“Suz is there!”
Words that bring music to our ears. Literally.
Because we know soon – very soon – after a concert, Suz526 will be bringing us spectacular video. Artistry capturing artistry. Front row seats for us all. No matter where around the globe we spent concert night, we’ll be stageside soon.
Glam Nation Tour videos are the best publicity money could buy. Except money didn’t. Love did. Every concert attendee who posts high quality footage on YouTube helps further Adam Lambert’s reach.
These international tours did not sell out on 1 album and 3 music videos, alone. And no matter how popular AI is internationally – and technology has aided that, too – seeing and hearing Adam in full GNT glory simply makes people want more.
Priceless Pixelated PR
All products and services are boosted by Word-of-Mouth. (And click for Instant MBA on how biz works if you missed the first time.) There is no more vivid Word-of-Mouth than a great GNT video.
Friends pass along to the soon-to-be captivated. Newspapers and magazines even link fan vids to their reviews, thus giving Adam’s astonishing showmanship full exposure to hundreds of thousands who may remember him from AI and interested to see what he’s doing.
Internationally, YT videos have made it possible for a fan, anywhere, to experience the splendor. And one day, even record labels will enter the 21st Century and recognize concert videos don’t hurt ticket or album sales – just the opposite – vids boost sales. (And that live DVD and/or PPV might even appear.)
Creativity Q & A
In the wheel of the zodiac, the Fifth House rules Creativity. Also risk-taking.
To launch a new series of interviews on Creativity that will appear from time-to-time, FifthHouseSun.com is honored to have Video Goddess Suz526 as our first interviewee. Fifth House in action, Suz526 risks nightly, using her great Creativity, to bring wondrous fun to us all.
Creativity Explored: The Fifth House Interview with Suz526
FHS: What’s your video history? Have you been shooting videos a long time? Or did Adam spark or renew your interest?
SUZ526: Adam renewed an interest that had been dormant for some time. Although I filmed the typical “family events,” my interest in filming started when my children were young and I was involved in videotaping (VHS tapes!) amateur skating competitions at the local ice rink.
What was the first time you shot video of Adam in concert?
I went to the very first AI concert in Portland, Oregon. July 5, 2009. To see Adam. It had never occurred to me to bring a video camera.
Later, as I watched other people’s videos on YouTube – I realized I wanted to re-live the magical experience again and again. I talked to my son about it and he agreed to come to Oakland with me the following week and film.
So, your son filmed your first Adam videos?
Yes, he used a Flip Mino. He helped me set up a YT channel and uploaded the videos.
How long before you decided you wanted to shoot the vids yourself?
Almost immediately. I set out the next week for Staples Center in Los Angeles. July 16, 2009. My first videos! I filmed less than 10 seconds before I was approached by security. I was using a camcorder – which I later learned is a major “no-no”. So I got nothing at the Staples show.
I tried another AI tour show, again with the camcorder. Got all the way through. At the end of the Bowie medley, Ray confiscated my 32gig memory card! Lesson learned and not repeated! It became clear that filming Adam had to be a stealth operation.
So, armed with a Flip Mino, I headed to San Diego. I captured Adam’s entire 20 minute set – start to finish – and posted on YouTube – all by myself! I was hooked!
How did it feel?
Being caught on my first attempt didn’t feel so good. And although I saw what – in my opinion – was one of Adam’s most electrifying performances in LA, I came home empty-handed and disappointed that I couldn’t watch it again.
But my San Diego videotaping experience was pretty exciting. And I was learning about uploading, downloading, editing, and converting video. I must confess that the technical aspects of this venture are fascinating to me.
How did you like your first results?
At the time, I was thrilled to have filmed the entire set without ending up in jail. And proud to have my own YT channel. I was completely hooked on watching Adam’s YT AI Tour performances. And it felt so good to contribute to the efforts of sharing this extraordinary young man’s talent with the world. But I did – and still do –have concerns about the quality of the videos. How could/can I make them better?
Equipment wise, what cameras – or other devices – are you using most now for hardware? Why those choices?
I like my Canon Powershot SX20is. It may not be the best there is, but it works for me. My back-up is either a Lumix Z35, or Canon Powershot 210.
Is that the famed Rolando? Seen in the picture – now your avi – with Adam? Where was that taken?
Rolando had his picture taken with Adam at the 9/15 Atlanta Meet & Greet. Adam liked that Rolando had a name. I told Adam that Rolando enjoyed taking pictures of him.
How did Rolando get his name?
I was tweeting one night that I ought to give my camera a name. Some one suggested Rolando, and when I looked at him, I knew it was a perfect fit!
Interesting that your Cameras-of-Choice are still photography cameras that also shoot video. Do you think that helps fool security?
Possibly – but they definitely go after camcorders. I’m sure they know that videos are being shot – but the camcorders are terribly obvious.
Do you enjoy shooting still photographs as well?
Not really – my stills are very amateurish. There are so many great photographer out there.
Do you have “fallbacks” – equipment, or alternate seat locations, say – to use if Security busts you?
I pray a lot!!! Although I plan, and take extra cameras, it is always a crapshoot. The biggest issue has typically been the folks in front of me. You can’t predict who will sit where, how tall they’ll be, wearing hats, moving around – not just the normal flailing you want/expect, but the getting in and out to buy drinks, go to the restroom, etc.
What editing software do you like? Why?
iMovie – very user friendly and quick.
What kind of computer set-up do you use?
At home – an iMac. On the road – a MacBook Pro laptop.
If you could have anything you wanted, hardware, computer, and software wise, what would it be?
A Mac Pro 12-Core. Configured with all the goodies and with maximum storage!!!!
You’re known & revered for your speed. How do you get the vids posted so fast after concerts?
No special trick – I know it’s important to Adam fans and I just do it! Keep in mind, when I’m not at a concert, I’m also sitting and waiting for vids to come in myself. So I know what it’s like to wait! I am pretty focused and have a good computer – Yay, MacIntosh! The unknown factor is always the Internet speed where I am staying.
Recently, you’ve been carrying your own portable WiFi hotspot, right? For which we all thank you. Was iffy hotel internet part of deciding to do that? Or ability to upload from anywhere, and not have to go back to the hotel?
A little of both, but primarily the hotel internet speed. The internet card isn’t all that fast, but it’s definitely better than some of the hotels. One hotel though (can’t remember which one) was blazing fast. Vids were uploading faster than I could make the movies!
You’ve uploaded from cars, bar tables. For which, again, we all thank you. How was uploading vids from the bar OZ in New Orleans surrounded by scantily clad, dancing men?
That was hysterical – I’m standing at the front of the bar, watching people coming and going (Desparately Seeking Adam), men dancing on top of the bar – one memory I’ll never forget. Good times!
How do you decide which concerts you’ll attend?
Lots of factors: work commitments, travel costs – big cities are usually cheaper. Availability of staying with – or sharing costs – with friends and frequent flyer miles. But sometimes, there are concerts you expect will be epic and you just HAVE to be there – like the very first one in Wilkes Barre. I also suspected San Francisco would be epic. Same for New Orleans. And Puyallup.
Of course, living in SoCal – the ones that are close to me are “no-brainers.” If I can drive – I’ll be there! But the amazing thing about Adam – as you know – is that he makes every concert unique!
How do you choose where to sit? Are there any “usually so” aspects about location? Like closer “usually’ produces better pics, and further away “usually” produces better audio? Or is each venue completely different?
Pretty much “luck of the draw” – dictated by what I can get on Ticketmaster. And you’re right, no two venues are the same. I can sit in the same spot in two different venues and the results can be totally different. I just try to figure out how to make it work wherever I’m sitting. That’s why I don’t film the opening acts – I’m pretty much trying to figure out logistics.
Do you have helpers/assistants at every concert?
Nope – I work solo! Although I often go with friends, we don’t always sit together. And they have been very generous in swapping seats so I can get the best video/ audio. In Puyallup, a wonderful woman I didn’t even know, gave me her closer, more unobstructed seat. She wanted to do it for the benefit of everyone.
During the concert, I’m completely concentrated on tracking Adam, working around the audience cheering, his moving, pulling focus, getting the best quality. However, back at the hotel room, it’s another story! Lots of fun and chatter while I’m uploading!
Creatively, what do you enjoy the most, shooting or editing?
If I had control of the situation, I would say filming. But I don’t have control so the filming is very reactive. By now, I know pretty much where Adam will move on the stage, but what I don’t know is what the people in front of me will do so I am
constantly having to adapt/readjust.
I do love the editing, though – it’s pretty routine for the concert vids. But when a creative idea strikes – I can spend hours editing!
What’s the most personally rewarding part of videography in Lambertaria?
Knowing that I’m helping fans who don’t have the opportunity to “see” Adam through the lens of my camera. Some of the messages that are posted are very poignant and touch me deeply.
What’s the most frustrating part?
Getting to the venue and finding that I have an obstructed view!
Are you considering more “Original Story” videos with GNT footage like your popular amusingly sub-titled and sound-tracked compilations of the past. And the recent “We’ve Got Lambert”?
I might. I often get asked about making a DVD of a specific concert and I always tell folks no. I want to explain that it worries me when I see other do it. It is a huge risk and has the potential of harming us all.
First, I do not have the copyright to Adam’s performances. I think Sony has been very generous to allow us to post these videos – it definitely has payback for them. However, the DVDs move into another whole category. And when money changes hand – even if it’s not requested – there are huge risks.
I changed the text on my video copy to give credit to the artistic/intellectual property owners. It’s the right thing to do.
When did you first discover Adam?
Early rounds of American Idol. I’m a long time AI watcher since season 2. Our end-of-year festivities at work always included an AI parody. I coordinated – and played Paula, amusingly. So I always watched AI to get ideas.
When did you upgrade from admirer to committed fan?
The night he “lost” Idol – I was outraged! And yes, I voted for him repeatedly the previous night.
What about him inspires your involvement?
Similar interests – musical theater, costumes, range of genres, fashion. But perhaps the one thing that I appreciated most was his kindness. I remember him always praising , supporting, and thanking others – very rare in such a competitive field.
Have you been this engaged with being a fan before?
Never – but then, I have never seen a talent like this before, either.
You’ve been watching Adam closely through the lens for a while now, have you noticed any changes?
Probably nuances – he has always been the consummate performer. It’s hard to imagine him getting any better, but somehow he always manages to do just that.
What part of the GNT concert do you enjoy filming the most?
Probably Fever, IIHY and the encore. Those seem to be the ones people want to see first. Although, the acoustic set – where he stays in one spot – is easiest to film.
Any songs that you find more challenging than others to capture?
It depends on where I’m sitting. My ideal spot would be the front row balcony, with no security issue and an unobstructed view of the stage. I tend to zoom in more to avoid heads in front of me – but folks at home miss the entire spectacle.
Too often I shortchange the band and dancers to focus on Adam. The band and dancers are most challenging to film, but they are truly an integral part of the show.
Do you ever just want to go to one of Adam’s concerts and simply watch, not take pictures or vids?
Taking videos is so ingrained now, that I probably couldn’t relax any other way.
It’s hard to explain, but when the music starts, I get into my groove and film. I typically have one eye on Adam (I really do watch him) and one eye looking though Rolando. Rolando’s zoom also serves as a pair of binoculars so I can see up closer than I would normally.
From his entire catalogue, including Idol, what’s are your top 3 Adam Lambert tunes, personally, and why?
Fever – how can you not love it? IIHY – ditto. And WLL at Fantasy Springs – what he did to this song that night was historic. I listened to it on repeat in my car radio for days – maybe weeks – afterwards
Emo or Elvis?
No preference – I wish I had as many options for my own hair!
If the camera genie granted you any camera you desired for concert vids, what would it be? Why?
Well, if there were no security issues and money was no object, I’d def go for a Canon H1S. But there would be NO WAY to sneak that baby in, and I’d be kicked out in a heartbeat!
How long do you think you’ll keep shooting Adam in concert?
As long as it’s still fun for me – one of the best parts of going to so many concerts is connecting with friends I’ve made along the way.
You met Adam recently, how was that experience?
Unbelievable – I was so unprepared for it that I really hadn’t planned anything to say. I wanted to tell him more about my commitment to education and Donor’s Choose. I was surprised at how thin he was. I mean, I’ve seen him on stage up close, but in person he is really skinny! But skinny in a good way!!
He is so breathtakingly beautiful, words do not do justice. And just as sweet and kind to everyone as you can imagine. And I will forever have my platform shoes with his signature!!!
Was there any aspect of his face and look up close that surprised you or seemed different after all this time shooting him?
Just more perfect than I could ever have imagined.
Did you want to get out your camera and work without restrictions?
Yes, I did! But they wouldn’t let us!
Is there anything you didn’t get to say to him that you would like him to know and say now?
Just my appreciation for being the kind of person he is. And his commitment to the kids who are “different”. I am truly grateful that he has championed public education.
Most people have no idea how much of their own money teachers spend
on classroom supplies. All of my donations to DonorsChoose.org have funded musical instruments. My love of music started through the generosity of others when I was in elementary school – so I am happy to pay it back and forward.
We must add that Suz526’s amazing generosity to create such wonderful videos has already payed it forward. She’s created joy and happiness worldwide. And we are all enormously grateful. Thank you, Suz526 for everything!
And here is the very creative Rolando’s recent Director’s Cut of Glam Nation Highlights