Friday, March 24, 2017

FLASHBACK: Hans Zimmer Parking Garage Concert

One of the more surreal and amazing nights while I was working at DreamWorks was the Hans Zimmer Parking Garage Rooftop Concert.  It's a strange setup, so a bit of backstory to what led to this crazy circumstance....

At the time, 2009, DreamWorks was expanding like crazy.  We were trying to go from releasing 2 films a year to 3.  We were still working on DVD bonus shorts and even some holiday specials.  It was busy.  And we were running out of space...especially parking space.  The solution was to expand our 5 story parking garage (complete with helipad) over onto the neighboring surface lot.  For most of a year, this made parking even more crazy during construction.  By the end they had to enlist valet parking to fit everyone into the remaining space.  You can see the new addition in the google-map view below (it has different colored concrete and no ivy growing up the sides).

So, Katzenburg wanted a way to celebrate the completion of the parking garage expansion, as a way to make up for all the inconvenience to the employees over the past year.  For some glorious reason I can't imagine they thought up - they held a rooftop concert after work one summer night.  Leading the charge was the film composer Hans Zimmer (who scored Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar for us).  Joining him was fellow composers (also for DreamWorks films) Harry Gregson-Williams and John Powell.  Also, a bunch of other musicians covering everything from drums, winds, to ancient chinese instruments.  And a host of extra singers, including the gentleman who does the voice of King Julien now for the TV series.

So we all spent a night, sitting at tables drinking beer and wine, watching the summer sun set behind The Valley, listening to a greatest hits of DreamWorks music on the roof of a parking garage.  They played the DreamWorks intro music (also the opening to Shrek), Hallelujah, themes from KFP and Madagascar, and of course finished with a group dance to "I Like To Move-It Move-It"

An epic once-in-a-lifetime night.