Film-maker Marcus Robinson return to his east Belfast roots to celebrate magic of Van Morrison
Van Morrison isn't the only famous son of east Belfast returning to his spiritual roots on Monday.
World renowned photographer and film-maker Marcus Robinson has agreed to a request from the Tourist Board to film Sir Van's 70th birthday concerts at Cyprus Avenue.
Marcus, who has spent the last decade charting the rise of New York's World Trade Center from the ashes of 9/11, will use similar time-lapse techniques to showcase the transformation of the iconic tree-lined avenue into a major concert venue.
Marcus said it will be a poignant occasion; as a former pupil of Strandtown Primary School, he used to stroll down Cyprus Avenue on his way to his father's office.
He also said the aim of the project was to reflect the creative spirit of Northern Ireland's captial city and its people.
"Tourism Ireland asked me to make a film that will both celebrate this legendary and amazing concert but also be a piece of art that will talk about the spirit of Belfast," he said.
"It's also about using something artistic as a new way of talking about Belfast as a tourist destination."
The 55-year-old described the Cyprus Avenue setting for the film as "extraordinary".
"As a kid, I walked down it every day after school going to my dad's office on Beersbridge Road," he said.
"It's one of those eternal places that hasn't changed so the idea is to go from this beautiful, leafy suburb and see it with a very unusual combination of time-lapse cameras going from a suburban street into being this epic concert space with 3,000 people."
The architectural photographer from Co Down said the film will be all-encompassing.
"I'll be recording the whole setting up and then featuring some aspects of the concert itself and then all that's going on around it - the garden parties, the people turning up and the singing and dancing in the streets," he said.
Yesterday, the screening of the 2014 version of his film Rebuilding The World Trade Center - which won awards in the UK and USA after its release in 2013 - was shown at the Strand Arts Centre as part of the EastSide Arts Festival.
"It's the first time it will have been shown and it's the US version of the film," he said. "This is the film that shows the whole rebuilding of the site from the start in 2006 right up until the completion of the spire on Tower One."
Marcus, who is married to 32-year-old New Zealand fashion designer Lucie Boshier, said he hoped to continue his work at the World Trade Center for the foreseeable future.
"At the moment Tower Three is going up at a rate of one floor a week and then Tower Two has just been given the go-ahead so there's another five years' construction to go and I'm hoping to be there to film it," he said. "It's all to remind people that out of the dust and ashes of what New Yorkers simply refer to as "that day", the World Trade Center is rising again.
"The idea is I'd make an entire new film that would go right from the very beginning to the completion of the whole site celebrating the diversity of New York City and the human capacity to triumph over adversity," he said.