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Image Entertainment presents
"I want you to grab a camera, a band, get some friends, and just start doing it."
DVD ReviewDarren Doane has a long string of music video directing credits for bands like Jimmy Eat World, AFI and Blink 182, and as host of this instructional disc he promises to reveal tips and secrets to make it possible for just about anyone to get started. It's something of a view from 30,000 feet, and running just over an hour doesn't allow for all that much detail. Doane does manage to cover the major touchpoints, using the unsigned band Operatic (who my 15-year-old daughter says is full of "hot guys") as his punky-pop test subjects, and to make it all the more accessible, has set up them up in his father's garage, ready to rock.
The basics boil down to shooting the band lip-synching a few different times from a number of angles, and then piecing together the puzzle via a computer and some editing software. The various angles (wide master, right angle, left angle) are shown shot in their entirety, using a picture-in-picture process to show Doane at work, as well as what he's shooting. He fills in the blanks on whether a band should be plugged in, how to kill the drums so they don't overpower the music playback and even pulls in his father to give a quick discussion on how to not blow a home's fuses with your setup. Some of the key technical bits—such as the creation and use of a click track—get a cursory mention, so if you actually plan on shooting a music video you're going to need to do a little outside research.
I can safely say I have no intention of making a music video, but even with that admission out of the way I still found this interesting to sit through. The payoff comes in watching the two-and-a-half minute completed music video, which after watching the steps Doane went through to get there allows viewers to mentally sound off "there's a wide shot, a right angle, a drum angle", and actually begin to think, like I did, that I could do this myself.
Much like a cooking, craft or home repair show, Doane's one-hour music video school makes the process probably look much simpler than it is, but there aren't really any elements that seem insurmountable. He moves kind of quickly through the editing process, where he utilizes things like color correction to tweak the final product, but his technique should be enough for those who already have some experience using a computer to edit video. The fact that he makes it look so effortless will probably be more than enough inspiration for budding directors to want to give it a try.
Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B-
Image Transfer Review: Not that it necessarily demanded it, but Image loses a fractional bit of cool for issuing Punk Rock Film School in nonanamorphic widescreen. The 1.78:1 presentation suffers from smeary whites in spots, but it's free of any physical blemishes or dirt so I guess that's the trade off for a simple instructional video.
Image Transfer Grade: B-
Audio Transfer Review: Audio quality on the 2.0 stereo track is about what one might expect from something recorded on location in a garage. It's very basic and workmanlike, with Doane's instructions and advice all clearly audible without much in the way of dramatic depth or richness. The on-location playback of the Operatic song sounds horribly distorted, considering it is heard in its entirety a few times, it becomes something of an irritant.
Overall, basic, but more than suitable for the material.
Audio Transfer Grade: B-
Disc ExtrasAnimated menu with music
Scene Access with 18 cues and remote access
The feature is cut into 18 chapters, and does not include any subtitle options.
Extras Grade: C-
Final CommentsThis overview of making a music video makes it all seem very simple, though from a purely how-to standpoint it breezes through the critical editing process, something that Darren Doane readily admits could be its own series.
But as a primer, it explains the overall process in easy-to-follow steps, and if I was a young hipster I'd be motivated enough to round up a local band and commence to videoing.
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