Each year, I make a list of musicians & bands I want to work with. The list has included The Black Eyed Peas, Slayer, John Blackwell, Ringo Starr, Neal Peart, John Legend, and a handful of others. Each year I have been able to line up work with most of the list! So far, out of the folks listed above, only Neal & Ringo remain.
One such member of the list (for about 3 years now) has been Mike Portnoy.
This past Sunday, June 1st, I was able to cross him off of my list!
Dream Theater rolled into Clearwater around 3:30pm on Sunday, but Mike was immediately carted off for an autograph session, with the plan to return between 6pm and 6:10pm.
The plan called for us arriving at 6pm, shooting Mike at his monster drumkit before doors or between bands (with the curtain down), and shooting live.
At 6pm, we pulled in right behind Mike's driver. We walked in, linked up with his management, and were escorted to the stage. It was now about 6:20pm and doors were opening in 10 minutes. As we had to be completely clear of the stage by about 6:29, the shoot itself had about a 4 1/2 min limit.
Mike was great to work with! He's a pro at being in front of the lens! Just like working with an experience model (I know I know... sorry about comparing world famous hard rockin' drummer Mike Portnoy to a model), Mike set into action when the camera was lifted. Click, new position (I'd say pose, but that's too model-y), click, new position, repeat, repeat, repeat, done.
I even snuck in a shot of myself with Mike at his kit taken by my assistant.
(Mike's kit is huge and he frequently brings guest drummers to sit alongside him. There are always two thrones at the kit, which he alternates between.)
We shook hands, cleared set, and waited for the show! During the live show, I spent some time up at the drum riser taking some live shots. Mike is amazing at the kit!
Here are some shots!