just brilliant. 

We attached a dimmable, film-ready Kino Flo tube to the vertical shaft of every music stand, controlled by the primary console. This allowed the whole orchestra to glow internally, requiring no other side or air stage lighting at all.