MEMPHIS - “Bring Elvis to life.” That was the main video projection mission for Pete's Big TVs for the Elvis 35th anniversary concert, Aug. 16 at the FedEx Forum in Memphis. The event was a fan favorite at the end of Elvis Week, a weeklong celebration of The King and on the 35th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death in 1977.
Pete's Big TVs has worked on many past “Elvis in concert” tours and anniversary shows - again with producer Stig Edgren Productions.
This year, Pete's Big TVs supplied 324 panels of the new digiLED MC7 high resolution video tiles to comprise all video screens in the show. The MC7 emit no radio frequency interference, making them a popular rental item in Pete's Big TVs' inventory.
The panels were split up into four screens. A screen over the stage displayed the show's EP 35 logo and IMAG. Of the three screens on the upstage, measuring 18 feet tall, “Elvis” as a concert performer was always featured in the center screen, while the other two screens featured IMAG or Elvis in other moments from films or TV appearances. Last year all three screens were in fixed positions. This year, all three screens were on travelers, allowing each to move independently left and right, up or down, or join all together for one large screen that filled much of the length of the stage. When the one large screen was used, an image as large as The King's place in history filled the venue.
Pete's Big TVs' Guy Benjamin was project manager, with his team including Matt Ellar, Brent Jones, Jody Lane, Brian Brinckman, Will Cabral, Erin Lynch and Dave Alexander. Two local camera operators, Shawne Child and Kurt Roehr, also helped the team.
Priscilla Presley narrated the show, and a stage full of special performers who have links to Elvis included Joe Guercio, the TCB Band's James Burton and Glen Hardin, along with Norbert Putnam, DJ Fontana, some of The Sweet Inspirations, The Imperials and others.
All the music is performed live, accompanied by Elvis' voice which is isolated from a variety of mediums to be the star of the show. The Memphis Symphony Orchestra performed along with the musicians.
The show's video ran chronologically through Elvis' life, starting in black and white video in the early years of Elvis and eventually running in color. New segments this year featured songs and clips from the '68 Comeback Special, Elvis' film career and more.
As a special surprise for the fans, Lisa Marie Presley found a recording of her father that she particularly liked and created a special video, produced by T-Bone Burnett, to accompany the recording of herself harmonizing with it.
"This is probably the best of the anniversary shows," Edgren told The Memphis Commercial Appeal news, prior to the show. "We're looking to knock it out again."
Guy Benjamin said, “We always enjoy working with Stig Edgren on the Elvis tribute shows and concert tours. Although we can't actually bring The King to life, we can use new technology to make him more lifelike and help enhance the fans' experience at this special anniversary event.”
Photos by Guy Benjamin
About Pete's Big TVs
Celebrating 25 years, PeteÊ¼s Big TVs in Columbia, MD and New Castle, DE, provides LED video screens, projection and full video production for concert, entertainment and corporate events since 1987. For current news, photos and updates on projects in action, visit the company on Facebook at www.facebook.com/videoequipmentrental or call 1.800.999.0010.