In July 2009, I had the pleasure of filming two concerts for Metallica in Copenhagen, Denmark. Metallica are one of the greatest and most successful bands of all time.  I was chosen to be part of a group of only about a dozen freelance videographers from all over the world.  It was a great experience and a dream come true to work on a project that involved artists who I greatly admire.

Here’s a photo montage of myself and the four members of Metallica.  Top left is myself with bassist Robert Trujillo, and to the right is myself and lead guitarist Kirk Hammett (always ranked 0n top ten lists as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, right up there with Hendrix).  I’m pictured with Lars Ulrich (drummer) on the bottom left, and vocalist/lyricist/rhythm guitarist James Hetfield on the bottom right.

I was there for two days in a row at The Forum in Copenhagen.  The backstage experience was fantastic.  The band are very warm and open to everyone.  I was filming the last two of five concerts in Copenhagan, the drummer’s home turf.  Since it was the first time Lars Ulrich had been home in quite some time, and th fact that he was performing for five nights at The Forum, it meant that all of his family and friends were there and he had his hands full to say the least.

Soundcheck on the first day was a great experience.  It was very intimate, and it made me stop and reflect for a moment.  I felt honored to be using my skills on a project for Metallica.  It was just us the videographers, Metallica, and the other technicians.  Here’s a low-res backstage shot I took at lunch time on my mobile phone:

In addition to the two full concerts, I shot an interview with James Hetfield, which I’m told will feature as an ‘extra’ on the DVD.  The interview took place in the “tuning room”, the holiest of holies I’m told – not just anyone is allowed to enter that space (I must be special).

Here’s a clip to show the power, ferocity and dare I say…elegance of their live performances.  Nothing Else Matters is the song (The Black Album, 1991).  I have been asked to use this song on a couple of wedding videos/DVDs in the past and it has always worked very well.

Here is a great music video (more like a short film) by Danish director Thomas Vinterberg (‘Festen’).  Vinterberg was in attendance, as a guest of Lars Ulrich.  And although I didn’t see him, Vinterberg was accompanied by another well known Dane, and one of my favorite filmmakers, Lars Von Trier (‘Dancer In The Dark’, ‘Dogville’, ‘Anti-Christ’).

This music video/short film is for the first single off Metallica’s latest album ‘Death Magnetic’ and is entitled ‘The Day That Never Comes’.  It is an incredibly well shot and produced music video.  When you have a filmmaker of the calibre of Vinterberg making your music video, you wouldn’t expect anything less.

Metallica play The Odyssey Arena, Belfast on May 11th and 12th 2010.  Tickets available from Ticketmaster.

The Copenhagen DVD is due to be released sometime in 2010 I’m told.  It may be a two DVD set, and there was also talk of it being released on Blu-Ray disc in a ‘Fan Can’.  I will be proud of my on-screen credit.

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Richard Finlay was recently ranked among the best videographers in the world by the DV Awards. He was also voted ‘Wedding Videographer of the Year’ in Ireland’s very first online wedding awards. In the same year, he was named as a top wedding videographer by Weddings Online.