Elton John's

filmed for Warner Bros (theatre ventures) by Hourglass studios

Maybe jealous perhaps of Disney corp's series of successful film-to-show transfers, Warner Bros applied a $10m + cheque book to an Elton John and Bernie Taupin-scored broadway musical based on Anne Rice's 'Lestat' and Dave McKean was asked to design key story sequences to be projected at scripted intervals in the show using state-of-the-art projection and mist-screening techniques. Dave designed and subsequently filmed a series of sequences involving both CG and live action, using what was at the time the first commercial application of the (then) prototype D-20 full-height cmos 35mm equiv digital camera, fitted with clairmont shift and tilt lenses feeding into a Sony SR-1 HDCAM SR field recorder, mostly using steadicam, (which posed some interesting previously-untried challenges which have been since corrected), along with some regular blue-screen work too. Supplemented with some of the NY stage show crew, set design was done by Chris Robilliard and was filmed at Woodchester manor in Nympsfield, Gloucestershire and the 'period street night scenes' set in closed areas of Bristol docks  



principal photography

ARRI D-20 full-height cmos camera, SRW-1 field recorder, Clairmont shift & tilt lenses, lighting by panavision west

Additonal photography made on Sony HDW 750 HDCam for CG asset acquire, (such flames from artem) and further blue-screen work


Directed by Robert Jess Roth with musical staging by Matt West, Lestat starred Hugh Panaro in the title role, Carolee Carmello as Gabrielle,

Jack Noseworthy as Armand, Jim Stanek as Louis, Roderick Hill as Nicolas, Michael Genet as Marius and Allison Fischer as Claudia

        steadicam op Dion Casey preps the D-20's first ride...     

Although these insert sequences were apparently almost universally appreciated and singled out for praise, it's perhaps a shame the rest of the show didn't quite 'meet expectations', and despite a major re-write and revision following poor inintial San Francisco previews the show closed at the Palace theatre on Broadway after just 32 public performances - (bollocks!)