August 1, 2009 - MEGADETH FAN REPORTS ON 'HEAD CRUSHER' VIDEO SHOOT
"We were told that we could wear only dark-colored clothes and no logos other than Megadeth were allowed on the shirts.
"One guy was filming us with his camera and when he came to me he started interviewing me. He asked me my name, favorite Megadeth song and why I like Megadeth.
"The first 20 people to go in were on some VIP list so I didn't get to go. From what I heard, they did a small scene with Dave [Mustaine] where Dave was the host for a game show called 'Head Crusher'.
"We were let in at around 4:30 p.m. and what I saw inside just overwhelmed me. There was an octagonal shaped cage with a metallic fence that had barbed wires, inside which there was a stage in the center. The band were already on it when we entered. Dave said, 'Welcome folks! Welcome home!' Chris [Broderick] was looking directly at me and I gave him the devil's horns. All this was really exciting.
"This stage was a machine-driven, rotating one and its height was being changed before and during every take of the video. The highest it would go was probably close to 20 feet. Then the other performers entered. Two guys dressed in orange jumpsuits as prisoners and three fighters.
"The main theme of the first take was this: The band would play on stage. While that happens, the prisoners would fight against the fighters and they'll get thrown around on the cage fence. And we were supposed to rock out, shake the fence and shout and cheer the fighters on for the whole time. Luckily, I got a great spot on the fence. I'm sure I came out in most of the shots they took of the fighters.
"The first take was cut at the beginning itself. The director told us not to shake the fence too much as they would add that effect to the fence later on. The second take went through really great. Everyone was going totally nuts. My side of the fence was getting a lot of action and the fighters were getting thrown on it all the time. At the end of the song, the camera guy did a quick 360 degree close-up of the crowd and he started it with me!! In the third take, they brought in a female fighter and did the whole video again, with the female beating the crap out of one of the fighters!
"After these three takes, Dave, Chris and James [Lomenzo] left the set and the director told us that this time it'll be only Shawn [Drover] on the set. They walked right past me, less than a foot away. All this was so unreal I can't even express it. So we did the whole song again and it was awesome, again. We did another take of the song with Shawn after they moved many of us to be behind Shawn so we could be seen on the camera. After this take, Shawn left the set and Chris entered. Then we did the song with just Chris on the set. They mostly took close-ups of his guitar during the solo. The seventh take was gonna be just us. They wanted to capture the crowd reaction. They told us to rock out as if the band is on stage and playing a live song. They played the song without any band member or fighters. I was headbanging like crazy for most of this take, and the camera guy took a lot of close-ups of me. He told me later on that he took at least 12 close-ups of me. I really hope at least some of that comes out in the video. They did another take for the crowd reaction. These two takes were easily my favorite. The ninth take was when they told us to change our reactions whenever we get the cue for them. We had to cheer, boo or grimace at the fights taking place inside the cage. They brought on two prison guards for this take too. This take was a lot of fun. It was the only one where we had to 'act' at all. And that was a wrap for the prisoners and fighters.
"The band came back out to loud cheers. Chris turned to us and said, 'Aren't you guys bored already?' The band members were really nice and were making jokes all the time. They did three more takes of the song. The crew kept telling us to hang in there as it was already more than three hours doing the same song over and over again. They provided us with cold water too. So then they did three more takes of the song. After that Shawn turned to us and threw his drum stick! And I caught it!!! That was a wrap for Shawn, Chris and James. The 13th and last take was gonna be just Dave in the cage. They told us to climb on the fence if we can. During this take, Dave was moving all around the cage while singing and playing guitar. They took a lot of close-ups of him (obviously) and also of the crowd in his background. At one point, he was shredding directly in front of me! I jumped up and climbed on the fence as high as I could and rocked out.
"That was the end of the shoot. The camera guy came to me and told me to say something to the camera. I said, 'Dave Mustaine: greatest guitar player on earth, Megadeth: best band on earth'. Then he took a close up of my shirt and said thanks. Chris was nice enough to hang around outside the set and take pictures with the fans. I got a picture with him and shook his hand!
"So all in all a really amazing experience. I'll never forget this. Needless to say, I can't wait for the video to come out."