Opinions - Band video/film

REF

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This has probably come up before. I would like some honest opinions and thoughts.

Bands in concert film/video. Do you appreciate the scenes changing every 2 seconds, close-ups of faces while hands are moving all over the place, radical scene speed changes trying to keep up with the drummer's final flurry in his solo - like some visual strobe light, etc, etc?

I ask because when I play this festival in Germany, moved to August, if it happens at all, all the bands are recorded and posted on Keep It True's fb page, as well as YT. Personally, I despise all the gimmickry, the over-production/fancy/every production trick in the book at the drummer's expense and the overall band's expense that is seen in films now.

Are these things actually acceptable and entertaining to people not high on something?

Awhile back I came upon a YT video of numerous drummers trading licks at a festival. Dennis, John Blackwell, Cindy Blackman, others. A turn comes to Dennis and he lays down this absolutely atomic single stroke roll and the camera is on Blackwell's face the whole time. I literally dropped my jaw at the stupidity of such a camera choice.

I cannot stand the way bands are shown today. Actually, this goes all the way back to Cream's final performance at the Royal Albert Hall. BBC production. Easily one of the worst productions I have ever seen.

The audience sits or stands and takes in the whole band. They can look at whatever, whoever, whenever. True, being there and the total expanse of the image in your eyes cannot be reproduced on a small screen and I understand close-ups and all but, why do film makers change the scene every 1-3 seconds? What is the point? What is the principle behind such production? They almost always miss something another musician does and cut to them too late, or leave out things altogether. Incredibly poor editing.

I remember this began, iirc back when Hill Street Blues or NYPD Blue, or one of those police programs came on, and the directors and producers began this whole change the scene every 2 seconds-thing, and do close-ups of half a face and all. Now it is done everywhere.

I really dislike what live concert footage looks like today. But, maybe I am missing something. What is the advantage of changing scenes every couple of seconds, and showing a drummer's face when his hands are doing something "important," to us, anyway, or showing his hands, trying to, when they are moving all around and the scene is just a mess as a result. To me such footage is worthless. A guitarist plays a solo and they show the bassist's face. Ridiculously inept things like that, constantly, throughout. And this is all post-production, too. Why do they make such choices? It ruins it for me. I'd like to say something, ask something of the film crew when we go on but, I don't want to come across as rude or anything. To me it is just common sense. Show the band as close to what the audience experiences as possible. Some close-ups. No over-production of solos, no headache inducing, rapid scene changing.

Am I alone in this observation?
 

Hop

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"Transitions" are important in this style to keep active visual interest / mentally engage the viewer. However, the transitions certainly can be overused to the point of giving viewers vertigo!
I'm not too far off in sharing your opinion, and do think there is far too many cut's and "implied motion" in music videos. It can be a tough balancing act as well coordinating a camera crew and directing on the fly to produce a product... and it may be more difficult to gather footage and edit/post-production the heck out of it because so many my opinions may start to enter into the final edit outside the director/editor.

I think a great solution is to offer multi-camera angle viewing options in a completed video packaging... especially for musicians that may want to see a band master or the individual musician camera angles. I think a good example is that clip of Simon Phillips with Lee Ritenour & Mike Stern live at the Blue Note:

Drum cam:



Stage master clip:

 
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DanRH

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After watching the Jellyfish video taken from the Jools Holland show, man, the producers had that thing right. Bit I totally agree with you. When we did our promotional video, the girl doing the video wasn't a musician so she had no clue. Ugg, shooting the KB player while the guitarist was ripping. Ugg again! Of course, we got what we payed for. She didn't charge us. ;-)
 

RIDDIM

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This has probably come up before. I would like some honest opinions and thoughts.

Bands in concert film/video. Do you appreciate the scenes changing every 2 seconds, close-ups of faces while hands are moving all over the place, radical scene speed changes trying to keep up with the drummer's final flurry in his solo - like some visual strobe light, etc, etc?

I ask because when I play this festival in Germany, moved to August, if it happens at all, all the bands are recorded and posted on Keep It True's fb page, as well as YT. Personally, I despise all the gimmickry, the over-production/fancy/every production trick in the book at the drummer's expense and the overall band's expense that is seen in films now.

Are these things actually acceptable and entertaining to people not high on something?

Awhile back I came upon a YT video of numerous drummers trading licks at a festival. Dennis, John Blackwell, Cindy Blackman, others. A turn comes to Dennis and he lays down this absolutely atomic single stroke roll and the camera is on Blackwell's face the whole time. I literally dropped my jaw at the stupidity of such a camera choice.

I cannot stand the way bands are shown today. Actually, this goes all the way back to Cream's final performance at the Royal Albert Hall. BBC production. Easily one of the worst productions I have ever seen.

The audience sits or stands and takes in the whole band. They can look at whatever, whoever, whenever. True, being there and the total expanse of the image in your eyes cannot be reproduced on a small screen and I understand close-ups and all but, why do film makers change the scene every 1-3 seconds? What is the point? What is the principle behind such production? They almost always miss something another musician does and cut to them too late, or leave out things altogether. Incredibly poor editing.

I remember this began, iirc back when Hill Street Blues or NYPD Blue, or one of those police programs came on, and the directors and producers began this whole change the scene every 2 seconds-thing, and do close-ups of half a face and all. Now it is done everywhere.

I really dislike what live concert footage looks like today. But, maybe I am missing something. What is the advantage of changing scenes every couple of seconds, and showing a drummer's face when his hands are doing something "important," to us, anyway, or showing his hands, trying to, when they are moving all around and the scene is just a mess as a result. To me such footage is worthless. A guitarist plays a solo and they show the bassist's face. Ridiculously inept things like that, constantly, throughout. And this is all post-production, too. Why do they make such choices? It ruins it for me. I'd like to say something, ask something of the film crew when we go on but, I don't want to come across as rude or anything. To me it is just common sense. Show the band as close to what the audience experiences as possible. Some close-ups. No over-production of solos, no headache inducing, rapid scene changing.

Am I alone in this observation?
- No. The problem, IMHO, is that few video editors/directors are musicians. Consequently, they don't know how to follow the action.
 

REF

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"Transitions" are important in this style to keep active visual interest / mentally engage the viewer. However, the transitions certainly can be overused to the point of giving viewers vertigo!
I'm not too far off in sharing your opinion, and do think there is far too many cut's and "implied motion" in music videos. It can be a tough balancing act as well coordinating a camera crew and directing on the fly to produce a product... and it may be more difficult to gather footage and edit/post-production the heck out of it because so many my opinions may start to enter into the final edit outside the director/editor.

I think a great solution is to offer multi-camera angle viewing options in a completed video packaging... especially for musicians that may want to see a band master or the individual musician camera angles. I think a good example is that clip of Simon Phillips with Lee Ritenour & Mike Stern live at the Blue Note:

Drum cam:



Stage master clip:

Yes. Very well done. Someone with some understanding of music edited that. I can enjoyably watch those with great ease and focus.
 

REF

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- No. The problem, IMHO, is that few video editors/directors are musicians. Consequently, they don't know how to follow the action.
That would certainly explain poor editing as far as changes according to the music itself, but, no music I know of changes every two seconds. Why change the scenes so rapidly? What is their thinking of doing that? Is that actually necessary to hold the attention of the majority of viewers? I cannot fathom that.
 

RIDDIM

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That would certainly explain poor editing as far as changes according to the music itself, but, no music I know of changes every two seconds. Why change the scenes so rapidly? What is their thinking of doing that? Is that actually necessary to hold the attention of the majority of viewers? I cannot fathom that.
- I think it's more of an editor's look at me being cute thing, or perhaps too much acid last night or an hour ago. It was really common in French music video in the late 60's
 

langmick

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I picked up an Iron Maiden concert video a few years ago, non-stop cutting and editing, impossible to pay attention to anything. The entire show. How could anyone not know that...

There's a great Phil Collins show in Dallas that was filmed and edited just about perfectly.

 

bigbonzo

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That would certainly explain poor editing as far as changes according to the music itself, but, no music I know of changes every two seconds. Why change the scenes so rapidly? What is their thinking of doing that? Is that actually necessary to hold the attention of the majority of viewers? I cannot fathom that.
I've seen videos that change every one second or less. They are unwatchable. And, apparently, the faster the music the faster the scene changes. I hate the style.

Oh, and a lot of videos do spend too much time in the audience. You bought the video to watch the band, not audience.

And bands approve these and allow them to be sold. Sometimes I wonder.....

Lately, I've been reading reviews of videos before I buy 'em. If too many people complain of the editing, I don't buy it.

Oh, I remember an Opeth DVD that I bought a few years ago. The camera kept showing close-ups of the lead singer's head, and the angle was such that you could constantly see up the guys nose! WTF? And the band approved this?
 
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cornelius

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The cutty editing style can be very tough watch. Used sparingly it can tell the story or accentuate something - but it should not be a run-on sentence. It's funny to watch concerts from the 70s because sometimes you're waiting for a cut! Also in those days, there was almost no coverage of the drummer - now they're setting up a lot more cameras but feeling the need to use all of them. Also back then, if there was a camera or two on a drummer, they would usually be "creative" extreme close ups of the sweat coming off of their brow, or their hands so close, you can't decipher what they're playing - doh!!

One thing I will say - even with a group of cameras - sometimes the coverage just isn't there so you grab the 2nd or 3rd best shot. These videos aren't instructional videos - they are designed for the casual observer, and directors and producers are usually trying to recreate the energy of the live performance in a video format. Unfortunately this doesn't always work, and ask 10 different people and you'll get 10 different cuts. There are usually a lot of chefs in the kitchen during the process, so it's a challenge for the editor to please everyone.

One thing I'll add - I found the Vulfpek MSG concert really fun to watch. I'm not usually a fan of so much hand-held footage - but it perfectly fit the band's vibe and their performances. YMMV...
 

REF

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At this point I may just try and contact the outfit that shoots the footage and edits the festival film and ask them why they choose a style of fast scene changes.

I remember seeing a taped Return to Forever concert and it had the four guys in separate blocks on the screen which I thought was really cool. That was shot back in the 70's. It was a television program, PBS Soundstage. I can watch it today on YT and it's great concert footage.

I'm really curious now why the 1-3 second change-thing is used. How is it thought to be entertaining to watch that for 90-120 minutes.
 

hardbat

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Too many people making these videos believe that their videography is the art on display. Their job is to reveal the art being performed by the musicians, and they sometimes don't get that.
 

REF

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Too many people making these videos believe that their videography is the art on display. Their job is to reveal the art being performed by the musicians, and they sometimes don't get that.
The thing is, in the case of concert footage for individual bands, not a festival shoot, each band must finalize an OK on what will be sold to fans as a DVD so, the bands seem to think such 1-3 second scene changes throughout is what they want people to watch of their performance? Why?
 

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The cutty editing style can be very tough watch. Used sparingly it can tell the story or accentuate something - but it should not be a run-on sentence. It's funny to watch concerts from the 70s because sometimes you're waiting for a cut! Also in those days, there was almost no coverage of the drummer - now they're setting up a lot more cameras but feeling the need to use all of them. Also back then, if there was a camera or two on a drummer, they would usually be "creative" extreme close ups of the sweat coming off of their brow, or their hands so close, you can't decipher what they're playing - doh!!"

- One of the worst examples of this is the Tony Palmer video of Toad in Cream's last Albert Hall concert.
 

MntnMan62

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I can't stand video of live music that jumps all over the place so you can't really see what the musicians are doing. Makes me crazy. This is one of the worst videos I've ever seen and they ruined it for me in trying to watch one of my favorite drummers of all time. It starts out ok, but then the frenetic pace of camera angle changes makes me nauseous. It seems to coincide with the pace of Narada's soloing.

 

bigbonzo

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Over the weekend I watched a few recent Rolling Stones concert DVD's. I couldn't believe the amount of time wasted on pictures of the audience. I was considering purchasing one. Not after watching that krap.

And the bands approve of this??? Don't they have any say???
 
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REF

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I can't stand video of live music that jumps all over the place so you can't really see what the musicians are doing. Makes me crazy. This is one of the worst videos I've ever seen and they ruined it for me in trying to watch one of my favorite drummers of all time. It starts out ok, but then the frenetic pace of camera angle changes makes me nauseous. It seems to coincide with the pace of Narada's soloing.

Good grief. That is my point on steroids. That is total disrespect of the musician and musicians like him, in this case those that enjoy the art of playing drums. That was edited by someone who plainly does not like drums and decided to see how many buttons he could push in his boredom.

I appreciate all the opinions and observations offered. It appears, unless the musicians have some control, it all depends on who produces and edits a concert; hit or miss.
 

drummertom

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This is an excerpt from a just released concert video by the band Nektar, shot on their recent tour (ended just before everything started getting cancelled/postponed). Really displays the band well without having a bunch of distracting video elements. This is what I'd be going for with my own bands.

 

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