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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent music - poor camera work, 12 Nov. 2010
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This review is from: Scissor Sisters: We Are Scissor Sisters And So Are You [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
Scissor Sisters just have to be the tightest major rock-pop band out there right now. The level of the musicianship is superb, with the drummer standing out as the best musician in the band. I would have to go to something like The Eagles or Frank Zappa to find a technically better group of musicians.

But, although this DVD shows just how brilliant this band is, the camera work is poor, with many 'fluffs' and switches to the wrong shot. Key shots, such as full-stage reference shots and jib fly-overs, were just missing. The credits show that the video team had the means to make a good final product, but one is tempted to think that either the crew did not have the chance to attend rehearsals, or that they had never done a rock concert before and tried to live-switch the shots.

For those who are not in the industry, rock and pop concerts have to be done very differently, because communications are difficult (noise!!!) and giving commands on headsets can be difficult, or even impossible. That means that camera people have to know what to do in advance and have a written set list with camera commands and moves written down and that means the director has to attend many concerts! The alternative, is to give the camera people standing orders and that requires a well trained and deeply integrated crew who are used to this sort of work. Either way, a live concert DVD nearly always records all cameras and the switching is done in post production and this was not done in this case.

And the topic of post production brings me to the mastering, or rather the lack of it!

The mix is superb! I work in the music industry and I recognise a good mix when I hear one and this is a very good mix. This is the sort of sound we get from the mixing studio, which then has to be mastered to put that final sheen onto the sound. The mastering engineer takes the final stereo mix and brings up volumes, alters eq, alters the imaging and generally improves the quality and the perceived 'impact' of the music, film, or whatever he or she is working on. This concert just has not been mastered and, as a result, key frequency ranges have been neglected in many parts of most songs. This is especially true for the bass on this DVD, which should have been far louder and compressed with the excellent drumming and rhythm guitar to give the rhythm section more impact.

So, although I enjoyed the excellent music and the quality of the playing, it seems a pity that the final product was not made by people who live, eat and breath live concert DVDs. For that, you need to see the O2 concert video!
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Location: Kiltarlity, Inverness-shire United Kingdom

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