And now, finally The Bowl Report!
Jeez, where do I start! O.K...Sunday was truly amazing. But let's back up a day or two briefly.
After working very late Friday night to finish running off the masters for performance night, Laura and I met once again on the Warner Brothers lot in their main scoring stage. This would be the first of two Hollywood Bowl Orchestra rehearsals, and would also mark the first time I'd see my work set to live music. There were no celebrity sightings this morning, except for me because of course this was our celebrity inducing weekend. Again, just being on The Lot was incredible. We had to head back to Autonomy Saturday afternoon to do some changes and once again ended up working until midnight.
Sunday brought rehearsal number two at The Bowl itself. Finally I would see the huge screen hanging above the orchestra where all the film clips and montages would be projected. Aside from the main screen, there would be several plasma screen monitors at the edge of the stage for the folks who were right under the large one. As with the Warner lot, no cameras were allowed for copyright and union orchestra member reasons.
I got a little sunburn because the sun was passing beyond available shade, but I wanted to see Sheena Easton who had just arrived. She came out in jeans and sunglasses to rehearse "For Your Eyes Only". After two run throughs she was done and headed out. She still looks great, with long blonde hair now as opposed to the short 80's brunette cut.
There were a few high-ups from MGM sitting under an umbrella taking everything in. Wasn't sure there exact position with the studio, but knew they were probably somewhere in the upper ten. I'd been introduced to them briefly at the Warner rehearsal but didn't learn much else.
After rehearsal the conductor, John Mauceri, spoke with Laura about making some final sound changes, so we went back to Autonomy one last time for 3 hours. Then it was back home to shower and change into dress attire for the evening's performance. In between I stopped back at The Bowl box office to pick up my 20 (!) program books which had my credit in them, listed number two under Laura's.
Arrived at The Bowl around 6:45pm to find Laura and friends, plus several high-up's from Autonomy, in three box seat sections. Took a few pics, than sat for the much anticipated unveiling of our film and music opus.
An anticipatory editor awaits the fruits of his labors.
Moments before performance time.
The huge screen.
The view from our box.
The conductor came out and introduced what we would be seeing and hearing along with a few historical tidbits. A camera projected his image high above on the giant screen for all to see. Before the first, main MGM/UA montage rolled he gave thanks to 'the amazing Laura Gibson for which none of this would be possible'. We all applauded Laura who was extremely flattered.
Then the show began...
Words cannot describe the sensation of watching one's work in front of 14,000 people at The Hollywood Bowl. Stunning, breathtaking, awe inspiring...these are just a few. A roar of applause ended the first montage where the performance continued. Scenes from "Spellbound", "Legally Blonde", Moonstruck", "Some Like It Hot" rolled seamlessly with the power of the live orchestra flowing out over the crowd. The "Pink Panther" montage was met with much laughter and of course more applause at the end. Suddenly we were past intermission and it was time for the "De-Lovely" music video.
Before you knew it the finale was upon us, which would be the opening scene from "Tomorrow Never Dies" followed closely by the Bond montage played insync with the original signature theme. Once again the conductor turned to the audience, appearing on the giant screen, to do his usual intro. In summing up what we were about to see and hear, he again noted "the producing work of the amazing Laura Gibson........
...AND EDITOR DAVID BLANCHARD!!!!!"
I literally said right out loud "Oh My God!". The conductor had just said my name from the Bowl stage!! I was in shock. Aaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!
Then the opening scene from "Tomorrow Never Dies" came on and I was once again and even more riveted to the screen and performance. By the time the Bond montage began I was totally enraptured. As it finished the crowd erupted in cheers...
...and that's when I finally lost it. I put my hands over my face and wept.
This was my work...in LA...at The Hollywood Bowl!!...everything hit me at once. The Autonomy people turned around to congratulate me and Laura responded, mirroring the amazement on my face at the mention of my name by John.
After two encores which of course included the 'surprise' entrance of Sheena Easton, the final number of the night began to roll; Judy Garland in "The Wizard Of Oz" singing "Over The Rainbow". I found myself joyfully and magically relating to the lyrics of the song, thinking about how far I'd come over the last several years.
Finally the lights came up and we all took a great big breath, relieved that everything had gone off without a hitch. Laura invited myself and her friend Penny backstage where she had to pick up the master tapes. Once there we saw John, the conductor, who I thanked for mentioning me. He said I had done a terrific job and deserved it.
Me, Hollywood Bowl Conductor John Mauceri, and Producer Laura Gibson, whom I've been working with for the last three months.
Another congratulations came from one of the MGM high-up's I'd met during rehearsals who shook my hand and said my work on this project was fantastic.
Later Laura told me that man was in fact the President of MGM! Wow # 2!!
A few complimentary comments were made by one of the Bowl liasons as we moved to the car. She said this of course would generate more work for the both of us. Something I was very aware of during the performance was that there'd be a lot of industry people present, enjoying the show and seeing my work...and hey you just never know. She also said to me 'I hope you realize you'll probably be working on this every year'. To which I humbly replied 'I certainly hope so'...of course I was thinking 'YOU DAMN RIGHT!!'.
As I left the parking lot I though about Steve Martin's line from "The Jerk" when he found his name listed in the phone book for the first time.
"Things are going to start happening to me now!"
...And then came Tuesday, the last actual day of work on The Bowl project. But that's Part 2...